The new RIAConnect technology tool that TD Ameritrade Institutional launched Monday will make it easier for independent RIAs to meet potential M&A partners virtually, especially during the current pandemic, according to TD Ameritrade and Joel Bruckenstein, head of Technology Tools for Today (T3).
RIAConnect will also make it easier for advisory firm executives to meet virtually with potential successors and find next-generation talent, including college graduates and career changers looking to join an advisory firm, TD Ameritrade said.
Using the platform, RIAs can create profiles that include location, investment philosophy, value proposition, professional goals and objectives, the company noted. RIAConnect uses that criteria to suggest firms or individuals that may be a good match, and advisors can then message other advisors or next-gen candidates — “directly, anonymously and secure — revealing their identity only when they choose,” the company said.
These services are provided to TD Ameritrade advisors at no cost and are available on the Veo One custody and brokerage platform, it said.
The RIAConnect platform was built by RIA Match, “with a lot of input from TD Ameritrade Institutional” and “has been in development for more than a year,” TD Ameritrade spokesman Joseph Giannone told ThinkAdvisor.
It is just a “coincidence” that the new platform, which he called a “totally customized solution for independent RIAs and for NextGen talent,” has launched “in the midst of a period of social distancing,” he said.
“Advisors for a long while have been asking us to help develop such a solution,” he said. After all, he explained: “Firms want to hire next-gen talent, but they don’t always know where to look. Likewise, firms that are looking to grow via M&A are always eager to find good business partners, yet the traditional method of traveling and face-to-face meetings takes time. RIAConnect will allow buyers and sellers to make more contacts with advisors. We believe our technology will help advisors narrow the field to advisors that meet their criteria.”
It is, however, too soon to say whether the tool will continue to be used after the Schwab-TD Ameritrade merger is finalized.
“I can’t answer your question about the future of this or any other program following the merger’s completion,” Giannone conceded, adding: “Integration planning is still in the early stages and many decisions are still to be made. Keep in mind it could take 18 to 36 months for the two companies to be fully integrated. As for the completion date, we still expect that will take place in the second half of this year.”