How A Large, Fast-Growing RIA Solved Its Operations Challenges

Published May 13, 2021

$500 million AUM is a notable achievement for an RIA firm, and Krieger Advisors had every right to celebrate when they hit that milestone in late 2019. Stephen Krieger and his partner, Carol Raimes, both advisors who formerly worked for an independent broker-dealer, started their RIA only two years earlier. The growth they had experienced since was quite extraordinary.

However, Stephen and Carol were not in a celebratory mood. Oh, they were pleased with their firm's growth, which confirmed their decision to invest in the company by adding several new top advisors once they opened their doors. But the operational limitations of their practice were becoming increasingly evident and a hindrance to future growth.

Specifically, senior managers were spending too much time on operations and too little time on essential client service and business development activities. The missed opportunity cost for the firm and its most talented producers were mounting.

Krieger Advisors hired associates to help carry many of the operational burdens, mainly trading and billing. But some lacked the experience to effectively manage these activities in bulk, confirming that in-house staffing wasn’t proving to be the most cost-effective solution.

They needed to tackle these problems head-on and believed an outsourced solution with the right TAMP would be the answer. The critical point here is, they needed to find the right partner that fit their firm's wealth management philosophy and compliance needs.

Because of Krieger Advisors' size and rapid growth, it had received several solicitations from TAMPs vying for its business. But one firm in particular – GeoWealth – appeared to have an intuitive understanding of the challenges the firm was experiencing. More importantly, Stephen and Carol were impressed with the technology solutions GeoWealth proposed, their team approach, and the dedicated account representative they would be assigned.

Once the contract was finalized and the transition was completed, GeoWealth assumed responsibility for trading and rebalancing the Krieger Advisors' model portfolios. This lifted a heavy load off the shoulders of the firms' producers, meaning focus could be put towards growing the firm.

Stephen and Carol quickly realized that GeoWealth operated as an extension of Krieger's back office, managing activities like monthly billing and quarterly performance reporting with the highest level of attention and white-glove approach to servicing clients.

GeoWealth even uncovered a compliance gap that needed attention and introduced Stephen and Carol to an experienced consultant who ultimately solved the challenge.

If this level of support for an RIA by a TAMP seems unique in the industry, it is. Many TAMPs outsource their technology to third-party providers, which inherently creates an arms-length relationship with the client. Because GeoWealth develops its software solutions, it offers flexibility and nimbleness that many other TAMP providers cannot.

The GeoWealth partnership has proven to be a godsend for Krieger Advisors. Top producers are now free to concentrate solely on developing new client relationships, accelerating the firm's history of growth. Krieger has also found cost efficiencies with its outsourced solution compared to its previous attempts with in-house personnel. Now, the $500 million AUM is a number in Stephen and Carol's rear-view mirror as they set their sights on that lofty $1 billion target!

Give us a call at 313-219-9160 if you are encountering operational challenges like Krieger Advisors. We can schedule a live walk through of the platform and discuss how our solutions may help 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.
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