Key findings from the study include:
- More than 60 percent of advisors work in a team, while only one-third collaborate in their decision-making processes.
- The top-quartile teams have a broader mix of advanced credentials and are 1.5 times more likely to hold a CIMA or CPWA compared to peer firms.
- The industry’s largest advisors with $100 million or more in individual AUM are more likely to operate in a multi-advisor team.
- Over 60 percent of advisors with $100 million to $250 million in AUM operate as a team, as do 77 percent of advisors with $250 million to $500 million in AUM, and 90 percent of advisors with $500 million or more in AUM.
- High-performing top quartile teams substantially outperform other quartile teams, managing 4.2 times the AUM per advisor compared to their peers, excluding junior advisors.
- Nearly two-thirds of clients in top-quartile teams have $2 million or more in assets.
- The average advisor in a top-quartile team manages $280.4 million in AUM compared to $67.3 million for peer teams.
The research study, conducted by Cerulli Associates, analyzed 2,800 practices operating across both solo and team-based models. Study participants included advisors operating in branch networks (wirehouse and national/regional broker dealers) and independent channels (independent broker dealers, RIAs, and hybrid RIAs). Teams were ranked by assets under management (AUM) per producing advisor, AUM per total headcount and average client size, and were then segmented into quartiles based on overall performance. These factors were crucial representations of an advisor’s ability to attract and retain clients, as well as the team’s overall efficiency, ability to scale its practice and success attracting high-net-worth (HNW) investors.