The Big Decision:
Selecting a Wealth Platform for your Independent RIA

Executive Summary

The financial advisory landscape has seen a surge in advisors transitioning from established wirehouses to independent Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firms. This movement towards independence is driven by the desire for increased flexibility and greater client-centricity, as well as the potential for enhanced earnings. Notably, recent regulatory changes and technological advancements have further fueled this transition.

Dynasty Financial Partners, LLC (“Dynasty”) hired F2 Strategy to assess the impact they have on their clients’ ability to enhance operating margins, firm valuation, and growth. This research explored characteristics of firms that are in the sweet spot to benefit from the Dynasty platform, and equally as important, those firms that are not. F2 Strategy benchmarked firms within the Dynasty network against U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) registered RIAs’ public data, and assessed several different operating structures’ impact on margin, valuation, and growth. This research uncovers benefits of an outsourced partnership for both existing RIAs and advisors looking to make the step into independence.

The research F2 Strategy conducted between September and December 2023 involved analyzing SEC-registered RIA data, comparing 38 Dynasty Financial Partners firms against 4,669 SEC-registered RIAs. We are defining “Dynasty Firms” as the independent RIAs that utilize Dynasty’s middle and back office support as well as their technology capabilities. The analysis focused on cohorts categorized by average client size and assets under management (AUM).

Additionally, the research formulated three technology operating models, including a Dynasty-comparable model, an all-in-one solution model, and custodial-dependent offerings models, to evaluate their feasibility and impact on operational efficiency.

The research came away with several key findings:

  • Partnership with Dynasty yields compelling benefits backed by substantial numbers, particularly for firms with AUM between $300 million and $1.8 billion. Dynasty’s combination of elite technology and expert support facilitates efficient operations and aggressive business growth.
Authored By

Bryce Carter

Senior Manager, F2 Strategy

Doug Fritz

Co-FOunder & CEO, F2 Strategy