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2018 Evolution Revolution Study Finds Investment Adviser Profession Strong Economic Driver as Employment, AUM, Number of Firms Hit Record Highs

September 6, 2018


For the IAA:
Herb Perone
For Cognito:
Jazmin Beltran
For NRS:
George Nikanorov


Washington, DC/Lakeville, CT (September 6, 2018) – The 2018 Evolution Revolution report, published today, found the universe of SEC-registered investment advisers is on the rise and has reached record-highs this year in number of advisers, aggregate regulatory assets under management (RAUM), and employment.

The 2018 Evolution Revolution report is an annual joint study by the Investment Adviser Association (IAA) and National Regulatory Services (NRS), which is integrated with Accuity. The report offers the most comprehensive profile of SEC-registered investment advisers, containing data on 12,578 firms that manage $82.5 trillion for more than 34 million clients and employ more than 800,000 workers.

“Fueled by baby boomer demographics and the decline of defined benefit retirement plans, the demand for trusted and personal investment advice continues to grow,” said NRS President John Gebauer. “This report shows that advisers are able to deliver the fiduciary-based services requested by their clients to secure their finances today and in the future.”

“This year’s data demonstrates dramatically that the investment adviser profession remains dynamic, robust, and critically important to investors and the capital markets,” said IAA President & CEO Karen Barr. “And investment advisers remain a powerful provider of high-quality jobs to the economy, including in small businesses.”

Twenty percent more clients are receiving investment advice from this industry compared to five years ago and there are now 13.9 percent more advisers to meet the needs of a wide variety of investors – from small retail individuals to large institutions. In order to deliver this in-demand service, the investment advisory industry employs 805,623 skilled, non-clerical workers, with more than half – 415,000 – performing investment advisory functions.

This year’s report includes additional information made possible by new disclosures required by the recently amended Form ADV, giving greater clarity on the detailed business practices of advisers, including details regarding how they invest separately managed accounts, the use of leverage and derivatives, and more accurate data regarding their clients. Form ADV data showed 69.1 percent of reporting advisers have assets for separately managed accounts while only 12.2 percent of advisers engage in derivative transactions on behalf of any of the separately managed account clients. Individual clients represent 94.1 percent of the client population, with non-high net worth individuals making up the majority of clients by a wide margin at 81.8 percent.

Several segments of the industry are growing faster than others. The largest investment advisers, those that manage more than $100 billion in regulatory assets under management, grew at a faster pace than smaller advisers in terms of both number and RAUM. Private equity funds make up 38.5 percent of all reported private funds while hedge funds represent 31.7 percent. Two years ago, the asset classes were level. This year advisers reported 1,104 additional private equity funds but a loss of 200 reported hedge funds.

2018 Evolution Revolution is available on the IAA website and on the NRS website.


About the Investment Adviser Association

The Investment Adviser Association (IAA) is the leading trade association representing the interests of SEC-registered investment adviser firms. The IAA’s more than 600 member firms collectively manage approximately $20 trillion in assets for a wide variety of institutional and individual investors. In addition to serving as the voice of the advisory profession on Capitol Hill and before the SEC, DOL, CFTC and other U.S. and international regulators, the IAA provides extensive compliance and educational services to its membership. For more information, visit or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

About NRS

Owned by the RELX Group, National Regulatory Services (NRS) is part of Accuity, the global standard for payment efficiency and compliance solutions. NRS is the US leader in compliance and registration products and services for investment advisers, broker-dealers, hedge funds, investment companies and insurance institutions. NRS has the practical expertise, proven capability and unparalleled reach to deliver integrated and effective compliance solutions to a wide range of users within the financial services industry. NRS delivers these solutions through three interrelated offerings – comprehensive education, best-in-class technology and expert consulting services – enabling our clients to meet their regulatory requirements and minimize risk. For more information, visit or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About Accuity

Accuity offers a suite of innovative solutions for payments and compliance professionals, from comprehensive data and software that manage risk and compliance, to flexible tools that optimize payments pathways. With deep expertise and industry-leading data-enabled solutions from the Fircosoft, Bankers Almanac and NRS brands, our portfolio delivers protection for individual and organizational reputations.

Part of RELX Group, a world-leading provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries, Accuity has been delivering solutions to banks and businesses worldwide for 180 years.

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