What is a TAMP?

Turnkey Asset Management Platform

A TAMP is a Turnkey Asset Management Platform. But not all TAMPs offer the same functionality or services. We’ve put together answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Turnkey Asset Management Platforms, and what sets GeoWealth apart from the pack.

Table of Contents:

    What is a TAMP?

    Should my RIA firm use a TAMP?

    What are the benefits of using a TAMP?

    How much will it cost my firm to use a TAMP?

    How will my firm benefit from using a TAMP?

    What is a SMA? What is a UMA? What is a UMH?

    What is a TAMP?

    Before digging into what a turnkey platform can do for your firm, let’s dive into the most essential question: What is a Turnkey Asset Management Platform?

    TAMP stands for Turnkey Asset Management Platform. TAMPs are designed to simplify investment management for both investors and advisors.

    Turnkey Asset Management Programs are tech-enabled platforms that allow RIAs, broker-dealers, asset managers and even CPAs to monitor, manage, and provide back-office support for their clients’ investments and asset allocations. Advisors pay a fee to the TAMP for the investment due diligence, asset allocation decision-making, and execution provided by a TAMP. In turn, advisors save time and energy, allowing them to focus on developing new business and providing better advice across their roster of clients.

    As a TAMP, GeoWealth offers turnkey asset management solutions, a modern tech stack for advisors and their clients, and robust outsourced back-office servicing (performance reporting, reconciliation, aggregation, billing, trading).

    Should my RIA firm use a TAMP?

    All types of firms can benefit from leveraging a Turnkey Asset Management Platform. Whether you’re a two-person shop, or a national corporate RIA, there are unique efficiencies and cost-savings opportunities in using a TAMP within your service mode.
    Advisors need time and energy to support clients across their many needs. Accordingly, an Investment News report found that more than 1 in 4 advisors stated that their primary reason for partnering with a TAMP was to free up time to serve clients. The report also indicated that nearly 24% of advisors turned to TAMPs for their investment management expertise and another 20% rely on outsourced investment managers to control expenses in the event of a market downturn.

    Who should use a TAMP to find time-savings and cost-savings gains?

    1. Independent Investment Advisors
    Whether you’re leaving an independent broker-dealer or traditional wirehouse, or just starting out on your own as a new RIA firm, a TAMP can provide the needed infrastructure, technology and support to get the your new RIA up and running on Day One.

    2.  Corporate RIAs
    Managing an increasingly large and complex organization means that any incremental efficiencies gained will result in a massive benefit. Corporate RIAs can use a TAMP as their tech stack (or at least the bulk of it), as a way to manage the investment products available to their advisors, and as a way to standardize advisor onboarding and processes. A TAMP can help a Corporate RIA Home Office scale in a repeatable and compliant fashion.

    3. Asset Managers
    A TAMP can provide turnkey access to an asset manager’s model portfolios to the RIA market and meet the extremely high standards RIAs demand – cutting edge technology, personal service, and competitive pricing. GeoWealth’s open-architecture TAMP supports a broad array of asset classes, from equities to fixed income to alternatives like structured notes.

    What are the benefits of using a TAMP?

    TAMPs can supercharge the growth and scale of an RIA firm by executing repetitive, time-consuming tasks at scale. By outsourcing trading, billing, and reporting to a TAMP, your RIA doesn’t require as large of an in-house staff, which means lower overhead.
    Simply put, a TAMP is designed to operate as an extension of an advisor’s office, working quietly and efficiently in the background.

    TAMPs work by combining many disparate functions and workflows into a painless and affordable outsourced solution. Advisors no longer have to track down multiple sets of forms or client information to pass along to strategists. Instead, they collect and provide a single packet of information containing the client’s strategist or models and pass it along to the TAMP. As sub-advisor, the TAMP then typically handles all processing and investing. That means no more tedious tasks, like aggregation, reconciliation, reporting, and billing.

    In-house client service personnel no longer waste hours on hold, waiting for custodians to rectify any issues that arise. That’s the job of the TAMP. Tax documents, beneficiary paperwork, and client statements? Those are securely handled by the TAMP.

    How much will it cost my firm to use a TAMP?

    The cost structure of TAMPs varies across the industry. It’s important to find a turnkey asset management platform whose fee structure makes the most sense for your firm. GeoWealth’s fees are always custom, unbundled, and transparent.
    TAMP pricing varies by provider, task complexity, and the expenses of underlying investment vehicles. Often, TAMPs that have their own proprietary technology are able to charge less than TAMPs that rent the components of their platform from other companies since that layers additional fees into the operating structure of the TAMP. At GeoWealth, we provide custom pricing based on each firm’s individual needs and characteristics.

    How will my firm benefit from using a TAMP?

