Click here to close now.


News Feed Item

Fidelity® Finds High Performing RIA Firms Are Seeing 1.5x the Growth, 1.3x the Profitability and 1.5x the Productivity of Other Firms

Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services®1, a leading custodian for registered investment advisor (RIA) firms, today released findings from The 2013 Fidelity RIA Benchmarking Study2, which found “High-Performing Firms3” are seeing 1.5x the growth, 1.3x the profitability and 1.5x the productivity of “All Other Eligible Firms4.” The study explored the factors contributing to High-Performing Firms’ success, and found that while focusing on a range of areas was important, these firms also have in common a focus on smart technology adoption.

Performance Indicator     High-Performing Firms     All Other Eligible Firms


    15 percent     10 percent


    67 percent     50 percent


    $333,000     $219,000

Clients Per Advisor8

    93     68

Assets Under Management (AUM) Per Advisor6

    $117M     $81M

Revenue Per Advisor6

    $910K     $542K

Assets from New Clients4

    9 percent     8 percent

New Assets from Existing Clients4

    8 percent     5 percent

Assets Withdrawn by Existing and Departing Clients4

    -5 percent     -9 percent
Close Business in 2 or Fewer Meetings     77 percent     57 percent
State of Technology Environment – Strong, Not Cutting-Edge     74 percent     53 percent
Source: The 2013 Fidelity® RIA Benchmarking Study

“High-Performing Firms are growing faster and smarter than other firms, reporting a growth rate that is 50 percent higher than that of All Other Eligible Firms,” said David Canter, executive vice president and head of practice management and consulting, Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services. “In addition to attracting and retaining more of the right clients, High-Performing Firms are focusing on more effectively harnessing the technology they have instead of chasing the very latest innovations.”

According to the study, High-Performing Firms were focused on creating strong technology environments by investing in their current systems:

  • Seventy-four percent of High-Performing Firms described their technology environment as strong, not cutting-edge.
  • While they recognize the importance of investing in technology – it is a strategic priority for 47 percent of High-Performing Firms, as compared to only 34 percent of All Other Eligible Firms – only 12 percent of High-Performing Firms invest in the “latest and greatest” technology.
  • When it comes to their biggest technology opportunity, 67 percent of High-Performing Firms ranked integrating existing systems9 in their top three opportunities.

The study found that this pragmatic approach to technology may be rooted in High-Performing Firms’ concern about disrupting their business and delivering excellent client experience in order to integrate the latest technology:

  • High-Performing Firms were more likely than All Other Eligible Firms to say disruption to their business is their biggest challenge when integrating systems (60 percent compared to 43 percent of All Other Eligible Firms) and less likely to cite cost or staff skillset.
  • High-Performing Firms were more likely to cite improving their clients’ experience and satisfaction as a top technology goal (77 percent vs. 61 percent of All Other Eligible Firms).

“When it comes to smart technology adoption, it’s no longer just about improving efficiency. RIA firms need to stop and ask – is this helping me grow my business? Does this enhance my clients’ experience?” continued Canter. “As new technologies come to market, RIA firms that see technology as a vehicle for success—not a measure of success—will rise to the top.”

The study also explored strategies that may help advisors build on their efforts to adopt technology in a smart and efficient way. RIA firms may want to consider10:

  • Initiatives that streamline their technology environment, such as shifting to cloud-based solutions, implementing mobile technologies and creating process workflows and automation.
  • Overcoming one of the biggest barriers to technology optimization: people, as the study found the top three barriers were staff related. Addressing these challenges may help firms get more out of their existing technology.
  • Utilizing more functionality of current systems. The study found that those most satisfied with their systems are the firms that are utilizing the most functionality.
  • Leveraging vendor-hosted systems in order to relieve the burden of supporting locally installed systems.
  • Outsourcing, particularly for key processes, such as data reconciliation and client reporting.

Fidelity’s Technology and Operations Consulting offering helps RIA firms understand the importance of smart technology adoption and offers a comprehensive, practical approach to evaluating a firm’s readiness for change. Fidelity’s latest resource, Enabling the Next Wave of Growth with Workflows, was designed to help RIA firms better understand how to implement workflows that could positively impact both client and employee experience. For more details, visit

About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity Investments is one of the world’s largest providers of financial services, with assets under administration of $4.6 trillion, including managed assets of $1.9 trillion, as of December 31, 2013. Founded in 1946, the firm is a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing and many other financial products and services to more than 20 million individuals and institutions, as well as through 5,000 financial intermediary firms. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit

The content provided herein is general in nature and is for informational purposes only. This information is not individualized and is not intended to serve as the primary or sole basis for your decisions as there may be other factors you should consider. Fidelity Investments does not provide advice of any kind. You should conduct your own due diligence and analysis based on your specific needs.

The registered trademarks and service marks appearing herein are the property of FMR LLC.

Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services provides brokerage products and services and is a division of Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC. National Financial is a division of National Financial Services LLC through which clearing, custody and other brokerage services may be provided. Both members NYSE, SIPC.
200 Seaport Boulevard Boston, MA 02210

Fidelity Investments Institutional Services Company, Inc., 500 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917


© 2014 FMR LLC. All rights reserved.

