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RIA CUSTODIANS

Asset custodians are the central players in the RIA business and choosing one is the biggest decision most financial advisors will make to build their business. As the place where RIAs park their assets (the same way a captive broker would park assets at Merrill Lynch or UBS), custodians serve hundreds or thousands of these registered investment advisors and make big investments in technology and service on their clients' behalf.

This section features a series of articles under the “Asset Custody Project” label that cover these companies in a way that keeps advisors abreast of their progress – both with journalistic commentary and a common set of data so that advisors can easily compare them. The articles look at the strengths, weaknesses and niche capabilities of these companies.

— Brooke Southall

Here are links to the profiles of custodians:

  • Apex Clearing
  • Raymond James
  • State Street
  • Ceros Financial
  • Fidelity
  • Pershing
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • Scottrade
  • Schwab
  • TD Ameritrade
  • Trade-PMR
  • Trust Company of America
  • BNY Mellon
  • Folio Institutional
  • Shareholders Service Group
  • National Advisors Trust
  • Equity Advisor Solutions
  • US Bank
  • If you want a more chronological look at news about the custodians, just scroll down.

    How custodians Folio Institutional and Equity Advisor Solutions keep on ticking -- Part 3 of 3

    Both custodians counter their peewee size by offering that something extra

    Thursday 7.14.16 by Lisa Shidler

    How custodians Folio Institutional and Equity Advisor Solutions keep on ticking -- Part 3 of 3

    Both custodians counter their peewee size by offering that something extra

    Thursday 7.14.16 by Lisa Shidler

    How custodians Folio Institutional and Equity Advisor Solutions keep on ticking -- Part 3 of 3

    Both custodians counter their peewee size by offering that something extra

    Thursday 7.14.16 by Lisa Shidler
    1 Comment  
    1 Comment  

    How a Schwab cast-off became a niche custodian for RIAs who like to trade options

    MoneyBlock emerged from BrokersXpress after the San Francisco broker bought it but didn't want IBD reps in its mix

    Wednesday 7.13.16 by Lisa Shidler

    How a Schwab cast-off became a niche custodian for RIAs who like to trade options

    MoneyBlock emerged from BrokersXpress after the San Francisco broker bought it but didn't want IBD reps in its mix

    Wednesday 7.13.16 by Lisa Shidler

    How a Schwab cast-off became a niche custodian for RIAs who like to trade options

    MoneyBlock emerged from BrokersXpress after the San Francisco broker bought it but didn't want IBD reps in its mix

    Wednesday 7.13.16 by Lisa Shidler
    0 Comments  
    0 Comments  

    Schwab launches biggest RIA-targeted price war in years -- but TD and Pershing say they won't play along

    In what may be a prelude to commission-free RIA custody era, Schwab eliminates equity and ETF commissions for all new clients for a year; Fidelity says it is still cheaper

    Friday 7.1.16 by Lisa Shidler

    Schwab launches biggest RIA-targeted price war in years -- but TD and Pershing say they won't pl

    In what may be a prelude to commission-free RIA custody era, Schwab eliminates equity and ETF commissions for all new clients for a year; Fidelity says it is still cheaper

    Friday 7.1.16 by Lisa Shidler

    Schwab launches biggest RIA-targeted price war in years -- but TD and Pershing say they won't pl

    In what may be a prelude to commission-free RIA custody era, Schwab eliminates equity and ETF commissions for all new clients for a year; Fidelity says it is still cheaper

    Friday 7.1.16 by Lisa Shidler
    1 Comment  
    1 Comment  

    Alert to Pershing's API move and eMoney's dashboard acumen, TD Ameritrade brings its API partners to Texas to drive home its first-mover advantage

    TD does (almost) Dallas as it announces 100-plus third-party vendor integrations while keeping an eye on the competition

    Wednesday 6.29.16 by Timothy Welsh

    Alert to Pershing's API move and eMoney's dashboard acumen, TD Ameritrade brings its API par

    TD does (almost) Dallas as it announces 100-plus third-party vendor integrations while keeping an eye on the competition

    Wednesday 6.29.16 by Timothy Welsh

    Alert to Pershing's API move and eMoney's dashboard acumen, TD Ameritrade brings its API par

    TD does (almost) Dallas as it announces 100-plus third-party vendor integrations while keeping an eye on the competition

    Wednesday 6.29.16 by Timothy Welsh
    0 Comments  
    0 Comments  

    Schwab wows EXPLORE 2016 crowd with revived bid to advertise RIAs with two magic ingredients: Schwab branding and a budget of 'millions' of dollars

    Though skeptical observers call the effort window dressing, the San Francisco custody giant is incorporating lessons learned from the lackluster RIA-Stands-For-You campaign of 2011

    Wednesday 6.22.16 by Lisa Shidler

    Schwab wows EXPLORE 2016 crowd with revived bid to advertise RIAs with two magic ingredients: Schwab

    Though skeptical observers call the effort window dressing, the San Francisco custody giant is incorporating lessons learned from the lackluster RIA-Stands-For-You campaign of 2011

    Wednesday 6.22.16 by Lisa Shidler

    Schwab wows EXPLORE 2016 crowd with revived bid to advertise RIAs with two magic ingredients: Schwab

