Average client assets top $2 million for first time

Charles Schwab's latest RIA Benchmarking Study reports organic growth is driving increased AUM and revenues

Jul 12, 2018 @ 11:19 am

By Ryan W. Neal

The average client assets topped $2 million for the first time at independent advisory firms with over $250 million in AUM, according to Charles Schwab's latest RIA Benchmarking Study.

That's the most per-client asset under management since Schwab began the survey, which collects data from 1,300 advisory firms, in 2006.

Increased client assets, especially from new clients, are driving accelerated growth across the independent market. The study found that asset growth from new clients is more than twice that from existing clients.

Median AUM for firms increased 16.2% in 2017, compared to 9.6% growth in 2016. Average revenue increased to $3.6 million, a compound annual growth rate of 9.8% over the last five years.

(More: Should asset-based pricing models stay or go?)

"Independent advisers have certainly enjoyed buoyant investment returns, but have also grown their businesses organically and strategically, which positions them well for sustainable growth even in the face of market volatility," said Jonathan Beatty, senior vice president for sales and relationship management at Schwab Advisor Services. "Firms are fueling their organic growth by differentiating and marketing their value propositions, improving the client experience and strategically expanding their service offerings to meet the needs of their ideal clients."

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