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Articles published 12/2018


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Anthony Grosso headed an elite unit for Merrill Lynch and his San Francisco roots run deep into 1990s Robertson Stephens soil.

Rockefeller Capital puts its third RIA talent anchor in place with hiring of Anthony Grosso in San Francisco and his venture capital connections

With Chris Dupuy in New York and Michael Outlaw in Atlanta, CEO Greg Fleming is building the ground floor for an edifice of broker recruitment

December 28, 2018 – 9:42 PM

Ron Rhoades: The S.E.C.’s Regulation BI's attempts to redefine the English language, hence misleading individual investors for all time.

Will the S.E.C. aid and abet fraud in 2019? A fictionalized grilling of Jay Clayton under truth ether reveals the perils

With brokers the special interest, the simple principle of putting client interests first, gets mangled in the wording. But two can play that game so Ron Rhoades fights back with his pen

December 27, 2018 – 8:40 PM

Peg Pike: Let’s face it -- women can relate to women better than men on financial matters.

When Steve Janachowski's RIA hit the $1-billion wall, he started hiring women execs and talking M&A; Now he's at $1.7 billion but still seeking to validate his strategy

Bookended by poaching Peg Pike to COO in 2014 and Jill Carothers of late, the Brouwer & Janachowski CEO is seeing success but no great surge in women clients -- yet

December 26, 2018 – 6:16 PM

Andy Rachleff wrote in his blog last year: 'The value of the tax-loss harvesting benefit at Wealthfront far exceeds the advisory fee in terms of the after-tax benefit.'

SEC clobbers Wealthfront on multiple alleged offenses; settles case with 'cease and desist' order, $250,000 fine

The big charge relates to tax-loss harvesting but Tweeting testimonials also comes into play

December 21, 2018 – 7:58 PM

Matthew Crow: If Focus had IPO’d at $18 and drifted up over the first few months to the mid-20s, it would be viewed today as a success.

In wake of Goldman Sachs presentation, Focus Financial shares hit new lows, analyst compares RIA rollup to GM's ill-fated Hummer H-1

The roll-up's share price closed at $25.51, a steep drop from the $37 where it traded on day one -- and even below the targeted $33. But is it really the ungainly, inefficient, over-priced SUV or more the Ferrari CEO Rudy Adolf promised but thrashed by an unruly market?

December 20, 2018 – 9:54 PM

Charlie Nelson was overlooked twice when he was at Great West for promotions and now he's won a huge client away from his former firm
December 20, 2018 – 8:00 PM

Kate Wauck: There is literally not one similarity between our advice engine Path and dialing 3 into a call center to talk to 24 year old Nick the CFP. No one wants that,

Wealthfront throws open its freemium advice to non-customers and calls it peerless, causing critics to yawn 'so what else is new?'

Critics say free planning is everywhere  these days -- including firms, like Betterment, that provide humans to answer planning-related questions.

December 18, 2018 – 1:28 AM

Eric Clarke: The APIs did not previously exist.

After finally convincing TD Ameritrade and Schwab to create an account-opening API, Orion will give RIAs power to open accounts with robo-like wizardry

The two Omaha firms 'shave hours' off the process of getting a client aboard, but first compliance and security fears needed to be assuaged

December 17, 2018 – 4:27 PM

Abby Johnson continues to put her stamp on Fidelity as price war with Vanguard continues.

Vanguard's asset machine wobbles under Abby Johnson's withering pricing assault, but Fidelity's new cost-cutting front aimed at advisors is proving more lethal for BlackRock

Net inflows surge at Fidelity Investments as its CEO plays strategic gambit that Vanguard can't follow, including bargain basement model portfolios aimed at advisors

December 13, 2018 – 11:37 PM

Mark Hurley's lawsuit references his "secret sauce" and how he got overtly tossed.

In new $150-million lawsuit, Mark Hurley alleges ex-boss's smears wrecked his valuation, his reputation and his chances of providing capital to RIAs ever again

The trump card for the maverick ex Fiduciary Network CEO was to open across the street with new backers, but the filing clams he may not have that play anymore

December 12, 2018 – 9:36 PM

Brooke Southall asks questions of Andrew Salesky of Schwab, Christina Townsend of Pershing, Greg Vigrass of Folio Institutional and Chris Fesler of  Apex Clearing.

Andrew Salesky's tantalizing PortfolioConnect remark hints at Schwab's technology future, and 'open' or 'closed' -- that was API question at In|Vest West 2018 RIA custody panel

The Schwab technology chief may have stumbled on a strategy for big RIAs, but he also got challenged on his API philosophy by Apex Clearing's Chris Fesler

December 11, 2018 – 11:48 PM

Scott MacKillop: Anyone ever involved in fundraising for a new venture knows how time consuming and emotionally draining it is. Now that we are financially secure for the foreseeable we can focus on the positive aspects ... I have a smile on my face again and my creative juices are flowing.

Liberated (in part) by an Envestnet deal, Scott MacKillop isn't ho-humming a second-round infusion of $1.5 million

Asking first-round funding friends and family to extend support stressed out First Ascent's CEO but the fresh capital arrives as new sources of asset inflows kick in

December 10, 2018 – 11:25 PM

Mike Durbin: We have a chip on every square on the table.

Mike Durbin speech spellbinds; David Kowach prompts head-scratching and Brian Hamburger-Dale Brown showdown has one tense moment at Market Counsel Summit

The Fidelity exec shows forward thinking; the Wells Fargo exec talks branded RIAs and the cage match ... not so much

December 8, 2018 – 5:06 AM

Colleen Bell: “We see this as an opportunity”

Lisa's Bits: Commonwealth and Cambridge jump into RIA custody game bigger; Goldman Sachs buys $600-billion 401(k) RIA as Wells Fargo reportedly eyes 401(k) exit ; Mercer does four deals in one month; LPL slashes an important advisor fee; A $13 billion advisor's fate is uncertain

Commonwealth launches its own RIA unit, Mercer goes on a one-month buying spree; Wells Fargo seeks to escape retirement low margins and Goldman buys in; Cresset looks to reinvent itself,

December 7, 2018 – 6:36 PM

Raef Lee: If the advisor is willing to put the time and effort in, we’ll cover the cost … [and] we have a formidable platform in place to do all the heavy lifting.

SEI targets the 60% of its book that are planning virgins with Advizr's 'lite' planning software -- an MRI on held-away assets and way to boost SEI products sales

The Oaks, Pa.-based TAMP plans is to lure reps with the 'nibbling' software maker it part owns with a buy-one-get-one-free coaching and planning deal

December 5, 2018 – 11:03 PM

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