Integrations with software and fintech firms are key to getting inside advisors’ workflow, like “getting into Fort Knox,” which is a goal of Onramp, he explained.
Altruist users, meanwhile, “will get Onramp at some point,” he also told viewers. Ross worked for the brokerage platform as director of community in 2020.
Onramp is also having “very robust” conversations with Gemini and in talks with Coinbase, he said, referring to two major crypto exchange platforms.
“We are working with [Gemini] to “make the account opening process seamless, like opening a box of saltines,” he joked, for anybody using that platform for custody, he said.
Also important to achieve is a read-only view — for an advisor to be able to see a client’s accounts that are held away at the Gemini and Coinbase crypto exchange platforms — and Onramp is “working on some others,” he said. Onramp is also “having some other conversations with Coinbase … about some other things,” he said without elaborating.
That read-only view will also be pulled into portfolio management software, where users will then be “able to start the process” of trading cryptocurrency, he said. He did not identify the company it’s partnering with for that, but predicted it will create a “tectonic shift” in this business.
CF Benchmarks, Altruist, Gemini and Coinbase did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday.
“Some of the largest RIAs in this country do not have the tools to make” crypto “available to their clients in the way that they want to, while the wirehouse advisors” like Morgan Stanley, which recently announced it was giving some clients access to Bitcoin funds, “get it all,” he said. “We’re going to help with that,” he promised RIAs.
Onramp is trying to “carve our own lane” in a space that “needs to be built out,” he explained. “The ecosystem needs to be built out for advisors and they should have choice of where it is that they want to go and run their practice.”
Onramp wants to be an “all-in-one solution” that provides advisors with “every tool that they need,” including insurance, he said, offering a metaphor to explain what the company is out to do: “Everyone is building hotels. Onramp is the interstate” because “you need to be able to get to” those hotels, he said.
“We are technology. We are resources. We are education. We are research. We are an all-in-one solution for RIAs to walk into this new asset class in a compliant and regulatory manner,” he further explained. Among other things, it is solving the issues raised with crypto by the Securities and Exchange Commission, he said.
RIA firms that collectively manage $2 billion in assets signed up to be on Onramp’s waiting list on Thursday, and the company is now “approaching $300 billion” of AUM among RIAs on that waiting list, he said.
Also among Onramp’s plans is a white glove service in which his company will do a mock exam for advisors and their firms so “you are prepared from the top down” to deal with crypto and blockchain, Ross said.