Articles published 7/2020
After the visions of this engineer and Wealthfront diverged in 2016, he left to write his own robo-investing code on a shoestring; now Riskalyze is his first customer
Iraklis Kourtidis takes Aaron Klein's 'Autopilot' product to another plane of efficiency with 'Rowboat,' software he largely wrote over four no-paycheck years
July 31, 2020 at 3:11 AM
Fidelity bags $13 billion AUM digital assets win to its custody, as federal regulators attempt to move Bitcoin custody from 'weirdo websites' to mainstream banks
Backed internally by CEO Abby Johnson, the Boston giant spent five years working in silence on its crypto subsidiary, Fidelity Digital Assets. In 2018, it launched. Now clients, like Kingdom Trust, with RIA assets, are validating Abby's gamble.
July 29, 2020 at 7:27 PM
The BlackRock-Microsoft 'reimagining' of the 401(k) market, arrives looking more like a remix of existing third-party products
The New York-Seattle cross-breeding combines annuities and BlackRock target-date funds but the superpowers expended little imagination, RIA annuity executives say.
July 27, 2020 at 9:43 PM
Avantis Investors rakes in another top-tier PIMCO talent who can do a very un-asset managerial task --talk to RIAs directly
Ex-DFA co-CEO Eduardo Repetto gets Hozef Arif to fill another key seat at the 60-person suite in Little Tokyo (LA) after he checks all the boxes
July 25, 2020 at 1:20 AM
Pershing poaches a chief operating officer from Goldman Sachs, citing her experience doing client-onboarding revamps as a key
The Jersey City, N.J., clearing and custody company hired Emily Schlosser to fill the talent gap when Lori Hardwick left in 2017
July 23, 2020 at 11:19 PM
Envestnet nabs Dani Fava to cross-pollinate semi-autonomous units and reap 'financial wellness' as the end product
The Chicago outsourcer has a massive, partially disconnected arsenal of products that CEO Bill Crager is rationalizing into 'wellness' with yet another new unit.
July 23, 2020 at 1:42 AM
With Schwab in Motif mode, Jon Stein tells Bloomberg Betterment's ETF view is shifting, talks 'revolution,' but declines through spokesman to confirm any imminent shift to direct indexing
The New York robo's CEO pulls no punches in a Q&A about the impersonal nature of exchange traded funds, but observers say Charles Schwab & Co. may have forced his hand toward an accelerated direct indexing timetable.
July 21, 2020 at 11:16 PM
Long leery about ESG, Vanguard Group changes tune, launches ESG bond ETF and promises to 'evaluate' more -- as rival BlackRock barrels ahead in the category
Once viewed as a fringe element's domain, the Malvern, Pa., giant says it's swayed by how 'diverse' (read mainstream) investors are joining crunchier brethren to support a better world -- just as direct-indexing threatens all 'funds.'
July 21, 2020 at 3:45 PM
Opinion: RIAs taking Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans fall well short of slam-dunk justifications in healthy industry -- especially if advisors leave them off the ADV
Dangled like free money and dressed up as AFLAC, the Payroll Protection loans triggered primal survival instincts and differing ideas of due care to clients, self and one's fellow man.
July 17, 2020 at 8:13 PM
Thomas H. Lee gets second bite at an advice roll-up in backing Brookstone's buy of Jason Wenk's $3-billion TAMP -- with Altruist tie-in to be determined
The Boston-based private equity giant, famed for Hightower purchase, is now a leader in what appears to be an emerging insurance TAMP game.
July 16, 2020 at 4:03 AM
With the DOL's new rule 95% likely to get finalized, RIAs need to be wary -- it targets them with new letter-of-the-law ERISA red tape
Right now, most RIAs recommend IRA rollovers without having to jump through a lot of hoops, but DOL's 'exemption' makes a federal case out of suggesting the move away from the protection of the employer’s plan
July 14, 2020 at 7:21 PM
COVID-19 claims the lives of four Broadridge employees and two of its subcontractor's staff, while another contractor's policies exposed workers, raising questions about SEC 'essential work' rules
The New York -based proxy administrations and technology giant of 10,000-employees blames outsourcers for not abiding by its standards for health, safety; others wonder whether the SEC and FINRA created harmfully inflexible, letter-of-the-law rules in pandemic.
July 14, 2020 at 12:46 AM
New DOL fiduciary 'rule' unshackles broker-dealers to pursue commissions, declaring brokers ERISA fiduciaries by making simple disclosures
The new rule lets advisors 'exemption shop' and DOL promises brokers it'll take only about $35 worth of their time to mix commissions with advice.
July 10, 2020 at 2:21 AM
The loss of John Michel weighs across the RIA business -- a doer with a '1000-megawatt smile'
Only 62, the original Merrill Lynch fintechie breakaway modernized the advice business and led with his kind demeanor
July 9, 2020 at 1:38 AM
Charles Schwab Corp. shaves $200 million off USAA deal price, after client asset transfers fall billions short and has now closed three of four pending deals
With TD Ameritrade on deck, the San Francisco acquirer snacked on Wasmer, Motif and USAA's brokerage unit, but the latter's 'warm lead' referral flow has Schwab execs salivating.
July 8, 2020 at 10:46 PM
Oisín's Bits: With COVID-19 spiking in 27 states, RIA events like Wealth/Stack fight for late 2020 conference slots • Black Diamond taps startup Canoe for alternatives reporting • DOL quantifies RIA numbers
The InsideETFs event will compete with InvestWest for coveted late 2020 date, but without Josh Brown's stardust • SS&C's move follows Addepar advance and will include Advent products• The DoL sees net gains in RIAs of about 300 a year
July 8, 2020 at 2:23 AM
Sequoia Capital bet and won big on FutureAdvisor; now it's wagering $14.5 million on Vise and its 'extreme value proposition' for RIAs
The legendary VC sold FA to BlackRock for $150 million , cooled its heels, then re-upped in Robo 2.0 wave with TD, Schwab, Riskalyze and Jon Xu playing roles
July 6, 2020 at 7:16 PM
Oisín's Bits: Wealthfront drops old mission statement, declares war on institutions and emphasizes banking future • Seeking Utah charter, Edward Jones may become largest bank in US by branch count • After Advent chief leaves, Black Diamond head steps up
Andy Rachleff cans the old 'democratizing' mission statement at his robo; The 14,200 one-man Ed Jones branches may become branch banks; Steve Leivent consolidates power at SS&C.
July 3, 2020 at 1:12 AM
A big wince as Trump's DOL presses efforts to erase Obama-era ESG guidance, with tough new rule to curb do-good funds in ERISA accounts; critics cry 'politics'
Lawyers see crackdown as 'a solution in search of a problem' in regard to Labor Dept. pleas in proposed rule of danger that meeting environmental and social justice goals could harm returns, hence retiree security.
July 1, 2020 at 8:18 PM
IPO dreams die, but Personal Capital gets '$1 billion' price tag from life insurance giant's 401(k) unit that includes a de facto discount from early-bird VC dollars
Empower's sister company has built a 25% stake in Personal Capital since 2016 and test drove the company with two board members.