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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Roberta Giordano: We’ve tried many times to engage Vanguard directly ... to no avail.

Vanguard Group faces backlash for 'taking orders' from climate skeptics and spurning ESG activists, who are calling firm to account with PR campaign

Sunrise Project is targeting Vanguard, its staff and investors with a localized advertising blitz over NZAM withdrawal last year.

February 2, 2024 at 3:27 AM

Manish Khatta: If I can roll something out that solves a problem and juices valuations, why wouldn’t I do it?

Manish Khatta joins forces with HiddenLevers co-founder Praveen Ghanta to launch GuardRails, a risk analysis play that rejects raw 'risk numbers' -- a 'game-changer' in the scale-minded RIA space, analyst says

The new Miami, Fla. venture will be the first, but not the last one launched by Potomac Fund Management, which has roughly doubled its managed assets in the last 12 months.

January 26, 2024 at 4:42 PM

Jeff Yabuki, ex-Fiserv CEO, completes a clean sweep of 'InvestCloud' to a Fiserv-esque future.

After three years -- and $2.5 billion -- trying to make an Envestnet killer out of InvestCloud, Motive Partners goes owner-operator when CEO search comes up empty

Motive hopes Jeff Yabuki, 66, can restore magic after old InvestCloud management put the 'icing before the cake' in the eyes of one analyst.

January 23, 2024 at 2:07 AM

In March 2023, Charles 'Chuck' Schwab (left) and Walt Bettinger penned an unprecedented letter to assure investors.

Charles Schwab Corp. gets over 'hump' after furious bond rally takes bite out Schwab Bank's $19.6 billion in unrealized losses, though debt overhang could still take a decade to erase

The Westlake, Texas, brokerage's stock plunged 33% last Spring, but has clawed back as unrealized losses fall $4 billion on possibility of Fed rate cut in 2024.

December 28, 2023 at 2:01 AM

Aaron Schumm: We got to the point of saying okay this makes sense, let's make it happen.
December 22, 2023 at 12:59 AM

Ryan Eisenman: It’s more grunt work, but 100% worthwhile grunt work.

Three 'RIA' executives headline $20-million VC raise to address an alts problem so annoying and tedious that existing alts players are cheering them on

Jason Wenk, Steve Lockshin and Marc Spilker know that Arch can can get alts administration of out of the shoebox and that high-flown 'alts' investors like Joe Lonsdale align.

December 19, 2023 at 3:01 AM

Eric Poirier: We’re investing more than $100 million a year in R&D – an investment that can outstrip everyone combined.

Addepar hits $2 trillion of RIA assets and $5 trillion of 'overseen' assets but still burns through $100 million annually for R&D, with an eye to $250 trillion of global consumer assets

The Mountain View, Calif. performance reporting software company claims it will now offer a warm shoulder to $100-million RIAs, though 'Big Three,' Orion, Tamarac and Black Diamond don't see them at that table right now, say industry experts.

December 14, 2023 at 3:25 AM

Eduardo Repetto: Most factor strategies do not add much value.

Amid crumbling 'factor' fund pricing power, Fidelity slashes factor ETF fees; low-factor-price Avantis soars to $30 billion in third year, and new study says factors are barely a factor in returns

Factor funds failed to outperform the S&P 500 over the last decade, and three out of six categories proved more volatile, according to a new study. Popularity creates a performance problem, analysts say.

December 8, 2023 at 10:55 AM

Joe Duran: 'At Rise we are the growth capital partner.'

Joe Duran's second RIA act is rocking with eight staff, four co-founders and a conspicuously anti-United Capital concept that will flip RIA stakes 'eventually' as a minority investor

The United Capital founder paradoxically promises to 'passively' buy minority stakes as a backdrop for going hyper-active with quick-strike capability to apply super-consulting and technology to create explosive growth as a prelude to a sale.

November 29, 2023 at 3:23 AM

360 Park Avenue South: Iconiq's new New York City offices.

Iconiq Capital doubles its New York City footprint to reflect spike in hiring and new clients, but AUA has been stuck around $80 billion for past two years

RIA for tech mega wealth, started by Mark Zuckerberg's one-time broker, just added roughly 35,000 square feet to its New York City footprint to accommodate hiring spurt

November 18, 2023 at 5:05 AM

Val Agostino: There's no need to keep Mint alive.

Embattled Mint.com is shutting for good, weeks after Fidelity finally cut off free, screen-scraped data that was at the heart of its business model

The 2007-launched agg-app was a slick freemium sensation that Intuit bought and let wither away from 20 million to 3.6 million million users.

November 16, 2023 at 3:18 AM

Peter Mallouk: [We're] considerably ahead of schedule, even excluding United Capital.

Peter Mallouk ends up losing the majority of Goldman-United Capital advisors in headline-intensive deal but keeps the lion's share of the managed assets

The Creative Planning CEO's acquisition hemmorhaged 175 advisors but leaked just $9 billion of AUM, softened by snapping up $13 billion AUA Mesirow 401(k) business and retaining $20 billion from United Capital, post deal close.

November 11, 2023 at 1:56 AM

Justin Wayne: We really saw the opportunity to hit on a new segment of the market.

Black Diamond's gutsy CRM play is a self-branded product built on a Salesforce chassis that undercuts the giant on price and simplicity and converts to Salentica with flip of a switch

The Jacksonville RIA software unit will sell to its own 2,000 firms plus Advent's Axys and APX users, betting that most customization capability is overkill for firms with fewer than 10 advisors.

November 10, 2023 at 5:48 AM

Alyssa Stankiewicz: ESG funds are not the only ones employing different strategies.

Blacklisted 'woke' firms like BlackRock and State Street still have a lock on AUM in oil states like Oklahoma; anti-ESG politicians underestimated the fierce independence of state money managers and Republican lawmakers who back them

Oklahoma public pension fund revolts against state Treasurer and refuses to divest ESG funds in protest against mixing politics with fiduciary duties -- roughly a repeat of the ESG revolt in reverse.

November 2, 2023 at 1:50 AM

Michael Most: I feel the possibilities are endless.

Shorts: Why Savvy Wealth is calling an $80-million LPL poach a 'monumental' milestone • Vanguard cleans up legal matters, settles two suits, loses third • Groupthink comes to RIA biz as firms, one after another, cut staff

Savvy hopes one will trigger a recruiting rally • Vanguard might just be in a settling mood, ends two long-running suits • At least five major RIA industry players are applying a 5% rule ... to cut staff

October 28, 2023 at 12:06 AM

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