Published April 15, 2021
The executive leadership team at Acme Wealth Management knew they had a problem. More like several problems. Since launching its RIA as a single small office in 2012, the firm had enjoyed a remarkable run of success and now boasted a lofty $1 billion in AUM, multiple offices throughout the Midwest, and a growing team of 28 independent advisors.
But the pace of growth had stalled, and the RIA's once collegial and energized team of advisors began to voice displeasure over a variety of concerns which they believed were directly impacting their ability to provide the service their clients expected. All those criticisms pointed in a single direction toward the TAMP that Acme Wealth Management had selected at the outset.
The partners recognized that while their legacy TAMP served their needs adequately when they first opened their doors, so much had changed in the ensuing years, and their TAMP had not kept up with solutions to address those changes.
To exacerbate the problem, the TAMP did not appear to be able to address the RIA's most critical issues. Specifically:
- The TAMP’s technology was not just showing its age, it was completely outdated. By failing to make continual investments in modernizing the user interface and workflows, advisors had to wrestle with legacy technologies that did not work well. For example, clients did not even have a portal where they could view statements, holdings, or performance.
- The underlying technologies the TAMP used to power the platform were rented, not owned. Outsourcing technology is an inherent flaw that many TAMPs cannot overcome. When enhancements are needed, they have little control in persuading their technology vendor to make those changes. For Acme Wealth Management, this made the platform inflexible, overly expensive, and incapable of keeping up with the growth of the firm's asset base.
- As frustrations increased among the firm's management team and IARs, service and support from the TAMP declined. Operational issues related to trading, custodial requests, client onboarding, reporting, and a host of other back office functions received scant attention from the TAMP's staff. Not only were the firm's advisors becoming restless, but their clients were as well.
The firm's once-glowing reputation, which had helped attract so many new advisors, was losing its sheen. The firm knew they needed to quickly transition to modern platform to better address advisor onboarding and to provide centralized oversight.
After conducting an extensive search and evaluation of the most advanced TAMPs serving advisors today, the senior management team selected GeoWealth as their new platform partner. In the discovery process, GeoWealth exhibited particular strength and experience in four areas:
- Flexible, tiered pricing to align with the firm's current size and provide cost efficiencies with future growth.
- Modern, proprietary technology makes processing efficient and reliable so the firm could operate with a leaner in-house staff.
- White-labeling capabilities means GeoWealth’s data-rich advisor and client portals were now available, including a mobile app for clients on the go.
- High-touch service model to respond quickly and attentively to advisors and their end clients’ questions and needs.
The management team and the investment advisors at Acme Wealth Management experienced a few surprises in changing to the GeoWealth platform. First, the transition process was much easier than anticipated, primarily due to the dedicated support team GeoWealth assigned to support Acme Wealth Management through the entire process. Second, while management expected to realize cost savings by moving to GeoWealth, they were surprised and delighted to reduce their TAMP costs by 50%.
If the challenges we have discussed here sound familiar, give us a call at 312-219-9160 to discuss how the solutions we provided this fast-growing RIA could also benefit you.
This case study is provided for illustrative purposes only and is meant to provide an example of GeoWealth’s process and methodology. There can be no assurance that GeoWealth will be able to achieve similar results in comparable situations. No portion of this case study is to be interpreted as a testimonial or endorsement of GeoWealth’s investment advisory services.