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Financial industry news and events for RIAs.

3 min read

Best Practice for RIAs Adding a New Custodial Service Provider: Explore Before Buying More

May 17, 2022 2:07:23 PM

Technologies like TradePMR’s Fusion platform may offer more capabilities than RIAs realize

RIAs looking to build a tech stack face a big challenge: where to begin?

If you were to look at the Financial AdvisorTech Solution Map published by Michael Kitces at Nerd’s Eye View, your head will probably start to spin. Not only are you met with hundreds of different providers – those providers are broken down into more than 30 different categories of platforms.

Does that mean RIAs need to maintain relationships with 30 distinct vendors to leverage a full tech stack? How can RIAs tell where these platforms intersect, or what could be the best fit for their business?

With so much flashy technology in our industry, its important that RIAs take a step back before adding new vendors to evaluate what they really need to run their business. To accomplish this task, we recommend RIAs start by evaluating the technology you currently have access to from your custodial services provider.

New Custodial Service Provider? Time to take stock.

If you’ve recently transitioned custodial service providers or are considering switching or adding a new provider to your roster, we recommend you take some time to figure out all the solutions that provider makes available.


While evaluating prospective providers, you’ve likely taken a couple demos and seen the major parts of the platform. But even with some demos under your belt, you likely haven’t seen everything the provider has to offer.

Those features that you may be unaware of could provide some major benefits to your business. In fact, they may satisfy the needs you’d otherwise look to meet with another third-party vendor.

While its tempting to try and build the full tech stack all at once, we recommend you take a step back. Before signing any more contracts, see how your business can operate using your custodial service provider’s technology and dive into what capabilities they offer that you may not have seen in your first few demos.

Once you have a better handle on what you currently have access to - and what your team truly needs to effectively serve your clients - you’ll have a much easier time figuring out what technologies your RIA could be missing.

Identify Your Provider’s Upcoming Features.

Beyond what’s available today, spend time with your custodial service provider to uncover what’s coming soon to their platform. We recommend you speak with your provider and ask what features are coming up in their technology roadmap. Also, keep a close eye on the provider’s emails and make sure to attend their events – these are where the provider could showcase some of those new features in the pipeline.

These interactions with your provider are also a great time to talk about your firm’s needs, and the challenges you’re looking to solve. If you’re looking for advanced risk assessment software, you may be surprised to find that your provider has an integration in the works, or a comparable offering currently available.

At TradePMR, these conversations also help us to build out our product roadmap. Of course, we have large projects that we tackle on longer-term time horizons, but we aim to also be nimble and adjust our offering to meet the needs of RIAs in real time.

The feedback we receive from advisors helps mold our offering and can have an immediate impact on our Fusion technology.

Waste Not Want Not.

For RIAs looking to grow, the last thing you need is an unnecessary business expense. Before adding new third-party vendors, take the time to fully evaluate what your current provider offers and how they plan on expanding their platform in the future.

Third-party vendors may look to lock RIAs into a longer-term contract that could require a significant investment from your business. Your custodial service provider should offer a broad range of solutions for your firm and could check many of the boxes you are looking to fill.

If you’d be interested in seeing how a flexible custodial service provider like TradePMR could benefit your business, we should talk.



1 Financial AdvisorTech Solutions MapNerd’s Eye View by Michael Kitces. Published April 2022.

Written by TradePMR