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Part II: RIA custodians' answer to challenges to their monolithic control: We still have big-time scale advantages

Roll-ups and other mezzanine firms are squeezing RIA custody margins as a value proposition but the big-brand custodians -- and some new ones -- are liking the cards they have to play

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Mike Durbin: I won't be threatened until one of these folks wakes up and decides to be a custodian or a clearing firm. I don't find that to be a near- or medium-term risk.

RIA Custodians


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Mentioned in this article:

TD Ameritrade
Asset Custodian
Top Executive: Tom Nally

Scottrade Advisor Services
Asset Custodian
Top Executive: Brian Stimpfl

Nexus Strategy
Consulting Firm
Top Executive: Timothy D. Welsh

Pershing Advisor Solutions
Asset Custodian
Top Executive: Mark Tibergien

National Advisors Trust Company
Trust Company
Top Executive: James A. Combs, Jr.

Dynasty Financial Partners LLC
Specialized Breakaway Service, Mergers and Acquisition Firm, RIA Set-up Firm
Top Executive: Shirl Penney




Eric Blair

Eric Blair

November 11, 2013 — 7:47 PM

That someone at Schwab did not respond to your query while someone at Pershing did is meaningless. I have enjoyed a brief professional experience using Schwab’s platform and found it excellent as far as broker platforms go. On the other hand my experience with Pershing as a custodian can only be described as awful as far as their technology and general procedures are concerned. On the other hand the quality of their people was excellent. Pershing’s problem resides at the top, where no one is listening to the issues presented by their RIA clients, or they just don’t care. In a post diligence investigation, I only encountered RIAs who left Pershing, were leaving, or planned to leave, or wanted to leave. Each RIA cited the poor quality of Pershing’s technology and the unwillingness of the technology team to admit that their product was inferior. In comparison, Fidelity regularly interviews its clients asking for suggestions on how to improve the technology deliverable. Hubris brings everyone down to size. If Pershing itself displayed the quality and care of most of the individuals it employs, it might have a future, as long as it fixes what clearly doesn’t work.

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