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Articles published 3/2021


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Doug Scott: We have grown our assets approximately 10-fold since our last round of funding in 2019, which underscores the incredible demand that we continue to experience.

'Several of the largest RIA firms' move assets to Ethic, enough for Fidelity Investments to join the start-up's $29 million B round

The Boston giant  doubled down on the New York City firm, encouraged by internal RIA flows and after seeing Schwab, Morgan Stanley and BlackRock all make moves toward hyper-personalized indexes in 'white-hot' market.

March 31, 2021 – 2:19 AM

Derek Bruton: Having achieved my top priorities ... the time is right for me to step back to pursue other professional endeavors.

Three months after Larry Roth's SPAC steps in, Derek Bruton steps down as Kingswood US CEO and eyes next move in July with no Kingswood successor in sight

The former LPLer's three-year stint began with Chalice in San Diego and ended with lead role in a British roll-up later swallowed by an investment firm headed by former Cetera CEO Roth.

March 30, 2021 – 8:00 PM

Ari Sonneberg: The Plaid deal opened Pandora’s Box for Visa.

Oisín's Bits: Visa ended Plaid bid to get DOJ off its back; the DOJ is still breathing down its neck • Pershing's NetX360 upgrade makes Orion software hum like at no other custodian -- for now • Addepar says its data shows pandemic made even RIAs misjudge market

DOJ scrutiny scuttled Visa's bid for Plaid. The Feds saw more under the hood • Orion and Pershing bid to make switching between software to trade and read documents outmoded with new data tie-up • RIA jitters over prospective losses may have hit clients' wallets, according to Addepar research.

March 29, 2021 – 9:01 PM

Milton Berlinski: Reverence and GTCR are 'not tourists in this space.'

Reverence Capital will again seek to reverse fortune of deadwood wealth division after $2.1B purchase of Wells Fargo Asset Management following buys of Voya's old annuity farm and AIG's old salesforce

The New York City private equity firm keeps fearlessly buying and rebranding rusty pieces of the commission brokerage, commission-product ecosystem.

March 27, 2021 – 2:25 AM

Anders Jones: We didn’t ask ‘what can we cherry pick from Vanguard, Kitces, Learnvest, et al., but instead… ‘what does the ideal model look like.'

Facet Wealth is doubling in size every six months with subscription model, on-the-job training, no central offices and a rising belief it can be the 'next Fidelity'

With Warburg Pincus spigots flowing, the Baltimore-based $502-million AUM RIA does its part by keeping overhead radically low and worker care high.

March 26, 2021 – 12:21 AM

Frederick D. DiSanto is leading the 'white' slate challenging Blucora's board.

Charges fly as $8 billion RIA tries to upend $83 billion Blucora board alleging mismanagement

Ancora CEO Fred DiSanto buys 3.4% of Blucora stock and declares war on board over 'negative returns, rash acquisitions, and chronic C-suite turnover.'

March 24, 2021 – 4:14 PM

Robinhood CEO Vladimir Tenev was called onto the carpet by Congress at a hearing into the GameStop frenzy.

Robinhood files for (give or take) $40-billion IPO before its 'zero' niche, its IPO window and its hipster appeal lose their buzz -- namely by March 31

The Menlo Park, Calif. discount broker's investor accounts average just $5,000, but it gets downloads of its app at unmatched levels in retail finance

March 24, 2021 – 2:22 AM

Charles Scharf: Our efficiency ratio is not competitive.

Charlie Scharf rides roughshod over genteel 'Abbot Downing' brand, ditching stagecoach era throwback, amid rampant cost-cutting to restore profits and bank's good name

Installed to be an unsentimental turaround artist, the Wells Fargo CEO is looking to finally shed the taint of an accounting scandal and shake off a punishing fed asset cap.

March 19, 2021 – 8:03 PM

Karl Heckenberg: Two years ago nobody saw a $200-billion public company entering our market.

What exactly makes the Kurt-and-Karl show click as CI Financial and Emigrant Partners do deals, tighten ties and co-evolve their business models

Toronto-based CI got a 100% equity interest in $4.5 billion Brightworth under CEO Kurt MacAlpine, but Emigrant CEO Karl Heckenberg got no liquidity -- and therein lies the symbiosis

March 19, 2021 – 12:07 AM

Jeffrey DeMaso: Vanguard is a little late to this game.

A 'late' Vanguard Group joins crowd selling ultra-short bond ETF --managed by humans -- after money markets refuse to rebound

In a zero-interest Covid-19 economy, the Malvern, Pa. giant is going out on risk curve a touch for an ETF and pocketing about 20% of the yield.

March 18, 2021 – 3:27 AM

Ric Edelman sold shares at the $7.3 billion valuation on a proportional basis to  Hellman & Friedman.

Edelman Financial Engines shuns an IPO, but (likely) raises hundreds of millions dollars at a staggering $7.3-billion IPO valuation, despite fresh DOL 401(k) headwinds

The willingness of Warburg Pincus to re-up on the $260-billion AUM manager of RIA and 401(k) assets means Hellman Friedman can de-risk and crank up growth.

March 17, 2021 – 2:08 AM

Brian Barnes: We can be a next-generation Charles Schwab. We want to go after the banks.

Taking on Schwab, Robinhood and Wealthfront, VCs keep throwing cash -- now $153 million -- at M1 Finance that it doesn't need to burn

The latest $75 million in venture capital comes after an uber-spike in growth M1 says correlates with fed-up Robinhood investors after the GameStop fiasco

March 13, 2021 – 2:56 AM

Oleg Tishkevich: We really need to go to the next step.

Whiplashed by meteoric growth, Oleg Tishkevich seeks help to reinvent INVENT and brings Larry Roth on board to tame the flames

The Seattle firm has already quintupled the scale achieved by Tishkevich's FinanceLogix, but with IBDs replacing software patches with cloud computing, INVENT needs to grow up fast.

March 11, 2021 – 11:49 PM

Natalie Wolfsen: 'Absolutely, Assetmark is evolving.'

Natalie Wolfsen's sudden ascent as AssetMark CEO marks a whole new 'liberated' RIA vibe and could be a catalyst to fill service void left by custodian cutbacks

Put in place by AssetMark's new high-powered chairwoman, the Charles Goldman protégé sees a way to take on Envestnet and Schwab after demoting MoneyGuidePro and closing the biggest deal in her company's history

March 11, 2021 – 2:41 AM

Jack Edwards: These plans may defer awards for too long, include too many advisors, or include advisors with insufficient income.  Or they may violate state law.

Why RIAs who left deferred comp on the table back at the wirehouse may yet make a claim for what might be, rightfully, their money

Clauses written by lawyers under duress of wide-ranging defections may have over-reached, creating an opportunity to challenge in court.

March 10, 2021 – 1:27 AM

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