What are the top wealth management firms in the US?

1 min readLast updated January 31, 2024by Unbiased team

Find out what wealth advisors do at the best wealth management firms in the US and how to choose the right firm to preserve and grow your wealth.

Summary 

  • Wealth advisors typically provide high-net-worth individuals and other entities with comprehensive financial advisory and management services. 

  • The top five wealth management firms have assets under management of between $5.1 billion and $40.8 billion. 

  • These firms have minimum account requirements of between $2.5 million and $50 million. 

What is a wealth management firm? 

A wealth management firm is typically a cross-disciplinary financial advisory team that operates within a greater financial advisory firm.  

For example, the 545 Group is a private wealth management team that operates within the Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management firm. The top wealth management firms assist clients in preserving and increasing their wealth.  

Wealth management encompasses investment advice, estate planning, tax planning, risk management, retirement planning, and more. 

American wealth advisors typically serve clients with high and even ultra-high net worth. Such individuals require these services because financial management becomes increasingly complicated as wealth grows. 

What does a wealth advisor do? 

Within a wealth management firm, a financial advisor may also be referred to as a wealth advisor or wealth manager. 

Wealth advisors familiarize themselves with their clients’ financial situations and goals in order to provide a customized service. Depending on the client, an American wealth advisor may offer one or more of the following services: 

  • Comprehensive financial planning 

  • Investment advice and portfolio management 

  • Financial risk assessment and management 

  • Legal advice surrounding finances 

  • Insurance advice and planning 

  • Tax consulting and accounting services 

  • Trust, legacy, and estate planning 

  • Insurance planning 

  • Charitable giving 

  • Retirement planning 

What are the top 5 wealth management firms in the US? 

According to Forbes America’s Top Wealth Management Teams ranking, the current best five private wealth management firms are as follows, based on their various teams’ performances: 

1. 545 Group 

Parent firm: Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management 

Head office: Menlo Park, California 

Minimum account size: $5 million 

Assets under management (AUM): $40.8 billion 

Clientele: Private investors, highly accomplished entrepreneurs, family offices, and multi-generational families. 

Capabilities: 

  • Comprehensive wealth planning 

  • Pre-liquidity planning 

  • 10b5-(1) programs 

  • Risk assessment and management 

  • Investment advice and management 

  • Family governance and wealth education 

  • Philanthropic activity advice and management 

2. Jones Zafari Group 

Parent firm: Merrill Private Wealth Management 

Head office: Century City, California 

Minimum account size: $10 million 

AUM: $25.6 billion 

Clientele: Ultra-high-net-worth individuals, endowments, foundations, and institutions. 

Capabilities: 

  • Financial planning and management (liability reduction, cash flow management, retirement planning, and more) 

  • Insurance advice and management 

  • Loans/credit services 

  • Philanthropic activity advice and management 

  • Trust and estate planning and management 

3. The Polk Wealth Management Group 

Parent firm: Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management 

Head office: New York, New York 

Minimum account size: $50 million 

AUM: $34.2 billion 

Clientele: Ultra-high-net-worth individuals, their families, foundations, and businesses. 

Capabilities: 

  • Comprehensive wealth planning 

  • Investment planning and management 

  • Wealth education and family governance  

  • Financial lifestyle advice 

  • Philanthropic activity advice and management 

  • Tax, trust, and estate advice and management 

  • Tailored lending 

4. Hollenbaugh Rukeyser Safro Williams 

Parent firm: UBS Private Wealth Management 

Head office: New York, New York 

Minimum account size: $10 million 

AUM: $5.1 billion 

Clientele: A select group of highly successful individuals, entrepreneurs, business owners, hedge funds, private equity principals, endowments, and foundations. 

Capabilities: 

  • Planning (education, estate, insurance, retirement, wealth) 

  • Investment advice and management 

  • Banking advice and planning 

  • Charity management 

  • Private wealth management 

  • Workplace wealth solutions 

5. The Erdmann Group 

Parent firm: Merrill Private Wealth Management 

Head office: Greenwich, Connecticut 

Minimum account size: $2.5 million 

AUM: $12.6 billion 

Clientele: Business owners, corporate executives, and high-net-worth families. 

Capabilities: 

  • Financial planning 

  • Investment advice and planning (including trading individual securities) 

  • Executive services and equity compensation 

  • Insurance planning 

  • Trust  and estate planning and management 

  • Philanthropic activity advice 

  • Banking services and advice 

  • Retirement planning 

Finding the right wealth management firms: what to look for 

Before you settle on the best wealth management firm for you, you should investigate the following elements of their operations: 

  • Fees: Does the firm in question take compensation in line with your best interest? In this regard, it is important to be on the lookout for conflicts of interest within the firm’s compensation structure

  • Experience and capabilities: Does this wealth management firm have the expertise and experience to tend adequately to your financial interests?  

  • Resources: Does this firm have the means necessary to cope with your wealth management needs?  

  • Historical performance: Has the firm yielded consistently strong results with regard to wealth and portfolio management over a substantial period? 

  • Sustainability: Is your chosen firm positioned to continue to support and guide you for the rest of your life? 

How to manage your wealth 

The leading wealth management firms help the ultra-wealthy to manage their complex financial situations.  

Wealth advisors work in multi-disciplinary teams to offer a comprehensive suite of financial and related services. 

Whether you are a high-net-worth individual or not, it is important to get expert financial advice to help protect and grow your money.  

Let Unbiased match you with a financial advisor who understands your unique needs and goals and can help you grow your wealth. 

Connect with a financial advisor today.

Writers

Unbiased team

Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing and retirement, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.