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Articles published 3/2016


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Neesha Hathi, who spent six years selling the Schwab-Salesforce super bundle, will now need a new pitch.

Schwab gives Salesforce the heave-ho as hub of Intelligent Integration

150 RIAs are scrambling for a new CRM arrangement ahead of a July 31 drop-dead date as the San Francisco custodian unwinds the once exalted partnership

March 31, 2016 – 3:03 AM

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd attorneys under David Walton come at LPL with intimidating resumes but hard-to-follow logic about why Mark Casady favored one investor over a wolf pack of others

The odd logic 'Enron' lawyers are relying on to sue LPL Financial for securities fraud -- logic that's attracted five potential copycat investigations in 10 days

Does it make sense that Mark Casady would want to puff up his company's shares prior to buying back $275 million worth of shares? A lawsuit wants to know.

March 30, 2016 – 6:24 PM

Jon Stein: In January with all of the market volatility, we saw our fastest-growing month ever until this month. March will be our fastest growing month ever.

Betterment raises $100 million a year after a $60-million round, enabling it to step up efforts to win the HNW wallet

The conversation is moving from play money to competing with Fidelity, Merrill Lynch and Schwab as it seeks build out a full-service offering to win plan sponsors, rich individuals and RIAs

March 29, 2016 – 11:57 AM

Sharron Ash: It's virtually impossible to have an arbitrator's decision overturned on appeal, and suddenly, court may be the much preferred path.

After being jostled by a lawsuit, CFP Board makes bold play to inoculate itself against future ones

Due caution or paranoia? Either way, a sour whiff of FINRA self-protectionism pervades

March 25, 2016 – 9:32 PM

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

Ken Fisher: We want people that believe in the firm. [This photo from Fisher's blog may reflect a desire to spend more time pursuing his passion -- forestry.]

Why Ken Fisher still plans to work a 60-hour week despite handing off CEO role to 'badass'

The iconoclastic founder of the $65-billion RIA will write, research and mix with the troops, remaining omnipresent as Damian Ornani ascends to the CEO spot

March 23, 2016 – 8:59 PM

John Hyland: You'll see a complete reversal and the brokerage will shrink and the advisory will increase.

The RIA-ification intrinsic to LPL's preemptive DOL policy changes -- yet how tightly to revenue sharing in IRAs it is hanging

LPL's super-clients like Private Advisor Group see a clear 'advisory' future but LPL is walking a more shrub-choked hybrid path

March 22, 2016 – 9:30 PM

William Hurley: We're really focused on small businesses that can't afford administrative responsibility. They can't afford the fiduciary risk. They can't afford the cost to offer this to their employees.

Robo-deal catapults Goldman Sachs into defined contribution business that's as downmarket as it gets

The Wall Street giant buys Honest Dollar, which makes SEP IRAs easy for 1099-receiving workers

March 21, 2016 – 7:29 PM

Ed O'Brien: When you look at what eMoney is doing, it is creating tools to help advisors that don't even clear or custody with Fidelity.

As Ed O'Brien packs his bags for Philly to take eMoney CEO reins, Mike Durbin resumes his job modifying Fidelity's future from finance to software

Fidelity is piloting eMoney in its own private client business as Thomas McCarthy fills O'Brien's shoes and Durbin eyes more acquisitions

March 18, 2016 – 8:18 PM

Elliott Weissbluth: Liz and I are working the deal-making together. This isn't assigned downstream to a sales team

With a reminiscent fire, Elliot Weissbluth personally leads a new charge to buy RIAs

The CEO of HighTower, with a big assist from Liz Nesvold and a $150 million line of credit, is on the prowl for large practices

March 18, 2016 – 4:44 AM

Robo-advisors are supposed to reach millennials but their automation carries over into the persona of their websites.

The ironic reason robo-advisors aren't gorging on assets -- a determination to dictate bloodlessly to millennials

Whether you're talking B2B or B2C, the eRIA robo-advisor website personae are dull, disconnected and trying too hard to act grown-up

March 15, 2016 – 9:31 PM

David Siegel: If people ask ridiculous questions, we won't answer them. No one wants garbage in and garbage out.

Investopedia's grand scheme for RIAs to act as its answer army and why leads and referrals may be beside the point

So far 100 advisors have signed onto Match.com's sister-site for the opportunity to dispense free advice to investors who probably won't become clients

March 15, 2016 – 8:22 PM

David Chase: Enforcement cases will nonetheless be prepared the old-fashioned way by taking testimony and collecting documents.

SEC launches elite unit with unspoken promise of technological parity with Wall Street

Classic RIAs should expect little change but the SEC's ability to algorithmically raise more red flags may give it better ways to go after big dogs

March 14, 2016 – 11:17 PM

The SEC is seeking permanent injunctions, disgorgement with prejudgment interest and monetary penalties from CEO Robert Jesenik, who reportedly received a $685,000 salary as his firm tanked.

Aequitas duped 1,500 investors in 'Ponzi-like' scheme as it jetted and golfed its way to insolvency, says SEC complaint

The big picture includes blind faith in supposed guarantees on student loan debt that kept the cash flowing into a black hole

March 11, 2016 – 10:06 PM

Gail Graham: We think of ourselves as the ultimate design and delivery firm.

After spending millions and getting cozy with Salesforce, United Capital is morphing, maybe big-time

Gail Graham is bringing the $15 billion 'roll-up' into the third-party white label business -- intending to license its system to RIAs

March 10, 2016 – 9:37 PM

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