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Top 100 Financial Advisers 2021: The top 20 firms

Top 100 Financial Advisers 2021: The top 20 firms

It's time for the final part of FTAdviser's Top 100 Financial Advisers 2021, our annual rankings detailing some of the best advisory firms from across the UK.

The full top 100 is available here, and below are the top 20 firms this year - the only businesses to have numbered rankings in 2021.

We consider it important to retain a small group of firms that our metrics rank as the best of the best at the top of the list.

Outside this group, firms are now listed in alphabetical order. We’ve done this so the list emphasises the companies themselves, rather than giving undue focus to a precise position in the rankings, or how that position might have shifted year-on-year.

The Top 100 is again compiled using data provided by London-based Financial Clarity, an arm of ISS Market Intelligence, and those statistics continue to form the backbone of our rankings.

The one notable change to these calculations for 2021 is that we’ve again increased the focus on companies who are either chartered by the CII or accredited by the CISI.

These standards aren’t a guarantee of good behaviour or good practices. But they remain a decent indication of a firm trying to do the right thing by its customers, and ensure our list isn’t compiled using financial metrics alone.

In short, they help make our rankings a more useful snapshot of the UK financial advice profession.

A directory of all firms chartered by the CII can be found here, while those accredited by the CISI can be found here.

More information on our methodology is below, and full details of how the Top 100 has been calculated can be read here.

Without further ado, the top 20 firms for 2021 are:

1Bartlett Wealth Management
3Pharon IFA
4Close Brothers AM
5The Fry Group
6Argyle Consulting
7Westminster Wealth Management
8Advanta Wealth
10Mazars Financial Planning
11Wingate Group
12McHardy Financial
13Altor Wealth
14Tait Walker 
15Paradigm Norton
16EQ Investors 
17Investment Quorum
18Cullen Wealth 
19OCM Wealth Management 
20CHN Financial Consultancy


What the list measures

In addition to the increased emphasis on chartered or accredited company status, our rankings retain metrics used in previous years.

That means we also look at the growth rate of advisory businesses, AUM and asset retention, and the number of years’ experience each business has managing assets in different economic and interest-rate environments.

In order to check how advisers are managing their clients’ investments, Financial Clarity used data received directly from fund managers covering the vast majority of the retail investment market, plus 14 of the nation’s biggest investment platforms. In most cases, that means advice companies’ own platforms are not included.

As a result, the Top 100 Financial Advisers list incorporates not a company’s stated level of AUM, but rather the amount held on those 14 investment platforms and with most of the nation’s biggest fund houses. They include assets in retail advisory investments and pensions, reported to Financial Clarity. On top of this, firms are only included if they had £150m of gross sales or more over the 12-month period. The likes of DFM assets are not included unless submitted to ISS as such.