RIA custodians may be stealing IBD business.
RIA custodians like Schwab and TD Ameritrade may be stealing business away from the IBDs. According to a report by Cerulli Associates, 76 percent of dually-registered advisors' assets were held as fee assets under their own RIA in 2011, up from 72 percent in 2010, while only 12 percent of their assets were held under their b/d's RIA, down from 16 percent in 2010. In total, IBDs hold about $70 billion in RIA assets that could be lost to custodians, Cerulli estimates. Some large IBDs are ahead of the game. LPL Financial and Raymond James have their own RIA custodial units. Firms that “can provide one environment where you have your aggregated statements, one portal where you can access both the broker/dealer side and the RIA,” will make the advisor's life a little bit easier, said Tyler Cloherty, senior analyst at Cerulli. Small and mid-sized firms that don't have the scale or resources to offer a custody platform should consider catering to a niche to stay competitive and hold onto assets, he said.