As the numbers of RIAs grows, asset managers are honing in to sell their wares. Cerulli estimates that RIAs will hold 14% of market share by the end of this year.
Since money managers typically focus on firms with assets of $500 million or more, many smaller firms have been left out. But the new Cerulli study says RIAs with assets between $100 million and $500 million are the most active users of mutual funds and ETFs.
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But money managers particularly like firms with $1 billion or more in assets. The problem is, these firms are large enough to produce their own research and so, don’t necessarily need asset managers as much. Smaller firms have smaller staffs and fewer internal resources.
Since they are also more active in the wares asset managers produce, it makes sense that asset managers need to shift their focus. Smaller firms also like building relationships with wholesalers. Once asset managers begin to realize how valuable these relationship might be, smaller firms may also be able to get more support
from the managers.
Sometimes managers will come into RIAs and meet with clients, offer more research support, or even sponsor a client event. Currently, however, these types of support are mostly done with big ticket items like annuities or other complex investment strategies.
As the RIA market grows, so the smaller firms may grow. Asset managers may be overlooking these firms at their peril.