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Articles published 7/2020


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Iraklis Kourtidis [in front of his boat office]: I felt they scratched the surface of what you can do with engineering [related to tax alpha].

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

Christine Sandler: Support[ing] natively digital assets is a marathon, not a sprint ... this year in particular, we’ve seen more interest than ever.

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

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's 2018 pledge to 'reimagine retirement planning' sparked hopes of transcending incumbent systems and products.

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

Eduardo Repetto means to inculcate an all-hands-on-deck service mentality across Avantis that extends to the platinum-credentialed money managers. ​

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

At Goldman Sachs, Emily Schlosser was 'head of change' for its global markets division.

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

Dani Fava: I have been able to get to know Envestnet's unified technology platform through our deep integrations over the years.

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

Jon Stein: Personalized portfolios with specific stocks for specific clients that still track an index -- that’s clearly where things are trending

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

Phil Bak: [Vanguard] have been pulled kicking and screaming into ESG.

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

Charlie Paikert: In contrast to businesses that were forced to close their doors, there was never any decline in the demand for wealth management services.

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

Dean Zayed: This is the first big deal we're doing under the AmeriLife banner ... [and] there's no other opportunity as special as this is given the like-mindedness of the two companies.

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

Jason Roberts: The penalties are set in stone.

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

Robert Kalenka: [We] have worked with TMG for over 30 years and I have an extremely high regard for their entire organization. The level of experience, expertise and professionalism they deliver to us is exceptional.

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

Fred Reish:  Broker dealers have tried everything in their power to be fiduciaries – while still having commissions. They’re the big winner here.

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

John Michel 'lived his life by a strong moral code forged by his time at West Point, and he expected all who dealt with him to live up to his standards.''

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

Peter Crawford:  [Referrals are] what makes this deal so appealing … on an ongoing basis.

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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