News, Vision & Voice for the Advisory Community


Articles published 11/2023


Publish date

Alex Lucas says slow 'uptake' may have taken INVEST for Amex down.

Vanguard discloses to SEC it will end grand plan to market RIA services to Amex cardholders; new ADV details what may have taken it off the rails

The Malvern, Pa. firm faced blistering pricing criticism from the start but changes disclosed to SEC suggest complexities of unruly $50,000 accounts from Amex clients undermined the effort

November 30, 2023 at 1:44 AM

Joe Duran: 'At Rise we are the growth capital partner.'

Joe Duran's second RIA act is rocking with eight staff, four co-founders and a conspicuously anti-United Capital concept that will flip RIA stakes 'eventually' as a minority investor

The United Capital founder paradoxically promises to 'passively' buy minority stakes as a backdrop for going hyper-active with quick-strike capability to apply super-consulting and technology to create explosive growth as a prelude to a sale.

November 29, 2023 at 3:23 AM

Natalie Wolfsen: We’re embracing a collective pause.

Orion rescinds RTO order after its staff rebels by hijacking company email list, distributing petition and tipping off RIA media

CEO Natalie Wolfsen suffers first setback and rescinds a return-to-office (RTO) policy after week of protest to work on a more collaborative agreement on a post-COVID new normal

November 23, 2023 at 12:20 AM

Jeff DeMaso: I see it as another sign of the "MBA-ization" of Vanguard.

Vanguard sets an April 1 sell-by-date for some RIA clients to downgrade service or pay $300 upcharge, part of a concerning 'MBA-ization,' analyst says

The $7.2 trillion Malvern, Pa, money manager grew its RIA to a staggering $300 billion in eight years, but it's ready to crack down on investors who get premium service with pedestrian investment balances.

November 22, 2023 at 1:14 AM

Anna Howard: There hasn't been a viable offering like this.

LPL goes straight at wirehouse crown jewels -- corner-office brokers -- by re-platooning orphaned First Republic insider and making a high payout book portable and saleable

Existing 'Linsco' full-service model needed a shot of 'nuance,' but Anna Howard is seeking to be an outright 'disruptor'

November 21, 2023 at 2:36 AM

360 Park Avenue South: Iconiq's new New York City offices.

Iconiq Capital doubles its New York City footprint to reflect spike in hiring and new clients, but AUA has been stuck around $80 billion for past two years

RIA for tech mega wealth, started by Mark Zuckerberg's one-time broker, just added roughly 35,000 square feet to its New York City footprint to accommodate hiring spurt

November 18, 2023 at 5:05 AM

Val Agostino: There's no need to keep Mint alive.

Embattled Mint.com is shutting for good, weeks after Fidelity finally cut off free, screen-scraped data that was at the heart of its business model

The 2007-launched agg-app was a slick freemium sensation that Intuit bought and let wither away from 20 million to 3.6 million million users.

November 16, 2023 at 3:18 AM

Aaron Klein: 'I don't want anyone to ask: Do I need permission of both parents?' [Photo from aaronklein.com.]

Six months after 'Nitrogen' reboot, Aaron Klein pulls rip cord on CEO job but will stay on board to jumpstart quest for $1-billion valuation under hand-picked replacement

The Nitrogen CEO is still the largest 'individual' shareholder and promises not to start a new company but he's already launched a side-hustle consultancy

November 15, 2023 at 3:24 AM

Alex Kramm: This is looking like something is broken.

'Something-is-broken' question draws no resounding response at Envestnet Q3 earnings call; shares still bleed, but execs see a 2024 cash flow rebound and flash an ace in the hole -- RIAs

A UBS analyst asked Envestnet's new chief finacial officer -- fresh out of BlackRock - -- if he could share in his behind-the-curtain first look and got a circumstantial answer

November 14, 2023 at 3:26 AM

Peter Mallouk: [We're] considerably ahead of schedule, even excluding United Capital.

Peter Mallouk ends up losing the majority of Goldman-United Capital advisors in headline-intensive deal but keeps the lion's share of the managed assets

The Creative Planning CEO's acquisition hemmorhaged 175 advisors but leaked just $9 billion of AUM, softened by snapping up $13 billion AUA Mesirow 401(k) business and retaining $20 billion from United Capital, post deal close.

November 11, 2023 at 1:56 AM

Justin Wayne: We really saw the opportunity to hit on a new segment of the market.

Black Diamond's gutsy CRM play is a self-branded product built on a Salesforce chassis that undercuts the giant on price and simplicity and converts to Salentica with flip of a switch

The Jacksonville RIA software unit will sell to its own 2,000 firms plus Advent's Axys and APX users, betting that most customization capability is overkill for firms with fewer than 10 advisors.

November 10, 2023 at 5:48 AM

Walt Bettinger: Circumstances can change.

As more prominent Schwabbies emerge amid 2,000 layoffs, Schwab CEO reassures that no 'meaningful' second shoe-drop is 'in the works at this point,' unless 'circumstances' dictate it

Middle-managment cuts range from legal department and alternatives to separately managed accounts (SMAs) and products serving the high-net-worth market.

November 9, 2023 at 2:30 AM

Fidelity is making sure more cash flows into Boston by default.

Fidelity reveals it switched its RIA sweep default to a much lower-yielding FCash product, on new accounts, during Schwab's very pre-occupied week; new yield still beats Schwab's by about 300%, but advisors are sure to be irked

The No. 2 Boston custodian will jack up the revenue it gets from RIA custody because it can pay their clients much less for cash -- as long as RIAs are too lazy to do cash sorting.

November 4, 2023 at 2:12 AM

Kartik Srinivasan: I was impacted by the staff reductions at Schwab this week.

Schwab 2,000-layoff aftershocks roil the industry as it's revealed top tech talent -- led by widely regarded veteran Kartik Srinivasan -- were axed, raising questions about future of Schwab innovation

Behind every layoff a human story as pink slip to an 'unbelievable talent' epitomizes company's determination to cut $500 million in expenses.

November 3, 2023 at 3:49 AM

Alyssa Stankiewicz: ESG funds are not the only ones employing different strategies.

Blacklisted 'woke' firms like BlackRock and State Street still have a lock on AUM in oil states like Oklahoma; anti-ESG politicians underestimated the fierce independence of state money managers and Republican lawmakers who back them

Oklahoma public pension fund revolts against state Treasurer and refuses to divest ESG funds in protest against mixing politics with fiduciary duties -- roughly a repeat of the ESG revolt in reverse.

November 2, 2023 at 1:50 AM

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