High Performance – The key characteristics of the firms that thrive

Financial Advisory

05 October 2023

AdvisorsFinancial AdvisoryGrowthPerformanceProfitabilityRetentionWinning Advisers

Expert: Luc Blair Anderson, Regional Director & Vice President, Dimensional Fund Advisors Ltd Facilitator: Roderic Rennison, Partner, The Catalysts LLP


Dimensional conduct an annual global study/survey amongst 740 firms and 4,000 advisers, of which just over100 firms are in the UK. They define the universe of “High Performing Firms by ranking firms across five key metrics:

  1. Revenue Growth
  2. Client Retention
  3. Employee Retention
  4. Profit Margin
  5. Revenue per Advisor



Across all business metrics – revenue, assets, and households, High Performing Firms outperform other firms.

For example, Senior Advisers oversee revenue of £1.1M pa on average compared to other firms, where the average is £600,00 pa. The average level of assets is £177M, compared to £114M, and the number of households is 184 versus 121.

The composition of client facing teams differs between High Performing Firms, and other firms.

High Performing Firms have more support team members per adviser. For Senior Advisers, it is 1.5 support staff in High Performing Firms versus 1 in other firms.

High Performing Firms have a higher Net Promoter Scores than other firms.

High Performing Firms obtain more referrals per household.

In the latest study, of 344 households, there were 277 promoters, leading to 94 referrals, 53 prospects, and 12 new clients.


Key takeaways:

In summary, High Performing Firms achieve:

  • 30% year on year revenue growth
  • 99% Client Retention
  • 5% employee turnover
  • 475 average normalised profit margin
  • £810,000 revenue per adviser