Independent registered investment advisory firms are coming ofage, and they’re coming into money, too, hitting recordlevels of revenue and profitability as they record 20 years inbusiness.

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That’s according to the Charles Schwab 2015 RIA BenchmarkingStudy, which found that almost half (42 percent) of the firmsparticipating in the study have doubled their revenue since2009.

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In addition, assets under management (AUM) have increased by 75percent for half of the firms in the study over the same timeperiod, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.1percent.

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When it comes to profitability, that—when measured asstandardized operating margin—has also soared, gaining 36 percentover the last five years and now standing at 27 percent for themedian firm in the study.

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More good news is that the gap in profitability has lessenedbetween the most and least profitable firms, as the industrycontinues to mature and more firms adopt best practices andtechnology-led innovations.

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But firms aren’t resting on their laurels; 82 percent of theRIAs in the 2015 study listed as one of their top three prioritiesachieving growth through the acquisition of new clients.

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They’re already doing pretty well at that; over the last fiveyears, the number of new clients has risen 24 percent for half ofthe study’s participants. Just in 2014, the top-performing firmsbrought in 10 percent or more new clients, while the median firmgained 5 percent more clients.

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And those clients are getting larger: the average account sizeis now $1.9 million—and among the top-performing firms, it’s morethan double that at $3.9 million.

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What these firms are getting, they’re keeping; there’s a medianyear-over-year retention rate of 97 percent. Existing clients aregiving these firms a greater share of their money, too, withtop-performing firms increasing share of wallet by 4 percent in2014.

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