News, Vision & Voice for the Advisory Community

Oisin Breen

Oisin Breen

Irish journalist, poet, and academic Oisín Breen has spent the last half decade writing about finance for RIABiz, in particular deep-sea diving into the world of RIAs -- a world he now can't get enough of. Prior to writing for RIABiz, Edinburgh-based Breen was a jobbing FX and equities writer, a teacher, and a sales manager. Three times award nominated for financial and creative writing, Breen is also published as a poet across 95 journals in 20 countries. His debut "Flowers, All Sorts Forgotten, Figs, Berries and Fruits Forgotten" (Dreich, 2022) was widely praised. The follow-up "Lilies on the Deathbed of Étaín" is due out Jan. 2022 (Beir Bua Press). A part-time PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh, Breen also is mired in doctoral research into the structure of narrative, a task he pursues with the support of his rabbit Hessell.

Articles written by Oisin Breen


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Fidelity's poach of Kelly Smith from Schwab Advisor Services left former colleagues frustrated.

Fidelity lands RIA whisperer from Schwab in a coup, apparently using quality-of-life perks as lure

Kelly Smith chose the Boston rival for greater flexibility, better pay and a chance to move upmarket to sell family office services to RIAs that mix with the ultra-high-net-worth elite.

February 10, 2023 at 3:39 AM

Naj Srinivas: Once you think it is possible some of it is probable.

With IRA inflows as tailwind, RIAs are taking over U.S. pension assets by the trillions as second act to 35 years of ransacking wirehouse talent and booty

Rollovers to individual retirement accounts hit a net $444 billion in 2021, Cerulli reports; advisors got 63% and the 401(k) cow is only going to get more productive.

February 9, 2023 at 5:23 AM

Gavin Spitzner: To everyone ... I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Gavin Spitzner, incredibly brilliant, but never overpowering, dies of acute myeloid leukemia, but not before sharing his uplifting spirit with the RIA industry he loved, in the face of his own 'finitude'

The breakaway wirehouse executive and independent consultant made his RIA mark quickly with knowledge, enthusiasm and love, then shared the lessons of mortality with urgency and thankfulness.

February 1, 2023 at 2:03 AM

Alois Pirker: It has always been hard for me previously to serve clients that did not want to buy research reports or commission sizable consulting projects.

Alois Pirker sets up shop in Marblehead by taking a page from the RIAs he advises

The former Aite-Novarica consulting chief wants the latitude of Pirker Partners to take the gigs he wants and avoid corporate consulting economics -- namely selling reports.

January 21, 2023 at 5:03 AM

Mark Tibergien is proving a tough act to follow, since his March 2020 retirement.

Pershing restores Ben Harrison as sole heir to Mark Tibergien -- for now -- but solo tenure may be temporary, with other top talent in the wings

Co-Head Maura Creekmore's departure leaves Harrison at the top by default, but the company is mum on future hiring and how much RIA autonomy gets sacrificed in name of 'convergence.'

January 19, 2023 at 3:31 AM

Lawrence Calcano: The team is dedicated to providing cutting-edge technology, and these new hires will help us continue to.

Lawrence Calcano, flush with $440-million of PE cash, boosts spending, after iCapital adds $37 billion of non-correlated assets in nine months

The New York City-based CEO of the alts supermarket ordered a hiring spree of computer engineers after financial engineering slows and organic growth starts to kick in.

January 16, 2023 at 6:53 AM

Fidelity's Kevin Barry: Acquiring Shoobx was a natural next step.

Biz Briefs: Schwab puts checks for $52 million in mail to robo-RIA customers allegedly misled about cash allocations • BlackRock blacklisted (again) • iShares beats NZAM-exiter Vanguard • Fidelity makes first acquisition in eight years • CFP board realizes Moms don't like CFPs

BlackRock gets Kentucky coal in stocking, and Vanguard keeps skating; iShares inches above -- by 2.8% -- Vanguard's annual net new ETF asset haul; Fidelity takes "natural next step" for stock plan business; new CFP chair outlines plans and the DOJ is set to become a major Robinhood shareholder..

