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Three Big Trends in RIA Industry: 2012 TechLeaders Conference

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Tim Welsh, president and founder of Nexus Strategy, a consulting firm to the wealth management industry, provided AdvisorOne with several major trends he’s seeing in the RIA space.

Tim Welsh“We’re seeing continued, and increasingly stronger, demand for access to independent advisors,” Welsh (left) said at the 2012 TechLeaders Broker-Dealer Technology Conference in Dallas on Tuesday. “Greg Smith’s letter about Goldman Sachs perfectly illustrates the continued fall of the wirehouses.”

Welsh described it as a “land rush” of vendors and product providers “looking to get in.”

“I receive at least four calls a month from venture capitalists and private equity firms with a $500 million to spend,” he says. “I say ‘you’ve got $490 million too much.’ Everything has already been bought up: Black Diamond, Prima Capital and Fortigent, for instance.”

The other big trend involves product suppliers, Welsh adds.

“You have these guys in a garage with an algorithm who think they can run money with ETFs. They’re looking for distribution. Building it through investor channels is too slow-going. Going through advisor channels, on the other hand, can help them build that asset base quickly.”

Lastly, he pointed to our neighbors to the north. Canadians, it seems, have money to spend and are looking at RIA businesses here in the states.

“The Canadians are here already,” he said. “They have the platforms and a strong dollar, but a very small industry when compared to that found in this country. They want to build that industry through the RIA. They don’t have the compliance requirements that we do in the independent space, so if they want to do something creative, the RIA spaced is the place to do it.”

Nexus, Welsh says, is a “tour guide to the RIA industry,” helping companies gain access by developing the right message, content and industry events to make the right connections.”


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