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22 June 2023

Taking the Leap: Must-Have Services for Advisors Starting Their RIA

Are you a financial advisor looking to take your practice to the next level? It’s an exciting opportunity for advisors considering breaking away from traditional wirehouses or broker-dealers to start their own registered investment advisory (RIA). As a breakaway RIA, you have the freedom to build your brand, set your investment philosophy, and provide your clients with personalized investment management and financial planning services. However, breaking away can be a complex process that requires careful planning, preparation, and the right tools to support your business.

Advisors exploring the breakaway path might be familiar with the main technology tools needed to support their new business. Whether it is choosing the custodian platform, portfolio management software, CRM, or financial planning tools, these are critical decisions to make for their business.. These tools are highlighted in our Breakaway Advisor Toolkit, where advisors can find the right solutions that fit their practice and guidance on how to evaluate and make those decisions. However, beyond the technology platform building blocks, advisors might need to look for some key services and offerings that can significantly affect the breakaway process. Some of the primary items to look for are:

  • Implementation Process - The implementation team(s) can make all the difference in how smoothly the process goes during the go-live period. It can be daunting, from ensuring you get access to and extract the correct data from your old systems to guiding you through the many decisions to get your firm running on your new technology. It’s critical to have a team with many specialized resources led by one central quarterback to work directly with you while providing best practices and insight along the way.
  • Moving Annuities - One of the biggest choices advisors must make when leaving a wirehouse is how to handle any annuities in their book for their current clients. Do they maintain their license and affiliate with a broker-dealer, or do they transition to a full-fee-only model and drop their insurance licenses? Often this is a difficult choice between losing potential revenue or taking on a significant operational burden. Fortunately, there are new solutions to simplify this problem, including the Breakaway Accelerator Program from SS&C Advent. This solution allows an advisor to bring their client’s annuities with them when leaving the wirehouse without the same operational overhead. The solution enables the advisor to deliver the best experience for their clients while still having the option to get compensated for providing their advisory services on those assets for their clients.
  • Investment Proposal & Transition Service - Lastly, advisors need to consider how they access the same level of institutional investment solutions, research, and models for their clients when they breakaway. At SS&C, we've developed and fully integrated SS&C Rendezvous into the SS&C Black Diamond® Wealth Platform. Rendezvous provides advisors with institutional-level proposal generation and model allocation tools, along with the expertise and support of the SS&C ALPS Advisors’ investment services team, to assist advisors in generating the best outcomes available for their clients. Check out SS&C Rendezvous for more information on how they can help advisors access these institutional-level resources and deliver better outcomes.

Starting your own RIA firm requires careful planning, preparation, and the right tools to support your business. There are indeed many decisions RIA advisors need to make to be successful in a transition. Still, some of these less thought-of services and offerings can significantly impact making that experience better.

Make sure to check out the Breakaway Advisors toolkit for more information on how to build your independent RIA. Then, for more information on how SS&C can support the unique needs of your business, request your personal demo, call 1-800-727-0605, or email