1 Clearing and custody provided by National Financial Services LLC.

2 The 2013 Fidelity RIA Benchmarking Study (“the Study”) was fielded from 5/1/2013 - 6/28/2013. 325 firms participated in the Study. Fidelity was identified as the Study sponsor. The Study was administered by an independent third-party research firm, unaffiliated with Fidelity Investments.

3 Refers to firms identified in The 2013 Fidelity RIA Benchmarking Study. For purposes of the Study, Fidelity classifies “High-Performing Firms” as those advisory practices that demonstrate excellence (top 25 percent) in the areas of growth, profitability and productivity. In order to be deemed a “High-Performing Firm,” participants in the Study were required to meet certain criteria. Reference to the concept of "performing" in the name of the group is not intended to connote investment returns. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

4 Firms that did not rank in the top 25% of firms eligible to be High-Performing Firms. To be considered eligible, firms had to meet the following criteria: 1) their practice was established prior to December 31, 2009, 2) they had assets under management (AUM) of $50M or more as of December 31, 2009, 3) they had two or more full-time employees as of December 31, 2012, and 4) their merger or acquisition activities contributed no more than 25% of the change in AUM between 2010–2012.

5 3 year Assets Under Management (AUM) Compound Annual Growth Rate (2009-2012)

6 2012 Earnings Before Owners’ Compensation (EBOC) Margin; EBOC Margin = EBOC as a % of revenue

7 2012 Revenue per Full-Time Equivalent (FTE)

8 Values represent 2012 median data

9 It should be noted that there are various definitions and levels of integration. For purposes of the study, integration was defined in terms of three levels: Limited integration (e.g., systems updated via a file delivery process), Moderate integration (e.g., automated data synchronization), or Full integration (e.g., automated synchronization with single sign-on and seamless user interface).

10 These strategies may have legal and compliance considerations to take into account.

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Scott Guthrie's keynote presentation "Journey to the intelligent cloud" is a must view video. This is from AzureCon 2015, September 29, 2015 I have reproduced some screen shots in case you are unable to view this long video for one reason or another. One of the highlights is 3 datacenters coming on line in India.
SYS-CON Events announced today that G2G3 will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Based on a collective appreciation for user experience, design, and technology, G2G3 is uniquely qualified and motivated to redefine how organizations and people engage in an increasingly digital world.
As-a-service models offer huge opportunities, but also complicate security. It may seem that the easiest way to migrate to a new architectural model is to let others, experts in their field, do the work. This has given rise to many as-a-service models throughout the industry and across the entire technology stack, from software to infrastructure. While this has unlocked huge opportunities to accelerate the deployment of new capabilities or increase economic efficiencies within an organization, i...
Recently announced Azure Data Lake addresses the big data 3V challenges; volume, velocity and variety. It is one more storage feature in addition to blobs and SQL Azure database. Azure Data Lake (should have been Azure Data Ocean IMHO) is really omnipotent. Just look at the key capabilities of Azure Data Lake:
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT’s direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
Learn how Backup as a Service can help your customer base protect their data. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Stefaan Vervaet, Director of Strategic Alliances at HGST, will discuss the challenges of data protection in an era of exploding storage requirements, show you the benefits of a backup service for your cloud customers, and explain how the HGST Active Archive and CommVault are already enabling this service today with customer examples.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Key Information Systems, Inc. (KeyInfo), a leading cloud and infrastructure provider offering integrated solutions to enterprises, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Key Information Systems is a leading regional systems integrator with world-class compute, storage and networking solutions and professional services for the most advanced softwa...
Clutch is now a Docker Authorized Consulting Partner, having completed Docker's certification course on the "Docker Accelerator for CI Engagements." More info about Clutch's success implementing Docker can be found here. Docker is an open platform for developers and system administrators to build, ship and run distributed applications. With Docker, IT organizations shrink application delivery from months to minutes, frictionlessly move workloads between data centers and the cloud and achieve 2...
Mobile messaging has been a popular communication channel for more than 20 years. Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen invented the idea for SMS (Short Message Service) in 1984, making his vision a reality on December 3, 1992 by sending the first message ("Happy Christmas") from a PC to a cell phone. Since then, the technology has evolved immensely, from both a technology standpoint, and in our everyday uses for it. Originally used for person-to-person (P2P) communication, i.e., Sally sends a text...
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud Data Services, will demonstrate techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, ...
As the world moves towards more DevOps and microservices, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. The microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, NetFlix and so on, is at the heart of Cloud Foundry - a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS) that is IaaS agnostic and supports vCloud, OpenStack and AWS. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Raghavan "Rags" Srinivas, an Architect/Developer Evangeli...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Infrastructure & Services will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS) is a managed services provider of cloud computing solutions for the IBM Power Systems market. The company helps mid-market firms built on IBM hardware platforms to deploy new levels of reliable and cost-effective computing and hig...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Harbinger Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Harbinger Systems is a global company providing software technology services. Since 1990, Harbinger has developed a strong customer base worldwide. Its customers include software product companies ranging from hi-tech start-ups in Silicon Valley to leading product companies in the US a...
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of ...