100 Fastest Growing RIAs: These Financial Advisor Firms Pull Ahead in 2023
By Patrick Villanova | SEPT 6, 2023
The financial advisory industry continued to expand in 2022 despite a down stock market and high inflation. The industry now comprises more than 15,000 SEC-registered investment advisors – nearly twice as many as 20 years ago, according to the Investment Adviser Association.
As the sector continues to grow, SmartAsset determined the registered investment advisor (RIA) firms that are growing fastest, identifying over 1,700 RIAs that are headquartered in the U.S., have no disclosures, offer personal financial planning and manage more than $500 million in client assets. After removing those with recent mergers or acquisitions, firms were ranked based on changes in client account totals and assets under management (AUM) between 2020 and 2023.
- The 100 fastest-growing firms increased their client accounts by 52% in the last year. These RIAs also grew their assets under management by an average of 25% year over year. Meanwhile, this same group has also seen their client bases and AUM more than triple since 2020.
- These six firms more than doubled their AUM in the last year. Prowell Financial Management, Align Impact, Shade Tree Advisors, Third Lake Partners, PCA Investment Advisor Services and Nicolet Wealth Management topped the list for AUM growth, increasing their managed assets by at least 100% between 2022 and 2023.
- Navy Federal Investment Services saw massive growth in total accounts. Based in Vienna, Virginia, this RIA grew its client base by 884% between 2022. The firm, which serves as the investment management arm of Navy Federal Credit Union, ranks 109th for overall growth. In early-2022, it rolled out a digital investment tool that lets investors manage their own portfolios or enroll in automated management.
- Prowell Financial Management saw almost 5x AUM growth in 2023. Based in Exton, Pennsylvania, this firm the highest one-year AUM growth rate out of any firm in the country. Ranked 31st for overall growth, Prowell increased its pool of managed assets by nearly 481% between 2022 and 2023.
Top 10 Fastest Growing RIAs
- Shade Tree Advisors LLC
Shade Tree Advisors, a multi-family office located in Saratoga Springs, New York, grew faster than any other advisory firm in 2023. The practice recorded nearly a 59% increase in its total number of client accounts and almost a 127% increase in AUM. Shade Tree Advisors, which works with less than 100 clients, specializes in tax, estate planning and wealth management.
- The Fiduciary Alliance
Headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, The Fiduciary Alliance works with a network of investment advisor representatives (IARs) across the country who offer financial planning and investment advisory services. Founded in 2016, the firm grew its pool of client accounts by nearly 234% between 2022 and 2023 and saw its AUM rise 38% in the same year.
- Ignite Planners LLC
Ignite Planners in San Clemente, California, recorded a 136% increase in its number of client accounts between 2022 and 2023 and grew its AUM by approximately 89%. The firm also expanded in November 2022, opening a branch office in South Jordan, Utah.
- Align Impact, LLC
Align Impact, located in Santa Monica, California, specializes in impact investing strategies for high-net-worth individuals, charities, businesses and other financial advisors. This woman-owned firm increased its total number of accounts by 87% in 2023 and saw its AUM rise nearly 150%. According to SEC records, the firm incorporates both impact and environmental, social and governance (ESG) analysis and risk in its investment strategies.
Facet is not only one of the fastest-growing RIAs in the industry, it was also recognized as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the nation by the Inc. 5000 list. The firm, which provides financial planning through a network of certified financial planners (CFPs), exclusively works with clients remotely. In the last year, the firm has seen its total number of client accounts grow by nearly 38%, while AUM has increased 39% to reach $1.65 billion.
- TLG Advisors, Inc.
Based in Littleton, Colorado, TLG Advisors provides advisory services to clients through a network of IARs. In 2023, the firm’s AUM increased by approximately 47% and reached $1.62 billion. TLG’s pool of client accounts also grew substantially in 2023, going from 3,064 to 7,106 – a 133% increase.
- Fermata Advisors LLC
Fermata Advisors in Sonoma, California, increased its client account total by nearly 32% in 2023 and saw AUM rise nearly 48%. The firm, which was founded in 2019, primarily markets its services to other financial advisors, but indirectly works with clients through IARs.
- Operose Advisors LLC
This Milwaukee-based advisory firm saw its number of accounts increase by nearly 45% between 2022 and 2023, while its AUM was up almost 52% during that time. Founded in 2017, Operose Advisors specializes in investment advisory, outsourced family office services, as well as alternative investments.
- Andina Family Offices
Located in Lehi, Utah, Andina Family Offices provides both investment management and comprehensive financial planning services to high-net-worth individuals, pooled investment vehicles, non-high-net-worth individuals and businesses, among other clients. In fact, the firm now manages 85% more client accounts than it did in 2022, while AUM has also increased over 39% in that time.
- Third Lake Partners, LLC
Founded in 2019 and based in Tampa, FL, Third Lake Partners went from eight client accounts in 2020 to 44 in 2023 – a 450% increase. AUM grew by even more, going from $1.68 million to $2.17 billion over the last few years. The firm caters to high-net-worth clients, among others.
Data and Methodology
To compile our rankings, SmartAsset identified all U.S.-based investment advisors registered with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). We only considered firms that have at least $500 million in AUM, offer financial planning services and have no disclosures on their record. While we filtered RIAs based on whether they offer financial planning, some firms may primarily market their services to financial advisors and other businesses. Firms that underwent a merger or acquisition between 2020 and now were excluded from consideration.
The study examined data, paring down to approximately 1,700 firms that fit those qualifications, removed firms with recent mergers or acquisitions, and ranked them using the following metrics:
- One-year percentage change in number of client accounts. Data comes from the SEC and is for June 2022 and March 2023.
- Three-year percentage change in number of client accounts. Data comes from the SEC and is for June 2020 and June 2023.
- One-year percentage change in assets under management. Data comes from the SEC and is for March 2022 and March 2023.
- Three-year percentage change in assets under management. Data comes from the SEC and is for March 2020 and March 2023.
Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor
- Match with an advisor for free. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
- Consider your options. Don’t settle on the first advisor you speak with. Try to interview at least three potential advisors and consider asking these questions to help you make the right choice.
- Do your research. In addition to interviewing potential advisors, you’ll also want to do a bit of your own research. Look up their firm’s Form ADV – documentation the SEC requires RIAs to file each year – to get a closer look at their fee structures, conflicts of interest, past regulatory violations and more.
Questions about our study? Contact us at email@example.com
Photo credit: ©iStock.com/marchmeena29
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