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


Publish date

Runik Mehrotra (left) and Samir Vasavada: We've spent a ton of time with these things … [to] verify they don't hallucinate, telling you things that are completely wrong.

Vise's two co-founders, both 23, launch 'hard reset' -- still with $78 million and a six-year runway -- to no-'hallucination' AI business model where RIAs can opt out of artificial intelligence

The two co-founders in New York City spawned magical thinking about AI, but hard experience means they are the clear-eyed ones now, they say

May 23, 2023 at 8:25 PM

Aaron Klein:  We're not going to ask you for a piece of your basis points.'

Aaron Klein fuels up with a 'jarring' new moniker, Nitrogen, and explains in a new Q&A: He knows his lane and won't let sentimentality slow his quest for unicorn status

The Nitrogen CEO and master showman wants RIAs to know they can grow like hothouse tomatoes, that TAMPs won't have to fear his fearless advance and that local signmakers have a place on his rising tide

May 9, 2023 at 8:37 PM

Betsy Jazynka: The website and our upcoming marketing cast advisors as heroes of their own stories

Biz Briefs: SmartAsset makes deal to dumb down selling for unsalesy RIAs • Vanguard re-explains conflicting ESG signals • Alex I jabs Alex II at Citywire in bare knuckle exit [to Goldman Sachs] Q&A • BlackRock has clear path to $15 trillion by 2028 says mega-client

SmartAsset uses M&A to rewire RIAs • Vanguard has made its first statement on climate since it left a climate lobby group • BlackRock gets Morgan Stanley praise • CRM giant RedTail increases ties with a New York cash sifter, Flourish • Orion gets into online education.

May 9, 2023 at 2:16 AM

Gabriel Garcia: We’re focused on getting loud in the RIA space.

With a 'loud' RIA custody outburst under ex-Schwabbie, SEI piles onto a mob effort to break Schwab/TDA RIA custody stranglehold

Gabe Garcia is not alone seeing Schwab's ballooning scale as something to pop-- with Envestnet, Altruist, Goldman, LPL, TradePMR and AssetMark all working on new delivery models.

May 5, 2023 at 3:44 AM

Rob Foregger: MarketGrader may contemplate doing a growth round over the next 12 to 18 months.

Rob Foregger sold his big co-founder stakes in Personal Capital and NextCapital and now he's putting the money to work -- and trying not to get worked up

The Stowe, Vt. entrepreneur is makng a 12-18 month push for MarketGrader as he upshifts as part of a bigger professed downshift

May 3, 2023 at 5:15 AM

First Republic tellers let three or four people wait inside and the rest on the sidewalk.

Biz Briefs: The sorry scene at my local First Republic branch • Schwab launches new (smaller) lay-off round • Schwab hoovers pennies passing FINRA fee to clients • Gensler pleas for funds • Fidelity owner's private equity pres. retires • an Orion-Envestnet staff switcheroo • LPL dumps FutureAdvisor

Range Rovers screeched in and drivers joined a grim queue to get their cash, and cookie • The Schwab-TDA deal cull count now stands at roughly 3.5% of its staff • FMR's hockey star president has stepped down • SEC chief wants more enforcers • An Envestnet executive proves joining a rival is good business • LPL now has an in-house robot.

April 29, 2023 at 1:36 AM

Antonia Apps: Betterment … wasn’t transparent about the service’s changes, constraints, and coding errors that adversely impacted thousands.

Betterment learns 'move fast, break things' has its price after settling SEC compliance charges for $9 million over transparency, disclosure lapses involving tax loss harvesting

The $36-billion New York City robo-advisor has since upped its game by hiring a Merrill Lynch compliance alumnus and a CEO steeped in 'operations.'

April 28, 2023 at 1:52 AM

John Wise may have run out the Motive clock on delivering his vision.

InvestCloud CEO John Wise and management team ousted after VC investors grow impatient for long-promised deliverables that always seemed just over the rainbow

Dubbed an 'Envestnet killer,' the LA company has yet to deliver disruption from its $1 billion VC investment combined with roughly $1.5 billion of other motley gems.

April 26, 2023 at 11:25 PM

Sanjeev Kumar: Skience is cash-flow positive and has a healthy roster of clients and prospects.

Skience, a top Salesforce customizer, just lost three top-tier execs -- boom, boom, boom -- with Salesforce overhang likely contributing in hotly competitive market

No sooner did the Herndon, Va., reseller roll out 'bundles' to RIAs and enterprises than its president/COO and two sales/marketing talents exited as its offering faces world of new challenges.

April 22, 2023 at 5:23 AM

Jason Wenk: Contrary to what people think, [RIA custody] is very lucrative.

Altruist's Jason Wenk wins Marty Bicknell's capital as part of $112-million 'D' raise but the bigger challenge is winning his RIA's AUM

The founder and CEO of the Los Angeles custodian says 'mums the word' about his exact plans with $110-billion AUA RIA and OSJ, Mariner Wealth, but that all will be revealed soon enough

April 13, 2023 at 11:31 PM

Mariner Wealth has five stories to its headquarters, one for each $20 billion of AUA.

After leap to $110 billion AUA, Marty Bicknell sets hard date for Mariner to hit 5,000 advisors predicted by wife and COO Cheryl

The CEO of the Overland Park, Kan. RIA -- in keeping with her San Diego bomb drop -- is ramping up to add 4,000 mostly 1099 advisors -- putting a target on LPL Financial, OSJs and other IBDs.

April 12, 2023 at 1:36 AM

Brian Hamburger [and Shirl Penney]: Some investors in prior rounds were invited to participate.

The broad spectrum friendship of Brian Hamburger and Shirl Penney now includes sharing most of a $5-million bet into proving that SmartRIA lives up to its straight-A name

The principals of MarketCounsel and Dynasty Financial go all-in on software that keeps RIAs all good with the SEC -- without being all-consumed by an unrelenting task.

April 11, 2023 at 1:29 AM

Scott MacKillop: I may be a bit of a freak of nature, but I still like climbing big mountains.

Scott MacKillop got his flat-fee startup to $1.4 billion in eight years, negotiated its sale over nine months and largely got friends and family investors cashed out

The First Ascent sale means the Denver-based founder's second ascent as head of a GeoWealth holding won't be beset with worry about cash burn, not least because free GeoWealth software puts it into the black -- and makes it more of a TAMP than an investment manager

April 5, 2023 at 8:05 PM

Charles 'Chuck' Schwab and Walt Bettinger: Focusing on ‘unrealized losses’ is very misleading.

Schwab assures it has financial muscle to shrug off billions of dollars in unrealized bank losses, but interest rate blunder exposes vulnerability if Fed hikes continue, analysts say

An estimated 16,000 RIAs with $3.3 trillion assets custodied at Schwab Advisor Services should be insulated from any calamity at bank subsidary.

March 30, 2023 at 3:48 AM

Manish Khatta:  Legacy custodians don’t have the flexibility around custom technology.

Manish Khatta gives Schwab and Fidelity 'A' grade -- and a backseat -- after Altruist gets A+ to win the RIA inflows to his $750-million TAMP

After Fidelity discontinued DocuSign API and uncertainties rose at Schwab, Potomac Fund Management's CEO spent nine months vetting RIA custodians

March 28, 2023 at 4:44 AM

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