When advisers at wirehouses or independent broker-dealers look to launch their own firm, the main question on their minds is, “How will I recreate the products and services I’ve always offered my clients throughout my career, as an employee of my current firm?”
As they start to think through their technology stack, we advise them to choose a custodian first and a reporting provider second. The reporting provider will act as the “hub” through which all data flow across the rest of a registered investment adviser’s back-office infrastructure.
For advisers moving to the RIA channel, reporting technology offers the first chance to provide clients with a holistic picture of their total net worth, including assets held outside of the adviser’s purview.
Custodial statements provide account owners with balances and transaction history. These statements are broken down by account number and act as an efficient way for clients to verify, through a third party, the assets they have invested under the RIA’s purview.
These statements do not, however, provide any performance numbers at the account, household, asset class or security level. The custodial statements provide no commentary on the direction of the markets or the specific investment strategy the client is invested in.
If the adviser wants to paint a picture of the client’s financial standing, he or she will need to utilize performance reporting software. With this technology, advisers can create customized and dynamic reports, usually through a drag-and-drop interface, to group accounts within the household in the most logical way for the client to understand.
Reporting provider technology also includes a client portal and a billing module, both essential components of an RIA’s business. Because this technology is so essential to an RIA’s infrastructure, here are four industry-leading reporting solutions for RIAs.
- . Offers clients an independent financial technology solution for reporting, data aggregation/verification and analytics, as well as a variety of integrations, including leading CRM and trading solutions.
- Black Diamond Wealth Platform. Distinguishes itself by reducing an RIA’s operational burden through a focus on the client experience, data breadth and quality, and service — all with the backing of its parent company, SS&C Technologies.
- Envestnet|Tamarac. Offers its clients a comprehensive suite of services, including reporting, trading, data aggregation and reconciliation, billing and CRM software. It leverages Envestnet|Yodlee for data aggregation.
- Orion Advisor Solutions. Tech suite includes client experience tools, tax-intelligent rebalancing, efficient billing, integrated planning and automated compliance monitoring, all aimed at empowering advisers to improve their firm’s productivity.
Advisers looking to move to the independent channel would be well-advised to learn more about these technology solutions, as they act as the engines that drive RIA business across the country (and globe).
[More: Fixed-income solutions for breakaways entering the RIA space]
Matt Sonnen is founder and CEO of an operations and technology consulting firm for RIAs, which recently published a report, “.” Follow him on Twitter