Separate figures for the RIA sector in the US, and the certified financial planner segment around the world, point to a rising number of people in these areas.

The Financial
Planning Standards Board said the number of certified
financial planners globally rose by 5.1 per cent in 2023,
reaching a total of 223,770 as of 31 December, 2023.

The FPSB said the following countries were standouts in acquiring
certifications as financial planners:

People’s Republic of China logged an increase by FPSB China of
4,565 CFP professionals for a year-end count of 34,747. In the
US, the CFP board rose by 3,738 CFP professionals for a year-end
count of 98,875. This is the largest CFP professional community
in the world.

In Japan, 994 CFP planners joined the ranks, taking the total to
26,092, the world’s third-largest figure. 

Brazil logged a rise of 749 professionals to a year-end count of

The US story

The headcount of RIAs expanded by almost 8.6 per cent in 2022
from a year before despite the market selloff that year,
according to Cerulli
Associates. That growth rate is twice the annualised growth
rate over the past 10 years.

Breakaway teams from banks and broker-dealers have been at the
heart of RIA growth, a reflection of a trend towards more
fee-based advice in the US. Meanwhile, the FPSB figures, covering
the global industry, highlight a growth in demand for financial

Boston-based Cerulli said growth in advisors at RIAs was a
result of breakaway teams continuing to tuck into large
established firms. Cerulli said this trend will continue, but
likely at lower annual growth rates as the pent-up pipeline
during the Covid-19 pandemic continues to normalise. 

The overall total firm count of retail-focused RIAs grew greater
than 11 per cent in 2022, mainly supported by a large amount of
new independent RIAs (12.3 per cent).

In other figures, 93 per cent of all RIAs manage less than $1
billion in assets under management (AuM), whereas firms above
this threshold manage 71 per cemt of channel assets and employ 47
per cent of advisors. Cerulli anticipates asset growth and market
share gains will continue to be concentrated among firms managing
more than $1 billion in AuM. 

“The largest RIAs will continue to dominate as breakaway teams
leave employee-based models to join large established RIAs that
offer more autonomy, without advisors needing to sacrifice
resources that they are accustomed to,” Stephen Caruso, senior
analyst said.  



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