    Though skeptical observers call the effort window dressing, the San Francisco custody giant is incorporating lessons learned from the lackluster RIA-Stands-For-You campaign of 2011

    Wednesday 6.22.16 by Lisa Shidler
    0 Comments  
    0 Comments  

    How an eclectic trio of RIA custodians are willfully gaining ground with snail-like precision -- Part 2 of 3

    Lazarus-like RBC has another new leader, as does Trust Company of America and Shareholders Service Group, which is selling itself as a Pershing reseller of high security, but with more agile service

    Wednesday 6.15.16 by Lisa Shidler

    How an eclectic trio of RIA custodians are willfully gaining ground with snail-like precision -- Par

    Lazarus-like RBC has another new leader, as does Trust Company of America and Shareholders Service Group, which is selling itself as a Pershing reseller of high security, but with more agile service

    Wednesday 6.15.16 by Lisa Shidler

    How an eclectic trio of RIA custodians are willfully gaining ground with snail-like precision -- Par

    Lazarus-like RBC has another new leader, as does Trust Company of America and Shareholders Service Group, which is selling itself as a Pershing reseller of high security, but with more agile service

    Wednesday 6.15.16 by Lisa Shidler
    1 Comment  
    1 Comment  

    Spinning 200+ years of legacy culture as a virtue, BNY Mellon uses Pershing INSITE to show its software side, softer side -- as it gets beyond NetX360 and men with a hard-wired approach

    Whether real fire follows these new clouds of smoke remains to be seen but Pershing's open API, robo strategy and feminine revolution project an aura of uplift

    Friday 6.10.16 by Guest Columnist Timothy D. Welsh

    Spinning 200+ years of legacy culture as a virtue, BNY Mellon uses Pershing INSITE to show its softw

    Whether real fire follows these new clouds of smoke remains to be seen but Pershing's open API, robo strategy and feminine revolution project an aura of uplift

    Friday 6.10.16 by Guest Columnist Timothy D. Welsh

    Spinning 200+ years of legacy culture as a virtue, BNY Mellon uses Pershing INSITE to show its softw

    Whether real fire follows these new clouds of smoke remains to be seen but Pershing's open API, robo strategy and feminine revolution project an aura of uplift

    Friday 6.10.16 by Guest Columnist Timothy D. Welsh
    1 Comment  
    1 Comment  

    The non-Big Four RIA custodians, no longer runts but stunted in growth, are applying tougher love to hobbyist RIAs

    In part one of a three-part series, we examine how seven small custodians -- starting with Trade PMR and Scottrade -- are evolving away from the Utopian model of 100% inclusivity

    Tuesday 6.7.16 by Lisa Shidler

    The non-Big Four RIA custodians, no longer runts but stunted in growth, are applying tougher love to

    In part one of a three-part series, we examine how seven small custodians -- starting with Trade PMR and Scottrade -- are evolving away from the Utopian model of 100% inclusivity

    Tuesday 6.7.16 by Lisa Shidler

    The non-Big Four RIA custodians, no longer runts but stunted in growth, are applying tougher love to

    In part one of a three-part series, we examine how seven small custodians -- starting with Trade PMR and Scottrade -- are evolving away from the Utopian model of 100% inclusivity

    Tuesday 6.7.16 by Lisa Shidler
    0 Comments  
    0 Comments  

    Mark Tibergien reveals big Pershing robo future as his firm partners with Vanare, SigFig and Jemstep -- and follows TD Ameritrade's open API lead

    In speech at St. Regis in San Francisco, the BNY Mellon RIA unit CEO says Pershing is taking a deeper robo plunge by signing on marquee names

    Wednesday 5.4.16 by Brooke Southall

    Mark Tibergien reveals big Pershing robo future as his firm partners with Vanare, SigFig and Jemstep

    In speech at St. Regis in San Francisco, the BNY Mellon RIA unit CEO says Pershing is taking a deeper robo plunge by signing on marquee names

    Wednesday 5.4.16 by Brooke Southall

    Mark Tibergien reveals big Pershing robo future as his firm partners with Vanare, SigFig and Jemstep

    In speech at St. Regis in San Francisco, the BNY Mellon RIA unit CEO says Pershing is taking a deeper robo plunge by signing on marquee names

    Wednesday 5.4.16 by Brooke Southall
    1 Comment  
    1 Comment  

    As Fidelity divorces American Express, Schwab steps in to launch AmEx cards -- with help from RIAs -- as part of broader effort

    Fidelity says the average user got $1,500 in cash back last year, suggesting the average annual card-holder spend is around $75,000

    Monday 5.2.16 by Sanders Wommack

    As Fidelity divorces American Express, Schwab steps in to launch AmEx cards -- with help from RIAs -

    Fidelity says the average user got $1,500 in cash back last year, suggesting the average annual card-holder spend is around $75,000

    Monday 5.2.16 by Sanders Wommack

    As Fidelity divorces American Express, Schwab steps in to launch AmEx cards -- with help from RIAs -

    Fidelity says the average user got $1,500 in cash back last year, suggesting the average annual card-holder spend is around $75,000

    Monday 5.2.16 by Sanders Wommack
    1 Comment  
    1 Comment