RIAs With the Highest Value Accounts – 2023 Study
By Patrick Villanova | DEC 20, 2023
Like many sectors, the financial advisory industry comprises a wide range of companies serving a variety of clients. While some firms are massive networks of advisors managing hundreds of billions in client assets, others are small, boutique practices built by only a handful of advisors. These firms are often grouped and ranked according to their total assets under management (AUM), but average account size is another lens through which to examine the industry. With this in mind, nearly 5,800 firms registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) were ranked according to their average account balances.
- The average account balance is over $2.7 million. Keep in mind that this number comprises all types of accounts, including those of large institutional clients like pension and profit-sharing plans. The median account balance, on the other hand, is $386,646.
- This California firm has the most accounts. Financial Engines Advisors LLC – known publicly as Edelman Financial Engines – in Santa Clara has nearly 1.6 million accounts under management. Other investment advisors and individuals without a high net worth make up the two largest percentages of Edelman Financial’s client base, according to the company’s most recent SEC records.
- North Carolina firm has a massive non-discretionary AUM. CapTrust, which is headquartered in Raleigh, manages over $598 billion on a non-discretionary basis. This means the firm doesn’t have full autonomy to make trades and transactions within these accounts. Instead, the owners of these accounts have final say on transactions. The firm says that its non-discretionary assets under management (AUM) primarily belong to institutional accounts.
- 21 firms have average account sizes of over $100 million. The average account balance at these massive firms ranges from $102 million for SK Advisor Network in Plano, TX, to as much as $930 million for Sammons Financial Group Asset Management in West Des Moines, IA.
- These firms manage the most money from foreign citizens. Fisher Investments in Plano, TX, has $39.5 billion in AUM from non-U.S. citizens. However, that’s just a fraction of the $192 billion the firm has in total AUM. Meanwhile, MIO Partners in New York and Cambridge Associates have $15.5 billion and $12.6 billion in foreign citizen AUM, respectively.
- Sammons Financial Group Asset Management, LLC
Sammons Financial Group Asset Management in West Des Moines, Iowa, manages a total of $6,512,036,820 for several insurance companies, corporations and businesses. The average balance of the seven accounts the firm manages is $930,290,974.
- MIO Partners, Inc.
New York-based MIO Partners, which is owned by consulting giant McKinsey & Company, Inc., oversees 54 accounts and $43,715,236,694 in assets under management. As a result, the firm’s average account balance is $809,541,420. According to SEC records, the firm manages private investment funds for current and former McKinsey partners, their families and the McKinsey Retirement Trust.
- HH Capital Management, Inc.
HH Capital Management located in Hermosa Beach, California, has $792,619,480 in assets under management in a single account, reflecting an average account size of the same value.
- Imperial Fund Capital Partners, LLC
The average account at Imperial Fund Capital Partners in Hollywood, Florida, has an average account balance of $774,166,910. In total, the firm has $3,870,834,550 in total assets under management spread across five accounts. According to SEC records, the firm manages a pair of private investment funds that both invest in “newly originated non-agency residential loans.”
- Promanage, LLC
Chicago-based Promanage has a total of $4,515,579,542 in assets under management, with an average account size of $752,596,590. The firm has only six accounts, all of which belong to pension and profit-sharing plans.
- Jasper Ridge Partners, L.P.
Jasper Ridge Partners in Fort Worth, Texas, has the sixth-highest average account balance – $648,348,051. The firm manages $33,065,750,619 in total assets across 51 accounts. SEC records show that a majority of the firm’s assets under management are invested in eight private investment funds.
- Comprehensive Financial Management LLC
Comprehensive Financial Management in Los Gatos, California, oversees $16,571,837,064 in total assets, with an average account size of $571,442,657 across 29 accounts. A majority of the firm’s assets under management belong to high-net-worth individuals, SEC records show.
- Millburn Ridgefield Corporation
The average account balance at Millburn Ridgefield Corporation in New York is $476,089,816. The firm manages/advises private investment funds, and also acts as a sub-advisor to unaffiliated mutual funds. Millburn Ridgefield has a total of $6,189,167,608 under management across 13 separate accounts.
- Cambridge Associates, LLC
Cambridge Associates, based in Boston, has a total of $276,031,240,533 in assets under management across 586 accounts. As a result, the firm’s average account balance is $471,043,072.
- Homestead Advisers Corp
Homestead Advisers, located in Arlington, Virginia, manages 21 accounts with an average balance of $331,662,421. In total, the firm has $6,964,910,850 under management. As of the firm’s most recent filing with the SEC, Homestead’s client base comprised two investment companies.
Data and Methodology
This study considered regulatory assets under management in discretionary and non-discretionary accounts. Account types may include individual trusts, estates, 401(k) plans and IRAs, but do not include business organizations. Firms were included if they were headquartered in the U.S., offer financial planning services, have reported regulatory AUM and monitor securities portfolios. Firms were excluded if they had any disclosures on their ADV, or if they were headquartered from their personal residence. Then, firms were ranked based on average value of their total regulatory assets under management per account.
Tools for Finding a Financial Advisor
- Ask these questions. It’s important to do your due diligence when hiring a financial advisor and speaking directly with potential advisors is part of the process. Here are 10 questions to ask financial advisors for when you’re possibly interested in hiring them.
- Understand how they get paid. As part of your initial conversations with advisors, you’ll want to ask not only how much they charge, but how they get paid. Some advisors can earn commissions when you invest in certain securities or purchase insurance products through them. This is a conflict of interest, because commissions may incentivize advisors to recommend particular products or services when cheaper or more appropriate alternatives exist.
- Use our matching tool. 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.
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