Retirement Plan Advisers Boast Bigger Books of Business

Advisers with retirement plan sponsor clients have total assets under management (AUM) more than 40% higher than their peers, according to Cogent Research.

The research firm said advisers who sell and manage workplace retirement plans manage $92 million in assets (on average), compared to the $65 million book of the average non-retirement-plan producer.

That might come as no surprise because retirement plans are generally much larger than the average individual wealth client—but Cogent claimed retirement plan advisers are still more successful than their peers without the plans. It turns out that even when excluding plan dollars, retirement plan advisers still outdo their peers by 25%, or $16.3 million in AUM, on average.

Cogent’s Carrie Merrick, who authored the report detailing the findings, said those results are a reflection of a generally more sophisticated subgroup of advisers. “These advisers have figured out that managing retirement plan assets grants them access to the non-qualified dollars of senior-level planholders and sponsors, which are oftentimes substantial,” Merrick said in the release of the results.

The retirement plan advisory space will continue to grow over the next two years, as almost one out of every three advisers intends to add plan assets, whether entering into the market for the first or adding to their existing retirement plans, according to Cogent. Among the more than half (55%) of retail advisers who sell and support employer-sponsored retirement plans, 43% expect to increase their retirement plan business in the future (24% of all advisers). Six percent of advisers plan to enter the retirement plan space within that timeframe.

Cogent surveyed 363 retirement plan advisers (advisers who manage at least one employer-sponsored retirement plan).

More information about purchasing the report “Success at Work: Capturing Advisor-Sold Retirement Plan Dollars” is available at