The firm is set to give RIAs “trusted education and resources,” as well as a “read-only view of assets held away [for their] clients that own crypto,” he said.
Onramp aims to “make it as easy for financial advisors to interact with Bitcoin the same way they would with Apple,” Ross said. “Literally, make it that simple and take away all the compliance and regulatory burden.”
The launch likely will take place in May, he added. “We have some really big news coming in terms of the people that agreed to partner with us. People will be really impressed when they see some of the traditional vendors that we’re going to launch with and some of the things we’re going to announce. We’ve gotten into Fort Knox so to speak.”
Earlier RIA Moves
Overland Park, Kansas-based Mariner Wealth Advisors became the first RIA to make the Eaglebrook Bitcoin separately managed account available to its advisors and their clients in November, after it privately launched the offering to a group of clients a year ago. At the time, Mariner had about 340 advisors and $35 billion in assets under advisement.
Other firms that have waded into the crypto waters include Fidelity Investments, which disclosed in August that it planned to launch a Bitcoin fund for accredited investors, adding its establishment name and star power to the fledgling and often controversial asset class.
When asked why more RIAs haven’t rolled out cryptocurrency offerings, Tiburon Strategic Advisors chief Chip Roame said: “Many RIAs have a streamlined business model that has them holding almost exclusively ETFs and [mutual funds]. The existing digital assets products are not that, and have additional fees built in, [which is] not congruent with many RIA models.”
Also, Roame explained, many RIAs rely on their custodians (like Schwab and Fidelity) to “determine the available products, with many RIAs choosing not to invest client funds in products that cannot be held in such custodians’ accounts for simplicity reasons.”
Toronto-based CI Financial, which has acquired U.S. RIAs with about $55 billion in assets, says it was “an early entrant into the crypto space in Canada” with the launch of the Galaxy Bitcoin Fund in December. Last week, it introduced the Galaxy Bitcoin ETF on the Toronto exchange with a management fee of 40 basis points.
Today in the U.S., the only options are found in trust or private placement structures available for 200 basis points, the firm says.
“These vehicles simply do not have the convenience, flexibility and better liquidity that an ETF structure can provide,” CI Financial CEO Kurt MacAlpine said in a statement. ”As one of the fastest growing U.S. RIA platforms, coupled with our expertise in crypto, we think we can be a natural leader in this space. We do see the adoption of crypto offerings in the U.S. RIA space as a likely development as options expand and fees compress.”
While some industry voices, like…