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IAA, NRS Investment Adviser Industry Snapshot Confirms Sector Growth of 16.7% Year-Over-Year

June 23, 2022

IAA VP of Communications & Marketing Janay Rickwalder.

Annual industry survey cites demand for adviser services surges as number of advisers, clients and assets under management reach record highs in 2021

Washington, DC/Lakeville, CT (June 23, 2022) – The Investment Adviser Association (IAA) and National Regulatory Services (NRS), a ComplySci company, announced the investment adviser industry set records again in 2021, according to the Investment Adviser Industry Snapshot 2022.

For more than two decades, this co-authored annual survey, previously titled Evolution Revolution, has provided the industry, regulators and legislators with key facts and figures about this sector of the financial services industry. According to this year’s report, the investment adviser industry grew by 16.7%, with close to 15,000 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-registered investment advisers managing $128.4 trillion in assets for 64.7 million clients. More than 88% of these advisers work in smaller firms with 50 or fewer employees.

“The results of the 2022 Snapshot confirm investors recognize the value of fiduciary advice in helping them meet their financial goals, whether planning for retirement, saving for homeownership or funding an education,” said IAA President and Chief Executive Officer Karen Barr. “With the vast majority of firms employing 50 or fewer people, it’s clear small businesses serving individual investors are the backbone of the investment adviser community.”

Report highlights

  • Growth. The number of SEC-registered advisers, the number of clients they served, the assets they managed and the number of people they employed all reached record highs in 2021. Approximately 15,000 SEC-registered advisers employed more than 928,000 non-clerical employees and managed $128.4 trillion in assets.
  • Individual investor demand for advice is surging. All client segments continue to grow in number. In 2021, the number of clients increased by 6.4% – reaching a record high of 64.7 million.
  • The investment adviser industry is a Main Street profession. Most investment advisers (88.1%) are small businesses with 50 or fewer employees and one or two offices.
  • Strongest growth in the South. Over the past two years, gains in advisers based in the South have outpaced gains in other parts of the country. The growth in Florida was the strongest in the nation, while New York numbers have fallen.
  • Asset growth was highest for the largest advisers. Advisers with more than $100 billion in assets experienced compound annual growth in assets of 14.9% over the past four years – far ahead of advisers with $100 million to $5 billion in assets under management, who saw compound growth of around 6% over the same period.
  • The number of private funds accelerated. The number of private funds grew by 15.2% in 2021. Growth was in the double digits for all types of private funds, except hedge funds and liquidity funds.

“This year’s report underscores the diverse nature of the industry and its tremendous growth, most notably in terms of the number of individuals and the number of private funds. These trends are clearly having an impact on the SEC’s focus areas for examinations and rulemaking, as evidenced by the proposals made earlier this year which aim to increase protections for private fund investors,” said NRS President John Gebauer.

The full Investment Adviser Industry Snapshot 2022 can be viewed and downloaded from the IAA website or by going to


About the Investment Adviser Association
The Investment Adviser Association (IAA) is the leading trade association representing the interests of fiduciary investment adviser firms. The IAA’s member firms collectively manage more than $35 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 practical and educational services to its membership. For more information, visit or follow us on LinkedInTwitter and YouTube.

About NRS
National Regulatory Services (NRS), a ComplySci company, is an advanced provider of 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 impressive 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, outstanding 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.

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