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Articles published 11/2020


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Liz Michaels will co-lead Aperio after her firm becomes a BlackRock subsidiary.

Despite tepid net flows in 2020, Aperio finds its white knight; BlackRock makes a deal to compete with buyers of Parametric, Motif and Folio

The Sausalito, Calif., direct indexing firm's owner watched as competitors got snapped up by Morgan Stanley, Schwab and Goldman Sachs but ultimately scored a $1-billion offer from the giant's petty cash.

November 26, 2020 – 1:42 AM

David Mannaioni:  Many clients in passive portfolios still bailed on the market in the COVID decline this spring only to miss out on the recovery this summer.

Dodging ridicule and winning 'wary' support, the College For Financial Planning will accredit advisors who learn to convince investors to take their advice seriously

After Covid-19 chased investors out of the market at the exact wrong time, the Kaplan-owned company made its move to advance managing emotions as a sanctioned skill in financial planning -- despite too many letters in the alphabet soup already

November 25, 2020 – 1:40 AM

Bryson Pouw left Advent Software to found an Advent super-consultancy that he sold to LPL Financial for $12 million in cash -- and he gets to keep his job.

How LPL Financial is executing a big RIA-like pivot through the acquisition of Blaze Portfolio, founded by an Advent Software breakaway engineering troupe

The Fort Mill, S.C., broker-dealer just took the leap to 'personalized' portfolios by paying $12 million for the Chicago trading automation firm.

November 24, 2020 – 2:23 AM

Ron Bullis is an accidental fintech entrepreneur whose do-it-yourself RIA software took on a life of its own.

How a disillusioned Northwestern Mutual breakaway broker turned his RIA software nightmare into a potential dream investment for Marty Bicknell

The 39-year-old created his own little B2C robo-advisor that collects $400,000 annually in subscription fees but a $1.8 million investment from the Mariner CEO will morph it for B2B RIA use

November 20, 2020 – 9:09 PM

Eric Poirier: We just see really a much bigger opportunity than our traditional competitors perceive.

With rivals pressing, Addepar insiders ante $117 million to up its game and settle in for the long haul -- as the firm adds $2 billion in pandemic-driven AUA each business day

On target for $5-trillion milestone by 2025, the Mountain View, Calif., reporting software comer hits $2.25 trillion of administered assets -- funded by founder Joe Lonsdale's 8VC, and Laurence Tosi-led WestPac.

November 20, 2020 – 3:34 AM

Kurt MacAlpine: I’m very comfortable with the valuations we are paying and the quality of the businesses we are buying.

A hotshot Canadian CEO tears through the RIA market like the polar vortex, sweeping up $16 billion in AUM and ringing the bell on an NYSE listing that could fuel even more deals

Kurt MacAlpine plans to keep buying fast and fearlessly for CI Financial, but skeptics say frothy valuations and high debt are ratcheting up risk.

November 18, 2020 – 3:39 AM

Baiju Bhatt (left) and Vladimir Tenev (right) founded Robinhood in 2013. Now the firm's DIY model is challenged by a suit alleging its duty of care is not just skin deep.

Robinhood allegedly implied a fiduciary duty to novice investors in the marketing of its 'game-like' trading app, even though it's a FINRA-regulated broker-dealer, new class action charges

Three Florida firms sue claiming (IPO bound, Bloomberg reports) Robinhood allegedly failed to direct self-directed investors -- a claim that is both legally shaky, and potentially serious, experts say.

November 17, 2020 – 4:54 AM

Rudy Adolf:  We kind of tried to stay away from the institutional business intentionally.

Focus Financial buys B2B outsourcer -- a business model shift that stretches its M&A dollar but also introduces identity issues

The New York rollup bought $9 billion of AUM, but CornerStone Partners is still an OCIO for non-profit institutions with a set of challenges unique to its niche.

November 13, 2020 – 4:29 AM

Nicole Hunter is ready to show DFA's University of Chicago PhD mafia how to do ETFs

After adding an ex-iShares product chief to call the shots and -- oye -- lowering fees, Dimensional Fund Advisors humbly and belatedly charges into ETFs and should score $5 billion in two years, an analyst says

DFA nabbed Nicole Hunter's BlackRock ETF playbook and committed to ETF-level fees to show the industry it plans to play to win assets -- even if some come from within.

November 12, 2020 – 4:43 AM

Joe Martinetto: Our combined branch footprint ... will be larger ... and 90% of our clients will have a branch within 25 miles, up from 80%.

Charles Schwab shutters 79% of TD Ameritrade branches -- though 140 will cohabitate with a next-door Schwab branch -- and refers legacy TDA assets to legacy TD RIA custody clients

The San Francisco retail brokerage will keep 400 branch addresses and no legacy Schwab assets will get referred to a 'TDA' RIA for now.

November 11, 2020 – 12:27 AM

Donna Peeples is the fourth Envestnet hire this year as it zeros in on 'wellness' strategy.

Envestnet turns to former FIS executive -- and replaces a CTO -- to help shape up the firm's disparate offerings into a unified whole around the concept of 'wellness'

The Chicago outsourcer gets Donna Peeples to harmonize products and marketing to move beyond the 'TAMP' label as Orion contends for market share with Brinker added.

November 10, 2020 – 2:45 AM

Plaid is now known at DOJ as a payments disruptor as much as a picnic blanket design choice.

After shaking down Bain for evidence, DOJ files suit to stop Visa purchase of Plaid, a nightmarish turn of events for the $5.3-billion dream deal

The Feds see Plaid acquisition as naked attempt by Visa to perpetuate a monopoly with 'insurance policy;' the card giant responds with acerbic aplomb.

November 6, 2020 – 10:29 PM

Chip Roame: Many SPACs have lighter management teams, often led more by investors than by operators. The Lefteris team has three former CEOs.

Heads or tails he wins, but Mark Casady's upside for making his SPAC click is head-spinning because the IPOs will keep flying out the door

SEC filings detail the Lefteris chairman's overnight gains of maybe $50 million, but if the ensuing reverse merger or buy blossoms, it'll trigger a potential virtuous circle.

November 5, 2020 – 8:41 PM

Kelly Trevethan lasted less than a year at a Goldman Sachs-owned United Capital.

High profile 'United Capital' RIA exits Goldman Sachs San Francisco office -- and boom -- lands with Marty Bicknell at Mariner Wealth Advisors

Kelly Trevethan also ended his decades-long tenure as Joe Duran's personal advisor in his trek to a new San Francisco office with Mariner Wealth Advisors.

November 5, 2020 – 3:20 AM

Gaurav Sharma: We'll find your money, make sure you get an IRA right for you, and we won't stop til it's done.

Capitalize gets $2 million from four top VCs on novel freemium idea -- to reunite investors with hundreds of billions in 401(k) assets held by their ex-employer

Founded by a 35 year-old who got his career start at hedge funds, the New York City firm will make sure your rollovers take place, paperlessly -- at least for you

November 3, 2020 – 10:07 PM

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