AdvicePay is bringing on six more enterprise clients, following the firm's onboarding of independent broker/dealer Cetera Financial Group. The fee-for-service billing and payment platform, built on Stripe and designed for financial advisors, will be powering payments for LPL Financial's affiliate, super office of supervisory jurisdiction Private Advisor Group, and Ameritas Investment Corporation, along with four other BDs that declined to be named, according to an AdvicePay spokesperson. The new enterprise clients mean Michael Kitces and Alan Moore's AdvicePay Enterprise line of business has quickly grown to encompass more than 10,000 advisors, after launching two months ago.
Clients increasingly prefer fee-based models, with Cerulli's first quarter 2019 research on U.S. retail investors indicating 62 percent of households surveyed want an asset-based, retainer or hourly fee. In 2008, the percentage of fee-based assets was at 26 percent, a number that increased to 45 percent by the end of 2017, according to the same report. Self-directed investors are the exception to the fee-for-service movement, with 56 percent of that group indicating a preference for commission charges.
Technology has been powering the transition, smoothing friction that may have previously been a barrier to fee-for-service models. "Our decision to use AdvicePay was about the ease of doing business, for clients and advisors alike," said James Sullivan, managing director at registered investment advisor hybrid Private Advisor Group. Using payment technology, AdvicePay allows advisors to charge fees directly for financial planning services and accept online payments via credit card or automated clearing house through a bank account.
“Firms have been looking for a solution to support a high volume of fee payments, and our Enterprise offering is receiving tremendous interest from across the industry," said Moore. “The interest for an Enterprise version of AdvicePay to meet the specialized needs of larger organizations serving advisors has been incredible."