    You should try to find a true partner, not just a platform. By partnering with a TAMP like GeoWealth, you firm may find both cost and time savings gains. Plus, you’ll be able to lean upon our team, instead of having to hire, train, and manage an in-house team.
    In using a TAMP, advisors can reclaim their time without adding salaries or benefit costs to the firm’s overhead. Operational trading costs are reduced, too, as are accompanying service requests that can affect advisor efficiency. Properly structured TAMP partnerships result in costs fluctuating alongside revenue, helping smooth a firm’s financial ratios during periods of market volatility or employee turnover.

    You understand how important it is to act as a partner to your clients – not just managing their money, but listening to their concerns, providing expert guidance, and making strategic recommendations in service of their goals.

    Your TAMP should do the same for you. The right TAMP will treat you like more than a one and-done contract, looking for ways to help you better serve your clients, solve operational pain points, and ultimately grow your business.

    How should I do due diligence on a TAMP?

    It may take a few weeks to shop for the right turnkey asset management platform for your firm. You should evaluate platforms in terms of what they can offer you, but also what they’re lacking (what we call a “red flag”).
    The financial advisor of today is forced to be many things at once: a financial planner, guidance counselor, client confidante, and master of all-thing-back-office. To do all that and focus on client relationships means that something’s got to give. You can’t afford to spend the majority of your time
    managing tedious back-office functionality – or hiring, onboarding and training in-house
    employees to do it for you.

    Working with a TAMP  enables financial advisors to focus on providing holistic, professional guidance and support to their clients. How? The TAMP takes on those less valuable but still business-critical middle- and back-office tasks.

    Since not all TAMPs are the same, it’s important to know what to look for – and what to stay away from – in a TAMP partner. Here’s our 5 red flags to avoid when evaluating the right TAMP for your firm.

    1. A fee structure that doesn’t align with yours
    When a TAMP outsources some services, or licenses some underlying technologies, fees can
    skyrocket to account for the additional providers. Advisors should also look out for hidden
    fees baked into some TAMPs’ limited lineups of models and strategists.

    2. Outdated infrastructure
    TAMPs should be constantly evolving with the wealth management landscape, bringing development teams, trading teams, and operations teams together to develop new capabilities in response to  feedback and suggestions from their clients. A TAMP that’s unwilling, or unable, to adapt will in turn fail to help advisors future-proof their businesses.

    3. An inability to scale with your growth
    Do they grow with you as your AUM grows? Ideally, a TAMP will help you grow by enabling you to focus on deepening your current client relationships and building new ones. And as you do, your TAMP should be able to provide platform services and responsive, tiered pricing options that adjust seamlessly to your new needs.

    4. Siloed workflows
    Do they have integrated systems on their platform? When TAMPs build their own technology from the ground up using components designed to work together, advisors are able to run their entire practices through a single portal, from portfolio construction to reporting to billing.

    5. Lack of service and support 
    Do you have a dedicated consultant or relationship manager, or does your firm get shuffled around to different 1-800 numbers when you have questions? Does the TAMP work with you to identify the tasks that make most sense to outsource, or do they expect you to conform your business to their one-size-fits-all model?

    TIP: To dive further into these areas, head over to this article on the 5 red flags to avoid when choosing a TAMP.

    What is a SMA? What is a UMA? What is a UMH?

    GeoWealth’s TAMP supports both SMA, or Separately Managed Account, and UMA, or Unified Managed Account, structures.

    Before we go, let’s talk for a minute about TAMP “wrappers.” There are several styles of TAMP “wrappers” advisors will need to consider. Most outsourced investment managers share their capabilities regarding each of these wrappers, so that an advisor can choose how and when they’ll deploy their TAMP.

    Mutual Fund Wrap Account
    This style of TAMP offers mutual funds with fees that “wrap around” all of the investor’s mutual fund trading, rather than the end-client paying individual fees for each fund.

    Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) Wrap Account
    Similar to a mutual fund wrap account, this TAMP solution wraps around ETFs.

    Separately Managed Account (SMA)
    For end-clients with a significant amount of wealth, TAMPs can provide an SMA, which operates like a mutual fund, but with a single investor owning the account’s assets.

    Unified Managed Account (UMA)
    This type of account allows an investor to aggregate assets but separately manage different “sleeves,” or asset groupings. Take a deep dive on UMAs by clicking here.

    Unified Managed Household (UMH)
    For households with multiple individuals, such as children, grandparents and parents, TAMPs can handle the investments of the entire household within a single structure.

    The information contained herein does not constitute investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any security, investment or product. You should not construe any of this information to be legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. This article is for dissemination of general information only. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date, but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. Investments are not guaranteed and are subject to investment risk, including possible loss of the principal amount invested. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

    GeoWealth is the TAMP for RIAs


    If you’d like to learn more about how GeoWealth can help transform your business and enable you scale faster, reach out to our team. We’re happy to consult with you on your particular situation and answer any questions you may have about outsourcing your technology, investment management, or back office.

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