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Alternative Market Briefing

Number of RIAs hits record highs as assets under management grow

Friday, September 07, 2018

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

The universe of SEC-registered investment advisers is on the rise and has reached record-highs this year in number of advisers, aggregate regulatory assets under management (RAUM), and employment according to a new survey from the Investment Adviser Association (IAA) and National Regulatory Services (NRS).

The number of people receiving advice from RIAs has grown by 20% over the past five years. The number of advisors has grown as well by 13.9%.

Regulated assets managed by advisers grew 16.7% from $70.7 trillion in 2017 to $82.5 trillion this year. The number of advisers that reported managing over $100 billion in RAUM increased 18.6% to 147 following last year's 2.5 % increase. Despite accounting for only 1.2 percent of SEC-registered advisers, these 147 firms collectively managed 59.2% of all reported RAUM.

"Fueled by baby boomer demographics and the decline of defined benefit retirement plans, the demand for trusted and personal investment advice continues to grow," said NRS President John Gebauer.

Several segments of the industry are growing faster than others. The largest investment advisers, those that manage more than $100 billion in regulatory assets under management, grew at a faster pace than smaller advisers in terms of both number and RAUM. Use of alternatives is growing as well - private equity funds make up 38.5% of all reported private funds while hedge funds represent 31.7%.

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