Articles written by Oisin Breen


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Charles Schwab Corp.'s $1.6 billion USAA deal is yielding 1,000 referrals a week at the right price in an increasingly competitive client acquisition game

The San Francisco broker's bet that USAA insurance customers would like Schwab offerings better is proving out in the early weeks.

August 8, 2020 — 1:52 AM

Walt Bettinger expects 'hundreds' of Charles Schwab Corp. staff tasked with wiring TD Ameritrade merger to soon soar to 'thousands' of Schwab and TD workers

The Charles Schwab Corp. CEO reassured Wall Street analysts looking for a sign Schwab believes what it promises about an imminent closing that it has yet to schedule.

August 4, 2020 — 6:12 AM

Fidelity bags $13 billion AUM digital assets win to its custody, as federal regulators attempt to move Bitcoin custody from 'weirdo websites' to mainstream banks

Backed internally by CEO Abby Johnson, the Boston giant spent five years working in silence on its crypto subsidiary, Fidelity Digital Assets. In 2018, it launched. Now clients, like Kingdom Trust, with RIA assets, are validating Abby's gamble.

July 29, 2020 — 7:27 PM

The BlackRock-Microsoft 'reimagining' of the 401(k) market, arrives looking more like a remix of existing third-party products

The New York-Seattle cross-breeding combines annuities and BlackRock target-date funds but the superpowers expended little imagination, RIA annuity executives say.

July 27, 2020 — 9:43 PM

With Schwab in Motif mode, Jon Stein tells Bloomberg Betterment's ETF view is shifting, talks 'revolution,' but declines through spokesman to confirm any imminent shift to direct indexing

The New York robo's CEO pulls no punches in a Q&A about the impersonal nature of exchange traded funds, but observers say Charles Schwab & Co. may have forced his hand toward an accelerated direct indexing timetable.

July 21, 2020 — 11:16 PM

Long leery about ESG, Vanguard Group changes tune, launches ESG bond ETF and promises to 'evaluate' more -- as rival BlackRock barrels ahead in the category

Once viewed as a fringe element's domain, the Malvern, Pa., giant says it's swayed by how 'diverse' (read mainstream) investors are joining crunchier brethren to support a better world -- just as direct-indexing threatens all 'funds.'

July 21, 2020 — 3:45 PM

Thomas H. Lee gets second bite at an advice roll-up in backing Brookstone's buy of Jason Wenk's $3-billion TAMP -- with Altruist tie-in to be determined

The Boston-based private equity giant, famed for Hightower purchase, is now a leader in what appears to be an emerging insurance TAMP game.

July 16, 2020 — 4:03 AM

COVID-19 claims the lives of four Broadridge employees and two of its subcontractor's staff, while another contractor's policies exposed workers, raising questions about SEC 'essential work' rules

The New York -based proxy administrations and technology giant of 10,000-employees blames outsourcers for not abiding by its standards for health, safety; others wonder whether the SEC and FINRA created harmfully inflexible, letter-of-the-law rules in pandemic.

July 14, 2020 — 12:46 AM

Charles Schwab Corp. shaves $200 million off USAA deal price, after client asset transfers fall billions short and has now closed three of four pending deals

With TD Ameritrade on deck, the San Francisco acquirer snacked on Wasmer, Motif and USAA's brokerage unit, but the latter's 'warm lead' referral flow has Schwab execs salivating.

July 8, 2020 — 10:46 PM

Oisín's Bits: With COVID-19 spiking in 27 states, RIA events like Wealth/Stack fight for late 2020 conference slots • Black Diamond taps startup Canoe for alternatives reporting • DOL quantifies RIA numbers

The InsideETFs event will compete with InvestWest for coveted late 2020 date, but without Josh Brown's stardust • SS&C's move follows Addepar advance and will include Advent products• The DoL sees net gains in RIAs of about 300 a year

July 8, 2020 — 2:23 AM

Sequoia Capital bet and won big on FutureAdvisor; now it's wagering $14.5 million on Vise and its 'extreme value proposition' for RIAs

The legendary VC sold FA to BlackRock for $150 million , cooled its heels, then re-upped in Robo 2.0 wave with TD, Schwab, Riskalyze and Jon Xu playing roles

July 6, 2020 — 7:16 PM

Oisín's Bits: Wealthfront drops old mission statement, declares war on institutions and emphasizes banking future • Seeking Utah charter, Edward Jones may become largest bank in US by branch count • After Advent chief leaves, Black Diamond head steps up

Andy Rachleff cans the old 'democratizing' mission statement at his robo; The 14,200 one-man Ed Jones branches may become branch banks; Steve Leivent consolidates power at SS&C.

July 3, 2020 — 1:12 AM

In a deal wired by a 'Tony,' Orion leaps to the top TAMP tier, with $42 billion and $1 trillion-plus of RIA portfolios, which may make it more lethal to rivals

At the urging of Genstar's Tony Salewski, the Omaha organization will pay an estimated $600 million for Brinker. In the process, Orion becomes a 1,000-employee firm-- one notch below No. 3 AssetMark on the TAMP list

June 30, 2020 — 2:24 AM

Fidelity Investments intends to 'hard close' two institutional money market funds to curb exposure to COVID-19's high-volatility market

Each fund is of the prime institutional money market that comprises up to 7% of the $4.6 trillion US money market fund industry, but use has dwindled from $1.1 trillion in 2011 to today's $356 billion.

June 23, 2020 — 1:35 AM

'Firing on all cylinders,' Fisher Investments forms East Coast hub with 600 desks after it adds another $10 billion of AUM, leaving last year's social media firestorm in the dust

The Camas, Wash. giant is now bi-coastal and growing like crazy with a Tampa, Fla. hub as both performance and asset gathering shift into high gear and the company works to get past last year's PR setback.

June 19, 2020 — 2:49 AM