News, Vision & Voice for the Advisory Community


United Capital eyes 'Paragon' brand for the $10-million-plus set after nabbing $1 billion RIA in Seattle

Joe Duran is pleased bring aboard another woman-led firm -- a trophy, albeit low-key, outfit that sits among brand giants like Starbucks, Amazon and Microsoft

Author Lisa Shidler January 16, 2013 at 9:35 PM
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Shari Burns: We're not going to country clubs with clients.

Elmer Rich III

Elmer Rich III

January 16, 2013 — 10:57 PM

As marketers we are all for new asset gathering strategies and look forward to following this effort. The name is probably less important than other things. We do work in the family office market and sponsor a Linked In group and a chronic problem is demands that expand with no limits and the inability of fee schedules to keep up. Asset based fees help but don’t solve this problem..

UHNW/FO is hyper competitive market with very smart and well funded competitors and many more SFOs and MFOs chosing new names as well. BTW, doing customer research on a name is usually a good idea.

So the UC strategy includes both a mass market and UHNW market focus? Interesting.

Women are sorely underrepresented in financial services which would seem to limit marketing but e haven’t seen any data.

Believe all our clients are hugged by their clients!

Stepken Winks

Stepken Winks

January 17, 2013 — 1:12 AM

Interesting differentiation, common approach to advisory services which is scalable versus total free agency which is not scalable. Scale wins.

The only problem either advisory initiative is both presume fiduciary standing, required by statute for professional standing, when neither has taken the necessary steps which make advice and fiduciary standing safe, scalable, easy to execute and manage as a high margin business at the advisor level.

Whoever takes fiduciary standing seriousily will be advancing disruptive innovation which assures dominant market share at the expense of high cost, low value added brokerage approaches to advice.

So far hyperbole is winning without a substantive advisor value proposition which is authenticated by statute, case law and regulatory opinion letters—not hype.


Elmer Rich III

Elmer Rich III

January 17, 2013 — 1:50 AM

There was actually a study of disruptive vs. gradual innovation – gradual wins. “Disruption” appears to be mainly an airport business book idea – especially cross culturally.

But “disruptive” is a clever marketing phrase. Not much more it appears.

Stephen Winks

Stephen Winks

January 17, 2013 — 2:34 AM


Jack Welch, former GE Cgairman, who won the mantle of America’s mosr capable manager, would disagree with you. He insisted on a dispruptive innovation strategy as a means to win global market share, GE was number one or two in every business it was in and became the largest public company on earth.

Harvards Clayton Christensen observes the the most common mistake established businesses make qwhen faced with transformational innovation is looking at innovation in the context of their existing business model when a new business model is in order. This is the conundrum the financial services industrty faces today. Truth to power doe not work when the truth teller serves at the discretion of power. Jack Welch viewed this as a wonderful opportunity to win market share from less adept and nimble global competitors. It used to be America could be counted on for inspired market leadership, but the US brokerage industry does not even acknowledge or support fiduciary standing the epitome of advice.

Little question why Singapore and Hong Kong are eclipsing the US in innovation, They both acknowledge the fiduciary standing and associated fiduciary duties of the broker. In the US it is not even possible to have a enlightened discussion on fiduciary duties of brokers without it being deemed an act of insubordination.

The problem is your incremental approach to advisory serrvices never attains fiduciary standing and isa terribly expensive inferior solution.

Are you suggesting incrementalism which cannot attain unless it is comprehensive in nature can resolve this fiduciary impass ?

You are totally missing the point. First and foremost we have to make advice safe, scalable, easy to execute and manage which can not be achieved, by definition, with any incremental innovation.


Elmer Rich III

Elmer Rich III

January 17, 2013 — 2:29 PM

We have seen data and research suggesting the idea of “disruption” is just a pop biz book theme in the US and largely inappropriate and unproductive.

But, again, is it a popular theme. Like the Mayan end of the world it seems mainly an urban legend.

Stephen Winks

Stephen Winks

January 17, 2013 — 3:34 PM


You must then no believe in technology and its transformational nature, doubling power and cutting cost by half every eighteen months..

The industry’s inability to act in the clonsumer’s best interest is an admission of obsolescence. It is the exact vein Jack Welch mined at GE to build the largest company in the world. Entrenched interests always find change difficult unless its management views it as an opportunity to win market share, Through expert authenticated processes, advanced technology, work flow management, modern approaches to portfolio construction, and conflict management inspired market leadership will facilitate the managent of an unprecedented level of investment and administrative values at a fraction of the cost and three times the earnings multiple of commission sales.

Do you not see the need for innovation? It is required by statute.The rest of the world has outlawed commission sales in advisory accounts. Enterprising entrapreneurs will first acknowledge and support fiduciary duties in the 401(k) space and will then ask why isn’t this level of counsel and professionalism available to taxable accounts.

Elmer, this is the the 21st century, if this generation of brokerage executives doesn’t get it, then it is time for a new generation to render obsolete the sale of a series of disjointed unrelated transactions in which it is not possible to add value where there is no accountability or responsibility for recommendations and no interest in the best interest of the investing public.

You are a unintentional but wonderful foil for truth.

Keep asking absurd questions.


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