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  • An Investment in Knowledge

    The 2014 FA Insight Study of Advisory Firms: Growth by Design is now available for purchase. Learn more about the study or order now.

  • An Investment in Clarity

    We provide the clarity needed to take the right strategic steps for future growth and success. Learn how we bring clarity to our clients.

  • An Investment in Performance

    We utilize proprietary marketplace research and benchmarking to maximize performance. See how our research puts firms on the leading edge of the industry.

  • An Investment in Your Long-Term Success

    We are experts in helping financial advisory firms achieve long-term success — working directly with them or in partnership with institutional firms who serve advisors. See how we guide firms to achieve their long-term goals.

CLARITY

Where do you see your business headed? Is it on track for future success, or stuck in neutral? When your primary focus is on your day-to-day operations, it’s often hard to see what’s specifically needed to drive growth. That’s where FA Insight comes in.

PERFORMANCE

We don’t believe in growth for growth’s sake. We believe in enhancing the performance of firms, leading to sustainable growth. FA Insight has the expertise to give an impartial perspective on the development and realization of growth strategies.

LONG-TERM SUCCESS

It’s the old adage: We don’t look good unless you look good. Whether you’re a financial advisory firm or an institutional firm that partners with advisors, our work is only effective if it truly gives you the tools to create value and long-term success.

How We Help

Advisory Firms

We start by listening to you — your concerns, challenges, and needs. We talk with the relevant personnel on your team and gather all the facts. Then, we put it all together, combining what we learn with our deep industry knowledge and proprietary data. Ultimately, we deliver detailed, customized, and implementable recommendations on how your firm can achieve its long-term goals.

Common issues our advisory firm clients face include: Stalled growth • Lack of a clear business strategy • Confusion around how to structure roles and compensation • Lack of management capability • High level of dependency on firm principals

Institutional Firms

If you’re with an institutional firm, you can think of FA Insight as a partner that helps facilitate the growth of the advisory firms you work with. Simply put, we have the ability to provide a wide range of services and programs to help support you in engaging and advancing advisory firm practices. This support enhances your brand while giving advisory firms the business management guidance they need.

Common issues our institutional clients face include: Continuous need for outreach to advisory firms • Desire for engaging content and presentations designed specifically for advisory firms • Uncertainty regarding how to prioritize advisor support resources • Need for impartial, third-party industry research and data

FA Insight can help advisory firms in these areas:

FA Insight can help institutions in these areas:

We create effective strategic plans that determine how firms can best use their time, money and energy to achieve their goals. Working directly with firm shareholders, we create three- to five-year strategic plans, along with an implementation schedule that ensures these plans can be effectively used for long-term growth and success.
We help firms organize talent so they can serve their clients in the most efficient manner. This includes defining an ideal firm structure, outlining clear role responsibilities, and building an internal career path that supports succession plans.
We work with firms to develop a compensation philosophy and structure that will attract, motivate, reward, and retain talent. We use our proprietary industry compensation data to determine appropriate levels of pay based on your location.
We create a structured performance-management process to enable firms to track and reward individual performance, all aligned with a defined compensation plan.
We work with firms at any stage in their lifecycle to develop clear leadership succession plans and plan for any contingencies that might arise in the event of sudden or rapid management changes.

In addition, advisory firms can access our regularly published white papers and other reports at any time to stay on the leading edge of industry thinking. View Research Studies.

We develop benchmarking studies that enable advisory firms and broker-dealers to better understand the performance trends in the industry. Areas such as financial and operating performance, capacity utilization, resource allocation, talent compensation, and pricing are measured and analyzed so firms get a better sense of how they stack up versus their competition.

We regularly publish research-based practice-management white papers and guidebooks in partnership with institutional sponsors. If you’re an institutional firm, we can assist you with preparing published content that provides practical guidance for your affiliated advisors. Our work can position your organization as an advocate for advisory firms and an industry thought leader.

Drawing upon our proprietary research and years of consulting experience, our research publications highlight industry best practices and offer solutions for a number of key business areas, such as:

  • Effective Human Capital Management
  • Operational Excellence
  • Strategic Growth including Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Successful Marketing and Pricing Strategies
  • Transitioning to a More Independent Business Model
  • Financial Management
We develop tools that help advisors better understand their firm’s performance and determine areas in need of improvement. These tools, drawing from advisor input, typically offer targeted benchmarking data and analytics that focus attention where it’s most needed.

We’re experienced at conducting market research to evaluate your firm’s competitive environment and strategic options. Whether you’re seeking to enter new markets, introduce new products, or simply enhance the competitiveness of your current offerings, FA Insight will partner with you to provide an objective analysis of all the possibilities.

Combining our own data and in-house expertise with other primary and secondary research, we assess your competitive positioning, help confirm the most appropriate direction for your firm, and recommend where to focus resources. As a result, you’ll have a solid foundation for strategic decision-making.

We will assess your institution’s current practice management offerings, identify the gaps, provide a logical, well-defined framework for your program, and contribute ideas for the development of new practice management resources. This will help you deliver in the areas most relevant to your advisors.

We can help you make a lasting impression and deliver vital information through customized workshops, Webcasts, and presentations for advisors. Whether these sessions are conducted “virtually” or in-person, sharing our thought leadership is another way we provide meaningful business support to advisors and help institutional firms be strong advocates and supporters of advisory firms.

Research Studies

Research Studies Available for Purchase

We collect lots of data, but it’s what we do with it that counts. FA Insight conducts proprietary research across the financial services industry, enabling us to stay ahead of market trends and offer you the chance to gain a broader perspective on your business, determine areas that need improvement, and gain new ideas that help you make progress.

Our flagship research initiative is the FA Insight Study of Advisory Firms. Produced annually, this report gives advisory firm owners critical data for benchmarking their firm’s performance against peers. In addition, the report offers consultative prescriptions for success.

