The Advisory Career

Serving Emerging and Mass Affluent Investors

Fidelity® Adds New Practice Management Solution to Help Independent Advisors;

April 09, 2015 –  BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fidelity Clearing and Custody, the division of Fidelity Investments® that provides clearing and custody to registered investment advisors (RIAs), retirement recordkeepers, broker-dealer firms, banks and insurance companies, today announced a new collaboration with FirstPoint Financial, LLC, a subsidiary of Mariner Holdings, Inc., to provide its RIA clients with access to client segmentation solutions.

FirstPoint has developed consultative services to help advisors analyze their current and prospective client base and develop strategies to segment their clients in order to support emerging and mass affluent investors.

According to Fidelity’s most recent Millionaire Outlook study, emerging affluent investors – investors ages 21-49 with investable assets of $50,000 to $250,000 – are well positioned to attain millionaire status.1 Yet, new Fidelity research finds that 76 percent of financial advisors continue to focus their current client acquisition strategy on investors 49 years of age or older, or those with $1 million or more in investable assets.2

And, 45 percent of financial advisors have no plans to target emerging and mass affluent investors over the next five years.3 “We’re seeing an interesting dichotomy among firms: some are finding success by expanding their client base to include emerging affluent investors, while others are staying focused on the traditional high-net-worth target client profile,” said David Canter, executive vice president, practice management and consulting, Fidelity Clearing and Custody.

RIAs 'stick to their knitting'

“This offering may help address the client segmentation needs of many RIAs who want to ‘stick to their knitting’ and focus on their core clients, while still providing an advice option to those emerging and mass affluent investors who are seeking it out.”

“We chose to offer this program because we’ve heard from many RIAs that they haven’t been able to figure out how to scale and serve this segment profitably,” said Marty Bicknell, chief executive officer, Mariner Holdings. “We made a strategic decision to invest in helping RIAs develop client segmentation strategies because we believe it meets a critical need in both the advisor and investor community.”

Advisory firms interested in working with FirstPoint can begin with a comprehensive review of their current client segmentation approach. Upon completion of that review, the advisory firm would have the opportunity to work with FirstPoint on their client segmentation strategies, including potentially entering into a solicitation arrangement to have FirstPoint serve those clients that may not fit the advisory firm’s current acquisition strategy or their current account minimums.

FirstPoint Financial leverages leading technology solutions and a dedicated team of advisors to offer a comprehensive wealth management solution to emerging and mass affluent investors. “We’ve seen in our benchmarking data that the large majority of high-performing firms have a target client profile, primarily driven by investable assets, and that they rarely stray from that profile,”4 said Canter.

45 percent of financial advisors have no plans to target emerging and mass affluent investors over the next five years

“We’ve also found that to be high-performing, a firm needs to continually re-evaluate its existing business model to stay competitive. "Our goal with this collaboration is to help firm leaders consider how their businesses may evolve and develop a strategy to serve this group of investors today which may prove valuable in the future.”


About Fidelity Investments Fidelity’s goal is to make financial expertise broadly accessible and effective in helping people live the lives they want. With assets under administration of $5.2 trillion, including managed assets of $2.1 trillion as of February 28, 2015, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers: helping over 24 million people investing their own life savings, nearly 20,000 businesses to manage their employee benefit programs, as well as providing nearly 10,000 advisory firms with technology solutions to invest their own clients’ money. Privately held for nearly 70 years, Fidelity employs 41,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit


1 Source: The 2014 Fidelity Millionaire Outlook was an online, blind study conducted by Bellomy Research, an independent firm not affiliated with Fidelity Investments, from July 14, 2014, to July 28, 2014. It was focused on understanding affluent investors’ attitudes, behaviors and preferences related to investing, wealth management and advice usage. It was held among a target sample of 1064 respondents of all affluence levels, $50,000 – more than $10 million in total investable assets. The 2014 Fidelity Millionaire Outlook defines emerging affluent investors as ages 21-49 with investable assets of $50,000 to less than $250,000 and household income of $100,000 or more. The 2014 Fidelity Millionaire Outlook defines mass affluent investors as ages 21-54 with investable assets of $250,000 to less than $1 million or age 55 and over with investable assets of $500,000 to less than $1 million.
2 Source: The 2014 Fidelity Advisor Insights study was an online, blind survey conducted by Bellomy Research, an independent third-party research firm not affiliated with Fidelity Investments, from September 18th through October 6th, 2014. Participants included 933 advisors from across multiple firm types who work primarily with individual investors and manage a minimum of $10M in individual or household investable assets. Firm types included a mix of large and small IBDs, regional broker-dealers, RIAs, insurance companies, wirehouses and banks with findings weighted to reflect industry composition.
3 Source: 2014 Fidelity Millionaire Outlook Study.
4 Source: 2012 Fidelity Benchmarking Study. The 2012 Fidelity RIA Benchmarking Study defined High-Performing Firms as the top 25% of eligible firms based on a composite ranking of Growth, Profitability, and Productivity. The theme is not intended to connote investment returns. Eighty-three percent of High-Performing Firms have a client profile, and only 3% of High-Performing Firms stray from it.