Barron’s has released its seventh annual ranking of the top registered investment advisor firms.
Folks familiar with the rankings won’t be surprised by the leader: Edelman Financial Engines, which has now occupied the top spot on the Barron’s list five years running. Without revealing the precise mixture of its secret sauce, Barron’s notes that the rankings are based on firm-reported data in three categories: assets, revenue and quality of practice. For the 2022 rankings, Edelman reported 1.3 million clients overseen by 452 advisors.
Rounding out the top five, in order, are Hightower Advisors, Creative Planning, Captrust and Mariner Wealth Advisors. Captrust, which ascended from the sixth position a year ago, represents the only change among that group.
But there was plenty of change elsewhere in the rankings.
Atlanta-based SignatureFD had the greatest increase in rank among holdovers from last year, advancing 27 positions. SignatureFD now stands at No. 59. The firm reported that it manages more than $5.6 billion in assets and serves more than 1,600 clients. A SignatureFD spokesperson cited the appointment of Heather Fortner as CEO in October 2020 and an ensuing diversification of overall leadership.
The Chicago-based multi-family office Cresset made the next largest leap, to No. 12, from No. 32 a year ago. In late May, Cresset merged with Meristem Family Wealth, a Minnetonka, Minnesota-based firm that oversees $5.4 billion. The move pushed Cresset’s managed assets to its current $27 billion, according to FA-IQ sister publication FundFire. In late March, Cresset announced the addition of advisors from Bank of America, JPMorgan Securities and Fidelity Investments, as reported.
Also climbing this year’s list was Sequoia Financial Group, which sits at No. 48, an advancement of 18 slots. Sequoia, based in Akron, Ohio, manages more than $10 billion in total assets, per its Form ADV.
Bellevue, Washington-based Coldstream Wealth Management made a 15-position advance, climbing to No. 57. Coldstream manages more than $7 billion in client assets for high-net-worth individuals and families. A spokesperson for the firm stated that Coldstream is unwilling to grow through private equity capital, aims to become the leading wealth management firm in the Northwest, and is open to merging with compatible firms in the area.
Who fell farthest? Aventura, Florida-based CV Advisors, dropping 40 slots to No. 99. CV Advisors is an international multi-family firm that serves 89 clients, most of whom are outside of the United States. According to the firm’s latest Form ADV, two-thirds of its $9.4 billion in assets are held by offshore clients.
Newcomers to the list include Boston-based SCS Financial, which entered the rankings at No. 24. The firm has more than 200 clients, and its total assets exceed $32 billion, according to its latest ADV filing.