Carson Group Announces Record Growth in 2017; Launches Next Generation of Client-facing Technology

OMAHA, Neb., Jan. 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Carson Group, a family of companies committed to being the most trusted for financial advice and guidance through serving advisors and investors, today announced that 2017 was the firm's biggest growth year in its 35-year history - the culmination of a 243 percent growth rate in the preceding five-year period. While experiencing significant revenue growth, Carson Group also added 20 new positions and signed 20 new partner firms in 2017.

"Each of these metrics underscore the ongoing investment we are making to become one of the select few powerhouse partners for advisor growth," remarked Ron Carson, CEO and founder of Carson Group. "We're committed to providing unparalleled value to advisors, leveraging our ongoing research to identify and address the primary "anchors" that are holding them back and the 'engines' that are propelling them forward."

Throughout Q4 2017, Carson Group utilized a combination of online surveys, focus groups, and individual conversations to survey nearly 200 advisors and industry executives, subsequently identifying the challenging "anchors" and compelling "engines" that advisors are encountering in pursuit of their profession. Among the anchors that advisors cited as a noteworthy hindrance was the management of challenging broker-dealer relationships.

Commensurate with this finding, of the more than 50 firms who have joined Carson Group Partners nearly 90 percent have come from the country's most prominent independent broker-dealers. Carson Group Coaching also experienced its biggest year-over-year uptick in advisor firms joining its community for content and coaching services, from hitting the 1100-firm milestone in December 2016 to more than 1253 firms in December 2017, setting an all-time high for membership since the company was founded in 1993.

The asset growth extends well beyond Carson Group, with highly engaged partner advisor offices growing assets at nearly 40 percent over the last year. This far exceeds the average annual asset growth for the industry and,(1) perhaps surprisingly, this growth hasn't come at a cost for advisors with regards to work/life balance. According to a December Partner Engagement survey, advisors are, on average, experiencing a 32.7 percent increase in love of their business as a result of joining Carson Group Partners.(2)

Next Generation of Client-facing Technology Released

Technology - specifically, the selection, customization, and integration of technology - was also found to be among the most frustrating "anchors" for advisors, highlighting why the client experience, both online and off, has become a focal point for many.(3) Advisors also shared they receive the most value from a strategic partner when it comes to Business Consulting, Technology, and Marketing (ranked as the top three "engines" respectively). Overall, advisors revealed they consider technology to be the most essential pillar to remain competitive in the future.(3)

Consistent with the above findings, Carson Group also announced today the second-generation release of its Digital Client Experience, a transformative tool that saves advisors and their client's hours of time by eliminating duplicative data entry. Since introducing the Digital Client Experience in the first half of 2017, $119,072,919 in new account AUM has been realized, generating 635 new leads. The latest iteration enables firms to provide a fully digital experience that saves their advisors and the advisors' client's hours of time, streamlining the new business pipeline and onboarding process. Beta testing for the next iteration of the platform is already underway among the partner advisor community.

"At Carson, we're uniquely positioned to tap into one of the nation's leading wealth management firms to create trusted solutions that reflect advisors' complex and rapidly evolving business needs," said Aaron Schaben, who was named Carson Group's executive vice president earlier this month. "We're confident that advisors will enthusiastically embrace our latest offering, which is primed to meet them at any stage of their business trajectory and help them get to where they want to be."

"We've invested $52 million over the past five years in our internal infrastructure, data warehouse and, most recently, in the development of new client-facing technology," added Teri Shepherd, chief operations officer of Carson Group. "It's exciting to finally show the world what we've built and, in the process, set a new standard for advisors and their clients."

In 2017, Carson Group continued its record streak in Forbes and Barron's as one of the top wealth management firms in the country, and for the first time, was named to the Inc. 5000 list of the country's fastest growing private companies.

Carson concluded: "The groundwork we've laid throughout the past 18 months is quickly coming to fruition. 2018 promises to be another record-setting year for us and, more importantly, for our advisors and their clients."

About Carson Group
Carson Group Holdings ("Carson Group") serves financial advisors and investors through its businesses including Carson Wealth, Carson Group Coaching, and Carson Group Partners. The conglomerate of companies offers coaching and partnership services to advisor firms - and straightforward financial advice to the investing public.

Founded in 1983, Carson Wealth has grown to become a Barron's Hall of Fame firm, serving clients through holistic financial planning, disciplined investment strategies, and proactive personal service.

Founded in 1993, Carson Group Coaching is a leading national financial advisor coaching and resource program designed to help growth-minded advisors build their businesses through coaching support, tested action plans, and accountability that drive proven results.

Founded in 2012, Carson Group Partners simplifies the complexity of running a wealth management firm by managing and executing marketing, compliance, technology, investment management, and operations for advisor firms.

All three organizations are headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, and share a common mission to be the most trusted for financial advice. For more information, visit www.carsongroup.com.

Carson Wealth and Carson Group Partners are DBA as CWM, LLC. Securities offered through Cetera Advisor Network s LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through CWM, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC is under separate ownership from any other named entity.

* Please note that the amount of CWM, LLC's Assets Under Advisement is considerably larger than the amount of the firms regulatory Assets Under Management. Assets Under Advisement include regulatory Assets Under Management reported in CWM, LLC's Form ADV I, in addition to assets with respect to which CWM, LLC may provide consulting and/or financial planning services, but does not have any management, execution or trading authority. CWM, LLC's regulatory Assets Under Management can be found in Item 5.F of CWM, LLC's Form ADV I, available at http://www.adviserinfo.sec.gov.

The press release contains statements related to our future business and financial performance and future events or developments involving Carson Group that may constitute forward-looking statements. These statements may be identified by words such as "expect," "look forward to," "anticipate" "intend," "plan," "believe," "seek," "estimate," "will," "project" or words of similar meaning. Such statements are based on the current expectations and certain assumptions of Carson Group's management, of which many are beyond Carson Group's control. These are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and factors which if one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying expectations not occur or assumptions prove incorrect, actual results, performance or achievements of Carson Group may (negatively or positively) vary materially from those described explicitly or implicitly in the relevant forward-looking statement. Carson Group or any affiliates of Carson Group neither intends, nor assumes any obligation, to update or revise these forward-looking statements in light of developments which differ from those anticipated.

(1)Carson Group 2017 - The growth statistic is an AUM vs AUM YOY measurement from 2016 to 2017, and is an average of the growth rates for the Carson Group Partner firms being measured. It does capture market impact as well as contributions/distributions and other types of asset flows. It reflects the growth of only firms that were through their transformation period (at least six months from the start of their transition on September 30, 2016).

(2)Carson Group Partners Relationship Management Survey - December 2017

(3)Carson Group Industry Trends Survey - November 2017

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SOURCE Carson Group