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Articles written by Brooke Southall


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Stephanie Link made a key hire to allow Hightower to deliver an alternative to vanilla alternative investments.

Tuning its 'machine' business model, Hightower Advisors just hired an ex-Carlyle due-diligence maven for alts investing to offer an alternative to the CAIS and iCapital standard inventory

The $141-billion AUA Chicago aggregator sees a big future of $50-million-and-up UHNW clients, and it want to maximize RIA access to premier alts managers.

August 2, 2022 – 2:24 AM

Chuck Schwab: 'We see these actions as part of an overall evolution of the Schwab story.'

After paying $22 billion of shares to buy TD Ameritrade, Chuck Schwab is preparing to spend $15 billion in hard cash to buy his own 'Schwabitrade' stock-- spiking shares in after-hours trading

The all-stock 2020 transaction for the Omaha, Neb. rival left plenty of dry powder to do a massive share buyback -- and signal bullishness about the ongoing, unseen systems integration

July 28, 2022 – 4:21 AM

Ron Ransom: 'You can't be all things to everyone.'

Envestnet just named an ESG head to meld 'wellness,' 'The Intelligent Financial Life' and 'sustainable investing' into a single nirvana -- that starts outside of the product realm

Ron Ransom earned CEO Bill Crager's trust as chief business development officer and now will define how Envestnet conducts itself as a global citizen and vendor of wellness.

July 27, 2022 – 2:27 AM

Laura Levesque says OCIOs sell fiduciary services yet still build portfolios using proprietary products.

BlackRock CEO preaches a very RIA-like future -- after three awesome wins in five months that total more than $200 billion -- where his $7 trillion manager gets every asset in exchange for unmatched 'completeness'

Larry Fink's New York City firm won 'whole portfolio advisor' OCIO accounts of AIG, British Air and General Dynamics by wholly accepting their fiduciary liability and headaches

July 26, 2022 – 2:02 AM

Michael Kitces and Brian Hamburger are both weighing in on a long-postponed debate.

The FPA takes 'legal' action to purge 'planner' charlatans from the RIA business -- a plan certain to 'divide' members but align it with its chief gadfly, Michael Kitces

Despite opposition from at least 4% of its own members, the Financial Planning Association is seeking to quash quackery by making it illegal for a product salesman to get labeled as a planner -- a fight that Nerd's Eye View took up last year.

July 22, 2022 – 1:30 AM

Cathie Wood has proven impervious to monumental setbacks.

Cathie Wood's 'transparency' ETF goes 'poof' under murky circumstances after a star-crossed launch

The ARK ETF bought index data from a South Carolina start up with a largely hypothetical track record created from back-testing

July 20, 2022 – 6:38 PM

Eric Clarke: Sales activity isn’t showing signs of a summer slump.

Eric Clarke is now in the OCIO business -- shortly after 3,400 advisors attended a Redtail CRM webinar -- which 'unlock(s) incredible cross-selling opportunities,' and all but bakes in 'no summer slump'

Orion closed its Town Square deal to sell outsourced chief investment officer services, but Orion is still madly hiring more staff and won't get to kick back for a summer lull.

July 13, 2022 – 6:05 PM

Rich Steinmeier: I would call  [the LPL foray into full service] a huge success.

LPL Financial buys its second full-service broker after the first one 'exceeded expectations' following a three-year pilot

The San Diego broker-dealer is buying Boenning & Scattergood and its $5 billion of AUA -- and it's eyeing more regional, W-2 staff advisory shops for acquisition.

July 8, 2022 – 7:30 PM

Ryan Issakainen: We won't put a square peg into a round hole.

First Trust buys Veriti to seize direct indexing void after big players made early purchases of similar startups, then never did much marketing to follow through

First Trust Capital Partners quietly rose to become the No. 6 ETF provider with a DFA-like approach of high-touch RIA field sales and factor investing; sees a similar opportunity with direct investing.

July 6, 2022 – 4:18 PM

Andy Sieg finally made his move with iCapital after Bank of America gave him control of product inventory in 2022.

Merrill Lynch's owner finally invests in iCapital but at the non-early bird special share price

Bank of America paid at a $6 billion valuation after Andy Sieg and Lawrence Calcano had a 'great conversation' over lunch.

July 5, 2022 – 9:13 PM

Ari Sonneberg: I think Grayscale will be hard pressed to find much sympathy, let alone support, from the general public.

Grayscale Investments is suing the SEC to get its ETF approved but bitcoin's swoon means 'public sympathy' may swing in favor of the regulator, a rules lawyer says

The 'hard-pressed' Stamford, Conn., crypto fund manager calls the SEC's rebuff 'capricous' but with cryptocurrencies in freefall, the SEC can say I told you so -- even if its logic is inconsistent and questionable.

July 1, 2022 – 7:06 PM

Evan Rapoport: It's the enterprise that gets it.

SMArtX rakes in $12 billion of AUM, nets $8.8 billion in six months--thanks to a Morningstar mega-boost-- by selling the novel concept that TAMP assets can be quickly converted to cash on demand

The West Palm Beach, Fla., UMA provider grew about 40% in the six months ended July 29, thanks to a prior deal with the Chicago TAMP and by giving RIAs a power that other TAMPs can't provide.

July 1, 2022 – 12:47 AM

David Botset: 'We’re committed to ... continue to make our clients the beneficiaries of our strategic focus.'

Charles Schwab Corp. is jacking down ETF prices again (like a Jack Bogle) after Vanguard, again, raises a series of fund prices -- albeit with a net fee reduction

The Westlake, Texas, super-broker is making clients 'beneficiaries' while the $7-trillion Malvern, Pa., behemoth is raising prices as both firms make strategic calculations about the future.

June 27, 2022 – 3:26 PM

Philipp Hecker: 'We'll bring it to the middle- and bottom-of-the-book of business

Two ex-J. P. Morgan top wealth management overlords debut Bento Engine by raising $1 million from RIA power influencers who see a micro-investment solving a macro RIA problem

Marty Bicknell, Andy Putterman, Kelly Waltrich and Shannon Eusey lead a list of RIA biz angels taking a shot at 'Life Numbers' -- a Vestorly-like model with its own 'secret sauce' and love from the CRM super-friends

June 22, 2022 – 8:19 PM

Jim Mocci: I'm absolutely a data driven marketer.

After Fisher Investments leapt from $65 billion to $200 billion of AUM with him as a lead brand manager, Jim Mocci jumps ship to $15 billion RIA with a playbook to reach $50 billion

The Salt Lake City executive helped feed the creative engine that powered gargantuan organic growth at Fisher Investments, with data derived from the investors themselves

June 21, 2022 – 1:48 AM

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