Articles Published 7/2020


HeadlinePublish date

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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 10:46 PM

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