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Outsourced investments are one of the fastest-growing categories in the financial advisory world. Perched between the asset custodian and the financial advisor, these (mostly) turnkey asset management programs can handle all or a portion of their investing, technology and fiduciary duties.

Advocates of using these TAMPs point to how it's better for the advisor because it frees up more time to spend with clients and prospects. It's also better for clients because the duties are being handled by specialized professionals who benefit from economies of scale.

Skeptics say that it adds a layer of cost and takes away an element of control from the advisors in executing according to a client's financial plan.

Steve Dunlap (with FolioDynamix's Meghan McCartan): The current robos have jumped the shark.

FolioDynamix president uses conference to KO robos and call them a 'free beta test'

A half-full message on DOL rules is the federal mandate to ask clients about held-away assets as a matter of fiduciary responsibility

September 23, 2016 — 6:23 PM UTC by Guest Columnist Timothy D. Welsh

FolioDynamix remains the Avis of TAMPs -- and its new president Steve Dunlap has much to show for trying harder even when it hurts

“We’ve been punching under our weight class for a while now,” said Dunlap, the former Cetera, Pershing and Lockwood executive, as he reflected on his first nine months in the lead role at Secaucus, N.J.-based FolioDynamix. See: Ex-Lockwood CEO Steve Dunlap takes on role at FolioDynamix after being a customer ...

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Tom Kimberly: We heard consistent feedback about the need for greater portfolio flexibility.

Betterment makes Goldman Sachs and Vanguard partners as it shifts into higher RIA gear

With advisors demanding to get back in the driver's seat, the robo's RIA chief, Tom Kimberly goes for two big-name model portfolio strategists under the 'Betterment for Advisors' brand

September 14, 2016 — 1:29 PM UTC by Brooke Southall

Brooke's Note: We have been talking about 'convergence' in the financial advice business from the days when people first realized that Schwab was trying to become Merrill Lynch and vice-versa. Schwab is winning that war for the middle by mostly every measure. Now it looks like Betterment is working its way toward becoming more like Schwab, and maybe like Envestnet, too. What we learned from the Schwab-Merrill scrape is that it helped Schwab to first establish ...

Ron Carson: The more I stepped back the better. I even shocked myself.

What to make of Ron Carson selling 29% of his empire for $35 million -- and how he's evolved his no-pain, no-gain approach to attract a new generation of talent

Improbably, the master motivator of Omaha is seeking a few good millennial slackers en route to building a firm that exudes as much silicon as charisma

July 12, 2016 — 10:16 PM UTC by Natalie Carpenter

Brooke’s Note: This article hopefully opens a wider window on Ron Carson and his enterprises than any before it. But I’ll warn you, it falls short in one regard despite some rather good tennis shoe sleuthing on the part of Omaha gumshoe Eric Clarke. What we know is that Ron Carson often leads the pre-6 a.m. charge at a popular Omaha health club. But dawn patrol alone is not mind boggling. What ...

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Former DFA exec John Blood is migrating his portfolios toward 'factor' ETFs, and away from DFA mutual funds.

How an ex-DFA exec created a $1.2 billion TAMP in three years and why he's phasing out DFA funds for factor ETFs

After calling on DFA TAMPs like Loring Ward and Symmetry, the owner of Efficient Advisors saw an opening and a way to shave costs

May 9, 2016 — 8:30 PM UTC by Irwin Stein

Brooke’s Note: With its low fees, Nobel Prize-backed investment practices and classroom training of RIAs, Dimensional Fund Advisors is that rare investment product company that walks on water, metaphorically speaking. But with ETFs cheaper and, some would argue, just as “factor”-based in many cases, DFA’s advantage may be less clear-cut than it once was. In fact, John Blood left DFA to start a TAMP that practices portfolio building in a way that ...

Charles Goldman: They're buying the management team.

Charles Goldman's turnaround of Genworth castoff leads Chinese investor to pay stunning price

AssetMark grew from $21 billion of AUM to $29 billion but PE firms made quick 300% return

April 12, 2016 — 3:47 AM UTC by Brooke Southall

It wasn’t something Charles Goldman ever imagined doing when he accepted the job to turn around and lead AssetMark after it had begun to unravel under Genworth’s ownership. See: 'AssetMark’ rides again as a $20-billion TAMP with a receding Genworth hangover.

