How to Overcome the Challenges of the RIA Channel

We know that as an investment sales professional, the RIA Channel is one of the most dynamic and exciting channels to sell your investment strategy to — however, it’s also one of the most misunderstood. 

Our firm, Dakota, has spent the last 14 years fully committed to the RIA channel resulting in raising over $6 billion from over 360 RIAs.

Of course, it has not been easy nor has it been a straight line to success.

In this post, we'll be outlining the challenges that come with selling in the RIA channel, how to overcome them, and highlighting the RIA-specific database we've launched as a direct result of that challenge. 

By the end of this article, you should have a better idea how to overcome those hardships and hit the ground running and setting meetings. 

The challenges of the RIA channel

The biggest challenge with finding success in the RIA channel is that few people know how to tackle it efficiently because it’s large, spread out, and decentralized. And despite their best intentions, the standard RIA databases don’t help matters so much as give you “all” the RIAs. This, in the end, gives you too many RIAs to call on, and leaves you to figure out which RIAs allocate capital to firms like yours.

What kills me about this characterization is that the RIA channel is a channel that can “make” an investment strategy, meaning with the few trillions in assets in the channel, it’s a primary way to grow your mutual fund, separate account, or L.P. 

We believe that everyone should be selling to the RIA channel, but that has not been possible because in its current state, accessing RIAs is just too difficult.

So, we took action

After years of hearing these kinds of stories, we said “enough!” There are just too many good reasons for salespeople to be selling to RIAs, and it shouldn’t be hard as it is.

So, we took our 23 years of RIA knowledge, and the $6+ billion in assets we have raised as proof that we know what we are talking about, and created a different type of database of RIAs — one that is simple, easy to use and execute on.

In October, we released Dakota RIA Marketplace as a subset of Dakota Marketplace, our institutional investor database, for those salespeople who only want to focus on RIAs, and priced it accordingly.

RIA Marketplace offers three things:

  • First, all of the RIAs in RIA Marketplace use outside managers, so we culled down the list of 13,500 RIAs in the SEC database to only the 1,100 RIAs you want to call on.

  • Second, we include the correct due diligence contacts by asset class making it easy for you to find who you should be calling on.

  • Third, we set-up a world-class updating system, using both technology and a four person data team, that keeps the 1,054accounts and 3,215 contacts up-to-date on a daily basis.

What do you do next?

Our team has culled down the list down of RIAs to the ones that matter, included only the key people you want to talk to, and will update the data for you on a daily basis. 

What next steps should you take? Start setting up meetings.

RIA Marketplace is designed to make penetrating the RIA channel as easy as possible, giving you the best chance to raise capital for your strategy.

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