U.S. RIA Marketplace 2021

Meeting the Demand for Advice

Navigate the U.S. RIA Market

  • Explore a complete sizing of the U.S. retail-focused registered investment advisor (RIA) marketplace
  • Understand the impact and implications of advisor movement into RIA channels
  • Gain insight into RIAs’ portfolio construction processes and product use metrics
  • Examine the opportunities and trends in distribution strategy within the RIA channel
  • Evaluate service delivery models and differentiation opportunities for RIA firms amid mounting competitive threats


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US RIA Marketplace 2020 Report Detail

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Jeremy Fodaski

Jeremy Fodaski

Senior Account Manager


Analyze the many dimensions of the retail-focused RIA marketplace with 10+ years of market sizing of the independent RIA and hybrid RIA channels. Uncover factors that have led to the channels’ high growth and understand the needs, challenges, and opportunities facing RIAs in today’s environment. The report also covers key topics for RIA sales distribution, including product use, portfolio construction, and allocation changes.

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Each report is lead authored by a senior Cerulli analyst with significant industry experience. The report incorporates qualitative and quantitative inputs, based on Cerulli’s proprietary research process. For more on our research process, click here.

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A Note From the Author

How Can RIAs Remain Competitive in a Shifting Landscape?

A confluence of competitive threats, including an industry-wide shift away from brokerage, broader adoption of financial planning, and the popularity of independent business models, is eroding the registered investment advisor (RIA) channels’ key differentiating factors. Amid this evolution, more RIAs are considering whether to add services to deepen their impact with existing and prospective clients.

While additional services may help firms generate more revenue, the delivery of those services generally requires RIAs to reinvest in the business by hiring more staff, adding technology tools, or paying a third-party provider for outsourced support. These expenses typically lower the firm’s profit margins, so RIAs find themselves at risk of profit margin compression unless they can offset expenses with higher fees, new client acquisition, or additional revenue streams.

Like any business decision, the addition of a service should allow RIAs to better address their target market and achieve stronger alignment between that segment’s needs and the firm’s offerings. RIAs will need guidance from their strategic partners (i.e., custodians, asset managers) to determine whether expansion is warranted and, if so, how to profitably deliver these new services. Our report, U.S. RIA Marketplace 2021, addresses this and more, including a complete market sizing, detailed practice attributes, insight into RIA consolidation, and asset manager distribution strategies.


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