It’s taken years, but the RIA space has evolved to the point that consumers have a greater awareness of what independent financial advice means. And this awareness is changing the dynamics among competing RIAs, says Rob Francais, CEO of Los Angeles-based Aspiriant, one of the largest RIAs in the country with close to $7 billion in assets under management.

“It used to be that when we were competing for new business, it was against the institutions,” Francais said. “Today, more people are seeking out independent firms. We find prospects coming to us and saying, ‘I want an independent and I’m narrowing the list down from three.’ That is happening today far more than it used to.”

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