Independent advisory firms' revenue dropped by an average 9.5% in 2009, but revenue is on the rise this year, especially at firms that focused on client targeting and service during the recession, according to FA Insight’s Study of Advisory Firms: Growth By Design.

The best–performing firms did so by ensuring a smooth client experience, said Dan Inveen, principal and director of research at FA Insight. “You have to build the firm in a way that the client experience is tailored to that prospect, so you can retain them,” he said. Standout firms were more apt to define a target market and customize their client service policies to meet that group.

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