Web Forum Launches to Help Break-Away Advisers

A group of technology providers to the independent financial advisory industry banded together to launch the Independent Advisor Technology Forum (IATF).

The forum, at www.iatechforum.com, aims to help newly independent financial advisers set up their businesses, according to a news release.

According to the IATF, news reports and industry data suggest that thousands of former financial advisers associated with Wall Street firms have left or are leaving their firms in the wake of this year’s financial turmoil and are forming their own, independent financial advisory firms (see “Competition for Advisers Heats Up’). They will be joining the ranks of more than 18,000 established registered investment advisers (RIAs), who serve high-net-worth investors across the U.S., IATF said.

One key aspect of going independent is the requirement for newly independent financial advisers to purchase the software, hardware, and other technology components to complete their back office. According to a recent survey by Schwab Institutional, a custodian to independent RIAs, 51% of advisers who recently turned independent said that choosing technology for their new practice was one of their biggest challenges (see “RIAs Don’t Regret Going Independent’).

To address this key concern, IATF said it will facilitate interaction among independent advisers to exchange ideas on setting up their businesses. It will also feature various workshops and online webinars aimed to assist advisers in developing their own independent business models. Content will include:

  • educational articles and white papers
  • blog with industry expertise authored by technology consultants and professionals
  • technology evaluations
  • requirements worksheets
  • best practices for independent financial advisers.

Charter members of IATF are:

  • Laserfiche—document management;
  • Junxure—CRM and office management;
  • Black Diamond Performance Reporting—portfolio accounting and performance reporting;
  • IPS AdvisorPro—investment policy statements and asset allocation;
  • Laser App- Software provider—combines form filling technology with a library of industry-related forms;
  • Nexus Strategy, LLC—strategic, technology, and marketing consulting.

More information is available at www.iatechforum.com.