The State of Retail Wealth Management, 2nd Annual Report

February 2012


In this edition of Insights, we examine multi-year results for key performance drivers of the North American retail wealth management industry. The report reveals several trends, including:

  • Overall growth in 2011 was weak, although there are signs of an improvement in the quality of the average advisor’s business, with larger, more productive households and better pricing;
  • Advisors have lower assets under management, predominantly due to a reduction in the number of households serviced;
  • Advisors are being more strategic about the composition of their books, shedding small households while adding larger ones, and adding accounts and assets to existing households;
  • Advisors are improving pricing on new fee-based accounts, although the gap between premium and discount priced accounts remains wide;
  • Equity transaction business remains strong, with lower levels of discounting and larger trade sizes.

This report is made possible by PriceMetrix aggregated retail brokerage data representing 3 million investors, 500 million transactions, 1 million fee-based accounts, 4 million transactional accounts, and over $900 billion in investment assets. PriceMetrix combines its patented process for collecting and classifying data with proprietary measures of revenue, assets, and households to create the most insightful and granular retail wealth management database available today.

All results are reported as of December 31, 2011. PriceMetrix found no significant difference between the U.S. and Canadian markets, so all results presented in this paper are for the combined North American market.

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