Yet there he was at his company’s headquarters at about 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 24 making his way through his firm’s offices in Concord, Calif. flipping on light ...

Jon Baum: If you go and visit the company in Omaha, there's no sense that it's a family business. There are two main campuses and it's a very big and professionally run business.

Orion's parent NorthStar tops 700 employees, finishes second Omaha campus and taps a super-exec from central casting to run it all

With Eric and Todd Clarke handling day-to-day challenges at Orion and CLS, NorthStar finds an un-Clarke in Jon Baum, former CEO and chairman of The Dreyfus Corp.

March 24, 2016 — 7:02 PM UTC by Lisa Shidler

Finally capitulating to the transformation of their family business from a mom-and pop on steroids into a corporate cranker, the Clarke family is putting an outsider in the chief manager spot — but not before yanking a fishing rod out of his hands.

Coming on the tail end of a major overhaul of its Omaha campus, Northstar Financial Group LLC is appointing a new executive chairman in the person of Jon Baum, previously CEO of The ...

Scott Winters: Because we're the fastest growing TAMP in America, we haven't really stopped to count which assets are coming from Curian, and which aren't

Why mini-TAMP EQIS just got a maxi private equity infusion after judicious scavenging of Curian

Long Ridge Equity Partners looked once, then came back 18 months later and invested $15 million in a TAMP that shuns mutual funds, allows $25,000 investments and professes to deliver on selling the Yale endowment model in a box

March 3, 2016 — 10:24 PM UTC by Sanders Wommack

Brooke’s Note: It’s well accepted that the core competency of financial advisors lies not in their ability to manage portfolios of securities. We can pretty much stipulate that without pushback. So you’d think that investment outsource companies, namely TAMPs, would thrive. They do OK, but things are always a little stagnant. Now EQIS comes along with a new twist — one that attracted a $15 million investment. But of course in business it ...

Jud Bergman: The biggest thing was the repricing due to the WMS client. That's the biggest single factor.

With Envestnet shares deeply depressed, analysts cut Jud Bergman little slack on 4Q earnings call

WIth a not-yet-integrated Yodlee, trouble with a big client, Lori Hardwick's departure and a recent history of muddy communication, CEO Jud Bergman worked hard to reassure

February 29, 2016 — 6:09 PM UTC by Lisa Shidler

Lisa’s Note: As a reformed steel industry reporter, I’ve covered the most contentious earnings calls. I was reporting on Bethlehem Steel and U.S. Steel when each firm was buried in bankruptcy, steel mills were shuttering their doors and the companies’ stock prices had bottomed out. On these contentious earnings call, analysts held back no punches. Listening to a call with a curmudgeon steel analyst who was happy to throw the CEO under ...

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Michael Kim: There just aren't a great number of people out there who can take the consultative approach and actually work well with advisors.

AssetMark finds greatest treasure of Curian shipwreck to be its survivors, even as it salvages $2 billion from the ocean floor

The Concord, Calif.-based outsourcer fills five sales positions from its fallen competitor with ease and sets them a task to throw life rings to even more adrift advisors

October 19, 2015 — 3:43 PM UTC by Sanders Wommack

Brooke’s Note: What happens when $10 billion of AUM gets abdicated to the market? With the decision of Curian Capital to take exactly that course of action, we get to see. But what may be more interesting is not what happens to the financial assets, but to the human ones — especially in a tight labor market. Making money is a sign of the health of a company but so is hiring. AssetMark, now with ...

Anil Arora: We are powering some of the biggest financial institution, investment and wealth management entities in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, India.

This time Envestnet plays most cards face up as analysts press again for cogent Yodlee deal rationalization

Jud Bergman supposes, though not until 2020, that the merger will yield an extra $200 million in revenues

September 24, 2015 — 11:44 PM UTC by Lisa Shidler and Brooke Southall

Brooke’s Note: Depending on how you count, this is Envestnet’s third or fourth official attempt to explain why it is buying Yodlee for $660 million. Every time that happens, RIABiz is all ears. The explanations amount to drafts on the subject of how the future of the business of financial advice will shake out. The winners will, aided by Yodlee or other collectors and processors of consumer data, no longer be groping around ...

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