BNY Mellon's Pershing Advisor Solutions White Paper Offers Guidance on How Advisory Firms Can Drive Growth with the Multi-Location Model

Dec 16, 2010, 14:00 ET from Pershing Advisor Solutions LLC

JERSEY CITY, N.J., Dec. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Pershing Advisor Solutions LLC, a BNY Mellon company, announced today the availability of a new independent study, Creating Growth: The Rewards and Challenges of the Multi-Location Model, that provides registered investment advisor (RIA) firms with in-depth research and guidance on how they can expand business opportunities by establishing or acquiring offices in different markets.

According to FA Insight, multiple-office firms stretching across geographical locations have become increasingly common with 50% of the country's top 50 wealth managers now maintaining offices in multiple locations.  The prevalence of merger and acquisition activity throughout the advisory industry along with businesses proactively pursuing new markets in new locations, are key drivers of this trend.  Creating Growth: The Rewards and Challenges of the Multi-Location Model validates this trend and addresses the issues related to strategy, people, operations and clients, providing practical assistance for firms managing more than one office location or considering a secondary location.  Specifically, the report addresses the importance of the following:

  • Efficiencies of Scale – According to recent proprietary survey data from FA Insight, overhead expenditure as a percentage of revenue now weighs most heavily on the larger advisory firms – 46% for firms with over $3 million in annual revenue. Typical overhead expenses during less trying times would be expected to be 10 or more percentage points below this result for 2008. Therefore, it's crucial to identify operational best practices and replicate them at each location to create efficiencies.

  • Client Driven Operational Decisions – Consideration for the needs of the firm's clients must be at the core of replicating or integrating operations. More specifically, consistent client service standards must be defined across locations, which will ultimately support the client experience and the value delivered by the business across locations. As an example, clarity must be provided with respect to turnaround times of client activities, levels of client communications, and number of meetings with clients based on their complexity and needs, irrespective of client location.

  • Determination of an Organizational Structure – Firms need to proactively define their organizational structure around the needs of clients. The multi-office firm must apply a disciplined approach to defining the organizational structure based on how the needs of clients can best be met across each office location. A firm must determine the level of centralization and decentralization across staff roles as well as the extent to which positions must collaborate across locations to minimize costs without compromising service quality as the firm grows.  

  • Maintenance of Firm Culture – Fostering and influencing firm culture from a distance represents another unique issue for the multi-office firm. Ignoring culture can result in underperforming or failing locations that are detached from the aspirations of the firm at large, a costly and difficult problem to unwind.

  • Effective Utilization of Technology – For the multi-office firm, leveraging technology is essential to maximizing economies of scale. Across locations, the staff needs tools, such as web-based client management solutions that readily facilitate collaborative client servicing, including accessing client information; sharing of documents and templates; and tapping remote expertise. In addition, web-based solutions can support warehousing and distribution of firm templates and remote access to firm-wide planning and portfolio management tools.

"Investing in secondary locations can be a solid growth strategy that enables a firm to build a presence in a local market through closer proximity to the firm's target clients, but the investment required to establish and integrate multiple office locations can be significant." said Kim Dellarocca, a director of Global Marketing for Pershing LLC. "It's vital that firms considering expansion to new locations develop thoughtful plans to optimize the multi-office model and create economies of scale from multiple locations."

"To be successful, multi-office firms' organizational structures, service offerings and marketing messages must reflect and accommodate the different target markets of each location and firms must be built around the varying needs of the clients that are serviced through each location," said Dan Inveen, principal with FA Insight. "This requires a committed and capable management team and frequent, consistent communication throughout office locations."

Pershing Advisor Solutions LLC (member FINRA/SIPC) is an affiliate of Pershing LLC and a leading custodian to independent registered investment advisors and dually registered advisors working in conjunction with many of Pershing LLC's introducing broker-dealer customers.  Pershing LLC (member FINRA/NYSE/SIPC), a BNY Mellon company, is committed to delivering dependable operational support, robust trading services, flexible technology, an expansive array of investment solutions, practice management support and service excellence.  Through an innovative custody platform, Pershing Advisor Solutions delivers superior expertise and scalable and customizable solutions to help independent registered investment advisors manage and grow their businesses.  A copy of this study and additional information about Pershing Advisor Solutions' capabilities and solutions can be found by visiting

BNY Mellon is a global financial services company focused on helping clients manage and service their financial assets, operating in 36 countries and serving more than 100 markets.  BNY Mellon is a leading provider of financial services for institutions, corporations and high-net-worth individuals, providing superior asset management and wealth management, asset servicing, issuer services, clearing services and treasury services through a worldwide client-focused team.  It has $24.4 trillion in assets under custody and administration and $1.14 trillion in assets under management, services $12.0 trillion in outstanding debt and processes global payments averaging $1.6 trillion per day.  BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation.  Additional information is available at

SOURCE Pershing Advisor Solutions LLC