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Account Opening: Part 1 - The Legal Documents

The account opening process through the Garrett Operations teams is detailed in the following .pdfs, accessible in Egnyte.

Garrett Portfolios - Client Process (IAR Version).pdf

Garrett Portfolios - Client Process (Client Version).pdf

This article is the first in a several part series to take a deeper dive into what each step looks like, and what should be happing at HQ, with the Advisor, and with the client at each step.  Please note that these parts cover several steps at a time on the above .pdfs.

Step 1: Compliance Documents


At this point, the client has told you they want to move forward with an engagement that includes assets under management.


The advisor needs to provide the following documentation to the client in order to move forward if they have not done so already:

  • Firm level ADV Part 3 (Form CRS)
  • Firm Level ADV Part 2A
  • Advisor Level ADV Part 2b

Additionally, the advisor needs to obtain a signed Client Service Agreement (CSA) from the client that covers Investment Supervisory Services (ISS), and includes the fee schedule selected by the Advisor.


Providing documentation and obtaining a CSA that covers ISS should occur either prior to or in conjunction with the subsequent step, in which we are notified the process to open an account has begun.

Step 2: Submit a Help Ticket


The client can be notified at this point that the advisor and an HQ Team Member will be moving forward with the account opening process.  The client should expect to receive any of the following as appropriate:

  • A link to the New Account Form from Cognito Forms to complete
  • Emails from DocuSign to complete documentation for the custodian
  • Emails from Schwab (if applicable) to complete the digital onboarding process instead of DocuSign


The advisor should submit a Help Ticket > Category: Account Services > Request: Open Account(s) - New OR Existing Household.

Custodian:  New Households should be opened at Charles Schwab if at all possible (Please note that rep-managed accounts cannot be opened at Schwab at this time - that will occur after the conversion and has to do with how they structure IAR access that can or cannot feed into Orion for billing.)  Existing households can remain at the current custodian instead of unnecessarily maintaining accounts at separate custodians.

Client Information: If the account is being opened at TDA, we will need ALL client formation up front in order to prepare paperwork.  If the account is being opened at Schwab and it is a standard account type, then we can utilize Schwab's digital onboarding process.  For digital onboarding, the only information we need to kick off an envelope is the following:

  • First and Last Name
  • Phone Number and Type
  • Email Address

This can all be collected through a properly filled out Help Ticket. 

Remaining Questions: Depending on the custodian, we will need the information provided via a New Account Form.  As indicated, this can be kicked off either by the advisor, or by HQ.  The rest of the questions are intended to provide scope and an account map to HQ, so that we know what to expect.


Once we receive a New Account Ticket, we'll take action as necessary according to how the ticket is filled out.  We complete the following:

  • Check for CSA - either signed or routed to client for signature; must at least be in process, and must be signed and completed prior to account opening paperwork being sent to the client.
  • Check for New Account Form: If necessary, we will look for the New Account form sent by the Advisor (if "ADVISOR will submit New Account Form to client." has been selected) OR we will use any information available in Redtail to complete and send the New Account Form to the client (if "GARRETT HQ will submit New Account Form to client." has been selected).
  • Assign A. GIA HQ - New Account Workflow to advisor's record of the client in Redtail.  From here, you will be able to see what step of the process we are on.  The Help Ticket entry is where we will communicate with you as steps are completed in the process, or if we need more information to resolve anything.

Email Nicola@GarrettAdvisors.com with questions or submit a Help Ticket!