News, Vision & Voice for the Advisory Community
New faces, new programs, new technology and new assets
December 31, 2009 — 4:23 AM UTC by Brooke Southall
As assets leave wirehouses and banks, they end up under the aegis of registered investment advisors in towns and cities across the United States.
But those assets also pool in the hands of a very short list of asset custodians, mostly in San Francisco, Jersey City, N.J., and Boston, Mass.
Schwab Advisor Services is in San Francisco. Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services, State Street and RBC Advisor Services are headquartered in Boston. Pershing LLC , TD Ameritrade Institutional and Broadcort Advisor [Merrill Lynch’s RIA custody unit] call Jersey City home.
These custodians have traditionally evolved at a slow pace. The rate of growth has been high but the absolute flow of assets was more nominal, which had a moderating effect on the amount of money parent companies invested in those units.
That picture is starting to change, as both brokers and clients retreat from wirehouses and bring hundreds of billions of assets with them. Many of those assets are destined for independent RIAs.
Many asset custodians are beginning to act with greater resolve to seize on this favorable trend. One result is that 2010 promises to be year of noticeable evolution at virtually all of the custodians.
In a soon-to-be-published article RIABiz will chart the Outlook and challenges of all the more significant and identifiable asset custodians. Who are the people to watch? What technology will come online? What niches will be claimed by whom? Who is winning with breakaways? Who is winning with hybrids? Who is winning big RIAs? Who best serves smaller RIAs?
The custodians I’ve reached so far are excited to participate in this article and I have, for instance, plans to speak to Mike Durbin at Fidelity and Tom Bradley at TD Ameritrade.
I am writing this article today to encourage other RIA custody execs to participate and for advisors to send along thoughts about what challenges that they see facing these custodians.
If the strategic circumstances surrounding asset custodians stay dynamic, I will update this report semi-annually.
Other asset custodians I also plan to report on include: Scottrade Advisor Services of St. Louis, Trust Company of America of Denver, Shareholders Service Group of San Diego, Raymond James of St. Petersburg, Fla. and LPL Financial of Boston and San Diego.
Please send your thoughts to me at Brooke@RIABiz.com
No people referenced
Fidelity | Schwab | Merrill Lynch | TD Ameritrade | Raymond James | Scottrade | LPL | State Street | RBC Advisor Services | Broadcort | Shareholders Service Group | Trust Company of America | Asset Custody Project
Mentioned in this article:
Top Executive: Tom Nally
Raymond James Financial Inc.
Top Executive: Bill Van Law
Scottrade Advisor Services
Top Executive: Brian Stimpfl
Top Executive: Bill Morrissey
State Street Wealth Manager Services
Top Executive: Marty Sullivan
RBC Advisor Services
Specialized Breakaway Service
Top Executive: Brett Thorne
Top Executive: John Tyers
Shareholders Service Group Inc.
Top Executive: Peter Mangan
Trust Company of America
Top Executive: David Barry
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