News, Vision & Voice for the Advisory Community


Articles published 6/2021


Publish date

Mary Erdoes: Clients are beginning to understand the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impact of their portfolios.

J. P. Morgan buys OpenInvest, after missing out on Parametric, which Morgan Stanley nabbed; it's more about ESG, less about direct indexing, firm says

The New York City money manager finally has a foothold in the ESG game, helping RIAs actively manage indexes, but it's footprint, starting out, is small.

June 29, 2021 at 6:29 PM

Kurt MacAlpine is leveraging trust built up between RIAs who know and like each other and form an informal  pod.

CI Financial continues to feast on Blind Squirrels' membership like a cache of stored nuts

The Toronto serial acquirer is adding study group member Radnor Financial Advisors' $2.6 billion to the bigger haul from Balasa Dinverno, RGT and Brightworth.

June 28, 2021 at 8:42 PM

Sanjiv Mirchandani is leaving Fidelity after accepting a buyout package too good to refuse.

Fidelity Investments is paying 2,000 employees to hasten their corporate exits, including high-profile RIA overseer, Sanjiv Mirchandani, as part of its shift to a digital future

The Boston giant offered voluntary buyout packages and the 4% of staff who accepted will leave by June 30 to give other staff room to grow careers and make room for hires.

June 24, 2021 at 5:39 PM

Sarah Levy: We continue to ramp up our investment in the RIA business.

After promising to make RIAs job one, new Betterment CEO puts trust in RIA brands --and knocks off XYPN-- to create an Envestnet-lite outsourcer for start-up shops and breakaways

Betterment is using four software and services vendors and discounts up to $3,100 per RIA per year after getting the idea from one of its largest customers

June 23, 2021 at 9:31 PM

Jeffrey Young: The biggest threat to the market comes from the market itself. Nobody is bearish.

How 500 truck stops can reassure RIAs about markets when 'nobody is negative, the bloom is off the Zoom economy and inflation returns

Thanks to smart phone data and fumes, Jeffrey Young can get past Fed data and look at the pipeline that carries the goods and see what lies ahead.

June 21, 2021 at 8:13 PM

Joe Lonsdale: This is a rare company where the second decade is much more exciting than the first.

Nearing $3 trillion of AUA, Addepar accepts another $150 million of unsolicited PE money because the price was right --a $2.17 billion valuation

D1 Capital Partners -- fresh off a crushing loss in the GameStop debacle -- footed the entire Series F capital raise by buying in at double Addepar's value from just seven months ago.

June 18, 2021 at 5:25 PM

Any hopes Gary Gensler would rubberstamp  SEC crypto-approvals were dealt a blow.

The SEC effectively says 'no,' again, to Bitcoin ETFs with request for public comment, allowing Charles Schwab & Co. to keep its cover and steer clear of crypto for now

The Securities and Exchange Commission goes back to square one by starting a public comment period with a heart-stopping, simple question: Can people manipulate Bitcoin prices?

June 16, 2021 at 11:17 PM

Dan Carroll: Wealthfront will be the place to invest responsibly, not some Wild West arcade. We can do it in a fiduciary way.

Wealthfront, in its sixth pivot as a firm, reduces its robo-advisor's role and puts 'decision-making power where it belongs,' with retail investors

The Palo Alto, Calif., firm will still maintain an RIA, but it'll be more like a self-directed brokerage in allowing investors to play an active role by buying stocks and cryptocurrency.

June 16, 2021 at 1:57 AM

Scott MacKillop: This flat-fee TAMP idea has legs after all.

After a 2018 cash scare, Scott MacKillop got a $1.5 million lifeline and -- boom -- RIAs rewarded his flat-fee TAMP with 1,000% AUM growth in 35 months

First Ascent now has $1.1 billion in RIA AUM and reached a sweet milestone -- its founder has a take-home salary and apparent sustainability.

June 14, 2021 at 8:41 PM

David Laibson says investors could "steer the horse over the cliff."

With up to 25% of assets exposed, Schwab, Fidelity and Vanguard add algorithms to spot decreased mental capacity among aging clients, but RIAs are sitting ducks, a new report states

The leading edge of the boomer generation is now 75, near the average for Alzheimer's onset, and up to 25% will suffer diminished capacity, making them vulnerable to poor decision-making or exploitation

June 12, 2021 at 12:25 AM

Tyrone Ross:  "It's been six years and no one has done it. We’ve got the team to do it.

Tyrone Ross Jr. is launching the network of networks for crypto-excluded RIAs by combining 5 years experience as a Merrill Lynch broker and his communication skills

The CEO and co-founder of Onramp Invest is ramping up rapidly with private backers, 300 subscribers and the good fortune that big players are all talk for now

June 11, 2021 at 2:41 AM

Adam Schouela: We continue to experiment ... and explore how technology can help simplify other aspects of investing in this space.

Fidelity Investments unveils 'Sherlock' -- a dashboard that gives advisors data on 80 digital assets that can be used to justify buying and selling crypto

The Boston giant is plowing ahead with its controversial endeavor even as Bitcoin plummets in value and data analytics firms like Morningstar, BlackRock (Aladdin) and Bloomberg hang back.

June 9, 2021 at 2:34 AM

Samir Vasavada (left) and Runik Mehrotra (right) have a unicorn on their hands, following Vise's Series C round.

Vise falls way short of $1 billion projections after RIAs balk, but venture capitalists promptly reward fledgling with $1-billion valuation -- based on $5-trillion vision

The New York firm gets $65 million six months after it raised $45 million by going straight at the $5 trillion of high-net-worth assets managed mostly by big RIAs with software that listens to RIAs but does all their work.

June 8, 2021 at 2:56 AM

Bill Crager stuck to his guns.

Envestnet shares soar near $80 after S&P 400 inclusion --a round trip from the February low price of $64 after CEO Bill Crager disclosed spending plan that irked analysts

The Chicago outsourcer for 106,000 financial advisors saw its stock price rise about 11% after the active manager got assurances its shares will be added to passive portfolios

June 4, 2021 at 8:29 PM

Roger Aliaga-Diaz: 'There is no enduring economic or investment rationale to expect cryptocurrencies to generate positive real returns.'

Charles Schwab & Co. dials in what it may consider SEC's all-clear signal on bitcoin, while Vanguard's take includes nothing to turn a red light green

The Westlake, Tex., brokerage is taking a hyper-pragmatic, outward-looking approach and the Malvern, Pa. giant is relying on its inner compass, vision of reality.

June 4, 2021 at 1:45 AM

Robert "RJ"  Moore: [LPL is] a partner and a solution -  not the partner and the solution.

Robert Moore's first big move as chief executive and stakeholder at $49-billion AUA LPL OSJ is to strip LPL of its exclusivity as broker-dealer

The Ex-LPL executive just upped the 'coopetition' stakes by pulling Private Advisor Group closer to custodians like Fidelity and Schwab and broker-dealers like Triad Advisors.

June 3, 2021 at 2:28 AM

Andy Grillo: Way too often transactions are inaccurately priced.

As ever larger RIA rollups hog M&A deals, Andy Grillo launches cheap robo-service to help mom-and-pop battle 'inaccurate' valuations; color RIA bankers unimpressed

Fabe Assist promises to scratch an itch RIAs didn't know they had, knowing more about themselves before they entertain buyers. But experts say valuations are too human and too emotional for machines to make inroads.

June 1, 2021 at 11:03 PM

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