RIAs are still the gazelles of asset gathering, but the online channel is a cheetah gathering speed.
According to the most recent Fund Distribution Intelligence report from Lake Success, N.Y.-based Broadridge Financial Solutions, RIAs were the fastest growing channel for fund investing in the first quarter of 2017, with new assets of $52 billion.
All told, RIAs are responsible for $2.5 trillion of retail mutual fund and ETF assets, good enough to remain the largest retail channel. The second largest channel by assets, independent broker-dealers, had approximately $2.46 trillion in assets, while wirehouses accounted for nearly $1.8 trillion in assets.
The online channel, also called the discount channel, while much smaller than the top three, is currently the second-fastest growing industry channel in terms of assets, attracting $39 billion during the first quarter of 2017.