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6 min read

Demo Curated to Fit Your RIA Firm Begins with Your Technology Must-Haves and Wish List

Sep 2, 2022 1:45:09 PM

Experience How TradePMR’s Fusion Technology Could Benefit Your Unique Business (and how to drive your demo and not waste time being sold)

Evaluating prospective technology providers is no small feat. There are hundreds of technology vendors for RIAs to choose from, it’s hard to even know where to begin.

One of the biggest technology choices that RIAs will make is deciding on their custodial service provider. According to the T3/Inside Information Survey, there are more than a dozen Custodial Platforms available to RIAs, each offering its own set of capabilities and benefits.1

How can advisors sift through the crowd to find the right provider for their firm? How can they be sure that their new vendor will offer the solutions they need to grow and thrive? It all comes down to the technology demo.

Identifying Tech and Service Must-Haves

Before signing up for any RIA custodian demo, advisory firms need to figure out exactly what they’re looking for from their next provider.

For a firm’s advisor(s), points like account management and CRM capabilities at a custodial service provider could be top of mind. However, focusing solely on capabilities important to the firm’s advisor(s) can leave a major gap for a business. It’s important that the full RIA team meets to identify all the capabilities that can impact the success of the relationship.

We recommend putting together a checklist of must-haves. To compile this list, consider holding a full team brainstorm.

To identify technology must-haves, consider asking these questions during this meeting:

  • What technologies do we currently use that we’ll need from our new provider?
  • What are the biggest pain points for the team when navigating our custodial technology? Where does the team feel they are wasting the most time in handling the tech?
  • What capabilities do we use that we feel could be better/more advanced elsewhere?
  • What capabilities is our current provider missing that could benefit our business?
  • What services are we currently accessing via third-party integrations?
    • These are capabilities that a new provider may offer at no additional cost.

Beyond the technology capabilities, the RIA team should also drill down into their service needs from their next provider. Consider asking the internal team these questions:

  • Where have you felt service has fallen short with our current custodian?
  • Where do you find you waste the most time when trying to get service?
  • Do you feel that you’re often left stuck on hold or wasting time navigating a confusing phone menu?
  • Do you feel that you receive responses from your custodian’s team in an appropriate amount of time? Or, do you feel like you end up waiting too long for an update from the provider?
  • Where could improved service have the biggest impact on your workflow? Are there any business functions that could be significantly streamlined with improved service?

A RIA’s custodial service provider should provide the advisory firm with the technology tools and support they need to grow and reach the next level of their business. Figuring out these must-haves up-front can be a key to finding a provider that fit’s the RIA’s unique needs.

Whittle the List of Prospective Providers

While RIA custodians don’t typically list all their capabilities online, RIA teams should be able to get a pretty good idea of the providers’ core offerings.

With this newly formed list of core capabilities and service attributes, the RIA team should be able to exclude any providers that clearly won’t check those boxes for the firm. This research should help the team cut down the list of 15+ vendors to 3 - 5 custodial service providers that could potentially be a fit.

Once the team has this short-list, it’s time to consider taking a product demo.

Product Demo – Time to Get into the Nitty Gritty

While it may seem counter-intuitive, the RIA is the one that can drive the direction of the demo – it just comes down to approach. The advisor can ask their burning questions, dive into that checklist of must-haves, and make sure they know exactly what they’d be getting from their new provider.

Identifying a best-fit provider means understanding how that provider works with advisors like you, and delivers the technology and service you’re looking for on a daily basis. Those are RIAs in a similar stage of growth, with a similar business structure, looking to serve clients in a similar way.

No two RIAs are the same, but your next provider should have experience working with advisors in a similar position to your firm. Understanding how those relationships function can be a great primer to what your firm’s relationship could look like with that RIA custodian.

While some big-name custodial service providers work with a broad range of advisors, other more boutique providers, like TradePMR, exclusively serve RIAs. That doesn’t mean a big-name provider can’t meet a RIA’s needs, just that RIAs should make sure that the provider’s team understands the unique challenges and opportunities facing independent advisors.


TradePMR’s Approach to Demos

TradePMR offers demos in a couple different ways.

One is an on-demand demo of the firm’s Fusion technology platform that RIAs can access at any time. While these on-demand demos are a great way to get a quick view of the platform, they don’t necessarily highlight the points that are most important to your firm.


The other way is a live demo – a conversation with members of the TradePMR team that may support your RIA should you choose to sign on. The conversation starts by diving into your unique firm – who you are, what you are looking to accomplish with your move, what features you’re looking to unlock.

Using that information, the team curates the demo to what you want to know. If you have a good grasp on Fusion’s baseline capabilities, we’ll dive in deep. If you want a general overview, that’s fine too.

On top of the tech, these demos are a great time to talk about TradePMR’s white-glove approach to service. We can walk through how our firm works hand-in-hand with RIAs from their transition to their onboarding and throughout their ongoing relationship with the firm.

Demos are a time investment for a growing RIA. TradePMR focuses on delivering value and answering your burning questions, whatever they may be.

Are You Ready to See if TradePMR’s Top-Rated Tech1 Could Benefit Your RIA?

Hundreds of RIAs nationwide have made the switch to TradePMR. The firm’s RIA-centric approach to technology seems to have resonated throughout the industry, with the firm’s Fusion platform being named the top-rated Custodial Platform by advisor satisfaction three out of the last four years in the T3/Inside Information Survey.1

Let’s take a deep dive into Fusion’s capabilities and all the ways that the platform could support your growing RIA. We’ll see how we match up against your technology and service must-haves, and if TradePMR could be the right fit for your firm.



1 T3/Inside Information Survey, Joel Bruckenstein and Bob Veres, May 2022, sponsored by AssetBook, Holistiplan, Advyzon, Addepar, and Fidelity Investments, T3/Inside Information Advisor Software Survey, Joel Bruckenstein and Bob Veres, March 2021, sponsored by Salesforce, and 2019 Software Survey, Joel Bruckenstein and Bob Veres, January 2019, sponsored by Orion Advisor Services and Morningstar, Inc.

Written by TradePMR