What an LA RIA Should Look for When Outsourcing its Operations Desk

Craig Pollack | Apr 15, 2016

What an LA RIA Should Look For When Outsourcing Its Operations DeskAs a busy Investment Advisor in Los Angeles you’ll understand that there are often far better things to do than manage your own operations desk. Yes, managing your Portfolio Management System, reconciling custodial statements, and sending out your quarterly statements to your clients is incredibly important, but so is dedicating your time to interface with your clients, making investment decisions, and structuring strategies.

Since you cannot be in two places at once, outsourcing, particularly within the investment industry, has become increasingly widespread in recent years. Indeed, outsourcing is one of the most popular ways to fill human resource, IT and administration vacancies, particularly as such arrangements can prove financially beneficial and flexible and provide focused competencies without the expense of training.

However, would you know what to look out for when it comes to outsourcing your operations desk? How do you know when you’ve found the right company for the job? Here are some of the more important considerations:


While choosing to outsource certain roles, including operations desk management, can work out fantastically well in terms of financial leverage, it is essential to review and set your budget from the outset, as well as negotiating a salary or fixed price for the services of the contractor. There’s nothing quite like finding a resource that you’re happy with in terms of the standards of their work, only to find out that you’re not on the same page financially.

Continuity and Compliance

When outsourcing your operations desk it’s important to choose somebody who will slot into place without issue and continue to build upon your business’s image and high standards. While they may be an outsourced staff member, this new desk manager should feel as much a part of the team as anyone else and be aware of the same compliancy issues the rest of your firm adheres to. Continuity and compliance are essential to ensuring your company is working as a well-oiled machine.

Excellent and Secure Remote Access Management

As an LA RIA, the chances are you’re on the move much of the time. And it’s important to outsource your operations desk management to somebody equally flexible. Excellent remote access practices and mobile device management are a must when outsourcing this role.  In addition, proven skills in an array of software and hardware will ensure that your operations continues to work efficiently, regardless of whether it’s you behind the scenes or not.

Proven Track Record and References

It is understood that it’s vital to check references and to be on the lookout for a proven track record, particularly if you’re recruiting for a position as vital as operations desk. While much of the work to be performed is transactional based, you need to ensure that any contractor you entrust with the position is as good as they profess and that they have the skills to prove it.


While there are numerous benefits to outsourcing your operations, one of the big ones is leveraging the skills, experience and best practices one has to offer.  The downside is controlling the information and exposure to your investing practices to a 3rd party who’s also providing these very same services to others in your industry and marketplace.  Talking to their references about their confidentiality practices as well as getting an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) in place to ensure your intellectual property is secure is a must.

The benefits of social media can be leveraged to see how and what they communicate on these platforms to give you a sense of their approach to managing confidential information.  Looking to recruit somebody who’s professional in their manner and comfortable talking about their line of work without releasing trade secrets. These days, checking the social media sites belonging to potential prospects is akin to pulling up references. And the right candidate should not disappoint you in this arena.

If you’re looking to outsource your operations, now’s the time to take advantage of the points listed above and get going on that search.  After all, you have a successful investment firm to run.

Is there anything not listed that you feel could add some real value for others looking to outsource their operations? We’d love to hear youor thoughts on this topic, so please share it in the Comments box below.

And to follow-through on the concepts introduced here, be sure to download your free guide, Investing in High Net Worth Clients: The LA Investment Advisor's Guide to Using Technology to Manage and Grow Your Firm.


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Craig Pollack

Craig Pollack

Craig is the Founder & CEO of FPA Technology Services, Inc. Craig provides the strategy and direction for FPA, ensuring its clients, business owners, and key decision makers leverage technology as efficiently and effectively as possible. With over 25 years of experience building the preeminent IT Service Provider in the Southern California area, Craig is one of the area’s leading authorities on how small to mid-sized businesses can best secure and leverage their technology to achieve their business objectives.