IAA and NRS Release Fifteenth Annual Evolution Revolution Study; Report Finds Progressive Growth in the Investment Adviser Profession

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The 15th edition of this annual joint study shows impressive growth for federally-registered investment advisers across all major metrics, including number of firms, clients and assets under management.

This year’s report demonstrates a robust correlation of growth between the number of investment adviser firms created and new clients they serve, proving the industry is on a progressive path for continued expansion in the years ahead.

The just-released 2015 Evolution Revolution – the 15th edition of this annual joint study by the Investment Adviser Association (IAA) and National Regulatory Services (NRS) – shows impressive growth for federally-registered investment advisers across all major metrics, including number of firms, clients and assets under management.

Derived from Form ADV, Part 1 data filed by all SEC-registered investment advisers as of April 8, 2015, 2015 Evolution Revolution is the most comprehensive profile of advisory industry metrics available.

This year’s findings demonstrate the following:

  • The industry remains a powerful job creator. Since 2014, investment advisers have added more than 31,000 non-clerical jobs – a 4.3% increase and now employ more than 750,000 individuals.
  • The number of investment adviser firms grew by a healthy 5.3% – the largest increase in four years – adding 578 advisers, for a total of 11,473 firms.
  • The number of clients served by investment advisers jumped as well – by nearly two million. That’s an increase of 6.8%, to nearly 30 million clients.
  • Investment advisers are managing significantly more assets – a total of $66.7 trillion in aggregate regulatory assets under management (RAUM), an impressive 8.1% increase over 2014.

Although a relatively small number of advisers manage a high percentage of total RAUM, the concentration of assets underscores the reality that the investment adviser profession remains dominated by small businesses. While 128 firms (those managing $100 billion or more), or 1.1% of SEC-registered advisers, collectively managed 54% of total RAUM, the remaining 46% of RAUM is managed by more than 11,300 firms. In fact, more than half of all advisers – 57.3%, or 6,576 – reported having 10 or fewer non-clerical employees. And over 10,000 firms – fully 87.9% – reported having 50 or fewer non-clerical employees.

The data in 2015 Evolution Revolution also highlights the diversity of the investment adviser profession. While many advisers serve a broad range of clients, nearly two-thirds – 64.1% – primarily serve one client type. For instance, more than one in five advisers – 22.8% – derive most of their RAUM from pooled vehicles other than mutual funds and ETFs. Similarly, another 29% specialize in serving individuals, and while nearly half of advisers have at least one pension client, only 2.7% primarily serve pension clients.

John Gebauer, President at NRS states: “For the past fifteen years, NRS and IAA have teamed up to create an industry study investment advisers and consumers can trust to show current trends in the profession. This year’s report demonstrates a robust correlation of growth between the number of investment adviser firms created and new clients they serve, proving the industry is on a progressive path for continued expansion in the years ahead.”

“Our new report demonstrates that the investment adviser profession is strong and growing,” says IAA President & CEO Karen Barr. “Just as important, it shows that our industry, with its thousands of small businesses, is a vital asset to investors, to our economy and to the capital markets.”

The 2015 Evolution Revolution study provides a full portrait of the SEC-registered investment adviser profession, presenting data on these major themes as well as custody arrangements, private fund advisers, non-core business activities, broker-dealer affiliations, geographic concentrations, disciplinary information and more.

2015 Evolution Revolution is available on the IAA website and on the NRS website. A PDF version of the report is available online at http://www.investmentadviser.org (under “Publications” and “Reports”) and at http://www.nrs-inc.com/EvolutionRevolution2015.

About Investment Adviser Association
The Investment Adviser Association (IAA) is the leading trade association representing the interests of SEC-registered investment adviser firms. The IAA’s more than 550 member firms collectively manage assets in excess of $16 trillion for a wide variety of institutional and individual investors. In addition to serving as the voice of the advisory profession on Capitol Hill and before the SEC, DOL, CFTC and other U.S. and international regulators, the IAA provides extensive compliance and educational services to its membership. For more information, visit http://www.investmentadviser.org or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About NRS
National Regulatory Services (NRS) is the nation’s leader in compliance and registration products and services for investment advisers, broker-dealers, hedge funds, investment companies and insurance institutions. NRS has the practical expertise, proven capability and unparalleled reach to deliver integrated and effective compliance solutions to a wide range of users within the financial services industry. NRS delivers these solutions through three interrelated offerings—comprehensive education, best-in-class technology and expert consulting services—enabling its clients to meet their regulatory requirements and minimize risk. NRS is part of Accuity, the global standard for optimal payment efficiency, compliant transactions, bank counterparty insight and AML screening success. Owned by one of the world’s leading business-to-business data and content providers, Reed Business Information, and part of Reed Elsevier, Accuity has been providing solutions to banks and businesses worldwide for over 175 years. Our unmatched data and services, powered by Bankers Almanac, deliver optimal payment efficiency, compliant transactions, bank counterparty insight and AML screening success. For more information, visit http://www.nrs-inc.com or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter.

About Reed Business Information

At Reed Business Information we provide information and online data services to business professionals worldwide.  Customers have access to our high-value industry data, analytics, information and tools. Our strong global brands hold market-leading positions across a wide range of industry sectors including banking, petrochemicals and aviation where we help customers make key strategic decisions every day.  RBI is part of Reed Elsevier, a leading global provider of data, information and solutions for professional customers.

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DIANA ALICKAJ
NRS
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