Articles written by By Lisa Shidler


HeadlinePublish date

Lisa's Bits: Commonwealth and Cambridge jump into RIA custody game bigger; Goldman Sachs buys $600-billion 401(k) RIA as Wells Fargo reportedly eyes 401(k) exit ; Mercer does four deals in one month; LPL slashes an important advisor fee; A $13 billion advisor's fate is uncertain

Commonwealth launches its own RIA unit, Mercer goes on a one-month buying spree; Wells Fargo seeks to escape retirement low margins and Goldman buys in; Cresset looks to reinvent itself,

December 7, 2018 — 6:36 PM UTC

In historic UHNW talent grab, Cresset Capital Management makes three more head-turning poaches -- with Deloitte, Wells Fargo and Abbott Downing pedigrees -- in its bid to create a national family office

The Chicago-based RIA seeks to better serve the heirs-to-be as part of a broader strategy to shake the cobwebs out of a stodgy segment for the 1%

December 3, 2018 — 9:41 PM UTC

Lisa's Bits: Goldman Sachs's $35-billion RIA loses nine more advisors who form Veracity Capital; Mariner makes biggest-ever RIA deal of $2 billion; Focus stock is steady in rocky market and gets 'F' rating from Schwab

In 2018 Goldman Sachs has seen more than a dozen advisors jump ship over to form RIAs; Bicknell rejuvenated RIA shows off spring-loaded M&A; Focus Finacial shares take on water but weather storm

November 19, 2018 — 9:19 PM UTC

Bob Reynolds -- 11 years after leaving Fidelity -- is going after its fatter margins with a beefed-up virtual RIA

The Empower CEO will add 300 fiduciary advisors and apply a Canadian robo and Apex Clearing custody to de-clunk the underwhelming existing rollover

November 19, 2018 — 8:26 PM UTC

Guess who's moving into the RIA neighborhood? State Farm asks thousands of insurance brokers to get financial planning credentials, sources say

The giant Bloomington, Ill. insurer signs on RBC, MoneyGuidePro, BlackRock and Vanguard and as many as 13,000 of its agents may get a Series 65 by 2020

October 25, 2018 — 8:50 PM UTC

Marty Bicknell takes a machete to Montage, Mariner Holdings and FirstPoint and carves out a $25-billion RIA and near $1 billion of capital

The Mariner Wealth CEO made a massive contrarian bet in 2009 on asset managers, cashed out fully this fall -- and knows just where he's headed

October 18, 2018 — 10:44 PM UTC

How Fidelity used a robo-advice exemption to stick the landing as a fiduciary to 401(k) participants after the tumult of the DOL rule

The Boston king of DC plans had to withdraw from advising plan sponsors but followed a 12-year-old rule that permits a 'computer model' for the little guys

October 11, 2018 — 3:37 PM UTC

Twitter war pits Josh 'Downtown' Brown against Michael Kitces over hush-hush issue: Do RIA custodians face Merrill-Lynch style conflicts over advisor custody fees?

Brown criticizes Merrill Lynch for moving cash out of money market accounts into banks; Kitces says RIAs are complicit in something just as bad

August 29, 2018 — 1:49 AM UTC

AssetMark CEO Charles Goldman grabs $5.7B Global Financial out from under rival Envestnet's nose, gets ex-Curian CEO and solidifies his firm's own future in the brutal TAMP game; but don't call it a roll-up

At number two in TAMP ranks, the Concord, Calif.-based TAMP with $46 billion bought Global Financial, whose CEO headed Curian in its growth years and got out well before its death

August 25, 2018 — 1:52 AM UTC

Cresset cracks the family office market with a unique proposition; a suite of touchy-feely services that go beyond money management and help clients manage their lives

Cresset, guided by two savvy venture capitalists. is aiming to build the next-generation multi-family office on an independent, employee- and client-owned platform

August 15, 2018 — 4:42 PM UTC

Peter Mallouk has diamond as big as The Ritz, a flashy new Kansas City headquarters, complete with Silicon Valley perks; Now his new goal--top $40 billion in assets

'Everything's up to date in Kansas City, They gone about as fer as they can go;' Giant RIA, Creative Planning Inc., upgrades its Overland Park headquarters to set the stage for more explosive growth

August 9, 2018 — 5:47 PM UTC

LPL issues urgent warning to RIAs: The SEC wolf blew down its home-office door and is combing through records for evidence of mutual fund share class misuse

Andy Kalbaugh emailed a letter to LPL advisors that file their own ADVs as a sort of fair-warning heads up

July 25, 2018 — 10:37 PM UTC

Vanguard Group Makes Big Move on RIA Custody by Ending Commissions on 1,700 ETFs in Bid to Become Walmart of Financial Services

The Malvern, Pa.-based giant 'face slaps' Charles Schwab & Co. by undercutting it on ETF distribution fees the way Schwab did to it on ETF management fees

July 4, 2018 — 2:51 AM UTC

A Machiavellian Merrill Lynch took the lead on the DOL rule and marketed its fiduciary piety; now it's wrapping its flip-flop in the same pious intent

The fiduciary play by BoA's wirehouse got accolades but failed to help Merrill where it always matters most -- recruiting, retention and revenues. It still may be doing the right thing for consumers when reverse churning gets considered.

June 28, 2018 — 7:06 PM UTC

After tasting the 'nightmare' of FINRA confines, Roger Hewins buys back his $1.8B RIA from Midwestern CPAs -- with the new freedom worth leaving $3B of AUM behind

The $4.8-billion RIA mega-marriage of Hewins Financial and Wipfli in 2012 took 13 years to complete. The split in 2018 was more like lightning after brokerage regulators bellied up to the bar

June 4, 2018 — 4:51 PM UTC