Shares of Silvercrest Asset Management   ( SAMG)  are up over 10% year-to-date, even as the majority of financial stocks have struggled to stay positive. Silvercrest's CEO Richard Hough said the wealth manager's outperformance is a result of its ability to grow its high net worth pipeline, even in the face of far larger competitors.
 
"We were the second-fastest growing firm in terms of assets under management and revenue last year," said Hough. "We performed well in terms of executing on that pipeline and I think investors are starting to see that."
 
Silvercrest is the nation's only independent wealth management company that is publicly traded, having listed its shares in June 2013. Silvercrest sports a market capitalization of around $160 million and assets under management of approximately $18 billion.
 
Silvercrest says its client retention rate has run approximately 98% over the past five years and has been above 99% for the past two years.
 
"In our business, it's really about the quality of our name and the performance in terms of both service and the institutional quality portfolios that we've delivered to our clients," said Hough. "When you do a good job you get a referral and this business is entirely about satisfying your current client base."
 
Regarding the rise of so-called robo-advisors, Hough said it will benefit the mass affluent by offering formerly elite services at lower costs. Nevertheless, it won't make too much of an impact for Hough's very well-heeled clients.
 
"For our business at the ultra-high-end, our clients average about $32 million in assets under management, I think it's the tools that are going to enhance our business," said Hough.
 
Hough said the Silvercrest brand stacks up well against even some of the larger players in the industry like Goldman Sachs  ( GS)  and Morgan Stanley  ( MS) .
 
"The smaller boutiques don't have all the resources to compete with the large players," said Hough. "Then there are the bigger boutiques like ours and some of the trust companies that can pull all the pieces together and more effectively compete for the high-net-worth dollar."

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