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Research confirms US RIA market growth

A new report has confirmed the growth trajectory of the US-registered independent adviser market, as suggested by a recent study tour by Australian advisers, led by Implemented Portfolios.

According to the Cerulli Edge-US Asset Management Edition report, released by American financial services industry consultants Cerulli Associates, the number of US advisers in the ‘registered independent adviser’ (RIA) channel grew at an annualised rate of 8 per cent between 2004 and 2012, while other US adviser channels declined by 1.2 per cent to 2.5 per cent.

“RIAs are the sole growth story in a shrinking industry,” said Cerulli Associates managing director Bing Waldert in the report.

Commenting on the findings, Santi Burridge, managing director of investment management service Implemented Portfolios (IP) – who led a recent study tour of east coast United States financial planning firms – said the findings confirmed what the IP study tour witnessed.

Mr Burridge said regulatory changes are necessary in order to foster a similar growth trajectory among Australian, non-aligned financial planning firms.

“The key to this growth is the higher legislated governance standards of an independent adviser,” he told ifa.

“It needs to be at the top of the regulators’ agenda to do everything it can to encourage a thriving independent market that encourages entrepreneurialism and a fiduciary standard.”

The regulatory system needs to provide greater flexibility to non-aligned advisers in order to create a greater culture of transparency and entrepreneurialism, Mr Burridge said.