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Articles published 8/2018


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Allison Brecher: In many cases, fees are buried, service offerings unclear, and administrative burdens cumbersome. The bill does not address any of these challenges.

Trump exec order on 401(k)s cuts restriction for MEPs but Vestwell execs counsel caution

Under ERISA-permitted MEPs, advisors can lump small employers into giant plans that battle big firms which is fine til you read the small print

August 31, 2018 – 11:30 PM

Libby Cherrington has fallen foul of FINRA for falsifying her date of birth on a number of occassions.

Lisbeth Cherrington's long, strange career, fraught with regulatory actions, takes another bizarre turn over her latest FINRA sanction--lying about her age

Caught red-handed falsifying official records, the super-producer, who alleged homophobia and defamation at Morgan Stanley, is hit with $15,000 fine and 60-day suspension

August 30, 2018 – 4:15 AM

Michael Kitces: If we’re going to criticize the conflicts of interest of “the other guys” for their back-end commissions, we have to acknowledge how that misalignment in our custodial agreements can create similar conflicts of interest for us (that we should want to eliminate, too) …"

Twitter war pits Josh 'Downtown' Brown against Michael Kitces over hush-hush issue: Do RIA custodians face Merrill-Lynch style conflicts over advisor custody fees?

Brown criticizes Merrill Lynch for moving cash out of money market accounts into banks; Kitces says RIAs are complicit in something just as bad

August 29, 2018 – 1:49 AM

Greg Fleming is building out his management team to go after top advisors

Greg Fleming dips into RIA gene pool with expected hire of Chris Dupuy to fish for elite wirehouse advisers in drive to reach $100 billion in UHNW assets

But can the CEO of Rockefeller Capital Management, a brand associated with a 19th century robber baron, convince 21st century tech magnates and next-gen middling millionaires to rub shoulders with Rockefellers... and Derek Jeter?

August 28, 2018 – 1:53 AM

Chris Dupuy: Leaving financial services after 34 years to write about sports

Ex-Merrill exec Chris Dupuy makes exit from Focus Financial barely a month after IPO, leaves financial services after 34-year career; you won't believe what he's doing now

Dupuy was charged with expanding Focus Connections, a program designed to help elite wealth management teams transition from wirehouses to independence

August 25, 2018 – 10:06 PM

Charles Goldman: We are not becoming a roll-up.

AssetMark CEO Charles Goldman grabs $5.7B Global Financial out from under rival Envestnet's nose, gets ex-Curian CEO and solidifies his firm's own future in the brutal TAMP game; but don't call it a roll-up

At number two in TAMP ranks, the Concord, Calif.-based TAMP with $46 billion bought Global Financial, whose CEO headed Curian in its growth years and got out well before its death

August 25, 2018 – 1:52 AM

David Bach: NO ONE in the industry has a marketing team that equals the scale of AE Wealth Management and Advisors Excel. No one matches our ability. It’s why I was so confident we could build the [second] fastest-growing RIA in America.

David Bach rocks heavyweights with plan to leverage his media savvy for RIAs at his Topeka TAMP; 'Ridiculous' says Ken Fisher

Since it's launch AE Wealth has been geared to advisors between $10-million and $100-million in assets, but it's now targeting $200 million AUM firms.

August 22, 2018 – 10:12 PM

Karin Risi: Our goal is to provide additional access and flexibility to our clients, not spur counter-productive, frequent trading activity.

Vanguard Group launches its free-trading super desk of 1,800 ETFs; now only if clients won't abuse the privilege

The Malvern, Pa. giant risks creating a casino but its clients are expected to stay responsible and use free trades for dollar-cost averaging, rebalancing and harvesting losses for tax purposes

August 21, 2018 – 6:26 PM

Elliot Weissbluth: It's bigger and more ripe than we calculated.

How HighTower's executive shuffle, kicking CEO Elliot Weissbluth upstairs, opens door for new talent and paves way for Thomas Lee-fueled acquisitions splurge

Since Thomas H. Lee's $350 million February purchase of HighTower, the firm has sought ways to separate dealmaking and operational duties, but recruiting goes to outsourcer and M&A goes to Marc Cabezas.

August 20, 2018 – 7:57 PM

Tackling the wilds of Alaska more imposing than balancing a portfolio

Chip's and Skip's 'Excellent Adventure' breaks RIA stereotypes, sheds risk aversion for 'gut-busting' Alaska hike; black bears, grizzlies and moose, oh my!

This year the Excellent Adventure crew assembled in Girdwood, Alaska for a trek up the Crow Pass Trail, which meanders through a rain forest inhabited by black bears, grizzly, and moose.

August 20, 2018 – 5:30 PM

David Blanchett: Someone who expects to retire at 65 may be more likely to actually retire at 63 … [and] the impact can be severe: fewer years of saving combined with a greater need in retirement.

Morningstar causes uproar with new study that upends everything RIAs assumed about retirement planning, and it all comes down to a number

In July, Morningstar published its latest retirement report, and its author David Blanchett poses tough questions, suggesting advisors risk “havoc” when predicting retirement. But the industry claims it's well prepared.

August 17, 2018 – 8:51 PM

Jud Bergman: The rate of account growth of advisors opening net new accounts has slowed over the last quarter. [We] don't know if it's going to last one, two, three quarters, but we are planning.

Envestnet CEO Jud Bergman's FolioDynamix deal suddenly looks prescient as SMA-to-UMA market shift dings revenues, third-party asset managers

In Envestnet's latest Q2 earnings call, Jud Bergman revealed the transition from SMAs to UMAs will hit Envestnet and third-party asset managers who sell their SMA wares through Envestnet's platform. But UMA efficiencies may drive down costs faster than revenues fall, making the FolioDynamix purchase look shrewder than ever.

August 16, 2018 – 5:12 PM

Eric Becker brings client point of view to family office

Cresset cracks the family office market with a unique proposition; a suite of touchy-feely services that go beyond money management and help clients manage their lives

Cresset, guided by two savvy venture capitalists. is aiming to build the next-generation multi-family office on an independent, employee- and client-owned platform

August 15, 2018 – 4:42 PM

Tony Salewski: Cetera's ability to recruit advisors moves the needle in a way that's the most attractive to grow ... There's so much we can do at the base that M&A is not the key part of the thesis.

After RIA private equity hot-shot Genstar's $1.7 billion purchase of ugly duckling Cetera, Robert Moore plans to take on LPL--not with acquisitions, but a recruitment storm

Genstar bought a majority share in Cetera in July for a rumored $1.7 billion; now Genstar MD Tony Salewski and ex-LPL President and Cetera CEO Robert Moore have put ramping up the rep count front-and-center in their plans to turn the long-troubled IBD ugly duckling into a market giant at LPL's expense.

August 15, 2018 – 12:35 AM

Eric Clarke: We need to be willing to embrace the advisor's vision, even if at times it means we have competitive overlap.

Orion wins its 95th LPL advisor to show it's also advancing on Envestnet in the broker-dealer market and greening up its pastures

The Omaha, Neb.-based software maker just bagged $5-billion AUA OSJ, Independent Advisor Alliance

August 13, 2018 – 5:54 PM

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