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Articles published 9/2021


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Sarah Levy has already generated enough fresh momentum at Betterment that fresh capital has followed.

Betterment is ready to burn cash like its 2008 all over again with 2008 co-founder Eli Broverman leading a $60-million VC round to execute the plan he was credited with creating

The 13-year-old New York City startup is one year into a rebirth under new CEO Sarah Levy who is hiring like crazy and plans to invest aggressively in both B2B units -- for 401(k) and RIA custody.

September 30, 2021 – 1:42 AM

Eileen Duff: Grayscale is adhering to a higher level of scrutiny than many other players.

Grayscale shreds the hype about Bitcoin's power to 'democratize' finance by showing that RIAs really want a dominant Wall Street middleman and are willing to pay hedge-fund-like fees for 'transparency' and an SEC-approved wrapper

The New York City manager landed Schwab, Wealthfront and now the UHNW alts platform, iCapital, to provide a crypto asset that incites exuberant hopes, crippling fears and little between.

September 28, 2021 – 9:50 PM

Robert Johnson: “Our industry must safeguard against retirement plan leakage, which particularly affects black and brown workers.

Vanguard Group becomes second domino to fall in 401(k) recordkeeper detente on plan portability, and the push is on to cajole Fidelity, the DC king, to follow suit

The $8 trillion Malvern, Pa., asset manager signed a deal with Retirement Clearinghouse to address its $1.8 billion of record-kept plan assets, which suffer universally despised pension 'leakage' that drains minority-held accounts.

September 24, 2021 – 1:21 AM

Reggie Tucker: 'Getting on board with Lorenzo is about as riskless as it comes.'

Manhattan West makes 'inflection point' poach of Reggie Tucker as Los Angeles VC 'deal flow' reaches critical mass and the 2016 RIA startup hires madly to catch a once-in-a-generation opportunity

The 46 year-old Los Angeles venture capital insider is joining CEO Lorenzo Esparza's startup, specializing in media and entertainment.

September 22, 2021 – 2:53 AM

Joanna Rotenberg: The best work I’ve done has been because of the people I’ve worked with.

Abby Johnson hires Canadian whiz and possible successor to head up, monetize and automate Fidelity retail to close early digital deficits with Schwab, Robinhood and Vanguard-- and maybe win institutionally embedded 401(k) millionaires

With the $11.2 -trillion Boston giant hiring 9,000 by year end after opening 5 million new retail accounts in six months, Joanna Rotenberg will be asked to rationalize, unify, digitize and monetize low- or no-revenue millennial accounts.

September 21, 2021 – 2:38 AM

Kurt MacAlpine: 'Miami is an incredible place to establish our U.S. headquarters.'

Canada's CI Financial and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announce plan for Miami to become the $77-billion rollup's U.S. headquarters in 2023

The Sunshine State used tax incentives to lure the Toronto firm to Miami, where the state has tried to establish a Wall Street South for decades with some success

September 16, 2021 – 10:24 PM

Vlad Tenev was called to testify before Congress on Robinhood's revenue stream.

Robinhood's retort to SEC's threat to outlaw kickbacks from order flow is to in-source the trading operation and take more of the bid-ask spread

Robinhood points out it has a 'history of doing difficult tasks' like when it brought clearing in-house to 'market make as a solution to monetize the stream.'

September 16, 2021 – 2:00 AM

David McNatt:  It's not about having a supermarket.

AssetMark widens offensive on Envestnet by creating SMA mini-market after canceling the product line in 2017 as demand for direct stock ownership shoots up

The Concord, Calif., company, with $85 billion in TAMP assets, is rebooting with tighter manager curation and software that allows SMAs to work better in a portfolio with non-SMA products -- namely ETFs.

September 14, 2021 – 10:26 PM

J. Fielding Miller's 51-acquistion rollup is now endorsing Riskalyze internally.

Riskalyze tightens ties to CAPTRUST and its $660 billion in AUA with an access deal and its implicit endorsement

Fresh off signing Mariner Wealth's $40 billion with insider help, the Auburn, Calif., firm formalizes and elevates dealings with the Raleigh, N.C., giant.

September 13, 2021 – 9:59 PM

Steve Lockshin: We have 400 advisors, but I want the Merrill Lynches, Schwabs, Vanguards and Goldman Sachses.

Steve Lockshin's self-funded Vanilla gets Rockefeller VC funding after it shows it can tidy up an RIA client and put her or him in a Zoom room with an estate lawyer

The serial successful RIA entrepreur in Los Angeles is shooting for a real Wall Street/Silicon Valley unicorn success story that starts with bringing in Venrock and Michael Jordan to think big early

September 10, 2021 – 3:24 AM

Charles Schwab & Co. last hosted an IMPACT in 2019.

Schwab Advisor Services scrubs 10-city IMPACT 2021 in-person events, Oct. 18, after the company digests feedback from RIAs and staff

The Westlake, Texas, custodian of $3 trillion-plus is now naming Denver as its location for a 2022 return to normal but won't yet make any promises

September 8, 2021 – 10:30 PM

Since Tim Buckley took over as CEO in 2018, he has stretched Vanguard's business model to drive growth and slow profit-margin compression.

After freemium-like beginnings, Vanguard Group is priming its $243-billion RIA as a profit engine with high-octane, higher risk, higher-margin proprietary funds, tempered by an 'opt-in' for investors

The wealth management unit of the $8-trillion, Malvern, Pa., manager will exclusively distribute three active, high-conviction mutual funds with fees starting at 40 basis points

September 7, 2021 – 7:35 PM

Abby Johnson: 'Our financial strength and stability allow us to make significant investments in our businesses.'

Fidelity Investments pulls out stops on perks to raise headcount by 7,000 -- by hiring 9,000 -- to shrug off labor shortages, escalating wages and call center attrition

The 53,000-employee Boston firm is offering Google-type benefits and Merrill Lynch-style training--no financial experience necessary-- to reach 60,000 staffers by Christmas to meet crushing demand for service and still advance mega-projects like crypto and youth accounts

September 4, 2021 – 12:57 AM

Marty Bicknell: We have a large set of advisors that are raving fans of the tool.

Marty Bicknell chooses Riskalyze software for Mariner Wealth and integrates it with Orion and eMoney

The Overland Park, Kansas RIA, with $40-billion in AUM, needed to address heightened volatility fears post-2020 but also choose software his advisors were eager to use

September 3, 2021 – 2:10 AM

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