In an effort to stand out from other RIA custodians, Scottrade Advisor Services is providing a free compliance hotline for financial advisors.

Scottrade recently signed an agreement for Lexington Compliance to provide the free hotline to the more than 1,100 registered investment advisors that custody assets with Scottrade.

Hotline advice will be limited to answers to basic questions about RIA operations and related compliance and registration issues. The service will also help advisors identify potential compliance issues that are beyond the scope of the free hotline so that callers can obtain the additional guidance they need from Lexington Compliance at an additional cost, or from the compliance provider of the advisor’s choosing.

Compliance needs are vital to running a successful RIA business, especially for those transitioning from full-service firms where compliance services had been provided for them. According to the latest research from the 2012 Scottrade Advisor Services Registered Investment Advisor Study, compliance needs are the second biggest obstacle for breakaway brokers, trailing only building a client base.

According to Brian Davis, director of Scottrade Advisor Services, the compliance hotline is the first in a number of practice management initiatives that Scottrade will roll out in the months ahead. Soon, Scottrade plans to offer a free compliance training program to its advisors provided by Lexington. In addition, Scottrade plan to announce a relationship that will provide discount pricing on E&O insurance to its advisors.

"These initiatives are in direct response to the finding of our survey," said Davis. "We believe they will help differentiate us from our competitors."

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