Firm Leadership
Q: Tell me about your firm’s history.
Q: What is your ownership structure?
Q: What is the average tenure and retention of advisors?
Q: What sets your firm apart?
Q: What is the future of your firm?
Q: Where do you see the industry headed in the next 5-10 years?

Q: Is your platform fully integrated (trading, performance reporting, document imaging, data aggregation and CRM)?
Q: Is it fully integrated with other third-party software?
Q: What type of client and practice-level performance reporting is available?
Q: Do you have an account aggregation system?
Q: Can client forms be signed electronically?
Q: What is your firm’s commitment to technology now and in the future?
Q: What type of technology support does your firm offer?
Q: Do you offer model management software?
Q: What is the client experience like?

Q: What are your service standards?
Q: How do you handle advisor complaints regarding service issues?
Q: Do you have an advisory board?

Advisory Platform
Q: What are the different ways an advisor can manage assets on your advisor platform?
Q: What are the costs associated with each method?
Q: Do you allow for discretion?
Q: What is the fee structure and cost of your advisory platform?
Q: What support does your Advisory team offer?

Q: Do you have a Practice Management department to assist with running and building my business? 
Q: Is there a cost to this service?
Q: What type of marketing programs and services do you have?
Q: Can you assist with creating a brand or unique identity?
Q: Can you help advisors with the purchase of another book of business and succession planning?
Q: What type of offsite training and networking opportunities do you offer advisors?
Q: Can you help train next-gen advisors?

Research and Product
Q: Do you have an on-site research team? What are their credentials?
Q: What type of access do we have to team members? Are there any costs associated with using your internal research team?
Q: Does the research cover individual securities and portfolio management?
Q: Do you offer unbiased advice?
Q: Do you have a recommended product list?
Q: What research packages do you offer?
Q: Do you have proprietary products? Do advisors get paid more for offering them?
Q: Do you offer alternative investments and structured products?

Advanced Planning and Wealth Management
Q: Can we bill for financial planning services to our clients? If so, in what capacity (e.g. hourly, project based, or retainer based)?
Q: Who are your approval vendors for financial planning software?
Q: Do you have a Wealth Management or Advanced Planning team to assist in high-net-worth (HNW) or complex financial planning cases?
Q: Do you offer trust and estate planning products and services?
Q: Do you offer support for HNW clients?

Retirement Plans: Corporate
Q: Please describe the level of qualified plan consulting support you provide.
Q: If this support is proactive, please describe the areas supported.
Q: Which tools and resources do you provide to help me carry out my fiduciary responsibilities with respect to plan investments, plan optimization, overall employee wellness and advice?
Q: What kind of consulting support do you offer in the individual retirement account side, especially for plan participants contemplating a change or entering retirement?
Q: How many retirement professionals support this line of business?

Q: What is the overall philosophy of your team?
Q: Tell me about the experience and credentials of your Compliance department.
Q: What types of services and support does your team offer?
Q: Can you help advisors with the purchase of another book of business and succession planning?
Q: Describe the approval process for client communications, including customized forms, letters and social mail.
Q: Can you describe your audit process?

Q: Do you have a GA relationship and support structure?
Q: If we use your in-house GA, does the production count toward our gross dealer concessions?
Q: Are we required to use your in-house GA?
Q: What does the compensation structure look like? Is there a haircut?
Q: How do I move my fixed insurance business over?

Q: What types of services and support does your team offer?
Q: Do you have a formalized transition process?
Q: Do you provide a designated transition specialist for each advisor and/or office?
Q: Have you worked with other advisors who have recently come from my firm?

Other Considerations for your Broker/Dealer and
RIA Due Diligence

+ Ask for references for advisors with similar practices that you can speak to. 
+ Visit the home office.
+ Ask wholesalers and other industry professional for their unbiased opinion.