“RIA custodians” are institutions that hold the funds and records of a registered investment advisor’s clients (RIA). RIAs provide financial advice to clients, which may include investment services, but they do not execute the trades required to implement the strategy.


Providing highly personalized service to clients is a significant incentive for many advising firms to remain independent. RIA custodians evaluate the service offerings of prospective custodians in the same way that many IFAs highlight their exceptional client care as a competitive advantage.

The consulting firm should find out if they worked with a single person or a group. Setting up new customer accounts, closing deals, and sending wire transfers to clients are all standard operating procedures for consulting firms. During these types of contacts, inquire about the service quality.


Today’s financial services industry is characterized by increasing technological dependence and demand. Because of the abundance of technology solutions available, independent advising businesses can compete with much larger financial organizations that use antiquated methods.

Client account management, client communication, billing and invoicing, performance reporting, and financial planning are all common tasks for firms that provide RIA services.

It is common for a custodian to provide either proprietary software or access to third-party software. When deciding which platform to use, RIAs must consider the various technological options available as well as the quality of the available assistance in making the right system integration choices.

The consulting firm should also review its internal processes to ensure that its clearing firm can help them. Advisors to the investing public frequently underestimate the time and effort required to find and implement the best solutions for their clients’ businesses.


Investment advisors must have access to a variety of markets and assets in order to effectively manage their clients’ portfolios. A portfolio manager can access investment vehicles such as stocks, bonds, ETFs, and other derivatives through a custodian.

A custodian may provide access to many mutual fund options and the families that manage them, making asset diversification and allocation strategies easier to implement for businesses. Companies that do not specialize in money management can use institutional financial advisers through separate portfolio management systems provided by custodians. Furthermore, some clearing houses may offer a diverse range of nontraditional investments.


There are numerous advising firms, and not all RIAs will be a good fit for every business. Additionally, new firms have minimum asset limitations with some conventional financial adviser custodians. Even so, fans of the warehouse channel will always prefer a more decentralized RIA setup. As a result, an investment advisory firm must first determine the type of organization it is and then seek to align with a clearing firm that is a good fit for that type.

Protectors understand the nuances of various advice practices as well as the challenges that can arise when expanding and running a business in this field. A custody company may offer services such as goal setting, client acquisition, and research on industry standards to help their clients succeed. In addition, they should offer advice on how to choose the best technology for investment advisers. The effective use of such value-added areas of knowledge enables an advisor to build a more effective and scalable business.


Because of their affiliation with a professional organization, previous employment arrangement, or desire to increase their credibility with customers, independent consultants are frequently forced to work with a custodian.

Storage fees for client assets are a standard feature of most realtor services. Mutual fund administration and 12b-1 fees are more sophisticated than trading commissions or cash interest.

When custodial fees are high, many advisers charge their clients more. By choosing a custodial associate with more transparent pricing and fewer surprises, you can save your customers money and use that extra cash to expand your business.


Today’s custodial solutions have the potential to completely transform your business by increasing efficiency, allowing you to offer more services, and producing better results for your clients. Make the most of this opportunity. Choose a trustworthy career with care and thought.

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