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America’s Top 300 RIAs Revealed

By Rita Raagas De Ramos June 22, 2017

FA-IQ’s parent company, the Financial Times, has published its 2017 FT 300 list of top U.S. RIAs.

The average FT 300 advisor this year has 24 years of experience and manages $2.7 billion in client assets, up slightly from $2.6 billion in 2016.

California is the state with the most FT 300 advisors this year, making up 15% of the total, followed by Texas and then Illinois. The top RIAs come from 37 states and Washington, D.C.

Chicago is the city with the most FT 300 advisors (12), displacing New York (11) out of first place for the first time since the list was produced in 2014. The FT says this shows how easy it is to run a regional or national wealth manager from anywhere in the country by relying on technology.

“It’s not uncommon for FT 300 companies to have 10 or more offices. Thanks in part to mergers, some of these RIAs are growing very large and more corporate in feel. However, they retain the idiosyncrasies and the focus on advice that separates them from Wall Street firms,” says Loren Fox, New York-based director of FA-IQ sister publication Ignites Research and head of the FT 300 ranking. The FT 300 list was developed in collaboration with Ignites Research.

High net worth individuals with $1 million to $10 million to invest make up 44% of the FT 300 advisors’ client assets, while ultra high net worth clients with more than $10 million to invest make up 22% of their client assets.

FT 300 advisors rely heavily on packaged investment products, according to the FT. The single biggest portion of the top RIAs’ combined assets – or 37% of the total – are invested in mutual funds, while 17% are in ETFs.

To qualify for the list, advisors had to have at least $300 million under management. Qualified advisors were then scored on six attributes: AUM, AUM growth, the company’s years in existence, SEC compliance record, industry certifications of key employees and online accessibility.

Click here to see a full list of this year’s batch of FT 300 RIAs, including their locations and clients served.