The financial services industry is massive, complex, and competitive. As an independent Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), Investment Advisor Representative (IAR), or agent, you may be seeking ways to improve your practice, streamline your operations, and provide better services to your clients. 

One solution that has gained significant traction in recent years is partnering with an Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction (OSJ) or large enterprise.

OSJs are offices that oversee the operations and compliance of independent RIAs, advisors (IARs), and registered representatives through an affiliation with a broker-dealer and/or a registered investment advisor. While some financial professionals may be hesitant to delegate tasks to an external organization, the benefits of partnering with an OSJ are too important to ignore. 

In this blog post, we will explore the top four reasons why independent RIAs, advisors (advisors (IARs), and registered representatives should consider partnering with an OSJ:

  • Enhanced Compliance & Supervisory Support
  • Access to Valuable Resources & Technology
  • Practice Management & Business Development Support
  • Culture and Inclusion – You Are No Longer Alone

Ready to start your search for an OSJ? Read the latest version of our Quick Guide. 

Enhanced Compliance & Supervisory Support

Compliance is one of the most critical aspects of any financial services practice. Regulatory requirements can be overwhelming, and non-compliance can lead to fines, penalties, and even loss of licenses. By partnering with an OSJ, you gain access to dedicated compliance experts who can help you navigate the ever-changing regulatory landscape.

An Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction (OSJ) plays a critical role in supporting the compliance and regulatory responsibilities of financial advisors in a broker-dealer firm. As the designated supervisory hub, an OSJ is responsible for overseeing the activities of registered representatives/financial advisors and ensuring compliance with the rules and regulations established by financial industry regulators, such as Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and state regulatory agencies. 

This includes monitoring and supervising various aspects of your operations, such as client communications, trade executions, account management, and the onboarding and training of new financial advisors. Additionally, the OSJ must maintain a robust compliance program that effectively identifies, assesses, and mitigates potential risks associated with your firm’s business practices. 

This involves establishing written supervisory procedures and guiding you and your employees to ensure that you are well-prepared to meet relevant regulatory requirements. By fulfilling these responsibilities, an OSJ helps you—not just learn, but—understand these procedures and why they exist. Your practice should operate more fluidly within the bounds of regulatory guidelines, as a result. This can potentially increase trust and confidence among your clients.

Access to Valuable Resources & Technology

One key reason why an Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction (OSJ) can provide financial advisors with more resources and technology than if they tried to implement them on their own is the benefit of scale.

By pooling the resources of multiple advisors under one umbrella, OSJs can negotiate better deals and access more advanced tools and platforms that might be cost-prohibitive for you as an individual advisor. With the combined buying power of numerous financial advisors, OSJs can often access top-tier solutions at discounted prices, making these resources more accessible and affordable for all advisors.

Additionally, OSJs are typically well-versed in regulatory and compliance matters, allowing them to select and implement technology tools that are compliant with industry regulations, reducing the risks and administrative burden for you and your team.

Another reason is the specialized expertise and support that OSJs bring. By providing access to a dedicated team focused on researching and implementing new technologies, they can help you keep up-to-date with the latest advancements. At Evolution Financial Advisors, for example, we support a vast number of various practices and business models. 

We see a variety of technologies currently in use across many facets of the industry daily. This allows us to give experience-based guidance on which application may be the best for a certain situation and the best ways to implement these changes into your practice. 

Let’s say, for instance, that you’d like to leverage a new financial planning software, but 

there are too many to choose from. From the ground, this can feel overwhelming. By leveraging our birds’-eye view of what’s working and how, on the other hand, the process can get much easier. This, in turn, should free you up to focus on what you do best: managing current relationships and winning new clients.

Wait: Before You Choose an OSJ, We Have Compiled 10 Questions You Should Ask First

Practice Management & Business Development Support

Running a successful financial practice involves more than providing sound planning and investment advice. Practice management and business development are crucial components of any thriving financial advisor enterprise. By partnering with an OSJ, independent RIAs, advisors (advisors (IARs), and registered representatives can tap into an extensive network of experienced professionals who can offer valuable guidance on various aspects of practice management, such as staffing, marketing, and operational efficiency.

Additionally, OSJs can help you with business development efforts by providing access to exclusive marketing materials, sales training, and networking opportunities. This support can enable independent financial professionals to grow their client base, increase revenues, and ultimately achieve greater success in the industry.

Culture and Inclusion: You Don’t Have to go it Alone

Why Independent RIAs, IARs, and Agents Join an OSJ

An independent financial advisor or registered representative can reap significant benefits by partnering with an Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction (OSJ). One noteworthy advantage is gaining access to a non-competitive support system. 

The OSJ can provide vital compliance support, operational assistance, and marketing resources to help financial professionals grow and navigate the complex regulatory environment. This collaborative approach can lead to a more efficient and effective practice, allowing you and your team to focus on your core competency: providing high-quality financial advice and services to your clients.

In addition to a non-competitive support system, partnering with an OSJ can help create a family culture within the organization. This is particularly important for independent financial professionals, who often work in isolation and may feel overwhelmed by the challenges of running their day-to-day businesses. 

By joining forces with an OSJ, you can become part of a more extensive, supportive network that shares common values and goals. This sense of belonging can foster a more positive and productive work environment, where you can exchange ideas, learn from one another, and celebrate collective achievements. Ultimately, this family culture can lead to higher job satisfaction, increased loyalty, and a stronger sense of purpose, which can contribute to the long-term success of your partnership.

At Evolution Financial Advisors, “family” is more than a trendy corporate buzzword. When we ally with a firm, to us, you become an esteemed associate and, hopefully, in time, a friend. That’s why our focus is decidedly non-competitive. We’re always out to seek the best solutions benefiting as many affiliates as we can.

We also have years of experience with service providers like National Financial Services, Pershing, Redtail, Albridge, and more. These best-in-class associates work with us to help accelerate independent financial firms’ growth at every phase of your development.

Ultimately, we prefer that you consider us your expanded team—and leverage our shared strengths accordingly. We place a high value on personalized customer service, typically at the same level that you deem appropriate for your clients. You need more than a large enterprise; you need an ally that values what’s important to you and your team.

There are more reasons to partner with Evolution than we’ve listed here. Contact us to schedule a meeting. 

eBook - Top 10 Questions you should ask OSJs

Securities offered through Securities America, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors. Evolution Financial Advisors is not affiliated with the Securities America companies. Securities America does not offer tax or legal services.

Chris Virgil

More about the author: Chris Virgil

Chris is the assistant vice president at Evolution Financial Advisors. He works to help advisors grow their businesses and gain a sense of freedom. Chris is a business and behavioral coach working with existing EFA financial professionals to create a more fulfilling practice, streamline operations, and enhance client experience.