Dynasty Financial Partners, a middle- and back-office platform for registered investment advisory firms, has created a division specializing in firms managing more than $1 billion in assets.
The division, Dynasty Enterprise Group, is aimed at helping larger RIA firms update and improve their technology and infrastructure "to compete more effectively with newer, more nimble RIAs that are adopting new-age technologies and practices," the company said in a release.
Shirl Penney, founder, president and chief executive of Dynasty, said the new division is launching with five RIAs that each manage between $2 billion and $5 billion.
"We will continue to add other firms who graduate up to the $1 billion level or are recruited to join Dynasty," Mr. Penney said.
Dynasty works with a total of 45 advisory firms that collectively manage more than $30 billion.
Mr. Penney explained that the motivation behind the new division was to help RIAs reach scale without becoming bloated with redundant staff and resources.
"The RIA ecosystem was built on smaller firms, and as firms have grown they often become overstaffed," he said. "The custodians do a great job of providing back-office services, but not the middle-office services."
Mr. Penney said some of the services the unit will provide to the larger RIAs include programs around C-suite development, as well as help meeting capital requirements.
"Many large RIAs that launched 10 to 20 years ago used to be known for having the top technology and processes available in the marketplace," said Ed Friedman, who heads the new effort. "However, we have found that many of these firms failed to evolve, and their infrastructure is now outdated." said Ed Friedman, who heads the new effort.
Benjamin Harrison, managing director and head of business development at Pershing Advisor Solutions, says Dynasty's tiered service model "makes sense" and caters to where the industry is heading.
"In recent years, we've seen an acceleration of the growth of larger RIA firms with increasingly complex internal and client-facing needs, particularly those serving [wealthier clients], so a move like this doesn't come as a surprise," he said. "The average RIA firm we work with has $800 million in assets custodied on our platform, so we agree that there is a need to support these larger advisory businesses and anticipate this trend will continue."
Elliot Weissbluth, founder and chief executive of HighTower Advisors, tipped his hat to Dynasty.
"We rolled out tiered levels of service five years ago, and this is how Dynasty has to compete with us," he said. "But it's all good for the industry because it shows the success and popularity of going independent."