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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

RIAs Look for Organic Growth in 2017

Reported by Katy Golvala

2016 was a good year for RIAs, and they're looking to make 2017 even better.

Vanessa Oligino
TD Ameritrade
Director of RIA Practice Management
This past year, more than half of advisors saw an increase in new clients and 70 percent saw a boost in AUM. With last year's performance and high hopes about the impact of the incoming administration on financial services, optimism is in the air for RIAs. Almost 70 percent of advisors indicate that they are either "very optimistic" or "somewhat optimistic" about the US economy. 15 percent say they are "very optimistic"—the highest level ever recorded by the survey, which is conducted annually by TD Ameritrade Institutional.

Though economic optimism is at a recent high, RIAs aren't relying on the market to fuel growth in the coming year. Instead, they're making plans to boost strategic spending, with the most respondents indicating a focus on marketing and technology. 27 percent of advisors are planning to increase investments in marketing, and 19 percent are planning to boost technology spending.

"Advisors are understanding that they can't rely on the markets to grow, and they're looking to focus more on delivering efficiency," Vanessa Oligino, director of RIA practice management at TD Ameritrade, tells MFWire.

Oligino says that asset managers can use this information to think about how they can help advisors market themselves and their services in conjunction with their products. In positioning their products, fundsters should communicate how using their services can help advisors become more efficient.

A key goal for advisors in 2017 is winning business with younger clients. Most advisors plan to do this by refining their marketing strategy, with 37 percent of respondents indicating that they have plans to refine their messaging. 33 percent of advisors indicated that they plan to win the next generation of business by managing 401(k) plans, and 29 percent plan to hire younger advisors.

When it comes to technology, performance reporting, financial planning, and CRM tools are the most popular features under consideration for improving the client experience. In terms of more advanced solutions, almost 50 percent of advisors indicate an interest in using e-signature in 2017.


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