New RIAConnect platform makes it easy — and free — for independent RIAs to explore potential deals and find top talent through a virtual community
Even before travel and face-to-face meetings were shut down by the global pandemic, forming strategic business relationships could be a challenge. But what if advisors could make introductions with other advisors throughout the United States — anonymously, virtually and at no cost – from the comfort and safety of their home offices?
Now, they can. TD Ameritrade Institutional has introduced RIAConnect®, a new technology tool that makes it easier for independent registered investment advisors (“RIAs”) to make the kind of people connections that can help them pursue their strategic goals.
RIAConnect is designed to facilitate virtual introductions between potential acquirers and firms exploring a sale or a merger. It can aid firms looking to implement succession or contingency plans. Additionally, it connects firms that want to hire next-generation talent with graduates and career-changers looking to join an advisory firm.
RIAConnect provides all these services — at no cost — exclusively to clients of TD Ameritrade Institutional. Clients have seamless access to RIAConnect through Veo One®, TD Ameritrade Institutional’s advanced custody and brokerage platform.
“Advisors are looking for a safe, secure, virtual community that can help them scale and pursue their strategic goals,” said Scott Collins, Managing Director of Sales Consulting at TD Ameritrade Institutional. “RIAConnect can help advisors find top talent and acquisitions that can fuel growth and better position their firms for the future. It’s not just about making deals: it’s about making connections that can lead to bigger and better things.”
A Next Generation Talent Solution
Meanwhile, the RIA industry faces a talent shortage as a wave of retirements is expected to outpace the numbers of young professionals joining RIA firms. Advisors tell TD Ameritrade that though they’re eager to add next generation talent, they don’t always know where to look. RIAConnect offers an effective way to search for high-performing talent by connecting firms with recent graduates and career changers.
Likewise, young professionals, career-changers and financial planning students now have a greater opportunity to connect with advisors and explore job opportunities. Though RIAConnect® NextGen, RIAs can search for potential interns and full- or part-time employees, screening by years of work experience, professional designations, where they’re located, and their field of study. Advisors will be able to reach out and start the conversation directly through the RIAConnect platform.
“RIAConnect NextGen will foster a virtual community that can facilitate connections with the future leaders of the financial planning profession,” said Kate Healy, Managing Director of Generation Next at TD Ameritrade Institutional. “We can use technology to help our clients find and recruit top talent from our nation’s colleges and universities, increase diversity in the profession, and address succession planning – all of which is essential to helping RIAs compete and thrive for years to come.”
Making it Easier to Find a Match, Virtually
Several industry trends underscore the market’s need for RIAConnect.
Advisory firm M&A activity has been red hot in recent years, surging 60 percent to a record high in 2019. At the same time, more potential breakaways are exploring paths to independence that do not require starting their own business: 19 percent of potential breakaways say they are open to joining an existing RIA firm compared to 9 percent just six months ago.
Yet reliance on traditional one-on-one introductions can make it challenging to meet compatible individuals or firms. RIAConnect would help facilitate introductions between buyers and sellers, who can virtually discuss strategic goals and explore combinations, as well as connect firms with more job candidates.
Through the platform. RIAs can create profiles that include geographical location, investment philosophy, value proposition, professional goals and objectives. RIAConnect uses these criteria to suggest firms or individuals that may be a good match. Advisors then can message other advisors or next gen candidates — directly, anonymously and secure — revealing their identity only when they choose.
To learn more about RIAConnect, TD Ameritrade Institutional clients can call their Relationship Manager or go directly to Veo One. Other advisors can call us at (800) 934-6124.