TD Ameritrade acquires FA Insight's big data assets

Source: TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade, among the largest providers of custody and brokerage services to independent registered investment advisors (“RIAs”), has agreed to acquire the research, benchmarking and consulting capabilities of FA Insight, a combination that will give advisors ready access to some of the industry’s deepest and most comprehensive collection of business information.

TD Ameritrade will acquire the FA Insight brand, more than a decade of survey data and its closely-watched industry studies: People & Pay, an in-depth look at human capital strategies, and Growth by Design, which examines how standout firms can pursue sustainable growth.

In addition, TD Ameritrade Institutional1 clients will gain access to customized reports giving them better visibility into their business so they can make more informed business decisions.

By having FA Insight’s capabilities in-house, TD Ameritrade Institutional will be in a position to propel practice management into a new era. Rather than providing advisors access to general, research-based white papers and off-the-rack studies throughout the year, RIAs on the TD Ameritrade platform will have ongoing access to tailored peer benchmarking data and guidance on such key issues as client acquisition, staffing and compensation, pricing strategies, operational efficiency and risk management.

The timely collection and analysis of large sets of market and industry information - call it Big Data, for short -- is one of the most important trends in financial services. RIA firms want to know how their firms stack up against peers and learn from the business-management practices of standout firms.

“Traditional practice management programs offer guidance on how to run a better business, but advisors can read a hundred research reports and still not gain the kind of timely, individualized intelligence they’ll receive through our business performance solutions program,” said Jim Dario, managing director of TD Ameritrade Institutional product management. “We are confident that by bringing Big Data to RIAs, we will amplify our ability to help more clients optimize their performance.”

Tacoma, Washington-based FA Insight was founded by Daniel Inveen and Eliza De Pardo, who have become trusted advisors to many of the industry’s top firms by identifying trends, understanding advisory firm challenges and developing solutions. Inveen and De Pardo will continue to produce research studies and deliver insights to advisers for TD Ameritrade through industry events and consulting assignments.

“We’ve worked closely with TD Ameritrade Institutional for a number of years and we’re confident this combination will make a great fit,” said Inveen, co-founder and president of FA Insight.

FA Insight co-founder Eliza De Pardo added, “By bringing FA Insight’s benchmarking and related consulting expertise to TD Ameritrade, we can now reach a larger audience, supporting more advisors. This will be a great outcome.”

Acquiring FA Insight’s capabilities will be the latest step taken by TD Ameritrade to offer practice management services that are more effective and more valuable to advisors. Last year, TD Ameritrade introduced Business Performance Solutions with an emphasis on delivering actionable business management insights and expanded education resources coupled with ongoing, individual, hands-on guidance.

The transaction is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2016.
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