This webpage describes the criteria for each industry award or recognition received by Adviser Investments that may appear on our websites or in other marketing materials used by Adviser Investments. In addition to the specific descriptions and criteria described for each award below, please keep in mind that unless otherwise specifically stated, the following provisions apply to all awards and recognitions below:
The Barron’s America’s Best Independent Advisors ranking considers factors such as assets under management, revenue produced for the firm and quality of practice as determined by Barron’s editors. The award sponsor has not disclosed how many firms were surveyed or considered for this recognition, nor the percentage of total participants that ultimately received recognition. Prior to 2019, the award was called the Barron’s Top 100 Independent Wealth Advisors.
The Barron’s Top Advisor Rankings by State (Massachusetts) (also referred to as Barron’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors) considers factors such as assets under management, revenue produced for the firm, regulatory record, quality of practice and philanthropic work. According to Barron’s, “around 4,000” advisory firms were considered for this recognition in 2021, with about 1,200 firms receiving recognition.
Adviser Investments received the Best Wellness Employer Bronze Certification, sponsored by organizations complete a survey covering how the organization assesses its employee wellness initiatives and programs, and how the organization strategizes, implements and evaluates such initiatives and programs. Surveys are reviewed and scored, then participants are ranked in the Best Wellness Employer Score Index and may receive either Gold, Silver or Bronze Certification or an Honorable Mention. Organizations pay a $129 participation fee. The award sponsor has not disclosed how many firms were surveyed or considered for this recognition, nor the percentage of total participants that ultimately received recognition.
The Boston Business Journal Largest Independent Investment Advisers in Massachusetts (also referred to as Boston Business Journal’s Top 25 [Massachusetts]) ranking is based on each participating firm’s assets under management as of June 1, 2021. Only firms that choose to participate are ranked and included on the top 25 list. The award sponsor has not disclosed how many firms were surveyed or considered for this recognition, nor the percentage of total participants that ultimately received recognition. This award is not indicative of future investment performance, nor does it represent client experience.
The Citywire USA 40 Rising Stars list is based on (1) information provided by the individuals’ managers or industry peers of the individuals, (2) their professional qualifications (including professional designations and certifications), (3) academic achievements and (4) the importance of the roles the individuals play at their current companies. All nominees must be under the age of 40 and based in the United States. No company can have more than two representatives on the list. In 2019, both nominations made by Adviser Investments were selected to the final list. The award sponsor has not disclosed how many firms were surveyed or considered for this recognition, nor the percentage of total participants that ultimately received recognition.
Financial Advisor magazine, a publication covering the investment advisory business, surveys and publishes an annual list of independent registered investment advisers, ranked by assets under management. To be eligible to participate, firms must be registered investment advisers and provide financial planning and related services to individual investors. Only advisers that complete and submit Financial Advisor magazine’s survey are included in the rankings. In 2020, 551 firms were ranked. Financial Advisor magazine has not disclosed how many firms were invited to participate. In prior years, this ranking publication was referred to as FA Magazine’s Top RIAs.
The Financial Times 300 Top Registered Investment Advisers is an independent listing produced annually by the Financial Times and Ignites Research. According to the Financial Times, in 2019, approximately 2,000 firms were invited to be considered for its list; 740 responded, with 300 being named to this list. The listing reflects each practice’s performance in six primary areas: Assets under management (70–75% of a firm’s score), asset growth (15% of a firm’s score), years in existence, compliance record, credentials and online accessibility.
The Five Star Wealth Manager award, administered by Crescendo Business Services, LLC (dba Five Star Professional), selects award recipients based on the following 10 objective eligibility and evaluation criteria: (1) credentialed as a registered investment advisory representative or registered investment adviser; (2) actively employed as a credentialed professional in the financial services industry for a minimum of five years; (3) favorable regulatory and complaint history review; (4) fulfillment of their firm review based on internal firm standards; (5) currently accepting new clients; (6) and (7) client retention rates for one-year and five-year periods; (8) non-institutional client assets administered; (9) number of client households served; and (10) education and professional designations. Five Star Professional determines the final list of Five Star Wealth Manager award winners.
The 2020 Forbes Top Women Wealth Advisors selection process was conducted by SHOOK Research. Candidates were evaluated with an algorithm based on the individuals’ revenue production for their firms, client retention data, assets under management by the individuals’ teams, review of the individuals’ compliance records, fee structure, breadth of services offered, professional credentials, years of service, community involvement and an interview (telephone or in person) with the award evaluators. Minimum eligibility criteria included: (1) at least seven years as a financial adviser; (2) working for current firm for at least one year; (3) individual is recommended by her firm; (4) completion of an online survey; (5) 50% of revenue production attributable to the individual; and (6) an acceptable compliance record as determined by the award’s evaluators. In total, 32,000 participants were nominated for this award; 14,190 were invited to complete the survey and partake in an interview, and 1,000 (7% of participants) were named to the final list. The award does not consider portfolio performance. Inclusion on the list of Top Women Wealth Advisors does not mean that the individual does not have any negative history on their regulatory compliance record.
The InvestmentNews Best Places to Work for Financial Advisers award is conducted in partnership with employee survey firm Best Companies Group. Winners are selected based on a two-part survey completed by employers and employees. Employers report their organization’s workplace policies, practices and demographics. Employees complete a survey designed to measure the employee experience in areas such as leadership and planning, pay and benefits, corporate culture and communications, and work environment. Scores from the employee survey represent three-quarters of the weight of the final rankings. Firms do not pay a fee to participate. To be eligible for the award, a firm must be a registered investment adviser or broker-dealer, have been in business for at least one year and have at least 15 full-time employees. In 2018, 50 firms were named to the list; in 2019–2021, 75 were named. The award sponsor has not disclosed how many firms were surveyed or considered for this recognition, nor the percentage of total participants that ultimately received recognition.
