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3 Largest Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) in New York

January 26, 2021

The need for unbiased wealth management has become increasingly prominent as the world continues to shift towards a remote reality - and registered investment advisors (RIAs) are at the center of this trend. With exceeding uncertainty in the markets today, businesses and high net worth individuals are turning to RIAs for their self-governing nature, fiduciary value and sophisticated financial expertise. In an effort to shine a light on RIAs, FINTRX explores three of the largest registered investment advisors (RIAs) based in New York. 


Morgan_Stanley_Smith_Barney_Logo1. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney = ~904B+ in AUM

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (now doing business as Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, or MSWM) formed in 2009 as a joint venture between Morgan Stanley and (Citigroup's) Smith Barney. MSWM is a New York, NY-based financial services business operating as a brokerage firm and investment advisor. Focused specifically on the needs of entrepreneurs, executives, family offices, the firm serves high net worth individuals, businesses and institutions additionally. MSWM offers brokerage and investment advisory services, financial and wealth planning, credit, lending, cash management, annuities, insurance, retirement and trust services to clients around the world. 

Quick Hitters:

- Founded: 2009
- Headquarters: New York, NY
- Discretionary Assets: ~$614B+
- Non-Discretionary Assets: $289B+
- Total AUM: ~$904B+
- Specialties: Retail brokerage, investment management and financial planning services


BlackRock2. BlackRock Financial Management, Inc. = ~$1T+ in AUM

Founded in 1988, BlackRock Financial Management, Inc. is a New York, NY-based global asset manager helping investors strengthen their financial futures. As a fiduciary to investors and a leading provider of financial technology solutions, BlackRock thinks differently about managing investment risks to best serve their client base. The firm provides asset allocation, portfolio management, financial planning and investment advisory services to institutions, financial professionals and individuals from all walks of life - from shop assistants in local stores to national organizations and nonprofits.

Quick Hitters:

- Founded: 1988
- Headquarters: New York, NY
- Discretionary Assets: ~$1T+
- Non-Discretionary Assets: $1.66B+
- Total AUM: ~$1T+
- Specialties: Asset allocation, portfolio management, financial planning and investment advisory services


goldman sachs asset management3. Goldman Sachs Asset Management = ~$1T+ in AUM

Formed in 1988, Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) initially specialized in fixed income separate account management for pension funds and institutions before expanding to a wider range of portfolio and mutual fund management services. GSAM has a long history of providing investors with a broad suite of equity strategies that span investment styles, regions and market caps. With over $1 trillion in assets under management and 37 offices around the world, GSAM offers products and services across a full range of asset classes including fixed income, money markets, public and private equity, commodities, hedge funds and real estate. 

Quick Hitters:

- Founded: 1988
- Headquarters: New York City, NY
- Discretionary Assets: ~$1T+
- Non-Discretionary Assets: $30B+
- Total AUM: ~$1T+
- Specialties: Fixed income separate account management for pension funds and institutions before expanding to offer a wide range of portfolio and mutual fund management services


RIA Review:

In general terms, a registered investment advisor (RIA) is a firm advising or managing the wealth of high net-worth individuals or institutions. Directly regulated by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), RIAs offer a wide range of financial services - from wealth and investment management to direct lending and personal finance education, etc. An important distinction regarding RIAs is the fiduciary obligation to always act in the best interest of their clients.

For more information on RIAs, check out our recent blog post: Exploring the Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) Channel, or visit the FINTRX Resource Library below.


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Written by: Renae Hatcher

Renae Hatcher is member of the marketing team at FINTRX - focused on delivering targeted & relevant family office content to our subscribers.

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