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Articles published 3/2020


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Sara Grillo: Show them that you can bring new ideas to a dismal situation.

What RIAs should NOT say to clients during the coronavirus pandemic

This crisis has already spawned insincere cliches, 'Stay safe!', false wisdom and other told-ya-so atrocities that advisors need to stop grabbing for

March 30, 2020 – 4:47 PM

Jeffrey Young: The control of the disease does not have to be perfect to get the economy going.

Imperfect social distancing efforts may suffice to save the U.S. economy -- and our 401(k) accounts, says hard data from China's bout with COVID-19

The nation of 1.4 billion people is statistically pretty unscathed -- and its data not so fishy -- suggesting U.S. investors might lean toward optimism

March 27, 2020 – 10:09 PM

Abby Salameh: It doesn’t matter how good you look on that Zoom or WebEx Team call if your husband, wife, kids or roommate accidentally walk into view looking like unkempt creatures from the black lagoon!

Abby Salameh tells how to stay RIA productive amid teens, TikTok and the drooling dogs

The Hightower exec is banished to a New Jersey burb, determined to be a stuck-at-home mom with a Manhattan-office output

March 25, 2020 – 10:08 PM

Eric Poirier: We’ve been ready for this moment.

As the sky falls, Addepar raises $40 million, at least in part because its software was built for rainy-day investors

'Ready' CEO Eric Poirier finds a backer in WestCap, which simultaneously inked a deal for stake in iCapital, the super roll-up of alternative investment platforms

March 25, 2020 – 2:06 AM

The RIA business can stare down a black swan.

Letter to Our Readers: What to think about the unstoppable RIA movement meeting an immovable black swan

For RIAs the roaring 2020s had a feverish first eight weeks until COVID-19 hit a reset button

March 23, 2020 – 11:12 PM

Evan Rapoport: We are and will continue to be partners of SS&C Advent and Black Diamond ... We [just] didn't fully grasp three and five years ago how valuable our back-end technology is.

After riding Black Diamond's coattails from near zero to $2 billion of AUM, SMArtX raises $4 million to compete as a 'Vestmark'-model firm

The Jacksonville RIA software firm gave the Palm Beach, Fla. fund manager a shot at the fast-track that worked -- but now the three-year contract is almost up

March 20, 2020 – 7:10 AM

Walt Bettinger: Incredibly dedicated Schwabbies are providing superb service to clients.

Under withering staff pressure, Walt Bettinger course corrects to shut all Schwab branches and to let Charles Schwab Corp. non-branch employees work from home

The Schwab CEO is also coughing up a $1,000 comp check to each staffer and the company is still contending with makeshift technology to enable employees to work from home, but it may have had a breakthrough today -- making its choices easier

March 19, 2020 – 1:21 AM

Walter Bettinger:  Some employees who currently telecommute, may be required to work on-site as we manage our remote access capacity.

As COVID-19 crisis grows, Schwab charts own course, orders office workers to stay put, while Fidelity, other firms urge employees to work from home

Fidelity CEO Abby Johnson tells 45,000 staff to stay home, if possible; Schwab CEO Walt Bettinger says it's neither practical nor technologically feasible for most of his 19,000 staff to telecommute

March 16, 2020 – 4:09 PM

Mike Durbin:  '[The growth of FCCS] has been meteoric [thanks to removing internal walls] so now we're widening that [wall-less approach] out.'

Fidelity Institutional looks like a big TAMP after Mike Durbin removes last internal walls between products and advisors after 'meteoric' 2019 leap; two Fido RIA sales legends depart amid the shift

Rich Policastro and Tom Valverde are out after Fidelity Custody & Clearing assets leap to $2.6 trillion AUA, restructuring gets the credit -- and so restructuring gets extended.

March 13, 2020 – 10:36 PM

Mark Tibergien: There were at one time five potential candidates ... [and] these were all qualified leaders with the potential for long-term impact on the company.

Behind the scenes, Ben Harrison's rise to replace Mark Tibergien at Pershing was more shock and awe than a symphonic succession

Harrison's appointment was baked in the cake -- or not -- and Tibergien departed with Swiss-watch precision in Moss Adams-style--or not.

March 13, 2020 – 7:22 AM

Adam Birenbaum, flanked by Michael Kitces (left) and Jeffrey Levine: 'This is literally maybe the largest talent story ever in our little independent RIA industry,' says Birenbaum
March 12, 2020 – 1:45 PM

Ben Harrison: We’re not in any business at Pershing not to be a market leader ... We don’t aspire to be two or three … [and] we’re moving in that direction.

Mark Tibergien sets up Ben Harrison to challenge Schwabitrade with a $150 million cut to Pershing's minimum and millions more to develop Veo-busting technology

The CEO suite hand-off in Jersey City pulls a trigger on a plan to bypass Fidelity's and eventually Schwab's custody units by luring disaffected RIAs.

March 11, 2020 – 7:58 AM

Lori Hardwick: 'For all genders, becoming a financial advisor takes guts...rarely is there a salary to draw on.'

Women can thrive in 'kill-to-eat' RIA culture with good mentors, advocacy and inclusiveness to counter toxicity to innate feminine strengths

Lori Hardwick shares unvarnished thoughts about women's 'voices' falling on 'deaf ears' after joining 75 women to talk about the 'brutal truths' facing them in the RIA business at The Dynasty Women’s Network Event in St Petersburg, Fla.

March 10, 2020 – 8:03 PM

Liz Ann Sonders: The path of least resistance is still down.

E*Trade, TD Ameritrade and Legg Mason deals look dicier, after share crashes crush market caps of merging firms

Schwab and Morgan Stanley are using their stock as currency; Franklin Resources is buying Legg Mason, mostly with hard cash

March 9, 2020 – 11:22 PM

Ben Harrison: No other custodian is doing this [cash sweep to high-yield third parties] because it cuts too much into their revenue stream.

Pershing finally matches Schwab on zero-fee trades but it offers big incentives to pay a subscription fee to score perks like auto-sweep to in-house Flourish/Stonecastle-type FDIC cash manager

The Jersey City, N.J. custodian is seeking to disrupt custody's Big Three on value and price by giving RIAs a much better cash choice than having it swept to an in-house bank

March 6, 2020 – 3:34 AM

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