From the cradle to the grave, America’s heartland advisors have a financial plan suited to anyone that needs one. From financing a college education, to paying for a wedding and honeymoon, to affording retirement, to covering the cost of a funeral, today’s advisors have a plan for all of life’s landmark events, and so much more.

FA's top 10 Midwestern independent registered investment advisors (RIAs) with the most 2018 client assets under management (AUM)  have growth strategies as diverse as the financial plans they design for their clients. The firms were ranked as part of FA's annual RIA survey.

Since 2003, Maribeth S. Rahe has served as president and chief executive officer of Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Western & Southern Financial Group. According to the firm’s website, under her leadership, Fort Washington has grown to become the largest money manager of institutional assets in the Cincinnati region, where the firm is headquartered.

Peter Mallouk, CEO and founder of Creative Planning in Overland Park, Kan., is still a practicing advisor. Earlier this year, his firm, Creative Planning, announced its purchase of the Johnston Group, a Minneapolis firm with $500 million in AUM. The purchase is the first of many more planned as a new growth strategy for the firm, according to Mallouk.

Advanced Capital Group (ACG) was incorporated in Minnesota in 1998 to provide RIA services to high-net-worth individuals and institutional retirement plans. In 2006, the firm added fixed-income investment management services to its roster, and in 2009, benefits/risk consulting. By 2010, however, ACG chose a different tactic to grow its business by acquiring the Deloitte retirement plan investment consulting practice, followed in 2013 by the acquisition of Deloitte’s national practice leader, Berthel Schutter, LLC, a St. Paul, Minn.-based advisory firm.

No matter what strategy these firms employed to grow their business, they managed the most client assets last year. Below, in ascending order, are the top 10 Midwestern firms with the most AUM of 2018.

10.  Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel

On July 2, 1990, industry veterans Bill Bahl and Vere Gaynor founded Cincinnati RIA Bahl & Gaynor. The two men grew their client base by emphasizing the long-term advantages of owning stocks that pay increasing dividends. Three decades later, Bahl & Gaynor reported $11,524,531,262 in client assets under management at the end of 2018.