January 13, 2023 at 3:01 AM

David Fortunato: We don’t need to generate additional revenue by penalizing smaller accounts.

Wealthfront pounces after Betterment jacks up prices on small investors, but Betterment claims last laugh -- 'thousands' of new customers, it says

The New York City robo-advisor imposes the charge so low balance accounts pay 'fair share,' prompting Wealthfront's CEO to say his rival is 'penalizing' those investors.

January 10, 2023 at 1:40 AM

Scott Fitzpatrick: It’s certainly possible that their decision to leave NZAM contributed to … Vanguard being excused from the Texas ESG meeting.

Vanguard cites shunned founder Jack Bogle to deflect criticism after epic ESG flip-flop, extoling the founder's 'whole haystack' investing strategy versus finding the 'needle'

The Malvern, Pa. firm played the Bogle card amid an about-face on NZAM, which it joined 21 months ago with heavy hitters like BlackRock, to 'steward' client assets, but external GOP political pressures may have forced it to cave.

January 4, 2023 at 2:02 AM

Gerard O'Reilly: 'Dimensional has been investing in … real estate securities for three decades.'

Dimensional Fund Advisors tries to staunch outflows while still preserving its mystique by getting 'real,' again, about 'vehicles' and 'asset classes' with a new ETF

The $540-billion AUM Austin, Texas factor-fund factory dropped $30 billion or so in AUM since August -- enough to make any manager launch a second real estate ETF in 2022

December 22, 2022 at 2:27 AM

Patrick Ponsford: [The] UK deal is a bit further on than the US, but both should complete early in the New Year.

InvestmentNews owner accepts $8 million deal for non-IN assets overseas and will (likely) name buyer for the New York City trade pub after Christmas

The ex-Crain publication will likely begin the third chapter of its existence in the New Year, while Bonhill faces an uncertain future.

December 21, 2022 at 3:17 AM

Dario Fusato: I wish we'd launched it earlier.

Savvly launches 'parimutuel' death pool where investors hedge their most dire financial threat -- long life -- but annuity providers are not so impressed

The Boulder, Colo., VC-backed startup puts actuarial odds in favor of the living, incents broccoli eating, and the only losers aren't around to complain about it.

December 16, 2022 at 2:15 AM

Steve Quirk: What we’re trying to do is fill a void.

Robinhood seeks to become the gig economy super-recordkeeper by super-charging IRAs but analysts ask: Where are the revenues?

The embattled Menlo Park, Calif. firm is actually paying for AUM with 'employer match,' talking about the importance of 'trust' and admitting it'll need to earn it

December 15, 2022 at 2:51 AM

Wayne Bloom: We're really a giant national RIA.

Commonwealth cuts RIA custody fee, toggles Fidelity and Schwab as sub-custody and co-custody partners, and explains why its model puts $1 trillion of (mostly) RIA assets in reach

Fresh off three-year hiatus, Wayne Bloom framed his Waltham, Mass. IBD as both a big, national RIA and a custodian to smaller ones but also promises to 'remember where you come from' -- namely a commission-based brokerage beginning.

December 7, 2022 at 4:57 AM

The Vatican is getting into ESG investments, just don't mention condoms, abortion, or pornography.

RIA Quick Takes: Orion deepens DFA embrace by using it as portfolio manager-inside-ETF ~ Hardship withdrawals surge at Vanguard and Fidelity ~ Schwab hires 400 ~ Fidelity flips six funds into ETFs ~ Kitces makes list before Christmas ~ Amit Dogra has $1 billion of good news from his new Portland gig

Americans are struggling, though jobs are plentiful; Larry Fink's ESG zeal costs BlackRock another client, just as the Vatican issues ESG guidance; UBS says we didn't like you anyway to mass affluent and Michael Kitces and Craig Iskowitz join forces.

December 3, 2022 at 3:16 AM

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