RIA Rising

Fidelity Joins Schwab on NFP's Hybrid-Friendly Platform

Dually registered advisors hold just 24 percent of their assets at their broker/dealer, a recent Cerulli Associates report said. IBDs, eager to keep hybrid and RIA assets on board, are looking for ways to broaden their service offerings.

Today NFP Advisor Services Group, with $10 billion in assets and 1,700 advisors, said that it’s expanding its IndeSuite platform to include Fidelity Investment’s institutional arm, National Financial Services. Fidelity joins Charles Schwab, which also offers custodian services on the platform.

Among other things, it means hybrids can perform commission and fee-based business on a single workstation and get the results on a single brokerage statement. In addition to clearing trades, National Financial will also do custody service on the platform. NFP launched the platform last year.

Integrated tech platforms can be major time-savers for advisors, and time means money—fully integrated systems can optimize efficiency by an additional half-day per staffer per week, according to an Aite Group report commissioned by NFP. And hybrids are the fastest growing segment of all advisor channels; Cerulli sees a six-year compound annual growth rate of nearly 18 percent.

Advisor Services Group President James Poer declined to say how many of his advisors were dually registered, but said the firm wants to serve the RIA and hybrid market in a broader way.

“There’s no one type of advisor. People want to serve their clients in different ways,” he said.

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