I’ve spent a large part of the past 10 years conducting research, hosting events and developing content for the RIA community. The more RIA founders and firms I meet, the more one industry saying rings true: “If you have met one RIA, you have met one RIA.”
Many of the firms I first met 10 years ago when I started managing the legacy Moss Adams Research benchmarking studies have doubled or tripled their assets, revenues and profits over the past decade. It has been a remarkable period of growth, and what is even more remarkable is that almost all RIAs have adopted their own, unique approaches to growth.
For RIAs, there has been no roadmap or blueprint for investing in marketing, optimizing traditional business development or referral processes, or what role (if any), M&A should play in accelerating their growth. There are reference points and research providers that offer guidance on compensation and organizational design, but by and large, it has been an “every firm for itself” approach to growth and scale.
That is precisely why we launched our RIA Edge initiative here at Informa and WealthManagement.com. We are aiming to create a community platform for RIAs—one that consistently connects, educates and empowers firms that want to continue to grow with true intent.
RIA Edge is an omnichannel offering for the industry that consists of several digital, multimedia, data and event offerings. Specifically:
RIA Edge Rankings and Website: This week, we introduced a new digital offering that recognizes the top growing RIA firms—part of our strategic commitment to providing deeper resources, research and events for the RIA community. The “RIA Edge” Rankings, which are featured on a new site, www.wmriaedge.com, recognizes RIA firms that experienced the largest increases in assets and clients since 2017. The firms included in the rankings, which were developing in partnership with Discovery Data, concentrate on financial planning and emphasize advising high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals.
These firms are driving some of the most significant growth in the industry through a mix of M&A and organic growth strategies—and are ultimately reinventing the delivery of financial advice. The rankings, which follow the launch of our RIA Edge Podcast and our RIA Edge Workshops and Events, shine a light on the tremendous growth and success that is being experienced throughout the RIA community.
Specific RIA Edge Rankings include:
- Rankings of the Fastest Growing RIAs by AUM;
- Rankings of the Fastest Growing RIAs by State; and
- Rankings of the Fastest Growing Women-Owned RIAs.
The RIA Edge Podcast: The RIA Edge website also includes the latest episodes of the RIA Edge Podcasts, which I launched in July to feature many of the CEOs and leaders of the firms highlighted in the rankings. The RIA Edge Podcast is the only podcast that is dedicated to the drivers of growth in the RIA industry and shares stories and strategies that will help the RIA community accelerate its future growth through M&A, marketing and client acquisition.
RIA Edge Events: Next month, we will also host our very first RIA Edge Workshop, which will be focused on the drivers of RIA valuations and M&A. We assembled a team of the industry’s top investment bankers and consultants to kick off our first workshop in Boston on Dec. 3, and we are looking forward to bringing our expertise and perspectives to Washington D.C., Atlanta and Chicago in 2022, leading up to our “main event”—Wealth Management Edge in Hollywood, Fla., on May 31–June 3, 2022.
At WM Edge, we will have a series of RIA Edge workshops that focus on M&A, valuation, organic growth and human capital—which will be aligned with our Inside ETFs and WealthStack conferences. We see how the worlds of investing and technology are converging, and the RIA community is at the vanguard of the industry’s true innovations. Connecting these communities will be critical to ensure that the most influential voices in the advice community—now, and into the future—are working hand in hand with investment and technology companies.
As the RIA industry continues to evolve and leaders of RIA firms are presented with new challenges and opportunities tied to M&A, organic growth and technology, RIA Edge will deliver a mix of data, digital content and events that will inform the future growth of this increasingly influential community. The Informa and Wealth Management teams will continue to introduce new research, membership and event offerings for RIAs, with a particular focus on ensemble firms that are looking for targeted business intelligence.
For more information:
- Visit WMRIAEdge.com for the latest RIA Rankings;
- Listen to the RIA Edge Podcast;
- Register for the RIA Valuation and M&A Workshops; and
- Register for the Wealth Management Edge and RIA Edge Conference.
Mark Bruno is managing director of wealth management for Informa Connect.