Schwab Expands Resources for Advisers Considering the RIA Model

Schwab Advisor Services has published a new white paper focusing on legal and regulatory considerations for advisers looking to transition to an independent RIA business model.  

Schwab Advisor Services, a provider of custodial, operational and trading support for nearly 7,000 independent registered investment adviser (RIA) firms, has focused on legal and regulatory aspects of going independent in its latest paper, titled “Legal and Regulatory Considerations: Navigating the Transition to Independence as an RIA.  The paper is part of the Schwab Market Knowledge Tools (MKT) white paper series.

In conjunction with this paper, Schwab has added information to its Web site specifically for advisers currently working with independent broker/dealers (IBDs), which can help advisers evaluate their choices. The site hosts podcasts and Webcasts, and will include video testimonials of advisers who have made the transition to either an independent or hybrid model (see “Schwab Finds Hybrid Practices Growing in Popularity”).  

“Whether you are considering starting your own RIA, joining an existing one, or exploring a hybrid model, the transition process can seem daunting for many advisers,” said Nick Georgis, Schwab Advisor Services vice president. “These new resources offer insights into the process including how to plan and implement a transition and several time-tested procedures that have served many highly-successful advisers who have made the switch.”

The white paper, developed in conjunction with MarketCounsel, a business, regulatory, and compliance consulting firm, suggests advisers take the following steps:

  • Assess your employment situation and formulating an exit strategy.
  • Evaluate your needs, goals and objectives.
  • Choose your entity’s legal structure.
  • Protect your business from the unexpected.
  • Determine the type of licensing and registration required.
  • Prepare and file appropriate disclosure documents and form filings.
Earlier this year, Schwab Advisor Services conducted a survey and found that eight in ten advisers at broker/dealers and insurance companies say the idea of being an independent RIA is appealing (see “Independent RIA Model Appealing to Many”).