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Financial industry news and events for RIAs.

3 min read

RIA-Centric 100% of the Time – Why TradePMR Has No Retail Channel

Sep 16, 2022 9:38:16 AM

Is your RIA custodian completely focused on your needs?

Question: does your current RIA custodian compete against your firm for new clients? Here’s a hint – if they are serving individual investors or have a retail channel the answer is probably yes.

Many large corporations operate a wide range of business lines. But, what if having multiple business lines could actually harm a firm’s customers? What if these business lines competed with each other, negatively impacting the company’s clients?

The Retail Channel for RIA Custodians – Conflict of Interest?

Some of the largest RIA custodians in the industry not only serve registered investment advisors, but they also work with individual investors.

How do they balance focusing on these two groups? Well, it can be tricky.

These firms need to roll out offerings that can entice both RIAs as well as individual investors to look into their services.

RIAs may be interested in new technology advancements to streamline their practice management or expanded RIA trading capabilities to broaden their approach to portfolio management. On the other hand, individual investors could be interested in flashy offerings like online investment platforms or “zero-fee” trading.

The provider’s team is forced to divide their time between developing services for financial advisors and individual investors. A split-focus that could ultimately constrict innovation, leaving RIAs with an offering that may or may not make sense for their unique business.

Who Gets the Client? A Mad Dash for Business

When looking to add new retail clients, RIA custodians could be actively working against the best interest of RIAs.

Consider a RIA who has been speaking with a prospect for a few months. They’ve been discussing the investor’s unique needs, goals, and opportunities. The advisor feels that they are about to win over the investor as a client, when all of a sudden the opportunity slips away – the prospect signs on with the advisor’s custodial service provider as a retail client.

Did someone say “awkward?”

Perhaps it was a cheaper offering for the investor than working with the RIA. Or maybe they just got hit with an aggressive marketing campaign, seeing the custodian’s ads on TV and billboards all over town. Either way, the RIA loses out on a big opportunity, with business taken out of their hands by their trusted provider.


TradePMR’s Approach to Custodial Services

TradePMR was founded following an experience Robb Baldwin had as a RIA. Back in the 90’s, Robb was running his own registered investment advisory firm – he was growing fast and loving the freedom of the independent model.

Everything was going great until his custodian was acquired by another provider. He was promised a smooth transition but was let down. During the merger, accounts seemingly vanished, and monies were transferred incorrectly. Robb wasn’t able to get the answers he needed from his custodian, and ultimately his clients paid the price.

That poor service led Robb to a difficult conclusion: big-name custodial service providers may not understand the unique needs and challenges facing RIAs. He didn’t feel that his provider understood what his firm and his clients needed day-in and day-out. That’s when he set out to launch TradePMR.



Since its foundation more than two decades ago, TradePMR has been 100% focused on providing RIAs with technology and support designed to help them grow and succeed.

The firm has no retail offering or other conflicting business lines – only an experienced team of technology and service specialists focused on supporting RIAs, every day.

TradePMR believes that growth-oriented RIAs should expect competition. However, they don’t deserve competition from their own custodial service provider.

Are You Ready for a Provider 100% Focused on Your Needs?

If you feel like your RIA could benefit from a provider that is dedicated to serving RIAs every day, we should talk.

We can dive into your unique business, your goals, and if TradePMR could be the right provider for your team.



Written by TradePMR