Articles Published 10/2019


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After serial poaches of five fellow (now ex) DFA execs, Eduardo Repetto launches Avantis ETFs and pumps life into American Century

The former Dimensional Fund Advisors CEO now has 20 dedicated staff, five ETFs and hybrid vigor born of Missouri cash and LA intellectual culture

October 29, 2019 — 3:48 AM

Dan Arnold is ready to meet 'zero' commission challenge -- albeit only for RIAs at LPL Financial

The LPL CEO says the move is part of his company's 'prioritization stack; the impact on us is more of around where we custody assets for RIAs,' he says

October 26, 2019 — 9:54 PM

Merrill Lynch retreats from stealth RIA custody business just as major rival Wells Fargo runs for daylight in a bid to keep breakaway advisor assets

Major banks pursue competing RIA custody strategies after running programs for years out of their vest pockets

October 25, 2019 — 1:50 AM

CEO Tim Hockey says Schwab's zero-commission play was 'painful,' but helped TD Ameritrade focus on RIA channel and made it easier to find his successor

The Omaha, Neb.-based broker moves to appease RIA high net worth clients and braces for an upsurge in breakaway brokers that could help its custody business

October 23, 2019 — 6:26 PM

Charles Schwab & Co. brings 'start-up'-style disruption to the $20 trillion mutual fund industry by zeroing out free fractional-share trade ticket charges

'We are on the offense at Schwab,' says San Francisco-based CEO Walt Bettinger, who may be leaving his own firm's margins undefended as he hands free fractional shares to friction-free blaze of disruption.

October 22, 2019 — 3:48 AM

Wealthfront is again forced to disclose a bad mistake --testing how far the move-fast, break-things -then-apologize culture can go

The Redwood City robo issues erroneous 1099 data in 2017 that it just discovered. It happened around the time it dumped Apex.

October 19, 2019 — 4:13 AM

Ken Fisher, the king of RIA marketing, fumbles for PR strategy to curb vulgar summit talk fallout as $900 million in assets walk out the door; Fidelity mulls dropping firm

Ken Fisher's son and CEO are working overtime on damage control, while whistleblower Alex Chalekian now offers advice to socially tone-deaf conference promoters.

October 18, 2019 — 1:22 AM

One big casualty of Fidelity Investments' buckle on zero-fee commissions may be the zero-fee RIA custody tailwind of three decades duration

With Pershing last to collect trade revenues, Schwab, TD Ameritrade and Fido have leverage and ' I think Fidelity will be the first to try,' Kitces says.

October 15, 2019 — 8:42 PM

How Ken Fisher's 'girl's pants' remarks set off an RIA-led tweet firestorm that became a slow-burn PR disaster that remains uncontained

The Fisher Investments CEO finally admitted guilt on his third or fourth attempt after trying to blame the messenger, Alex Chalekian, while Chip Roame struggled with how to intervene and where to assign blame.

October 14, 2019 — 2:29 AM

After Switzerland's ISO endorses Fi360's AIF accreditation, CEO Bill Mueller flips the firm to Broadridge Financial Solutions for a cool $120 million--a 10-fold premium

The Pittsburgh, Pa.-based automated compliance and risk management software company has awarded the AIF designation to over 11,000 advisors since 2003

October 11, 2019 — 3:55 AM

After Vanguard instigated commission war in June, Charles 'Chuck' Schwab steps up to challenge in brilliant counterstroke that paints bull's eye on custody rivals in zero-sum showdown

The Schwab Chairman and Founder signs off on the $400-million write-off of revenues in a move the size of his legacy. After being booted in 2017 by TD Ameritrade for not playing the pay-for-play game, Vanguard went hard zero in June forcing Schwab to act but perhaps not this big

October 10, 2019 — 4:49 PM

New class of robos lay siege to 'antiquated' target-date-funds (TDF) market; even defender of the 401(k) citadel, Vanguard, sees handwriting on the wall

Fidelity, Ascensus, and Morningstar are all making 401(k) moves that could see automated advice replace the Vanguard-dominated TDF market but maybe Vanguard just woke up in time to cannibalize the market itself.

October 8, 2019 — 3:02 AM

Jud Bergman, wife Mary Miller-Bergman die tragically in San Francisco head-on car collision, stunning a devastated RIA business community

The 62 year-old Envestnet CEO, chairman and co-founder was in a taxi crash in San Francisco with suspected drunk driver; Miller founded Hanover Hill Wealth Advisors in Chicago

October 4, 2019 — 4:47 AM

All eyes turn to Fidelity to see if it cracks in all out price war over trading commissions, but for now Abby Johnson is stubbornly refusing to buckle -- bolstered by RIA reassurances

A Morgan Stanley analyst assures Wall Street Boston giant must match Charles Schwab & Co's free trades; Instead, says Fido's David Canter, the company is listening to RIAs, who fear poor service more than ticket charges

October 4, 2019 — 1:44 AM

Vanguard Group signals launch of long-anticipated -- vanilla as hell -- dirt cheap, perhaps 'clunky' robo-advisor, but Schwab, Fidelity should worry, nonetheless, analysts say

With Schwab more subscription-minded and Fidelity more upmarket, the Malvern, Pa. monster may get a decent shot at retail micro-accounts and 401(k) participants. It's more of a yawn at Betterment and Wealthfront.

October 2, 2019 — 3:31 PM

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