InvestmentNews ranked 2,206 firms headquartered in the United States based on data reported on Form ADV to the Securities and Exchange Commission as of May 1, 2019. Ranking, by total AUM, was published on June 5, 2019. To qualify, firms must have met the following criteria: (1) latest ADV filing date is either on or after January 1, 2018; (2) total AUM is at least $100M; (3) does not have employees who are registered representatives of a broker-dealer; (4) provided investment advisory services to clients during its most recently completed fiscal year; (5) no more than 50% of amount of regulatory assets under management is attributable to pooled investment vehicles (other than investment companies); (6) no more than 25% of amount of regulatory assets under management is attributable to pension and profit-sharing plans (but not the plan participants); (7) no more than 25% of amount of regulatory assets under management is attributable to corporations or other businesses; (8) does not receive commissions; (9) provides financial planning services; (10) is not actively engaged in business as a broker-dealer (registered or unregistered); (11) is not actively engaged in business as a registered representative of a broker-dealer; and (12) has neither a related person who is a broker-dealer/municipal securities dealer/government securities broker or dealer (registered or unregistered) nor one who is an insurance company or agency. The award sponsor has not disclosed how many firms were surveyed or considered for this recognition, nor the percentage of total participants that ultimately received recognition.
The Nation’s Best and Brightest in Wellness® program—in conjunction with scoring partner SynBella—surveys and evaluates each participating organization’s efforts in employee wellness. Participation is not limited to companies in the financial services industry. In order to participate, an organization must have at least 10 employees, be in business for at least one year, complete the required surveys and pay any applicable fees. Certain fees are assessed to participants requesting specific analysis and reports on their application. Participants are not required to pay any particular fee or purchase any particular analyses or reports.
The Pensions & Investments Best Places to Work in Money Management award is conducted by research firm Best Companies Group (BCG). Participating firms and their employees complete surveys assessing corporate culture and communications, role satisfaction, work environment, relationship with supervisor, training, development and resources, pay and benefits, and overall engagement. BCG analyzes the results and ranks participating firms, which must have an office in the United States, at least 20 employees and $100 million in discretionary regulatory assets under management as of June 30, 2020. Firms must also have been in business for at least one year.
RIA Channel® Top 100 ETF Power Users ranks wealth management firms using exchange-traded funds (ETFsA type of security which allows investors to indirectly invest in an underlying basket of financial instruments (these may include stocks, bonds, commodities or other types of instruments). Shares in an ETF are publicly traded on an exchange, and the price of an ETF’s shares will fluctuate throughout the trading day (traditional mutual funds trade only once a day). For example, one popular ETF tracks the companies in the S&P 500, so buying a share of the ETF gets an investor exposure to all 500 companies in the index.) based on aggregate dollar value held as reported on the firms’ September 30, 2019 Form 13F filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Firms are ranked from greatest to least based on total dollar value of ETFs managed on a discretionary basis. Data was collected by RIA Channel affiliate RIA Database, www.riadatabase.com, and final ranking results were issued by RIA Channel and Forbes. Ranking does not analyze how ranked firms utilize ETFs or performance. To be considered for the ranking, firms must be domiciled in the United States; be registered with the SEC; primarily manage assets for retail individual clients; and provide comprehensive wealth management and financial planning services. The award is not indicative of client experience nor future investment performance. Adviser Investments did not submit any information to RIA Channel regarding this ranking, request to be considered for the ranking or pay any fee in connection with it.
RIA Channel® Top 100 Wealth Managers ranks wealth managers “based on a proprietary set of criteria and data. The ranking is based on both size and growth in assets as of June 30, 2020, as reported to the SEC. RIA Database (RIADatabase.com) was used for regulatory data, organic research, and advisor surveys.” (See https://www.riachannel.com/2020-top-100-wealth-manager-list-methodology/.) Adviser Investments did not verify any data—nor were we asked to—prior to ranking or publication. Regulatory Assets Under Management (RAUM) displayed on RIA Channel’s website is calculated by RIA Channel, not Adviser Investments. We did not independently calculate our RAUM as of June 30, 2020, nor do we know RIA Channel’s RAUM calculation methodology. RIA Channel has not published information on how many firms were considered for ranking, nor did it publish criteria used for inclusion on or consideration for this ranking. Adviser Investments did not submit any information to RIA Channel regarding this ranking, request to be considered for the ranking or pay any fee in connection with this recognition. The award is not indicative of client experience or future investment performance.
The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in the Nation® competition recognizes organizations displaying a commitment to human resource practices and employee enrichment. Only companies that voluntarily participate are considered for recognition. The competition assesses participating organizations based on categories such as communication, work-life balance, employee education, diversity, recognition, retention and more. Participation is not limited to companies in the financial services industry. In order to participate, an organization must have at least 20 employees, be in business for at least one year, complete the required surveys and pay any applicable fees. Participating organizations pay an analysis fee of $275. Participants are then benchmarked against participants both regionally and nationally. Also, certain fees are assessed to participants requesting specific analysis and reports on their application. Award is not indicative of future investment performance, nor does it represent client experience.
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