Financial Advisor is launching a special annual ranking of independent advisory firms that offer financial planning and related services along with investment management. The new survey will debut in the magazine this summer.
   Approximately 1,800 firms will receive the survey this month. Eligible advisory firms must have at least $25 million in assets under management. The magazine's goal is to identify the largest independent advisory firms in the country and to spotlight the characteristics and practices that have made them successful.
   Robert Casey, former editor of Bloomberg Wealth Manager, has been retained as a project consultant to help Financial Advisor develop the survey and analyze the results. Discovery, a part of The Financial Information Group Inc., based in Red Bank, N.J., will compile the results.
   "This is a survey we've wanted to do for a long time but we wanted to do it right," says Evan Simonoff, editor-in-chief of Financial Advisor. "Having known Bob Casey and the caliber of his work for 18 years, we're lucky to have his input. Together with Nick Stuller and the folks at Discovery, we've assembled a talented team that can turn this into a reality."