RIAs who want to own their own wealth management shop face two major challenges, over and above giving investment advice: They must comply with all the rules and regulations while also running an operating business.
A "complete solution," Going Independent, has been launched by two firms with experience in both areas. Regulatory Compliance, based in Londonderry, N.H., provides compliance and business consulting services while its partner in this venture, Dynamic Wealth Advisors, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., offers practice development aid to RIAs.
"Advisors are overwhelmed with compliance, operations and administration," Dennis McCarron, chief operating officer of Regulatory Compliance, told Financial Planning. "They are seeking solutions that put them back into the consultation, relationship, and business development role."
How does Going Independent differ from other services available to RIAs? "The Regulatory Compliance/Dynamic Wealth Advisor comprehensive total solution is different," McCarron said, "because the compliance, technology, and operations are all integrated in a seamless scalable manner."
According to McCarron, the shifting regulatory environment will require RIAs to make a bigger investment in compliance. "The question to ask," he said, "is where do I want to spend my money and devote my resources in this competitive market? On compliance, operations, and technology or on marketing and business development?"
The combined platform and pricing are all-inclusive, McCarron added. "There is a variable charge that declines as the RIA firm grows," he said. "The fee schedule is integrated into the platform and is based on the firm's revenue. The platform grows with the firm so as not to be cost prohibitive for new firms or established firms that are growing."
Jim Cannon, CEO of Dynamic Wealth Advisors, asserted that Going Independent fills a void for both existing and emerging independent practitioners, for wealth managers, and for private portfolio managers seeking to operate with a robust suite of advisory practice solutions. "Whether they're challenged with establishing a practice, growth and development, or just operational efficiency," he stated, "our clients have access to an optimal mix of services while enjoying the freedom and protection needed to successfully develop and operate in a highly effective manner."
As the two firms explained, the Going Independent platform helps RIAs build an independent financial advisory infrastructure from the ground up by providing the operational, technological, compliance and regulatory elements necessary to operate a practice. The new service offers client facing and operations technology as well as investment operations for middle and back offices.
Going Independent also includes RIA registration, compliance support, business consulting, assessment and valuation planning, regulatory reporting, tax and accounting services, and exit or destination planning. "Going Independent is perfect for individuals who have contemplated becoming a wealth manager but were not sure how to assemble all the tools necessary to build the business infrastructure," McCarron stated. "The integration of the services we offer is unusual in the industry; it will become necessary for advisors as the regulatory environment shifts and advisors are increasingly saddled with heavier administrative responsibilities."