Keeping pace with advisors means changes for custodians: The magic in the middle


by Jon Beatty, Chief Operating Officer, Advisor Services

What Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) need from their custodial partners has been on the rise for some time now. It’s really no surprise, though. Their businesses have exploded — in a good way — as they’ve continued to broaden how they serve – many are trusted life managers today as much as they are financial advisors, and the profession continue to evolve.

High net worth clients have more complex and diverse wealth management needs than ever before. This, along with the incredible growth and maturity of the RIA industry, has translated into more sophistication, more complexity and increased specialization for RIAs, who now have firms as diverse as the clients they serve.

While each firm is unique, they share a lot when it comes to expectations of their custodians, including the need for security they can depend on, technology that can scale like they do, and service that is adaptable and efficient – just like they are.

Advisors need more and that’s exactly what we’re going to give them.

Schwab executive Jon Beatty on stage at IMPACT 2019.

We are on a multi-year, multi-layered journey to deliver a more modern approach to supporting advisors. We will support advisors in a simple, scalable way with a secure digital experience and deep expertise to back it up. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work anywhere in our world today, and that’s true for our advisors clients too.

Modern technology is shaping the foundation of this streamlined approach, and it will mean work is processed faster and more accurately, in a more secure environment.

We know technology is a great enabler. To make it dance, though, it must be partnered with dedicated service and relationship professionals who can dive deep into specific client needs. So we are organizing our teams and our resources to meet our advisors where they are, which will only help them move forward.

It’s a combination of digitization, specialization and the evolution of our service model – and the magic is in the middle. It’s the multiplier effect at the intersection of all three elements that will deliver the experience advisors need as the profession continues to grow and evolve.

What we love most – all of this change will be powered by the same people our RIA clients have counted on for decades to help them serve clients. And, using technology in new ways frees our teams up to be even more consultative to our clients.

Changing now sets us up for a growth-filled future, and the benefits to RIAs and their clients include:

  • Enhanced security
  • Reduced risk of fraud
  • Valuable time saved
  • Reduced operational overhead

We are excited about this journey, which is well-underway. Our strategy is always built for and informed by our clients.

The bottom line is this – we are evolving today for better outcomes tomorrow. Our experience in this industry has helped us understand the unique needs of advisor firms at every step of their journey. It’s that perspective coupled with the relationships we have with advisors of all sizes that allows us to see where this industry is headed. And we like the view.