Pulse of the Industry: 2021 Midyear Survey

By: Lauren Tucker

The year 2021 will likely turn out to be one of the best years in the recent history of the advisory industry. Assets under management are at record levels due to market returns, and new clients seeking the help of advisors are driving strong organic growth. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only not slowed the industry down, but it may have in fact precipitated consumer interest in reaching out to an independent advisor.

As we begin to return to a sense of normalcy in the wake of COVID-19 – admittedly slowly, with fits and starts – many advisory firms are taking stock of their goals, reviewing their priorities and looking for effective strategies to recapture momentum. Our biannual Pulse of the Industry survey aims to help you in those efforts.

We surveyed the G2 Leadership Institute community of firms on where they currently stand halfway through the year and compiled the results in the Pulse of the Industry: 2021 Midyear Survey. You can download the full report, including data tables, at the link below.

Here are some key takeaways:

  • Riding a wave of great market returns, advisory firms have enjoyed rapid growth over the first six months of 2021, and participating firms have grown their assets under management (AUM) by a median of 13.7%.
  • Firms have also had success with business development, and the number of client relationships served has increased by a net of 6.0%.
  • Growth is leading to a demand for more professionals: 63% of firms have hired for a new position since the start of the year, and half have increased their headcount over the same period.
  • While mergers and acquisitions continue to capture the attention of the industry, internal transactions between owners are more common, and 33% of firms have completed an internal equity transaction in the first half of 2021.
  • Finally, growth remains the number one priority for advisory firms. When asked to rate their 2021 priorities, the addition of new clients tops the list for most firms.