Building the Chassis: Your RIA Software Roadmap


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RIA software allows independent advisors to access and create one sleek desktop to streamline operations and move seamlessly from task to task. RIAs can brand by adding their logo and colors while also customizing their technology to create a tailored fit for their practice.

Advisory software should include the following roadmap:

Source – Hanlon: Illustration from whitepaper.

CRM – CRMs allow advisors to see their client’s entire financial picture, including aggregated assets, while tracking encounters and appointments from day one.

MARKETING – It’s becoming increasingly challenging to grow. No longer are cold calls the way to success, but an integrated marketing system to create campaigns and track their success.

FINANCIAL PLANNING – Part of the reason for going independent is to provide holistic financial advice to clients rather than push products. Comprehensive goals and cash flow financial planning is a necessity for advisors focused on holistic advice.

INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT – As part of any holistic financial plan, investments are important. A model marketplace of investment strategies should provide advisors with a suite of world class managers. Combining multiple strategies in a UMA, with an advisor’s own portfolio management allows sophistication and customization while situating the advisor on the same side of the table as the client.

ACCOUNT ONBOARDING & MIDDLE OFFICE SERVICING – A streamlined workflow for advisors to open accounts is one of the key features advisors need when going independent. Outsourced middle office teams handle trading, rebalancing and servicing while advisors grow.

PORTFOLIO ACCOUNTING – No matter your business model, all independent advisors need to keep and maintain records for compliance purposes. A portfolio accounting system should easily allow advisors to access all of their data during an audit.

CLIENT PORTAL – Allowing clients to keep track of their finances from anywhere at any time puts their minds at ease and situates the advisor as their financial quarterback. Monitoring login activity on client portals also helps increase client retention.

CLIENT RETENTION – In order to grow while retaining existing business, book analytics and data mining should be part of any independent advisor’s technology.

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