Market Overview

"Our annual summary of Northwest hiring trends for wealth managers"

2020 Market OverviewNorthwest Hiring Trends for Wealth Managers

Dear Colleagues,

We here at RAH Financial would like to summarize Northwest hiring trends we’ve observed among the regions Wealth Managers. In addition, we’ve updated our Washington State Money Manager's Ranking List, ranked by AUM (Assets Under Management). This list ranks 379 firms, whose home offices are either located in Washington State or who have a significant client presence here. For contrasting purposes, we’ve also made available an archive of our past Ranking Lists under the same ‘Rankings List’ menu item.

New: For our ’06 – ’20 lists, we’ve included an alphabetical sort of firm names, making it easier to locate an individual firm’s AUM and ranking.

Note: As usual, we are attempting to ‘tighten up’ our estimated AUM figure by only counting in-state assets for firms who have moved their corporate offices out of state and by attempting to match end-of-year estimates as close as possible to the most recently-filed ADVs. As is usually the case, only a minority of firms respond to our AUM estimate request every December so their most recent ADV figures are used, which may not include asset gains in the remaining portion of the year. We will continue to accept AUM estimates through mid-January.

Some quick facts from our list:

  • 378 firms (-31 from 12/19)
  • $1,061 billion in total AUM (+$51 billion from 12/19)
  • 52 firms with AUM more than $1 billion (-11 from 12/19)
  • 286 firms had a year-over-year increase in AUM (75% of total firms, vs. 40% in 12/19)
  • The AUM figure for firms experiencing an AUM increase over their 2019 levels have their AUM highlighted in bold green

Washington State money manager changes in 2020

Company name changes, acquisitions/mergers:

  • Cornerstone Advisors, Bellevue, acquired by Pathstone, multi-state
  • E.K. Riley Investments, LLC, Seattle, was acquired by LPL Financial
  • Filament, LLC, Seattle, was acquired by Laird Norton Wealth Management, Seattle
  • KMS Financial Services, Seattle, was acquired by Securities America, NE
  • Kutscher Rhodes & Benner, Inc., Seattle, is now Kutscher Benner Barsness & Stevens, Inc.
  • Ophrys, LLC, Seattle, was acquired by Oak Harbor Capital, Seattle
  • Prime Advisors was acquired by SLC Management, MA
  • Rainier Investment Management, Inc., Seattle, was acquired by Manning & Napier Advisors, LLC, Fairport NY
  • Vickerman & Driscoll Financial Advisors, Inc., Spokane, was acquired by Ten Capital Investment Advisors, LLC, Spokane
  • Williams Palmer, LLC, Bellevue, is now Optimist Retirement Group, LLC, Bellevue

New wealth management firms launched or newly added to our ‘20 list:

  • Aspire Capital Advisors, LLC, Seattle
  • Bordeaux Wealth Advisors, Bellevue/Menlo Park, CA
  • Dightman Capital, Bellevue/Overland Park, KS
  • EQ Wealth Management, Mercer Island
  • Firebrand Wealth Management, LLC, Seattle
  • Flow Financial Planning, L.L.C., Bellingham
  • Journey Financial Services, LLC, Edmonds
  • Julie A. Wurst, CFP, LLC, Tacoma, WA
  • Leeward Financial Partners, LLC, Seattle

Firms dropped from our list, have either closed their doors in '20, have no recent ADV on file, or have no active AUM:

  • AllianceBernstein/Bernstein Global Wealth Management, no resp.
  • Blackrock, Inc., no resp.
  • BMO Private Bank (formerly The Harris) Seattle, no resp.
  • BNY, no resp.
  • Citi Private Bank, no resp.
  • Columbia Bank Wealth Management, no ADV on file
  • Comerica Bank & Trust, Bellevue, no local AUM
  • DH Partners, LLC, Seattle, ADV terminated
  • Evergreen Pacific Partners Management Co., Inc., Seattle, no ADV AUM
  • Financial Management, Inc., Yakima, not currently registered
  • Financial Services International, expelled/revoked by FINRA or the SEC
  • Glacier Peak Capital, LLC, Bellevue, ADV terminated
  • Goldman Sachs, no resp.
  • Hallett & Associates, P.S., Port Angeles, no ADV on file
  • Harvest Capital Advisors, Inc., Bellevue, no ADV on file
  • Investment Hiker, LLC, Vancouver, closed offices
  • JP Morgan Private Bank, Seattle, no resp.
  • Juetten Personal Financial Planning, LLC, Bellevue, no current ADV on file
  • Kirchner Financial Services, Inc., Spokane, no ADV on file
  • Leader Capital Corp., Portland/CA, no WA state offices
  • MassMutal Financial Group, Bellevue, no resp.
  • Mavada Personal Wealth Management, Bellevue, closed offices
  • McRae Capital Management, LLC, closed WA offices
  • National Asset Management, Seattle, no resp.
  • Palindrome Capital Management, LLP, Spokane, closed offices
  • RBC, no resp.
  • Reppond Investments, Inc., Bellevue, closed offices
  • Signator Investors, Inc., Bellevue, no ADV on file
  • Smead Capital Management, Inc., has no WA state offices
  • Sound Sense Money Management, LLC, Bellevue, no current ADV
  • Stifel Financial Corp., closed all WA offices
  • Sun Asset Management, Inc., Bellevue, closed offices
  • UBS, no resp.
  • Vita Intellectus, Kirkland, no ADV AUM
  • WA Trust Bank, multiple offices/states, no ADV on file

