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Practice Management > Building Your Business

TDAI to Acquire Big Data Research Firm FA Insight

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TD Ameritrade Institutional announced Thursday that it will acquire the research, benchmarking and consulting capabilities of FA Insight, the Tacoma, Washington-based research firm that analyzes large sets of advisor information, aka big data.

FA Insight is a “powerhouse,” Tom Nally, president of TD Ameritrade Institutional, said during his opening Thursday remarks at TD’s NationalLINC conference in Orlando. The acquisition is set to close by the second quarter.

Nally said that the brokerage firm will integrate FA Insight’s research and customize reports with TD’s upcoming release this year of its CRM and portfolio management platform Veo One.

Initially launched last January, Veo One has been going through beta testing with a select group of advisors. Veo One originally featured Redtail, MoneyGuidePro and Orion, but TD Ameritrade plans to add more vendors and integrate 14 of them with Veo One once the platform goes live later in 2016.

Veo One will allow advisors to bring their existing Veo integrated third-party technology applications (CRM, financial planning, portfolio management) onto one platform.

With the addition of FA Insight, founded by Daniel Inveen and Eliza De Pardo, into Veo One, advisors will be able to see “how they stack up” with their peers, “and use those insights to help [them] make better business decisions.”

Said Nally: Veo One is advisors’ “technology home.”

Jim Dario, managing director of TD Ameritrade Institutional product management, added that “traditional practice management programs offer guidance on how to run a better business, but advisors can read a hundred research reports and still not gain the kind of timely, individualized intelligence they’ll receive through our business performance solutions program.”

With the FA Insight acquisition, “we are confident that by bringing big data to RIAs, we will amplify our ability to help more clients optimize their performance.”

FA Insight brings more than a decade of survey data and its closely watched industry studies: People & Pay, an in-depth look at human capital strategies, and Growth by Design, which examines how standout firms can pursue sustainable growth, Nally said.

For five years Investment Advisor partnered with FA Insight on its annual advisor surveys, most recently in 2014.

FA Insight co-founder and president Inveen said that the research firm has “worked closely with TD Ameritrade Institutional for a number of years and we’re confident this combination will make a great fit.”

Added co-founder De Pardo: “By bringing FA Insight’s benchmarking and related consulting expertise to TD Ameritrade, we can now reach a larger audience, supporting more advisors. This will be a great outcome.”

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