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Despite the turbulent financial world, RIA firms expect to see their revenue growth up approximately 15% from 2009. According to the 2010 Charles Schwab RIA Benchmarking Study, “The RIAs we surveyed—870 of our clients, with more than $300 billion under management—estimated that their revenue will increase by a median of 15% this year, a result of continued client additions and the market rebound, which has done its part to replenish assets under management.”

With this growth, financial advisors need to learn how their firms can be most efficient. Because the advisor’s main goal is to spend the majority of their time focusing on finding new business, they need to find a way to decrease administrative and operational tasks. Most firms use a portfolio management system to manage their clients’ accounts efficiently. Some also use rebalancing software, trade order management software and/or financial planning software. According to Gunning For Growth, Bernie Clark states,

“…RIAs who used a dedicated rebalancing system in 2009 said they were able to perform that task in 15% less time (the median reported improvement) than when they were doing rebalancing manually or using a nonspecific software.”

Another important key to the growth of an RIA firm is using a client relationship management (CRM) system. Most RIA firms already use this to track their client interactions. Bernie Clark states, “…the CRM can become the window into a client relationship, moving well beyond the management of contacts and personal information to include more detailed client information, transaction and performance history, holdings information and client correspondence.”

There are many growth opportunities for RIA firms these days. Many clients from full-service brokerage firms are moving towards independent financial advisors. According to the Cerulli Report, “…RIAs, independent broker-dealers and dually registered advisors will nearly match wirehouses’ market footprint by 2012, taking a 39.3% market share of assets under management while the wirehouses take 40.7%.”