Independent perspectives: Evaluating potential custodians
Transcript of the video:
01:00:05 – NATALIE:
Hi, I'm Natalie Groeger, Managing Director of Business Development at Schwab Advisor Services. And today with me, I have Jason Snipe of Odyssey Capital Advisors. Hi, Jason.
01:00:17 – JASON:
Hey, Natalie. How are you?
01:00:19 – NATALIE:
Very good. Thank you for taking the time today. I wanted to dive into a little bit about the process you just recently went through in selecting a custodian to work with you, and to support you and your firm. But so that we have a better background on your experience and what you went through, why don't… why don't you tell us a little bit about your journey to independence and… ad how you got where you are today?
01:00:43 – JASON:
That's a great question, Natalie. You know, as I… as I look back and… and… and really look fondly on that experience, you know, I… I came from the IBD space, you know, where, essentially, you know, I felt like we were a franchise of a much larger corporation. And, you know, to be frank, I didn't really know what an RIA was. You know, I had kind of consulted with other friends, colleagues in the industry, and they had shared this idea of going independent and establishing my own RIA. And, you know, so I did my own independent research, you know, started to look at all the banks and the custodians that are out here that I could partner with, and, you know, that… that was the start of my journey. And I think for me, as we're in this very much a relationship-oriented business, it was very important that, you know, I selected a partner and not a vendor. And that… that was kind of the experience I… I had with Schwab as… as we took the next steps.
01:01:45 – NATALIE:
So you start… you said that you started with, you know, talking and… and finding out more about the independent space. I'm glad you know what an RIA is now. But you… you start to learn a little bit more about it, and then you go out and to select and talk to the vendors out there that are options for you and the custodians. So you start talking to Schwab and some other firms, and… and what really was the criteria? What was the process you went through in evaluating all the different options that were available to you?
01:02:13 – JASON:
So I think one of the things that's most important to me is really learning from others. So one of the things I really appreciated about the Schwab experience, which is a little different from others was the willingness to connect with other advisors and other firms, that some had recently made the leap to independence and some that are obviously far more mature. And that was a great experience for me, where I was able to ask a lot of questions, things that maybe you can't find on a website or read in a white paper, which was extremely helpful in… in the decision that I ultimately made, which was, obviously, partnering with Schwab.
01:02:53 – NATALIE:
Was there any specific criteria that you thought was… was important for you in finding that partnership, or was it really, you know, these experiences that other people went through that… that led you to that decision?
01:03:06 – JASON:
So one of the other major things for me was I got the opportunity to really share our vision, you know, as a firm and what we were looking to accomplish in the marketplace. You know, so getting that opportunity to share that, and… and kind of the feedback I received was, ‘Hey, Jason, this is an open slate. You know, this… this is our offering. This is what's available to you. We could customize it to… to your needs, ultimately, to support you.' And that… that's what felt great for me, and it really was a catalyst as I started to move forward, and… and… and launch our firm, which was very exciting for us.
01:03:44 – NATALIE:
So let's go back to those interviews that you… let us learn from that, let… let us pick your brain from that. What did you hear in those interviews when you said that you talked to other people? What… what were some of the struggles that they went through? What are some of the lessons learned you… you… got from them?
01:04:00 – JASON:
So one of… one of the major… you know, one of the major takeaways, I should say, from just interviewing, talking to others, was not being bashful about our vision and what we're trying to accomplish, right? And understanding, ‘Wow, the independent world is a very different world from the IBD space or the broker-dealer space.' And knowing that some of these things were possible, right? Whether it's AUM, or building a customized solution for your client, or… or a service deliverable and… and really being able to brand it yourself, and… and looking at your custodian as a true partner, those are the things that were… were major takeaways for me, and…. cuz it… it made me feel like, ‘Wow, we could really grow this thing the way we want to grow it, with… with there no boundaries here.' So that was very encouraging, you know, and I think that it was probably the strongest part of the process for me.
01:04:56 – NATALIE:
Was there anything looking back at it now, hindsight is 2020, is there anything looking back now that you wish you would have spent a little more time on, or did some further investigation, or been more prepared once you finally did decide to make that change?
01:05:10 – JASON:
So that's another great question. You know, to be honest with you, I think that, you know, experience is the greatest teacher. You know, Schwab was very effective in… in kind of sharing the information, some of the things that I might need. And, you know, that was great, and I was able to kind of explore some of those, you know, items, whether it be compliance, or technology partners, or whatever… whatever it may be. But allowing myself to actually go through the process myself, and now two years in, you know, obviously, we've learned a ton. And I think that the best advice that… that I would say, which I've mentioned earlier, is just really being clear about what your vision is and being thoughtful about it, and sometimes even taking a step back to really understand what that is, you know, so you could clearly articulate it to a potential partner.
01:06:05 – NATALIE:
Thank you, Jason, so much for sharing with us today your vision and the process that you went through in selecting a custodian. Your insights will be so helpful for others that are going through this process today.
Once again, I'm Natalie Groeger, Managing Director here at Charles Schwab. Thank you and have a great day.
01:06:23 – JASON:
Thank you, Natalie.