Largest RIAs Nationally and in Each State – 2021 Study

·5 min read
Image shows a financial advisor speaking with a client. SmartAsset's latest study analyzed data on the largest RIA headquarters.
Image shows a financial advisor speaking with a client. SmartAsset's latest study analyzed data on the largest RIA headquarters.

Over the past decade, the total number of U.S.-based registered investment advisors (RIAs) has increased by 20.29%. Total assets managed by RIAs have grown at an even steeper rate, more than doubling over the same period. Assets managed by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) RIAs rose from $43.8 trillion in 2010 to more than $110 trillion in 2020, according to figures reported by the Investment Advisory Associations.

With the asset management industry growing so quickly, SmartAsset took a closer look at where the largest RIAs are headquartered. In this study, we identified the largest RIAs in the U.S. along with the largest RIA headquartered in each U.S. state. To do so, we considered SEC data as of September 2021, which includes assets under management (AUM) and headquarter location. For more information on our sources and how we put our findings together, read our Data and Methodology section below.

Key Findings

  • Pennsylvania is home to the largest RIA in the U.S. The largest RIA in the U.S. according to assets managed is the Vanguard Group. SEC data as of September 2021 shows that they manage $6.7 trillion. This exceeds the next-largest RIA (Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, headquartered in Massachusetts) by a margin of $3.6 trillion.

  • There are 14 RIAs that manage upwards of $1 trillion. SEC data as of September 2021 reveals that there are 14 U.S.-based RIAs with AUMs of $1 trillion or more. These 14 RIAs are largely concentrated in coastal cities. Five are based in New York, New York; three are based in Boston, Massachusetts and two are based in the greater Los Angeles metro area (Los Angeles, California and Long Beach, California).

  • The largest RIA headquartered in each state varies widely. States are split roughly evenly between those with at least one RIA headquartered in the state that manages upwards of $100 billion and those without a headquartered RIA managing that much in assets. However, the difference between the state with the largest and smallest headquartered RIA is big. The largest RIA, headquartered in Pennsylvania, is about 6,459 times larger than the largest RIA, headquartered in North Dakota.

Largest RIAs in the U.S.

As previously noted, the Vanguard Group is the largest U.S.-based RIA. There are five additional RIAs with at least $2 trillion in AUM, three of which are headquartered in California. The table below lists the top 10 largest RIAs in the U.S., along with the city and state in which they are headquartered.

Image is a table by SmartAsset titled "Top 10 Largest RIAs in the U.S."
Image is a table by SmartAsset titled "Top 10 Largest RIAs in the U.S."

Largest RIA Headquartered in Each State

Seven states have at least one RIA headquartered in the state that manages upwards of $1 trillion. They include Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, California, New York, Maryland, New Jersey and Illinois. Of those, Massachusetts, California and New York are home to multiple RIAs with assets exceeding $1 trillion. The $1 trillion+ firms headquartered in those three states are listed below:

  • Massachusetts: Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC ($3.1T) and Wellington Management Company ($1.4T).

  • California: PIMCO ($2.9T), Capital Research & Management Company ($2.4T) and BlackRock Fund Advisors ($2.3T).

  • New York: J.P. Morgan Asset Management ($2.0T), Goldman Sachs Asset Management LP ($1.3T), BlackRock Financial Management, Inc. ($1.1T), Merrill Lynch ($1.1T) and Morgan Stanley ($1.1T).

In 15 states, the largest RIA headquartered in the state has between $100 billion and $1 trillion in assets managed. Close to half of these states are in Southern states, including Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.

There are 16 states that are home to RIA headquarters for firms managing between $10 billion and $100 billion in assets. Vermont is the only Northeast state in this group, with the other 14 states being concentrated in the West, Midwest and South (according to Census regional divisions). Western states include Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming and Nevada; Midwestern states include Kansas, Ohio, Nebraska and Indiana; and Southern states include Delaware, Virginia, Alabama and Arkansas.

Finally, in 12 states, the largest RIA headquartered in the state has less than $10 billion in assets managed. North Dakota, South Dakota and West Virginia are the three states home to the smallest RIAs. Eide Bailly Advisors, LLC in North Dakota manages $1 billion, Standard Family Office, LLC in South Dakota manages $1.5 billion and McKinley Carter Wealth Management in West Virginia manages $1.8 billion.

Image is a table by SmartAsset titled "2021 Study: Largest RIA Headquartered in Each State."
Image is a table by SmartAsset titled "2021 Study: Largest RIA Headquartered in Each State."

Data and Methodology

Data for this report comes from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is as of September 2021. We ranked U.S.-based registered investment advisors (RIAs) according to assets under management. We did not include U.S. territories.

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Questions about our study? Contact us at press@smartasset.com.

Photo Credits: ©iStock.com/SDI Productions

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