By Karen DeMasters, FA-mag.com
Independent advisors need support as a small business, as well as support for their financial advisory practice, according to Chalice Financial Network.
That’s the reasoning behind Chalice, a membership organization based in San Diego.
It is launching a new service, the Chalice Advisor Exchange platform, that will offer both at discounted rates, said Keith Gregg, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Chalice.
Services provided by Chalice will cover the needs of a small business, such as software and human resources, and help with incorporation or health insurance, to the needs particular to a financial advisory firm, such as compliance and back office support. All products and services will be offered separately so advisors can select whatever they need, Gregg said. The company will operate as a member organization for a monthly fee of $250.
“Other organizations offer products and services for financial firms. They do not offer services to help set up a small business through the end to succession planning,” Gregg said.
Chalice is a venture-backed organization. It has negotiated with third parties to offer discounted rates, which it was able to do because of the number of advisors it is offering as potential clients for the firms.
“There are 384,000 independent advisors and growing,” said Gregg. “If we get 10 percent of the market, that is more than any broker-dealer or wirehouse can deliver.”
An example of the kinds of services to be offered by Chalice is group health care. Chalice can provide health insurance through a third party for advisors and their staffs that is at least 25 percent cheaper than what they can buy on their own, Gregg said. “We’ve been told that service alone is a game-changer for advisors.”
The target advisor for Chalice is one with $50 million to $250 million in AUM, but the membership is open to anyone. Services are available to advisors associated with any broker-dealer or clearing and custody firm.
“Chalice liberates independent advisors from the ‘all or nothing’ affiliation structures that traditional independent broker-dealer and corporate RIA platforms require before they grant access for these advisors to the resources and tools needed to succeed,” he said.
“We are combining three key things to support independent business owners in the wealth management industry: Community with a common purpose of peer-to-peer support and economies of scale; single point access to a digital marketplace with everything independent advisors need to run a business, and access to capital—the fuel all advisors need to grow their business,” Chalice said in a statement.
Membership also offers such services as a complimentary lead generating and marketing website, investment and merchant banking for small and mid-sized companies, institutional quality alternative investments such as private equity, venture capital, hedge funds, credit, real estate, distressed assets, infrastructure and special situations and member equity.
In addition to other marketing efforts, Chalice will present its offerings starting next month in seminars in five cities: Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas, Atlanta and New York.
“We want to fill an industry void for independent business owners who happen to be in the financial services industry,” Gregg said.