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We are excited to share a collection of relevant, timely, and insightful articles that can help you grow and strengthen your business. TD Ameritrade and leading industry experts will be contributing their unique perspectives on the challenges and opportunities that RIAs are facing today. Thank you for joining our community and we look forward to connecting with you!

  • by Matt Phillips
  • Senior Product Manager, TD Ameritrade Institutional

Reaching Business Goals through Strategic Alignment of Advisors

“This post is contributed by Matt Phillips, Senior Manager, TD Ameritrade. Matt moderated a panel discussion during the TD Ameritrade Institutional Conference with four RIAs who shared their perspectives and guidance on successfully partnering with another RIA firm.”

RIAs face significant challenges today in managing and growing their practices. Regulatory reforms, ever-changing technology, increased overhead, and attracting talented staff are just some of the business challenges they are facing. There are numerous resources available to help advisors navigate and manage these

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issues; however there is one potential solution that is often overlooked:

Partnering with an existing RIA firm. The potential to partner with a firm that has already built a successful enterprise may be just the right solution for RIAs who want to grow, but do not have the necessary resources or capital available to do so.

Some advisors do not even consider joining another RIA firm as an option because they view it as a threat to their strong entrepreneurial drive. Concerns range from not being able to find the right partner to losing control of the business. These concerns can be overcome through a careful search and evaluation of potential partners who share the same vision, a thorough due diligence process, and a deep understanding of how the transition process works.

Most importantly, the advisor should identify what their strengths are as well as the components of their practice that they really enjoy spending time on. This is the first step to determining if it makes sense to find a partner who can complement those strengths.

Here are 4 questions for RIAs to consider when evaluating the prospect of partnering with an existing RIA firm:

1. Do you enjoy working directly with clients and helping them achieve their financial goals MORE than you enjoy “managing” the business?

2. Are you spending more than 25% of your time on operational issues?

3. Do you want to be part of an enterprise that will continue to generate value while you are away?

4. Do you want to take your business to the next level but you don’t quite have the resources to do so?

The term “independent” within the financial services industry was originally intended to describe the desire and ability to provide unbiased advice to clients. Being independent, however, does not mean that RIAs have to go it alone.

When evaluating business models that provide the best possible service to clients and provide advisors with a continuity/succession strategy, joining forces with an existing RIA deserves strong consideration. To begin the process, advisors can turn to RIA Connect™ for help. RIAConnect is a TD Ameritrade Institutional Program designed to help existing RIAs in sourcing and evaluating potential partnering opportunities within a network of advisors. It’s also designed to assist advisors who want to become independent RIAs but don’t want the responsibility of running a business to find an existing RIA firm to join. Call us at 800-934-6124 to learn more.

Access to the TD Ameritrade Institutional RIAConnectTM program is provided as a service to financial advisors using the brokerage, execution and custody services of TD Ameritrade Institutional. TD Ameritrade does not guarantee nor is it responsible for the completeness or accuracy of the data provided or for the quality of any third party product or service. TD Ameritrade makes no warranty or representation with respect to the service as to suitability or fitness for a particular purpose. In no instance should the listing of a third party be construed as a recommendation or endorsement by TD Ameritrade.

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