Private Advisor Group, Ameritas, and Four Additional Broker-Dealers Select AdvicePay as Shift Towards Fee-For-Service Movement Accelerates

Six more hybrid RIA and broker-dealers follow Cetera’s recent adoption of AdvicePay to power fee-for-service model for advisors

AdvicePay, the only fee-for-service billing and payment platform designed exclusively for financial advisors, announced today that it has been selected as the payment-platform-of-choice for six hybrid broker-dealer and RIA firms, including Private Advisor Group, one of LPL’s largest super-OSJs, and Ameritas Investment Corp. This news follows closely on the heels of Cetera® Financial Group’s recent announcement that its affiliated broker-dealers and RIAs will make AdvicePay the central fee-for-service payment platform for any of Cetera’s nearly 8,000 advisors who adopt their “Advice-Centric Experience®” model. With these new relationships in place, AdvicePay Enterprise grows to more than 10,000 advisors under Enterprise contract, in addition to 750 Basic and Professional users at independent RIAs, and AdvicePay has a rapidly growing pipeline of additional Enterprise deals pending in the coming quarter.

As part of these relationships, advisors at the respective hybrid broker-dealers will be able to charge fees directly for their financial planning services, and accept online payments using credit cards and/or via a bank account using ACH. Prior to using AdvicePay, most advisors in these firms could only accept paper checks for financial planning fees, often resulting in a cumbersome manual process that was both an inconvenient client experience, a longer wait for advisors awaiting payment, and a costly and time-consuming manual tracking and reconciliation process for hybrid broker-dealers themselves.

“The lack of easy payment of financial planning fees has slowed the willingness of advisors to charge fees. Without technology to automate the process, it’s virtually impossible to scale fee-for-service financial planning in a large advisor enterprise,” said AdvicePay Co-founder Alan Moore. “AdvicePay Enterprise was built to address these challenges for large firms, greatly expediting the time to process financial planning fees and substantially reducing the staff overhead needed to handle a high volume of fee-for-service payments.”

AdvicePay Enterprise provides dedicated tools built specifically for organizations that support large numbers of advisors and must manage key oversight and compliance protocols. These include a dedicated home office portal enabling firms to centrally manage and control billing and payment processing, while allowing for local flexibility at the advisor level. Additionally, AdvicePay Enterprise meets the specialized compliance and security requirements of larger financial services organizations, as well as provides dedicated relationship managers to facilitate onboarding of new advisors, training and ongoing support.

James Sullivan, Managing Director at RIA hybrid Private Advisor Group, shared why the organization went with AdvicePay for their more than 640 advisors: “We thought that partnering with AdvicePay, built by two of the leading lights in the advice industry, Alan Moore and Michael Kitces, would provide security and comfort not only for our clients, but also for our compliance professionals. Our decision to use AdvicePay was about the ease of doing business, for clients and advisors alike.”

Ryan Beasley, president and chair of Ameritas Investment Corp. (AIC), expressed enthusiasm for working with AdvicePay. “As AIC expands its capabilities to support more holistic wealth management, we are excited to be partnering with AdvicePay. This allows us to further empower our advisors and support their growth in providing advice to their clients.”

As the fee-for-service movement in financial planning gains momentum, more and more advisors are working with clients by directly charging for their advice outside of or alongside an asset management fee for portfolio management or a commission for product implementation.

Cetera Financial Group’s George Karris, SVP and Head of Strategy, similarly noted “We are excited to be working with AdvicePay to offer fee-for-service capabilities to our advisors. Cetera is committed to bringing its Advice-Centric Experience® to as many investors as possible, and using AdvicePay’s easy-to-use, compliant technology as part of our fee-for-service offering will help us do that.”

“We are thrilled to be working with these industry-leading hybrid broker-dealer platforms that recognize the opportunity in supporting fee-for-service models,” said veteran financial advisor and AdvicePay Co-founder, Michael Kitces, “They are opening the pathway for their advisors to reach a much broader segment of potential clients, including and especially next generation clients, who may not yet have accumulated assets or have a need to purchase a product, but are quite willing simply to pay a financial planning fee to receive the advice they need.”

“The interest for an Enterprise version of AdvicePay to meet the specialized needs of larger organizations serving advisors has been incredible,” noted Alan Moore, CEO and co-founder of AdvicePay. “Firms have been looking for a solution to support a high volume of fee payments, and our Enterprise offering is receiving tremendous interest from across the industry. We are extremely excited and honored to serve these organizations, and look forward to continuing to enhance the AdvicePay platform to make billing for financial planning services even more efficient, compliant, and secure.”

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