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Articles published 4/2017


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Noah Kerner: We respect what Wealthfront has created but Acorns has a very different customer and product roadmap.

As Acorns grapples with monetizing 1.1 million micro-accounts, the laid-back LA robo-advisor brings Wealthfront’s former chief exec onto its board

After this week's $1.3-billion Robinhood valuation, the sheer quantity of Acorn accounts may count for plenty in VC estimations

April 28, 2017 – 9:50 PM

Drew Sievers: We're the digital advice solution for FIS now and that's a really big deal.

After VC personally supplants CEO, Trizic raises $3.3 million, signs online octopus and begins to shed perception that it squandered a lead

Drew Sievers invested $1 million in the robo-advisor then took the place of CEO Brad Matthews, who admits it's been for the better as he became a father at 38

April 27, 2017 – 10:39 PM

Randy Bullard: I'm sober but not jaded.

Randy Bullard pitches himself into major role at SigFig to add his Placemark knowledge to a robo hothouse

The serially successful wrap-program pioneer convinced CEO Mike Sha that he was the right guy to demystify the legacy-robo tech divide to employees -- and close deals

April 26, 2017 – 5:41 PM

Andy Rachleff (as quoted in the NY Post): If you don’t read the disclosure, you don’t get confused about it.

Andy Rachleff makes waves with NY Post quote: Don't get 'hung up' on our lose-more-funds-than-you-deposit disclosure

Fresh off blasting BlackRock, the feisty Wealthfront CEO claims he was 'misrepresented' as the robo offers ready credit lines for those with $100K-plus in taxable accounts

April 25, 2017 – 9:06 PM

Christopher Van Slyke: That pricing is very persuasive. As fiduciaries we'd have to consider TDA the favorite.

DFA and TD Ameritrade strike 'strategic' deal with potential to shift RIA custody power axis

Tension in the three-way relationship between Fidelity, Dimensional Fund Advisors and the RIAs who use both vendors creates opening for Tim Hockey

April 24, 2017 – 6:33 PM

John Bunch became No. 2 man at the No. 1 robo-advisor for his human bandwidth.

John Bunch climbs high at Financial Engines as two execs vacate power spots and rollover retail gets accorded higher priority

Former TD retail chief's rise shows what Larry Raffone has in mind for old Mutual Fund Store machinery as Raffone works to make his mark at Financial Engines

April 20, 2017 – 10:43 PM

Karen Barr: People know that in the sales process you're not acting in their best interests.

RIA lobby fires off letter to DOL claiming rules aimed at reining in overzealous stockbroker sales pitches chill RIA conversations with their prospects

The IAA's letter to the Labor Department asks that RIAs not get entangled in rules designed to prevent stockbrokers from making misleading pitches

April 20, 2017 – 5:16 PM

Rudy Adolf: A key reason for our partnership is the vision we share for continued growth.

Stone Point and KKR buy Focus Financial for $2 billion by employing massive leverage

PE giants with loans of about $1 billion -- psyched that the roll-up's roll flow is snowballing in 2017 -- cash out Centerbridge, Polaris, Summit, several advisors and employees

April 19, 2017 – 4:39 AM

Mike Sha: Wells is a big beast. With scale comes challenges.

Wells Fargo's new ADV reveals plenty about its robo's ambitions to max cross-selling and minimize channel conflict

Intuitive Investor is priced on the high side and bars micro-investors, yet is positioning itself as the anti-niche player

April 18, 2017 – 6:24 PM

Joel Bruckenstein: I turn and think to myself this guy looks a lot like Marco Rubio.

Joel Bruckenstein pitches DOL rule to Sen. Marco Rubio after fate makes them JetBlue seat mates

Rubio opened up on small investors and retirement issues -- and cracked wise about the Russians

April 17, 2017 – 6:38 PM

Sagar Kurada: Our new facility will allow HighTower to fund additional acquisitions.

HighTower picks up $6.4-billion roll-up on the cheap but the valuation may reflect WealthTrust's stagnant growth and profitability

The Chicago roll-up gets an embattled league of RIAs for about $70 million by persuading its financiers to double down and private equity owners to suck it up

April 13, 2017 – 11:35 PM

Jon Stein, flanked by Maureen Thompson of CFA and Betterment associate counsel Seth Rosenbloom, marking the envisaged starting day of the DOL rule.

After putting big chips on DOL fiduciary rule, Betterment hosts funereal event to mark the April 10 Go Day That Wasn't

CEO Jon Stein sat shoulder to shoulder with CFP Board and Consumer Federation of America guests and held court with CNNMoney, Wall Street Journal and Consumer Reports reporters

April 13, 2017 – 6:50 PM

Benjamin Halliburton: We were scrambling.

TD Ameritrade shocks RIAs most accustomed to its largesse with a letter, a contract and a tight deadline to sign

The Jersey City, N.J.-based custodian tells RIAs to accept new terms on branch referrals or be terminated from the program

April 12, 2017 – 4:08 AM

Eli Broverman: I love the formative period.

Betterment's 'call me a masochist' co-founder goes in search of more acute pain and Jon Stein flies solo

Eli Broverman leaves the table 14 years after meeting Jon Stein over a poker game

April 10, 2017 – 10:24 PM

Kevin Knull: Despite frigid temperatures, an old sports injury, and fluid in my lungs from acute mountain sickness, we made it to the summit in 6 hours and 9 minutes.

Talent exodus at MoneyGuidePro revealed by posting from Mount Kilimanjaro includes two Knulls

The big execu-shuffle may reflect influx of power players into the business of financial planning software -- perhaps hottest of RIA technology categories

April 7, 2017 – 8:03 PM

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