Fidelity Offers Guidance for Advisers Going Independent

Fidelity has launched a program, “Options for Independence,” to help breakaway brokers understand the range of options available to them when going independent. 

Fidelity created the program to address the needs of the growing number of advisers who are deciding to launch an independent registered investment adviser (RIA) or independent broker/dealer firm or to join an existing firm.   

The program consists of an enhanced client service model to further strengthen and streamline the support of independent firms that conduct commission- and fee-based business at Fidelity. The model features a dedicated client-experience leader who will work with advisers to help address each client’s distinct end-to-end service and processing needs.

Complementing the client service model are four educational resources, which cover such topics as:

  • A white paper, “Options for Independence:  The Evolving Landscape”: Provides brokers in-depth analyses of the different independent models as well as the business and economic considerations, such as being a business owner versus an employee. The white paper also identifies best practices to consider when making the transition, including the importance of retaining legal support and identifying a custodian.
  • Business model consultation: Offers a high-level overview of different independent models, as well as questions that brokers should ask themselves when considering independence.  It also provides an overview of how Fidelity works with breakaway brokers to help understand the range of factors that may affect their ultimate decision.
  • Considerations before joining a firm: Identifies eight different factors for brokers to consider before joining an established RIA or independent broker/dealer, such as assessing the cultural fit and gauging the deal structure.
  • Considerations before becoming an RIA: Identifies 12 different factors for brokers to consider before starting an RIA, such as understanding the financial implications of establishing a firm and building a brand.