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Financial industry news and events for RIAs.

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Looking for More from Your RIA Custodian? Don’t Let a Volatile Market Slow You Down.

Jul 7, 2022 12:54:33 PM

Why a down-market shouldn’t stop RIAs from finding the right provider.

There is an old saying in business, never waste a recession. RIAs and their clients are all asking the same question – are we staring down the barrel of a recession?

How are advisors preparing their business and their clients for a potential recession?

Analysts at Goldman Sachs put the probability of a recession over the next year at 30%, that’s up from 15% in their last projection. Bank of America similarly predicts a 40% chance of a recession in 20231.

So, if a recession is in fact coming, how long will it last? How can advisors minimize losses? What long-term impacts will it have on clients’ investments?

No one knows the answer to these questions. As much as we’d like to gaze into a crystal ball and know the future, we’re stuck living in the moment, prepping our clients for a potential dip.

While it’s tempting to put all our efforts into maintaining the status quo through a down market, what if that status quo hasn’t been working?

RIAs Feeling the Pains of Poor Service?

From our conversations with advisors, we’ve heard that some RIAs across the country are experiencing poor service and technology issues from their RIA custodian. With some of the industry’s biggest RIA custodian platforms merging, it looks as if these providers are looking to offer the same service to more advisors with less resources – the math simply doesn’t add up.

These RIA custodian mergers and the related service issues can have a serious and long-lasting impact on advisors’ businesses. Just listen to Robb Baldwin’s story - before founding TradePMR, Robb Baldwin was an RIA whose custodians underwent a merger.


HubSpot Video


The custodian merger left Robb with a service team that didn’t understand his unique position as an RIA. That team didn’t provide the hands-on support he needed for his business, and ultimately put his client relationships at risk. The issues Robb’s RIA experienced created significant friction with his clients that took years to overcome.

At TradePMR, we believe that the RIA custodian’s role should be to support RIAs, not impede or compete against their success. What if these kinds of service issues that Robb experienced had happened during a recession? When clients are calling late at night for their advisor’s expertise, or to get updates on their accounts? Imagine all of that time wasted on hold trying to lock down answers to those pressing client questions…

Brace for Impact.

That brings RIAs to this critical juncture. Should advisors brace for the impact of a recession with a current custodial service platform that may be delivering lackluster service? Or should they make a change to a provider now that could better fit their business and provide a higher-touch service throughout a potential recession?

It comes down to weighing the pros and cons of moving, and if the short-term investment into a transition will outweigh the long-term issues of sticking with a custodian that’s delivering sub-par service through a recession.

Navigating the Transition

While transitioning and repapering can feel like a major hurdle, it doesn’t have to be.

With an experienced Transitions team, like the talented group at TradePMR, advisors can make the move with confidence. Experienced transitions professionals understand what needs to be done to complete a transition, and how to accomplish those goals efficiently and accurately.

With advanced technology tools and high-touch support, the TradePMR Transitions team works with advisors to identify all of the data that they need to carry over, any missing data and forms that need to be captured, and how to tackle those goals on the RIA’s timeline.

TradePMR understands that every RIA is different – that means every transition is different. The TradePMR team works to ensure each unique team has the information and tools to accomplish their move in a way that makes sense, without derailing their business.


Why Wait?

Advisors receiving poor service from their RIA custodian should take a moment to ask themselves: when will that service get better?

If an advisor’s custodian is falling short and has laid out no plan on how they will solve those service issues, that low-level service could be here to stay.

If that’s the case, sticking with that custodian through a recession may not be the safe move – in fact, it could put that business at risk. If an advisor is forced to not only contend with a recession, but service issues as well, their clients could bear the brunt of that burden.

Making a transition is of course a time investment, but with the right support it should feel like a brief blip for the business. If an RIA finds a provider that could be a better fit in the long-term, they will likely also be a better fit in the short-term – getting strong support throughout the transition and into that relationship can make all the difference for advisors looking to navigate a recession for their clients.

Interested in learning how TradePMR’s high-touch service, technology, and dedicated Transitions team can help your RIA make a smooth move ahead of, during, or after a recession? We should talk.



1 What is a recession, and when is the next one going to begin? Isabella Simonetti and Niraj Chokshi, The New York Times, June 24th, 2022.

Written by TradePMR