News, Vision & Voice for the Advisory Community


Hybrid RIA

Adherents of the hybrid RIA model seem to understand the world in the same terms as Puritan dissenters, now known as Baptists, Quakers, Presbyterians, Unitarians and Congregationalists. The members of those offshoots avoided the fate of the Puritans who believed a little too ardently that grace could not be earned, only bestowed by God. The Puritans are now extinct. More inclusive splinter sects that accommodate striving sinners, on the other hand, have gone on to survive and prosper. Hybrid RIAs espouse a new world order of accountable advice that errs on the side of inclusion of brokers despite their propensity for sin inherent in their inevitable conflicts of interest. RIA purists see this more-the-merrier mindset as too much fiduciary disharmony to throw at clients and an unsettling bifurcation when building a successful, long-haul business. RIA hybrid enthusiasts say the success of this model – and it is the fastest growing in the advisory world -- speaks for itself and that such firms house the best of the transactional brokerage business and the fee business under one roof. Moreover, these evangelists see the hybrid model as a means of bridging the gap between a whole generation financial advisors by leading captive wirehouse brokers to a model that offers more objective, open- architecture advice. Whatever side a reader falls on this dynamic topic certainly deserves a reader section for itself and we are proud to present it.

Scott Curtis says the new RIA channel has edge because classic RIAs are 'time-consuming'

After modest gains in headcount, the St. Petersburg, Fla. broker dealer is adding a plug-and-play corporate RIA channel for advisors who don't want the headache of overhead.

Friday, May 20, 2022 – 3:33 AM by Lisa Shidler

Raymond James Financial prospects far too often in 2021 checked none-of-the-above on its menu of affiliation channels -- IBD, RIA and captive, so it's added a fourth-- a new "RIA" model that is more user-friendly.


Michael Kitces: "If you're going to be a hybrid broker/advisor, you can't market that you're an advisor - and then swerve into being a broker."

The XPYN founder wants the SEC to honor its 'Merrill Lynch Rule' promise from 15 years ago, demanding the most fundamental truth in advertising.

Friday, October 1, 2021 – 10:33 PM by Lisa Shider

Michael Kitces is challenging federal regulators to out nerd him by demanding closure of a long-recognized loophole that could throw for a loop the world of financial product commission sales.


Robert "RJ" Moore: [LPL is] a partner and a solution -  not the partner and the solution.

The Ex-LPL executive just upped the 'coopetition' stakes by pulling Private Advisor Group closer to custodians like Fidelity and Schwab and broker-dealers like Triad Advisors.

Thursday, June 3, 2021 – 2:28 AM by Lisa Shidler

If anyone thought LPL Financial should worry just because its jilted heir-apparent CEO took the reins at its largest branch office, they may be right.


Derek Bruton: Having achieved my top priorities ... the time is right for me to step back to pursue other professional endeavors.

The former LPLer's three-year stint began with Chalice in San Diego and ended with lead role in a British roll-up later swallowed by an investment firm headed by former Cetera CEO Roth.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021 – 8:00 PM by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: Derek Bruton has been with about half dozen companies since I first met him in San Francisco in about 2001. At the time, he was head of Merrill Lynch's semi-secret RIA custody unit that later disbanded. He's been at companies with every kind ...


Jeff Concepcion: 'I don't want to say there's unlimited dry powder ... [but] there's an awful lot ...'

Both the Stratos Wealth CEO and the owner of Emigrant Bank are known to be conservative in RIA circles, but together -- shooting for upper-strata firms with as much as $750 million -- they are showing uncharacteristic opportunism.

Friday, April 24, 2020 – 8:37 PM by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: This deal was so unimaginable five years ago. Jeffrey Concepcion was another OSJ among the LPL herd. Emigrant Bank was the quiet force behind Mark Hurley, and he was never known to take big risks. Howard Milstein was the passive force behind Emigrant. Multiple degrees ...


Derek Bruton: Keith and I agreed that our RIA and BD would benefit from additional outside capital to pursue our M&A growth strategy for that business.

The dynamic duo of Keith Gregg and Derek Bruton has split into solo acts -- with Bruton joining British roll-up arrivistes, Kingswood. But there's no hard feelings, say the pair.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020 – 7:52 PM by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: In the RIA business there is a giant built-in safety net for all of us -- high demand and low supply of people who can speak the language of this exploding RIA category. That net for RIA linguists comes with pillows if you ...


