- February 1, 2017; Vol. 4, Number 2

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Technology Arms Race Among RIAs: Digital innovation has triggered an explosion in the number of wealth advisories, but keeping pace is not cheap

by Steve Bergsman

The boom in the registered investment adviser business can partly be attributed to technology making operations management easier, but at some point in the future it also will be the divider, whereby growing enterprises will have to decide whether the ongoing expense for newer and better technology means staying in the business or merging to get out.

This is an industry dialectic that most people understand, which is why there seems to be a sudden fascination with the latest and greatest tech. As Jack Markwalter, chairman and CEO of Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management, recently told Real Assets Adviser: “The increased use of technology in the wealth management business is absolutely staggering. It is almost an arms race in terms of how much money you have to spend.”

In a shift that has been going on for more than a decade, at least since the start of the financial crisis in the mid-2000s, the ranks of the Wall Street broker/dealer has been dwindling w

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