The wealth management industry is evolving – clients are becoming more sophisticated, have complex demands, desire transparency, as well as holistic wealth and investment advice. This has led to the rise of the ‘independent’ advisor industry and in turn, the RIA (registered investment advisor) channel, where entrepreneurial advisors are looking to make this shift to a fee-based independent model to gain more autonomy, access to a broader spectrum of investment products and wealth services, and provide a transparent compensation structure.
Along with every benefit comes associated challenges. While advisors appreciate greater control and flexibility, this also entails taking on additional responsibility, including increased regulatory scrutiny, compliance oversight, additional resource costs as well as administrative tasks associated with managing your own business. Additionally, clients are demanding more ‘solutions’ (to meet their unique situation) over ‘products’ (to beat a market benchmark), and this is forcing advisors to go above and beyond in meeting client needs and requirements.
All these factors are causing advisors to gravitate towards a ‘hybrid’ model, which helps them meet the complex needs of their clients, who are demanding more comprehensive solutions along with more transparency and trust by running a fee-based business for their overall portfolio.