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After cutting loose its RIA chief, Scottrade is culling some RIAs and imposing an 'unpublished' $12,000 fee on others

Brian Davis is gone and the St. Louis firm is dealing with an unwelcome P&L effect after open invitations to all RIAs of all sizes produced more expenses than revenues

Author Lisa Shidler August 1, 2014 at 6:26 AM
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Matt Wilson has replaced Brian Davis as head of Scottrade's custodian and is presiding over its acute strategy shift.

RIA Custodians



August 3, 2014 — 9:32 AM

A few years ago brokersXpress closed it’s doors and I was forced to find a new B/D. I was fortunate enough to find MoneyBlock. They service independent RIA’s, do not have asset minimums, or annual fees. Secondly, you can manage your entire business from their platform without having to log into multiple systems. Take a look at their site- www.moneyblock.com.

Mark Kruse

Mark Kruse

August 5, 2014 — 3:26 PM

While the $7mm AUM min has been stated by Scottrade, the scheduling of this change and their approach towards implementing it is same as all their custodian/advisor interaction: considerate, accommodating and professional.

Brooke Southall

Brooke Southall

August 5, 2014 — 4:56 PM


I hear that consistently about Scottrade. They seem to have those qualities down.


Rick Johnson

Rick Johnson

August 5, 2014 — 6:15 PM

Why on earth would you ever want to use a firm like Scottrade that is unproven and trying to break into the RIA business when a large established player like Schwab exists?

If you don’t have the $10,000,000 to $15,000,000 in AUM, then affiliate with a hybrid until you do.

Brooke Southall

Brooke Southall

August 5, 2014 — 6:35 PM


I have no horse in the race but I’m not sure Scottrade is “unproven”. Also, my understanding is that even small advisors get a dedicated service person at Scottrade — something you’re not likely to get with a big custodian.

By joining a hybrid do you mean being a hybrid under an IBD? That doesn’t seem like a perfect substitute for being an RIA under a custodian.

Am I missing something?


Craig Morningstar

Craig Morningstar

August 11, 2014 — 9:36 PM

For most advisors, it is our profession, business and livelihood. For a few advisors it is a hobby. For hobbyists with static asset levels below $10 million, it is difficult to find competitive custodian solutions.

For advisors working full-time in the industry, making it their livelihood, being a solo RIA firms with less than $50 million in AUM has its unique challenges and inherent disadvantages.

Being a solo advisor at your own RIA is a choice, however, it is not the only option. Consistently we have seen advisors join a larger firm and benefit in many ways, all to the clients’ and advisor’s advantage. For an advisor to be solo, it is making the choice to have lower revenues, lower profits and lower job satisfaction. For those who have only been solo, they would and do disagree, because of limited points of reference.

ScottTrade changing the rules of the game is a perfect example of the business disruption small firms are susceptible to. More importantly, as the RIA industry evolves and matures, the rules of the game will continue to change for firms of all sizes, and there will just be more negative impact felt by smaller firms.

Solo advisors and small firms have a choice, continue to be solo and small, or join a firm that offers the flexibility to run an autonomous practice, and realize the benefits of economies of scale. Dynamic Wealth Advisors is just such a firm.

Marc S.

Marc S.

October 20, 2014 — 5:58 AM

If you look at Scottrades business model it really appears to be closing its doors one way or another. Either by edging out RIAs, clients, or employees. Many people believe that with the hiring of Matt Wilson the company was being groomed to be acquired by TD Ameritrade. If this is not the case it’s possible that this under qualified individual is ruining this company, was he a negotiated time bomb for Scottrade? It does not look like TD or Schwab for that matter made any effort to keep him around and his former associates didn’t speak too highly of him. Was this just another disappointment of a decision by Rodger Riney?
I find too much risk in trying to do business with Scottrade as their only commitment is that to their disclosure that they can change anything at anytime without notice. Both Schwab and Fidelity offer a far better platform ,and the risk of my accounts becoming TD Ameritrade accounts due to a change in the direction of the wind(yes Scottrade blows), I’m not sticking around to save a few cents on each trade.

Un-Marked Grave

Un-Marked Grave

November 1, 2014 — 8:33 PM

Well, Matt Wilson has officially been relieved of his duties at Scottrade. May he find some piece as a Maytag Man again. Your strategy in disrupting business and other peoples lives as you try to convince people you have the slightest know how or experience to manage any aspect of the company failed.

Good riddance

From all of us!!



May 29, 2015 — 2:49 PM

Really….I was saying this since 2009….

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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

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