Pulse of the Industry: Start of 2021

By: Philip Palaveev

Understanding how the industry has been impacted by COVID-19 and the accompanying dramatic shifts in behavior, politics and society that we have seen in the pandemic's wake is crucial as we continue to build our plans for 2021. Toward this effort, we invite you to explore the results of our most recent Pulse of the Industry survey.

Pulse of the Industry Start of 2021

Here are the key takeaways:

  • Drawing on market performance and surprisingly strong business development, advisory firms finished the year with 16.52% growth in assets under management (AUM).
  • Firms increased the number of client relationships they serve by a net of 4.0%, which is not far behind pre-COVID-19 results and remarkable given that most activity came in the second half of the year.
  • Large firms added a substantial number of clients (7.3% increase) but also lost an alarming number of clients (4.0%).
  • Optimism abounds in our industry with the typical firm targeting 8.5% growth net of markets in 2021. Correspondingly, staffing is planned to be increased by 10%, with new positions opening in firms of every size.
  • While mergers and acquisitions get the headlines, internal transactions between owners create continuity of client service and leadership: 45.6% of all firms added new partners (i.e., owners) in 2020, and 47.4% executed other transactions between partners.