How to evaluate if a provider can fully support your business
Advisors considering a change in RIA custodians face a difficult task. There are seemingly endless factors to consider before making the leap and adding a new platform.
How can you be sure that you’re making the right choice for your business? That this new RIA custodian has the best technology to meet your needs?
After narrowing down prospective providers and distributing RIA custodian RFPs, there’s one final step to help make sure your next provider is the right fit for your team: the live demo.
What can you expect in your live demo?
RIAs should expect their live demo to be a conversation with real people. A chance to run through what the provider’s technology can do, and how users within your firm would interact with that platform should you choose to move forward.
Live demos are an opportunity to get the info your firm couldn’t lock down in your RFP. An opportunity to ask questions, probe beyond the surface and dive into your specific use-case.
No two RIAs are the same, and the capabilities you look to use every day may differ significantly from other advisors. This live demo is when you can get into the nitty gritty with a provider.
How will the platform support your work considering your clients’ unique asset mix? How can you control user permissions to fit the needs of your different employees? What integrations are available should you need them? Specific points that apply to you and your firm, not every RIA under the sun.
How can you make the most of your live demo?
If you’re heading into a live demo, we have one main recommendation: come with questions!
Any provider can give a high-level overview of their platform, but a live demo can be a great time to ask the tough questions. To find out how the platform would fit into your business.
Some questions to consider bringing to the demo:
- I work with multiple third-party providers and would need to set up integrations. Is that something your team can do, and what does that process look like?
- Some of my clients have specific requests for stocks that they absolutely do not want to buy. Am I able to exclude specific stocks when setting up trades?
- Are digital account applications available? Do I have the option of sending partially completed applications to clients?
- How do you evolve your technology platform? Do you take RIA feedback into account?
- What kind of support would you provide to my staff during the transition process?
You know your business best. You know what you need, and what the must-haves are for your new provider.
Dig into those points in your demo, push to make sure that this technology would truly offer everything your firm needs to succeed.
Can I use this live demo to learn about more than just the technology?
Absolutely. Beyond seeing a platform in more depth with your use-case in mind, these demos allow you to experience the intangibles from a provider – those points that don’t show up in a simple fee rate sheet or custodial services agreement.
What kind of service can you expect from the provider’s team? What culture is at the heart of their brand? Does the provider’s team understand your RIA’s needs, challenges, and opportunities? Is the provider invested in understanding your RIA’s unique position in the market?
At the end of the day, you aren’t just looking for new tech – you’re looking for new support and new resources. An RIA custodian should be invested in your success, and a live demo is a great way to get a feel for how the provider’s team would work to support you.
Are you ready to see what TradePMR can do for your RIA?
If you’re interested in learning how TradePMR’s Fusion platform and white-glove approach to service could fit your firm’s needs, we’d love to connect.
We can spend this time addressing your concerns and answering your questions. We can dive into how our teams would work together, and what the transition process would look like if you find TradePMR is the right fit.
COMING SOON – A New Fusion Experience
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in February 2022 and has been subsequently updated.