Why Partner with Cornerstone Portfolio Research for OCIO Services?

Why Partner with Cornerstone Portfolio Research for OCIO Services?

2024 is here, and you may be looking for ways to improve the quality of your independent RIA/IAR investment services. When we look at the marketplace you compete in, several types of pressure could cause your RIA to streamline your portfolio management services to compete with the bigger firms. For example:

  • Clients now expect more personalized and comprehensive investment management services, causing leading RIAs to provide highly customized services to meet their demands.
  • Independent RIAs compete with each other, larger financial firms, and the rise of robo-advisors providing AI-driven planning and investment services.
  • RIAs are also under increasing pressure to integrate emerging technologies, like AI, into their service offerings to analyze data more effectively and streamline their portfolio management services.
  • Fee compression is another potential pressure that enterprising RIA and IAR-owned firms must address to remain competitive with new technology-based advisory firms.

Combining these factors with the everyday pressures of running a profitable financial advisory business can be daunting. This is why many RIAs are migrating toward the OCIO (Outsourced Chief Investment Officer) model, which can be a game changer for managing your clients’ assets with greater efficiency, effectiveness, and profitability. 

OCIO Vetting Questions

Once you’ve decided to explore working with an OCIO, what should you be looking for that will help you select the right firm? Several factors should be considered because all OCIOs are not the same. There can be significant differences that impact you and your clients.

Below is a list of vetting questions you should consider when you start your search for an OCIO service provider:

  1. How well does your OCIO’s investment philosophy align with your firm’s investment advice and strategy?
  2. Can the OCIO provide detailed performance metrics and benchmarks to produce KPIs for investment results?
  3. What risk management strategies does the OCIO employ that would protect your clients’ assets in different market conditions?
  4. What about documentation clearly describing all the fees and costs associated with the OCIO’s services?
  5. Will you participate when investors with substantial assets want to talk to the OCIO?
  6. Are your investment strategies and solutions customizable to meet specific client needs?
  7. What are the qualifications and experience levels of the team providing research and portfolio management services?
  8. How do you handle client service and support? What is the typical response time for inquiries?
  9. How do you ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements that impact our firm and clients?
  10. Can you provide references or case studies demonstrating your effectiveness and client satisfaction?


Optimize Your RIA’s Growth with OCIO Services.


The Game Changer Without The Hassle 

Many OCIO solutions today have limitations that can cause your firm to compromise or give up control over things like customer service or operational processes. That’s why we formed Cornerstone Portfolio Research, which provides a fully agnostic OCIO model that blends seamlessly into your existing practice with minimal impact on how you currently manage and administer your clients’ assets. 

When Cornerstone was formed, we quickly noticed that smaller advisory firms often needed help to grow their practices beyond a few professionals wearing multiple hats. That’s where outsourced CIO services come in – they can be a real game-changer, boosting your efficiencies and results in a big way. We designed our services to be hassle-free so we can fit easily into your existing business practices.

Here is why more RIAs and IARs are partnering with us:


We are known for our deeply-rooted expertise in investment research and portfolio management. Cornerstone includes eight seasoned investment professionals with extensive experience in various types of investments. Seven are CFAs ®, along with CFP® and APMA® professionals. This collective expertise is critical in developing and managing investment strategies that align with your client’s daily investment needs, ensuring that your firm can offer sophisticated, competitive advice to all your clients.


Cornerstone’s OCIO services streamline investment processes, from research and analysis to portfolio management and maintenance. This streamlined approach allows you and your team to focus more on building and managing client relationships, knowing that today’s aspects of portfolio management are in capable hands.

Cost Containment

Looking for ways to contain your costs is especially important. We understand this, so we’ve structured our OCIO services as cost-effectively as possible. Consider the costs and overhead you would incur if you added a single CFA Charterholder® to your team. By leveraging our scale and expertise, we can offer competitive pricing, which helps your firm manage its costs more effectively.

Collaborative Research

Cornerstone’s approach to investment research is highly collaborative. We work closely with your team, sharing insights and data to help you make data-driven, informed decisions for your clients. This partnership approach to research ensures that you’re not just receiving advice but are actively engaged in the investment process on behalf of your clients.

Enhanced Client Service/Support

An unwavering commitment to enhancing your client service and support is at the core of our OCIO services. Our team works alongside your professionals to ensure your clients receive comprehensive, tailored investment advice and the support they demand in long-term relationships. We’re happy to participate in client and prospect meetings. This can help you build new connections and strengthen your existing ones.


Integration with existing systems and processes is critical for RIAs and IAR-owned firms. Cornerstone’s OCIO services are designed to seamlessly integrate with various platforms and workflows, ensuring a smooth transition and efficient ongoing operations. Your team won’t need to overhaul your current workflows or systems. We’ll blend into your daily routine, using the tools you already have, like your CRM, custodial software, client reporting, and portfolio management apps.

Custodian Agnostic

Finally, Cornerstone’s custodial agnostic approach gives your firm full flexibility regarding custodians. We’ve developed our services to be fully agnostic, meaning you choose the best custodial relationship for your business and clients.  Bottom line: when you partner with Cornerstone, you don’t need to go through the hassle of changing custodians, which can be very disruptive to your clients. 

In short, we’re here to make things easier, not more complicated.  Let’s connect for an introductory call if you want to learn more about our OCIO investment research and portfolio management services.

An OCIO Can Help Your RIA

More about the author: Thomas Balis

Thomas holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from Ohio State and has since earned the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) designation as well as the Accredited Portfolio Management Advisor (APMA®) and Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor (CMFC®) certifications.