BY JASON SCOTT
Eight of Central Pennsylvania’s top 10 registered investment advisers last year grew assets under management by more than 20 percent between 2012 and 2013, according to Business Journal records. Harrisburg-based Roof Advisory Group Inc. was among that group. The fee-only independent advisory firm grew assets under management by 25 percent, to $329.5 million in 2013. It followed up with nearly 18 percent growth last year and has a goal of $400 million in its sights. The firm, which got its start in Cumberland County in 1998 before moving to 507 N. Front Street in 2002, has more than doubled its assets under management since 2010. And it is up 240 percent from 2007 when it finished with $114.3 million in assets under management.
Many others in the industry have experienced similar upside from the depths of the last recession. With an office expansion slated for completion in July — where Roof will occupy the entire 3,400-square-foot building, rather than just half — the firm is poised to continue growing by 20 percent or more per year, said E. Jeffrey Roof, its president and CEO. “We focus on high-net-worth individuals that have sophisticated planning needs,” Roof said about his firm’s specialized approach, which is designed for portfolios of $1 million to $20 million. “The concept of retirement or transition into retirement is no longer distant for them. It may be seven to 10 years away.” The average client portfolio is about $2 million, he said. And the majority of those clients are in Central Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia and Baltimore markets.
“We don’t market (specific) products. They want real hands-on professional management,” he said of the firm’s 200-plus clients. “We are not trying to be all things to all people.” Expansion Within five years, Roof said he could see the firm at $750 million in assets under management. That would still put it in the bottom half of the top 10 in Central Pennsylvania, according to the Business Journal’s 2014 RIAs list. To get there, he expects to add at least three more employees to the eight-person shop. That could happen within the next year or two. Those positions would include an administrative assistant, an operations administrator and a marketing specialist. Roof said there are still a lot of regional opportunities to expand the firm’s client base. The firm relies on a steady stream of referrals from other professionals, including accountants and attorneys that work for higher net worth individuals. “It’s (still) an untapped market,” he said of this region. “We have a lot of individual wealth.”
By occupying the first floor of the building he has owned since moving his firm to Harrisburg, Roof will have enough room for a staff of 14 people, he said. “When we bought the building, we had planned to eventually take over the first floor as well,” he said. Harrisburg-based JEM Group LLC is overseeing the interior renovations, which began in April. TKS Architects Inc., based in Lower Allen Township, is the designer.
Built in the late 1800s, the building’s original plaster walls will be restored, along with its mahogany floors. There will be a main conference room on the first floor, along with a smaller meeting space and four offices. “It will be functional, but we wanted to preserve the original character of the building,” Roof said.
To see photos of the finished Roof Advisory Group Office click here and scroll down.