Registered investment advisers reported a rise in new clients, according to a survey released Monday by TD Ameritrade Institutional, a unit of TD Ameritrade Holding Corp.

More than 80% of registered investment advisers said that client recruitment grew or remained steady in the last six months. Half of the RIAs reported an increase in new clients.

The top three reasons that clients used RIAs, the survey said, were a dissatisfaction with service, advice, performance or fees at full-service brokerage companies, mentioned by 34%; a requirement that RIAs offer advice in the best interest of clients, 21%, and more personalized service and competitive fee structure from RIAs, 17%.

Seventy percent of RIAs in the survey said they were able to avoid major business cost cuts in the last six months, despite lower client-asset totals. Advisers who did more business spending chose to invest in technology and marketing.

Advisers who trimmed business spending cut 19% of total expenses, on average. Travel and marketing were among the most common budget items affected.

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