Top Ten largest AUM increases (min. $1 billion in ‘20 AUM)

Firm AUM Increase (in millions)
1. Parametric Portfolio Associates, Seattle +$75,000
2. Fisher Investments, Camas +$26,800
3. Russell Investment Group, Seattle +$4,400
4. Milliman, Seattle +$4,394
5. Kunath Karren Rinne & Atkin, LLC, Seattle +$2,083
6. Brighton Jones, LLC, Seattle +$1,501
7. Saturna Capital Corporation, Bellingham +$1,142
8. Financial Advocates Investment Mgm’t, Olympia/Portland +$1,112
9. Verus Advisory, Inc., Seattle/L.A./S.F. +$925
10. Pugh Capital Management, Inc., Seattle +$748

Top Ten largest percentage increase in AUM (min. $1 billion in ‘20 AUM)

Firm % Increase
1. Kunath Karren Rinne & Atkin, LLC, Seattle +180%
2. The Caprock Group, Inc., Mercer Isl./ID/CA +50%
3. The Clarius Group, LLC, Bellevue +46%
4. Northwest Asset Management, Mercer Island +39%
5. Empirical Wealth Management, LLC, Seattle/AK/CA/OR +35%
6. Fisher Investments, Camas +29%
7. Saturna Capital Corporation, Bellingham +29%
8. Brighton Jones, LLC, Seattle +28%
9. Barwick & Partners, Inc., Seattle +24%
10. Verus Advisory, Inc., Seattle/L.A./S.F. +19%


Top Wealth Managers

Every year our Washington State Money Managers Ranking List is comprised of approximately 400 participating firms, ranked by AUM size. This year, the number of firms with AUM of at least $1 billion decreased by eleven (-11) to 52 firms. This prestigious list includes some top firms in the country and the bar to be considered a top wealth manager is being raised higher each year. In 2020, the top 50 firms on our list had a total AUM of $1.004 trillion, versus $939 billion in 2019, an increase of +$65 billion. On average, the top 50 firms had $20 billion in AUM in 2020, about the same as the top 50 firms in 2019.

RAH Financial Asset & Wealth Management Practice

Wealth managers who are seeking faster asset growth than their internal resources allow, will continue to build via acquisition or lift-out. Lift-outs are typically comprised of senior Advisor/Business Development team moves with significant client assets to follow. 2020 will forever be remembered as the year of the Coronavirus. After Q1, we observed the very difficult task of firms being forced to require staff to work, remotely, triggering a number of closures, mergers and consolidation. Numerous firms were unable to be sufficiently flexible to conduct business in such a manner and sought either to sell or close their doors. We are expecting continued consolidation activity in 2021. The continued virtual working conditions, masking and social distancing requirements will continue well into 2021 as vaccines are rolled out.

We are anticipating a cautious pickup of staffing demand in early 2021 as firms feel they can safely do so during the current pandemic. We here at RAH Financial strive to remain uniquely positioned to anticipate and satisfy local firms’ evolving staffing requirements. Our Asset and Wealth Management Practice has an established track record of success in partnering with institutional and retail investment firms, private wealth managers and hedge funds.

Positioned well for 2021, our Asset and Wealth Management Practice has an established track record of success in partnering with institutional and retail investment firms, private wealth managers and hedge fund clients to assess and recruit:

  • Executive leadership teams or turnkey solutions;
  • Seasoned analysts and portfolio managers across all asset classes;
  • Marketing, sales and client service professionals;
  • Infrastructure, technology and systems managers;
  • Risk management, legal and compliance, finance and human resources executives.

“The intelligent investor is a realist who sells to optimists and buys from pessimists.” ~ Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor