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Investment Adviser Industry Saw Records in 2019, According to New Evolution Revolution Report

November 11, 2020


For the IAA:
Herb Perone
For NRS:
George Nikanorov
For Cognito:
Hugh Cunningham


Washington, DC / Lakeville, CT (November 10, 2020) –The Investment Adviser industry continued to experience record-level growth through 2019, including in number of registered advisers and assets under management, according to the 2020 Evolution Revolution Report. The annual report provides a window into the upward trajectory of a dynamic industry that is vital for investors, the economy and capital markets.

Entering its 20th year of publication, the annual study conducted by the Investment Adviser Association (IAA) and National Regulatory Services (NRS) contains data on nearly 13,500 SEC-registered investment adviser firms that manage $97.2 trillion for more than 42 million clients.  Evolution Revolution’s findings are based on data reported by advisory firms to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“In every key metric – from industry size to assets under management to high quality jobs created – the investment adviser profession showed solid growth, underscoring our critical value to investors, to the economy and to our capital markets,” said IAA President & CEO Karen Barr. “Investors continue to recognize the value of fiduciary advice, turning to investment advisers to help them achieve their goals and navigate their financial futures.”

“This report was first conceived 20 years ago to track the evolution of the investment advisory industry after NSMIA revolutionized the regulation of advisers,” said NRS President John Gebauer. “In hindsight, none of us could have imagined the size and scope the industry has achieved – roughly five times the assets managed and twice the number of firms. The latest revolution to hit the industry, digital advice, is driving the latest evolutions in operations and accessibility, which have led to the industry now serving over 42 million clients.”

Key findings in this report include:

  • The number of SEC-registered investment advisers continues to grow at a steady pace – and has reached yet another record high of 13,494 advisory firms, a net increase of 3.9 percent over the previous year.
  • The aggregate RAUM managed by SEC-registered advisers has grown to a record $97.2 trillion, reflecting 16.2 percent growth from $83.7 trillion — in an industry where more than 87 percent of firms are small businesses.
  • Private equity funds are pulling away from hedge funds in popularity, with 4,840 advisers reporting that they advise 40,742 private funds with a total gross asset value of $19.1 trillion, up from 4,520 advisers and 37,873 private funds and up from $14.9 trillion gross asset value in 2019. While the percentage of hedge funds and private equity funds was exactly equal four years ago, their popularity as a pool of choice continues to diverge. Private equity funds now make up over forty (41.2) percent of privately offered funds and hedge funds represent less than thirty (28.3) percent in the private fund space.

The 2020 Evolution Revolution Report can be downloaded from the IAA website or 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 member firms collectively manage more than $25 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 RELX National Regulatory Services (NRS) is part of Accuity, the leading global provider of financial crime screening, payments and counterparty know your customer (KYC) 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 powers compliant and assured client transactions to help build an interconnected and trusted financial ecosystem. Our financial crime screening, payment services, and benefits compliance solutions help enable financial inclusion while identifying criminal activity and fraudulent players. With deep expertise and industry-leading data and analytics solutions from the Firco and Bankers Almanac brands, Accuity provides unmatched confidence, efficiency and compliance for customers around the world. Part of RELX, 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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