Home to Wall Street, New York City is a natural hub of the financial industry. From the New York Stock Exchange to banks and financial advisor firms, there’s something for nearly every financial need.
If you’re a current or aspiring financial professional, it only makes sense to start your search for a potential employer in this hotbed of finance.
But how do you choose among the myriad financial advisor firms available? One strategy is to target the biggest of the bunch, namely firms with the most in assets under management, or AUM. This number is the market value of the assets a firm manages for its clients.
Firms with more AUM tend to have the means to provide a broader suite of services for clients and advisors. They’re also more likely to have diverse career paths for their employees.
Here is a list of the 10 largest financial advisor firms in New York City. They’re listed from smallest to largest.
10. Wealthspire Advisors
Founded in 1995, Wealthspire is a young financial advisory firm with a New York office located in midtown Manhattan. The firm currently employs more than 270 professionals and is known to acquire small registered investment advisors — such as the recently acquired San Rafael, California wealth management company Private Ocean — as well as individuals and teams to expand its advisor pool. With no proprietary products or sales incentives, Wealthspire emphasizes planning as the foundation of financial advice. The firm has a number of offices throughout the East and West Coasts.
Assets under management: $18 billion
9. HSBC Securities Inc.
Headquartered in New York City, HSBC provides banking and investing services to 40 million customers in 63 countries and territories. The customer base is primarily individuals, but HSBC also serves charitable organizations and businesses. The firm’s service includes wealth and personal banking, commercial banking, and global banking and markets. HSBC, which stands for The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp., dates back to 1865, when it first opened in Hong Kong. A decade later, the bank had expanded across Asia, Europe and North America. Today, locations include branches and offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, Seattle, Miami, San Francisco and the District of Columbia.
Assets under management: $640 billion
With 4,161 employees across 51 locations in 26 countries and jurisdictions on six different continents, AllianceBernstein is a global leader in asset management. One of the company’s four corporate offices is located in New York City, with many other offices across the U.S. as well. AllianceBernstein focuses on diversity and inclusion in its hiring practices, with diversity recruitment processes to help reach candidates of all backgrounds. Some of the leadership development programs available include a six-month coaching program and leadership council designed for women. It also launched a Racial Justice & Anti-Racism Resource Library where employees can find literary, reference and virtual materials to help foster anti-racism.
Assets under management: $735 billion
7. Raymond James & Associates Inc.
Founded in 1962, Raymond James & Associates Inc. provides advisors with several affiliation options. Employee advisors work in a branch with their own book of business. Independent advisors can leverage Raymond James’ products, technology and services to support their own practices. Institutional advisors and financial brokerages can take advantage of the asset management, financial planning and investment solutions the firm offers. The firm employs about 8,600 financial advisors throughout the U.S., Canada and overseas. Raymond James’ equity research division covers nearly 1,200 companies in sectors such as energy, financial services, health care, industrials, telecommunications and transportation, mining and natural resources, real estate, consumer and technology.
Assets under management: $1.31 trillion
Nuveen has 120 years of asset management under its belt, an expertise TIAA gained in 2014 with its acquisition of the investment management company. The company invests across businesses, real estate, infrastructure, forests and farmland through its funds and separately managed accounts, or SMAs. Fun fact: Nuveen is the largest global farmland investor as of 2021, according to a Pensions & Investments survey of asset managers. It’s also the top provider of closed-end mutual funds, according to Morningstar data. The bulk of the company’s assets under management are invested in fixed income, followed by equity. Nuveen was also one of the first financial firms to start practicing responsible investing about 50 years ago, according to its website.
Assets under management: $1.2 trillion
5. Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley has been a staple of the financial advice industry for more than 40 years. It manages $1.4 trillion in assets across 24 countries. The bulk of those assets are in active fixed-income and liquidity investments, followed by the company’s custom solutions and public and private alpha strategies. It also places a priority on sustainable investing, with more than $45 billion in managed sustainable strategies. Advanced investing and wealth management solutions are available through Morgan Stanley’s partnership with Eaton Vance.
Assets under management: $1.4 trillion
4. Edward Jones
Headquartered in St. Louis, Edward Jones has offices across the nation, including in New York City. The nearly 19,000 Edward Jones financial advisors and 53,000 associates help more than 7 million clients. The firm has been around for nearly 100 years and claims to put the client first in every decision. Anyone from students looking for internships to experienced financial advisors who want to take the next step in their career is welcome to apply. You can work directly with clients in a branch or provide client support from a home office.
Assets under management: $1.8 trillion
Despite $12 billion of outflows in its asset management segment in the second quarter of 2022, UBS remains a behemoth of the financial advice industry with $3.9 trillion in assets under management. This is hardly surprising given the firm’s extensive reach. With headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland and offices around the world, UBS has four interdependent divisions, covering wealth management, personal and corporate banking, asset management and investment banking. It also places strong emphasis on sustainable finance and recently helped the “Swiss Climate Scores,” six indicators to measure the environmental impact of investments and provide a framework for financial institutions.
Assets under management: $3.9 trillion
2. Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.
Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. along with TD Ameritrade, which Schwab acquired in 2020, have a combined $7.3 trillion in assets under management. Schwab offers a suite of services through its various teams. The firm provides personal investing and investment management services to individuals, advisors and employers. Those interested in a career as a financial advisor can attend Schwab’s Financial Consultant Academy, a developmental program to prepare for a career as a financial consultant. After completing the program, you’ll be set to start helping individuals and families with their financial needs in one of the firm’s offices across the nation. Students in their junior or senior year of college or graduate school can also explore career opportunities at Schwab through the nine-week Schwab Intern Academy.
Assets under management: $7.3 trillion
1. Fidelity Personal and Workplace Advisors
With $11.3 trillion in assets under management as of March 31, 2022, Fidelity Investments is the largest financial advisor in New York City, serving more than 40 million people through its individual and institutional investing services. The firm provides individual guidance through its investor centers, of which there are around 200 in the U.S. alone, and phone guidance at some of its regional offices. In addition to its strong presence across the U.S., Fidelity has offices in various other countries in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Founded by Edward C. Johnson II, Fidelity remains a family-run business with Johnson’s granddaughter, Abigail Johnson, currently at the helm as chair and CEO.
Assets under management: $11.3 trillion
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10 Largest Financial Advice Firms in New York City originally appeared on usnews.com
Update 08/16/22: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.