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What to Consider When Moving RIAs

  • March 22, 2024

You are thinking about a move, which is no small decision. The options can feel both promising and daunting. One of the most crucial aspects demanding your attention is the intricate interplay of fees, values, and support structures offered by each potential RIA partner. In this pivotal decision-making process, you are tasked with evaluating not just the financial implications but also the broader implications for your practice, your clients, and your professional growth.

Don’t miss a detail in this important decision. Here are the fundamental factors that will shape your experience and success as a financial advisor.

1. Fee Structure

Assess the fee model of the new RIA, including whether it’s based on AUM, flat fees, or a combination. Consider how the fee structure impacts your revenue and client relationships.

2. Value Proposition

Evaluate the unique value proposition of the RIA, including its investment philosophy, service offerings, technology solutions, and client support.

3. Compliance and Regulatory Environment

Understand the RIA’s compliance standards, regulatory framework, and risk management practices to ensure alignment with industry regulations and client expectations.

4. Culture and Philosophy

Consider the cultural fit and philosophical alignment with the RIA’s mission, vision, and values. Assess whether the RIA fosters a collaborative and supportive environment for advisors and clients.

5. Technology and Innovation

Assess the RIA’s technology infrastructure, digital tools, and investment platforms to support efficient operations, client engagement, and portfolio management.

6. Transition Support

Evaluate the level of support and resources provided by the RIA during the transition process, including client onboarding, data migration, compliance assistance, and training programs.

7. Brand Reputation and Track Record

Research the RIA’s brand reputation, industry recognition, track record of performance, and client satisfaction ratings to gauge credibility and trustworthiness.

8. Advisor Independence and Autonomy

Determine the degree of independence and autonomy offered to advisors within the RIA, including flexibility in investment strategies, client relationships, and business development initiatives.

9. Succession Planning and Growth Opportunities

Consider the RIA’s succession planning strategy, growth trajectory, and opportunities for professional development, leadership roles, and partnership arrangements.

10. Client Experience and Relationship Management

Evaluate the RIA’s client service model, communication channels, and relationship management practices to ensure continuity and enhance the client experience.

11. Financial Considerations

Analyze the financial implications of the move, including potential costs, revenue projections, profit-sharing arrangements, and incentives offered by the RIA.

12. Legal and Contractual Obligations

Review legal agreements, contractual terms, non-compete clauses, and regulatory requirements associated with the transition to ensure compliance and mitigate risks.

13. Peer Recommendations and Industry Insights

Seek advice and insights from peers, industry associations, and professional networks to gather feedback, best practices, and lessons learned from similar transitions.

14. Long-Term Vision and Alignment

Assess the RIA’s long-term strategic vision, growth objectives, and alignment with your professional aspirations, career goals, and client-centric philosophy.


In the pursuit of your next chapter as a financial advisor, the decision to align with a new RIA holds profound implications for your career trajectory and client relationships. As you reflect on the myriad considerations outlined above, remember that your choice extends beyond mere financial metrics—it encapsulates your values, aspirations, and commitment to excellence. By prioritizing alignment, transparency, and partnership, you’re poised to embark on a transformative journey that not only elevates your practice but also enriches your professional fulfillment. Trust in your discernment, leverage the insights gleaned from peers and industry experts, and envision the future that resonates most profoundly with your vision. Your journey toward unparalleled success begins with a deliberate choice—one rooted in clarity, conviction, and unwavering dedication to your craft.