Going Indy b/d selection question
I was originally a AGE advisor and have been through the transformation now to WFA. I am planning to go independent and am looking at sticking with First Clearing for my custodial services and platforms so that I don't have to go through the process of moving client accounts and getting used to a new system, but don't want to go with Wells Fargo Financial Network. I am looking to affiliate with a small RIA, but they don't have a B/D. Does anyone know if First Clearing will act as my Broker Dealer in this situation? Also, if I stick with FCC will I be able to offer 3rd party managed products as well?
There are indy Bds that clear through WF/FCC that can do more than what you have right now. However look at the big picture. What else would you like to do/offer your clients?Other clearing firms and BDs have other advantages and disadvantages. Look at your book and goals and see what else you need and depending on your region the WF name can be good or a hinderance. In the SE it is associated with Wachovia and is sometimes a problem however on the west coast it may be a benefit. Also talk to your close cleints and ask them their opinion. Think Longterm!
There will probably be a fee to your clients for transfering because the transfer will be between the broker dealer and not clearing firm. You may want to check this out. As far as third party products, there is so much out there that you can probably find what you want. Congrats on the move to indy, it will be so much better for you and your clients.
I may have misread your question. I have found the ease of clearing is extremely important. I have tried a couple and am very happy with what I have now. Look at the obvious, like ticket charges, cancel and corrects etc. The most important to me was ease of use and technology. I'd recommend being able to open accounts real time, online and not have to rely on fax or mail. Look for something you can open the account, do a trade and get the signatures on paperwork afterwards. This will enable you to open a new account over the phone and place a trade before the client signs the paper work.
Thanks for the help. I did actually get a call back from fcc and was told that i could not use them as my b/d to hold my licenses and as long as i went anywhere other than FiNet, I would have to repaper the accounts anyway (which I was trying to avoid). I would get to keep my platform and the processes that I am used to now, get to use 3rd party money managers of my choice through their network program, and get to keep my client’s in the same products, but I will have to find a b/d to sponsor me as long as I want to keep doing transaction business.
As you go though this process, look at the other big custodians like Schwab and Fedility. The last time I looked at First Clearing they only work with BDs and not RIAs. There is the option of going to Wells independent channel, but I hear there is usually a waiting period. You will be surprised how much the independent custodians have to offer. Additionally they can give you names of independent BDs that work with them to help advisors.
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