The 2014 FA Insight Study of Advisory Firms: Growth by Design

The 2014 FA Insight Study of Advisory Firms: Growth by Design aims to guide the many firm owners who struggle with growth, whether it is in terms of how to achieve it, how to manage it, or how to sustain it. Sponsored by TD Ameritrade Institutional, FA Insight’s sixth annual study of advisory firms explores how growing well, or growth by design, produces managed sustainable growth that minimizes stress on a firm’s infrastructure and builds lasting enterprise value.

For excerpts and a more detailed overview of the study, click here.

The 2013 FA Insight Study of Advisory Firms: People and Pay

FA Insight is pleased to announce the release of its fifth annual study of advisory firms, People and Pay. Five years of FA Insight’s industry analyses reaffirms the importance of human capital management to advisory firms. Sound people practices can accelerate growth as well as provide insulation against periods of adversity.

For excerpts and a more detailed overview of the study, click here.

The FA Insight Study of Advisory Firms: People and Pay Compensation Update for 2012

The FA Insight Study of Advisory Firms: People and Pay Compensation Update for 2012 report combines 2012 data with the detailed compensation figures gathered from The 2011 FA Insight Study of Advisory Firms: People and Pay, our comprehensive biennial human capital study.The results of this study yielded the most current benchmarking data available and is a vital tool to assist advisory firm leaders with setting 2013 compensation levels.

Each firm participating in the the People and Pay Compensation Updatereceived a complimentary report containing detailed compensation benchmarking data for more than 30 typical advisory firm positions. Results were e-mailed directly to participants in early December. Others may purchase an electronic copy of the report using the link below.

For excerpts and a more detailed overview of the study, click here.

The 2012 FA Insight Study of Advisory Firms: Growth by Design

Growth by Design, FA Insight's fourth annual industry study, offers both critical data and decisive insight for advisory firm executives seeking direction on the right way to grow. A firm growing the right way takes full advantage of scale and builds value, but value is significantly undermined if a firm grows in an undisciplined way. Creating sustainable growth requires a deliberate approach defined by FA Insight as “growth by design.”

For excerpts and a more detailed overview of the study, click here.

Other Research Developed By FA Insight

"When Compensation Pays Off: Leading Strategies for High-Performing Teams" TD Ameritrade Institutional Webcast by FA Insight

“Breakout Growth: Adding Key Positions to Unlock Growth Potential” TD Ameritrade Institutional whitepaper by FA Insight

“Real Deals Trend Report: The Powerful Potential of the RIA to RIA Deal” Pershing whitepaper by FA Insight

“Advisor of the Future II: Building a Business to Last” Pershing whitepaper by FA Insight

2012 FSI Broker-Dealer Financial Performance and Compensation Study

“Mission Possible III: Strategies to Sustain Growth in Challenging Times” Pershing whitepaper by FA Insight

“Building a Business with Business Owners” Pershing guidebook prepared by FA Insight

“DESTINATION RIA: What to Expect and How to Prepare” Pershing guidebook prepared by FA Insight

2011 FSI Broker-Dealer Financial Performance and Compensation Study

“Pricing Strategies to Create Growth: An Independent Advisor's Guide” Pershing guidebook prepared by FA Insight

“Asset Consolidation: Your Path to Greater Growth and Efficiency” Pershing white paper by FA Insight

“Real Deals 2010: Definitive Information on Mergers and Acquisitions for Advisors” Pershing white paper by FA Insight

“Success At Any Stage: Understanding the Advisor Life Cycle” Financial Network Investment Corporation white paper by FA Insight

“The Race for Top Talent II” Pershing white paper by FA Insight

“Establishing an Effective Owner Compensation Plan” Schwab MKT by FA Insight

“Creating Growth: The Rewards and Challenges of the Multi-Location Model” Pershing white paper by FA Insight

2010 FSI Broker-Dealer Financial Performance and Compensation Study

“Creating Growth: Tuck Ins, Breakaways and Advisor Recruiting Strategies” Pershing white paper by FA Insight

“Evolution of the Independent Channel” OneVoice 2010 FSI Broker-Dealer Conference Presentation

Real Deals 2009: Definitive Information on Mergers and Acquisitions for Advisors

“Prospering in Turbulent Times” Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. white paper by FA Insight

Who We Help

Our Clients

FA Insight works exclusively within the financial services industry. Our clients represent every type of marketplace participant, including: Individual advisory firms • Custodians  • Broker-dealers  • Trade and professional associations • Fund companies • Banks  • Accounting firms.

A sample of clients we've helped:

Individual advisory firms that we work with tend to be mid-sized or larger, with annual revenue over $2.5 million. At this level, more complicated business issues begin to arise, requiring firms to operate differently than they had in the past.
For institutional firms, trade associations, and other industry organizations whose affiliates include financial advisory firms, we help support these affiliates and build loyalty. Our benchmarking studies, white papers, presentations, and tools are valuable assets that provide insight and clarity when a broad industry-wide perspective is needed.

News & Press

What's New

What’s New

  • Growth by Design is now available for purchase
  • Join FA Insight and TD Ameritrade Institutional for a Growth by Design Webcast
  • Re-examine 2013′s People and Pay findings on ThinkAdvisor.com

Press Releases

Growth by Design Study Sheds New Light on Ways for Advisors to Grow

Advisory firms enjoyed a stellar 2013 and their owners are optimistic prosperity will continue this year. The typical firm expanded its client base at a best-ever rate of 6.7% in 2013, according to findings released by industry research and consulting firm FA Insight. Growth in assets under management and revenue were both the second-highest in the six-year history of the firm’s benchmarking research.

Click here to read the full press release (PDF). 

Our Team

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