Jersey City, N.J.-based TD Ameritrade Institutional is playing cupid for RIAs.

The RIA custodian announced on Monday the launch of RIAConnect, a virtual community that matches RIAs with M&A opportunities, successors and next-generation talent.

With travel, meetings and conferences temporarily halted by the Covid-19 pandemic, RIAs have fewer opportunities to network and find potential acquisitions or acquirers. RIAConnect facilitates virtual introductions between acquirers and those considering a sale or merger, and can aid firms in implementing succession or contingency plans, according to a TD Ameritrade announcement.

“Advisors are looking for a safe, secure, virtual community that can help them scale and pursue their strategic goals,” said Scott Collins, managing director of sales consulting at TD Ameritrade Institutional, in comments released on Monday. “RIAConnect can help advisors find top talent and acquisitions that can fuel growth and better position their firms for the future. It’s not just about making deals: it’s about making connections that can lead to bigger and better things.”

The custodian notes that in the years leading into the coronavirus outbreak, RIA M&A activity was accelerating, hitting a record high in 2019. Simultaneously, breakaways are increasingly seeking solutions that do not require them to start their own business. RIAConnect's virtual community allows buyers and sellers to virtually discuss goals and explore combinations, according to TD Ameritrade, and can help connect firms with more job candidates.

Firms looking for next-generation talent can use RIAConnect NextGen to connect with graduates and career-changers interested in joining an advisory firm. RIAs can search for interns, part-time employees or full-time employees, screening them by years of work experience, professional designations, geographic location and field of study. Conversations can be initiated directly through RIAConnect.

RIAConnect will be available exclusively and at no cost to clients of TD Ameritrade Institutional, with seamless access via the firm’s Veo One platform.