Report Shows Rep-As-Project-Manager Growth

Aite Group concludes that advisers who manage their clients’ assets directly are in a better position to take immediate action when markets show volatility.

Additionally, those advisers can better compete with registered investment adviser (RIA) firms, whose advisers often directly manage client portfolios, according to a report from Aite Group that analyzes the use of investment products and fee-based asset-management styles across a sample of financial advisers in the independent registered RIA space. The report asserts that managing wealth has not been easy in recent years; market volatility has made reading the financial markets difficult, and regulatory changes have reshaped the way in which investment products are distributed and client assets are managed. To navigate these challenges, advisers are allocating more of their clients’ assets toward annuities. They also favor managing fee assets directly, through Rep-as-Adviser and Rep-as-Portfolio-Manager approaches. While the Rep-as-Adviser approach attracts the largest percentage of fee assets today, advisers expect Rep-as-Project-Manager assets to grow more rapidly in the next three years, the research found.

“Brokerage firms should invest in their portfolio management infrastructure in order to handle a substantial increase in adviser-managed fee assets,” says Alois Pirker, research director with Aite Group and co-author of the report. “Firms must focus on providing an environment that enables advisers to manage client assets efficiently and in accordance with client requirements while maintaining a necessary level of control over the investment management process.”

Based on a Q1 2011 Aite Group survey of more than 430 U.S. financial advisers, the report also presents advisers’ growth expectations for products and asset management styles.

Aite Group is an independent research and advisory firm focused on business, technology, and regulatory issues and their impact on the financial services industry.

To purchase this report or for additional information, please contact: Aite Group Sales, (617) 338-6050 or