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Articles published 4/2019


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Ryan Alfred: We're very different people than we were in our early twenties starting Brightscope.

Mike Alfred scores headhunt coup by hiring brother, Ryan -- and, oh yeah, he raised $6 million

The co-founder and CEO of Digital Assets Data not only got his ace sibling but co-founder Kurt Fenstermacher, ex-Bridgewater, took over as COO changing the trajectory of the startup

April 30, 2019 – 5:25 PM

Jason Fertitta: We are excited to be able to work from the same side of the desk as our clients

Shirl Penney and Brian Hamburger gang-tackle largest breakaway of 2019 as Jason Fertitta, Team Americana bolt Morgan Stanley to form Schwab RIA

The Dynasty CEO and MarketCounsel CEO fended off the logistical and legal furies for small team with $6 billion in AUM and average accounts of $50 million

April 29, 2019 – 5:11 PM

Andy Rachleff: You can expect us to further extend our services into the banking sector this year.

Wealthfront adds staggering $1 billion to its robo-bank in 'less than a month', but critics say it's treading the line, again, on possible conflicts of interest

CEO Andy Rachleff's made a smart move -- short-term, for sure -- but the two months come with a big asterisk and cultural, business model and marketing pivot may cause longer-term headaches

April 26, 2019 – 2:20 AM

Jon Porter has used Addepar since 2010. Kicked out of the pilot-user nest last year, he is now a paying customer.

Addepar finally makes friends with Fidelity and reboots its RIA service, again -- helped by a key ex-Tamarac hire

The $1.3-trillion performance software maker hired Samuel King, former Tamarac service chief and wins -- for keeps -- big RIA users as it puts its science project reputation aside to prosper

April 24, 2019 – 7:44 PM

Roger Hewins: The feeling of being independent and fee-only again is indescribable, everything seems so clear and simple now.

Free of 2012 merger entanglements, Roger Hewins's second RIA act is on a hiring binge after zeroing in on women as target market -- knowing full well the gender tilt never seems to work

'Team Hewins' has some old hands from Redwood City, San Francisco, Boca Raton, and Miami overseeing billion of dollars and a push to create a place where the culture trumps pink-and-shrink in making notoriously leery women get invested

April 23, 2019 – 6:31 PM

Oleg Tishkevich: I watched and learned with what Jud [Bergman] and Bill [Crager] are doing...They know how to think big.

Oleg Tishkevich signs Envestnet to a contract with a company he started during an Envestnet non-compete -- and four years after selling Finance Logix to it for $32 million

Invent.us hits the ground running with several contracts reflecting friends in high places but critics ask whether he can fly so close to the sun without getting scorched

April 20, 2019 – 2:19 AM

Steve Levitt: Maybe it was time for a fresh look.

Howard Milstein scrubs Mark Hurley's stringent contracts with 22 RIAs then buys $1.5-billion semi-RIA through satellite entity with a looser mandate

With its new billionaire owner calling the shots, the Mark Hurley baby is doing some fence-mending but economical deals remain elusive in crowded market

April 18, 2019 – 4:50 AM

Eric Clarke: Our competitors have done a series of acquisitions, [whereas] Dean Cook and I have taken the time to thoughtfully bring our companies together ... we're not distracted by doing a dozen acquisitions.

Orion's Eric Clarke tests new strategy to combat Envestnet's Jud Bergman in a Game of Thrones style clash for keys to RIA and IBD kingdoms

NorthStar and sister firm FTJ FundChoice are rebranded Orion, which might as well be Eric Clarke, observers agree, as strategic shift follows Envestnet's MoneyGuidePro and PortfolioCenter acquisitions.

April 16, 2019 – 8:50 PM

Robyn Crowther: I referred to Schwab and other firms to illustrate some of my points because I am familiar with their policies.

Schwab connected lawyer’s InvestmentNews column erupts like a sudden spring storm, roiling advisors, after firing a warning shot at RIAs without revealing connections

Lawyer Robyn Crowther of white shoe LA law firm Steptoe penned article; both Schwab and InvestmentNews disavowed knowledge of its origin or author conflicts

April 13, 2019 – 3:27 AM

Darren Tedesco: Doing nothing was the bigger risk, and to allow the [technology] world to continue to spend more, without matching it, was too high of a risk.

Commonwealth CEO Wayne Bloom brushes off rep pushback, spins off Advisor360 to sell formerly exclusive software and research to competitors

From the standpoint of the Waltham, Mass.-based brokerage chief, the revenue from repurposing rep software that creatively finances his firm's $35,000-per-head tech overhead is a necessary evil that has far fewer drawbacks than perceived.

April 12, 2019 – 9:13 PM

Jon Stein: There was a gasp in the room.

Betterment (and RBC) rush to exploit a fissure that opened between Dimensional Fund Advisors and the asset custodians who serve its 3,000-plus RIAs

The New York City robo will initially roll out to a handful of $1-billion-plus DFA RIAs that seek an efficient means of handling smaller accounts; the rest is up to Betterment CEO Jon Stein to make happen

April 11, 2019 – 3:19 PM

Evan Rapoport: There are so many users of TAMPs that are uninformed about how to maximize the advantages of the UMA structure.

The exclusive deal SMArtX cinched with Black Diamond is yielding Tiffany results, and now SmartX is hiring to keep up

Growth is not an option for the tiny West Palm Beach concern after its SS&C alliance after AUM all but doubles in recent months requiring more inventory, expertise and staff

April 10, 2019 – 11:05 PM

Raj Udeshi took on Bill Crager then Jud Bergman about their use of client data.

Raj Udeshi invokes 'Theranos' fraud in testy exchanges over data collection with Envestnet's Bill Crager and Jud Bergman at Tiburon CEO Summit

HiddenLevers co-founder offended some audience members with his accusations, but others say he raises a valid concern: Where is the line drawn for firms capturing and selling advisor and client data?

April 9, 2019 – 2:29 AM

Aaron Schumm: It’s exciting, it’s humbling, it’s awesome. Vestwell wasn’t just a dumb idea!

Aaron Schumm is in the catbird seat after the biggest cat in the Wall Street jungle, Goldman Sachs, validates Vestwell by taking a big bite of a new $30 million funding round

Just under three years old, Vestwell may have the keys to a kingdom -- a mighty sales force that can sell small 401(k) plans for a profit without ticking of the DOL

April 5, 2019 – 10:49 PM

Michael Kitces: 'I regret and have apologized to FPA via their forums'

Michael Kitces and FPA enter uneasy truce after Kitces apologizes and FPA publishes its audited financials

Skip Schweiss played mediator after latest Kitces-FPA spat got nasty; Kitces used the word 'fraud' (albeit not alleged) in regard to what turned out to be a simple accounting change that outsiders couldn't see

April 4, 2019 – 2:57 AM

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