Commonwealth Financial Network, a privately held RIA and independent broker-dealer (IBD) in Waltham, Mass., and San Diego, has hired industry veteran Matthew Chisholm as senior vice president for RIA services and practice management, according to a news release.

Commonwealth's decision to recruit Chisholm comes at a time when several leading IBDs including LPL Financial and Raymond James are making significant capital expenditures in an effort to build their RIA platforms. There are several why leading IBDs are pursuing these strategies.

It is believed that there could be significant fallout and dislocation from the Charles Schwab-TD Ameritrade merger prompting many RIAs to look for a new custodian. Moreover, top IBDs were already expanding their custodial platforms because the RIA business is enjoying faster growth than the brokerage business.

Commonwealth said that the creation of the position is part of the firm’s investment in helping advisors efficiently operate and grow their fee-based practices. As part of that strategy, Commonwealth said it has linked RIA services and practice management as one unit, which Chisholm will lead.

Chisholm has more than 20 years of industry experience in the financial services industry and most recently served as senior vice president and head of practice management and consulting at Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions. He received his bachelor's degree in economics from Colby College.

Chisholm will report to Greg Gohr, managing principal, wealth management, who was recently elevated to the partner level. Gohr has been with the firm for 20 years, leading the advanced planning, annuity research, insurance, investment management and research, and retirement consulting services teams during that time.

“Matt’s track record of consulting with broker/dealers, hybrid firms, and independent RIAs in the custodial world will add tremendous value to the range of support we offer for fee-only advisors," Wayne Bloom, Commonwealth CEO, said in a press release. "As our industry continues to shift to fee-based advice, we are uniquely poised to partner with advisors not only where they are, but where they want to go.”  

As of January 31, Commonwealth has transitioned 119 advisors to a fee-only business model, the release said. Fee-only advisors represent $7.6 billion in total assets under management.