News, Vision & Voice for the Advisory Community


Brooke Southall

A native Mainer, Brooke founded RIABiz 13 years ago because he wanted to write for an editor demanding articles get past syrupy quotation, satanic jargon and the Wall Street framing of how financial advice gets sold. He spends his days now in California writing, editing and coaching writers. He lives on a houseboat, works in an office and juggles calls across the five time zones and four countries his small team works. He's out to prove an economic major can make a living as a journalist and that articles need not be a loss leader if they are written well and geared to an intelligent readership.

Articles written by Brooke Southall


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Jon Patullo: It was great to build an incredible team, strategy and advisor platform in a short time at Apex.
April 24, 2024 at 1:52 AM

Rob Farmer: I had agency in my blood.

Ex-PR chief of Schwab Advisor Services reappears at StreetCred while Schwab loses a corporate PR head and gains a new one to 'protect the brand' after a rough 2023

Rob Farmer joins Jimmy Moock, Emma Smith, Will Ruben and Jason Lahita at StreetCred; Andrew Wyse, an ex-Pepsi PR honcho, joins Schwab after Joe Carberry departure in January.

April 20, 2024 at 2:54 AM

Schwab let staff attrition and position eliminations contribute to its notable reduction in staff size.

Charles Schwab Corp. headcount is down 4,000 from its June 30 peak, nearly double the expected 'reductions,' though the company has hundreds of job openings, many with 'wealth' in the titles

The $9-trillion financial firm disclosed an updated total of 32,600 staff, which is a hair above the 2021 first quarter total, but down 9.4% from 12 months ago.

April 18, 2024 at 3:48 AM

Bill Crager left Envestnet without a permanent CEO on board. .

Envestnet's shares soar on Reuters report about 'receiving interest' for takeover, the latest in a line of reported attempts

The Berwyn, Pa., firm, dogged by activist investors and minority shareholder, BlackRock, is getting more active.

April 16, 2024 at 7:22 PM

Craig Siegenthaler: When [can] BlackRock get back to 5% base organic growth?

BlackRock invokes Envestnet's fresh promise in pushing iShares by model portfolios on earnings call where merciless analysts pepper its execs with questions about sub-5% organic asset growth

Assets soared to $10.5 trillion and earnings per share beat their bogey, but the New York City money manager just keeps sinking because growth relies too much on market gains.

April 13, 2024 at 2:06 AM

Ted Pick: “$10 trillion is coming. We're going to get there.”

James Gorman pivoted to 'wealth management' to save Morgan Stanley after the 2008 financial crisis, but now feds are looking into the unit's rapid growth to $6T in AUA, amid allegations of lax oversight and money laundering

Gorman bailed on the firm, Jan. 1, leaving successor Ted Pick to pick up the pieces; Wall Street wasted no time dumping the stock after a WSJ report that a Federal Reserve probe had metasticized to other agencies

April 12, 2024 at 1:47 AM

Ron Carson: I realize that to continue to be a growth leader in the RIA space, we must adopt a bifocal ability.
April 10, 2024 at 2:54 AM

Jack Ginter: The overwhelming majority went through an RFP or RFP-like [request for proposal] process

An Abbot Downing breakaway, but not exactly, Callan Family Office hits $5 billion of AUM after just two years using a creative 'Callan' brand deal and a partnership model

In the wake Wells Fargo's 'Abbot Downing' brand kill-off, Jack Ginter struck a platinum brand deal of his own, took his UHNW act to an RIA, and scored explosive 'organic' growth

April 9, 2024 at 2:00 AM

Michael Kitces [left] (with Alan Moore): “As it turns out, the next generation of clients is actually the most willing to pay for professional financial advice.

XY Planning Network founders mark 10th birthday of their Montana-based RIA-making machine with hard growth numbers and not-so-soft chiding of robo-advisors, CFP limitations and doubters of their downmarket business model

Alan Moore and Michael Kitces put their money where their mouths were and plan to expand their not-a-CFP XYPN Academy training to stamp out 'Imposter Syndrome.'

April 6, 2024 at 2:02 AM

Stephen Chen: Everyone else builds software for the advisor first.

Stephen Chen completes $20 million raise; RIAs have found a niche use for his consumer-facing software -- never mind all those subscribers and enterprises

The founder of NewRetirement.com has a DIY approach that RIAs and enterprises are attracted to because consumers do much of the work

April 3, 2024 at 2:43 AM

Christa Carone: It’s an honor... to help build momentum for the brand.

Christa Carone, an ex-Fidelity and Xerox marketing whiz, steps onto a slippery slope at LPL with a daunting task -- to consolidate a NASCAR size brand portfolio... or not?

With no CMO since August, the chief marketing officer will play catch up for a company still hungry to buy more branded B2B and B2C players.

April 2, 2024 at 1:28 AM

Tom Moore: Adding mutual funds has long been advisors' top request.

As Betterment AUM balloons to $45 billion, Tom Moore ends DFA's exclusive mutual fund deal for RIAs and opens the floodgates; PIMCO, T.Rowe, Fidelity and Vanguard get first crack at DFA 'menu' hegemony

The New York City RIA custodian now has 850,000 end investors and admits mutual funds are a 'top request,' but big limits remain on how RIAs can manuever with mutual funds.

March 30, 2024 at 2:19 AM

Gary Gensler: When new technologies come along, they can create buzz from investors as well as false claims.

Two 'RIAs' that allegedly falsely advertised using 'artificial intelligence' to aid investment decisions cough up real SEC settlements and censure

Accused of 'AI washing,' Delphia and Global Predictions are liable for $225k and $175k, respectively, after leading investors to believe that AI machines were madly carrying out valuable processes.

March 20, 2024 at 3:53 AM

Dani Fava: I've thoughtfully selected my next home at a company well-placed to capitalize on emerging industry trends.

Dani Fava is out at Envestnet -- to capitalize on AI revolution at a new firm, she hints

The ex-TD Ameritrade talent was hired by CEO Bill Crager in 2020 to harmonize acquisitions -- not least MoneyGuidePro and Yodlee that the company still grapples with

March 20, 2024 at 1:25 AM

Fidelity is 'still hiring talent in critical business areas with nearly 2,000 open roles.'

Fidelity lays off 700 -- not for costs or [bad] performance -- but to shift headcount and hire more client-facing and tech staff, touching off 'panic posting' on job board

The $12.6 trillion Boston investments eyes 2,000 new hires to speak directly to clients or develop more tech products, but lack of clarity jars some staffers

March 12, 2024 at 1:08 AM

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