The combined asset market share among independent financial advisory channels is expected to top that of the wirehouses in the next four years, according to Cerulli Associates.

Cerulli’s crystal ball gazing is just the latest in a long line of industry projections highlighting the growing momentum among the independents of the advisory world.

“Multiple factors have contributed to the historical and expected growth of independent channels,” said Kenton Shirk, associate director at Cerulli. “More than two-thirds of advisors indicate they would prefer the independent broker-dealer, registered investment advisor or dually registered models if they decided to leave their current firms.”

He cited the flexibility of these models as one reason for this, along with the greater autonomy advisors in these channels enjoy in portfolio construction, operational flexibility, fee structure and technology.

“The economics can also be appealing to advisors, as payouts are higher and advisors become responsible for their own overhead decisions,” Shirk said. “Independent advisors can build long-term enterprise value in not only their own solo practice, but also in a broader business entity comprised of multiple advisors, staff and infrastructure.”

In its report Advisor Metrics 2014: Capitalizing on Transitions and Consolidation, the Boston-based analytics firm said it expects the RIA and dually registered channels to do particularly well in coming years, with their gains in asset market share likely coming at the expense of wirehouses and independent broker-dealers.