Melissa Loner will serve as the CCO of Independent Financial Partners

No longer an OSJ, Tampa-based IFP secures Melissa Loner as its chief compliance officer

Thursday, September 12, 2019 – 10:40 PM by Sophia Noto

Brooke's Note: The one thing you absolutely, positively have to get right as an independent broker-dealer is to make sure all those far-flung reps live by the rules, because otherwise, you'll be held accountable. The other thing you have to get right is to maintain a ...


Dr. Ajay Dravid: Fees that are at least partly … contingent on beating a benchmark are in investors’ best interests.

Equinox Funds, a small, academic asset manager, launches a mutual fund with fees tied to performance; now the results are in • TA Associates, owner of Orion Advisor Solutions, acquires a beachhead for RIA roll-up spree • It's full steam ahead for Sanctuary's Jim Dickson who bags breakaway No. 26

Wednesday, August 28, 2019 – 3:24 AM by Oisin Breen

Last year, a small hedge fund broke with industry practice and put its money where its mouth is. It challenged the sector's notorious 'heads-I-win, tails-you-lose' mutual fund fees.


Dean Zayed: 'I’ve got lots of skin in the game. This isn’t an exit strategy.'.

The Clearwater, Fla. insurance marketer bought Brookstone Capital Management with faith that insurance agents can moonlight as part-time RIAs

Thursday, August 22, 2019 – 5:52 PM by By Lisa Shidler

Brooke's Note: The idea of having a turnkey asset management program that turns non-wealth managers into wealth managers is not entirely new. The most famous is BAM Advisor Services which turns accountants into advisors and has about $15 billion of AUM to show for it. Brookstone is ...


Jim Dickson: Our growth has been record setting [and] our pipeline today is much greater than it was a year ago ... We’re growing so fast it’s hard to keep up.

Jim Dickson also recruited HighTower talent, Amit Dogra, to bring the old HighTower brokerage model and execute it as HighTower veers toward buying RIAs

Thursday, August 15, 2019 – 7:58 PM by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: So many platforms with so may flavors of vanilla are cropping up. See: The Derek Bruton effect gets louder as two ex-LPL talents join Chalice And why not? Many of them do well in short order. As journalists, we can only gauge so ...


Ed Higham: It's not despite the employee-model, it's because of it. They see this as another channel.

The San Diego-based independent broker-dealer will pilot captive model with purchase of $3-billion, 30-broker Allen & Co. as launching pad

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 – 2:31 AM by Brooke Southall

LPL Financial Holdings Inc. can no longer be called a pure independent broker-dealer. Watch out Wall Street.


Dan Arnold: I think, you also see, with maybe some progress on the regulatory front, more willingness to use brokerage with existing -- existing advisors using brokerage as a potential solution to help clients.

Dan Arnold steers Fort Mill, S.C. IBD giant on walk-and-chew-gum course that allows for juicing annuity sales, rebuilding RIA fee platform and squeezing more profits from less revenue

Thursday, February 7, 2019 – 12:13 AM by By Lisa Shidler

Brooke's Note: Sometimes share prices are misleading. More often, not. LPL gets lots of critical media because of the wrenching change it is undergoing and its Goliath standing as an IBD. So you might think its shares would be swooning. Not at all. LPL is ...


Burt White: We'd love to integrate annuities.

The Fort Mill, S.C.-based IBD is the No. 1 annuity distributor in the United States but it still cranks out proposals focused on stock/bond allocations

Tuesday, December 4, 2018 – 10:46 PM by Brooke Southall

Brooke's Note: One thing I focus on in this article is Burt White and the role he is playing at LPL Financial. Here is a guy who came to the firm in 2007 and quietly rose to prominence with lots of bigger name executives. Dan Arnold came right ...


Eric Clarke: We need to be willing to embrace the advisor's vision, even if at times it means we have competitive overlap.

The Omaha, Neb.-based software maker just bagged $5-billion AUA OSJ, Independent Advisor Alliance

Monday, August 13, 2018 – 5:54 PM by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: Much of what is exciting in the RIA business is the creation of new models. But the other side of it is that new combinations, in concert with evolution, are creating a mutant class of stronger players. LPL and Orion teaming up to take on ...


Andy Kalbaugh: We recently complied with a regulatory inquiry from the SEC to produce mutual fund holdings over the last five years for RIAs that transact business on our custodial platforms.

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

Wednesday, July 25, 2018 – 10:37 PM by By Lisa Shidler

Brooke's Note: Even people ensconced in the RIA business have to constantly qualify what "RIA" means. What exactly is an RIA? It becomes particularly challenging when the topic turns to hybrid RIAs who operate as reps at independent broker-dealers. Unlike their RIA colleagues, who keep ...