News, Vision & Voice for the Advisory Community



Outsourced investments are one of the fastest-growing categories in the financial advisory world. Perched between the asset custodian and the financial advisor, these (mostly) turnkey asset management programs can handle all or a portion of their investing, technology and fiduciary duties.

Advocates of using these TAMPs point to how it's better for the advisor because it frees up more time to spend with clients and prospects. It's also better for clients because the duties are being handled by specialized professionals who benefit from economies of scale.

Skeptics say that it adds a layer of cost and takes away an element of control from the advisors in executing according to a client's financial plan.

Eric Clarke: Today, we start bringing Orion and Redtail together.

Clarke now 'holds all the cards' to 'own the desktop' of hundreds of thousands of advisor firms, one consultant says, but analysts wonder whether Orion really has the 'bandwidth' to make a tech stack out of so many towering silos.

Thursday, June 9, 2022 – 1:39 AM by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: We are writing [again] about a level of strategic action so big and complex that analysts -- egged on by reporters at RIABiz in two cases -- are doing their best to do a bite-sized assessment when any sensible person might be tempted to punt. The X factors ...


Kurt Brown: [An OCIO] is technically a TAMP but a lot more hands on.

The Omaha, Neb., software and investments firm is buying Utah-based TownSquare to move upmarket to $2-trillion outsourced chief investment officer services

Wednesday, May 11, 2022 – 1:23 AM by Brooke Southall

Orion Advisor Solutions is buying one of its most explosively growing customers and getting an OCIO (outsourced chief investment officer) that thousands of RIA clients may find a better fit than a standard TAMP.


Bill Crager: If there was ever anything that we felt we needed to convey [or] announce, we would, of course, do that.

Investors responded to the Envestnet CEO's remarks -- and analyst takes - of yesterday's earnings call by sending company shares down sharply, while president Stuart DePina's future role remains murky.

Friday, May 6, 2022 – 7:24 PM by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: I hope the new odds are right and Envestnet stays the course. The leadership and direction of the firm seem solid, and it's able to plow an annual $50 million back into reinventing the company. It's high-powered bootstrapping by a trustworthy crew with big ...


Colin Falls: 'To compete as a TAMP, you have to be a technology company.'

The Chicago TAMP grew fourfold in four years before J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors made a big investment in the recharged no-name

Saturday, January 22, 2022 – 3:15 AM by Lisa Shidler

GeoWealth executed a poaching spree at the expense of AssetMark, Envestnet, Orion Portfolio Solutions and SEI on the heels of a $19-million funding round that includes an existing owner, J.P. Morgan Asset Management.


Cynthia Galiano: We have big ambitions. Our long-term vision is to bring together key Morningstar capabilities.

The Chicago giant sits on 180,000 largely unmonetized desktops thanks to its 'Work Station' and 'Office' software, but its RIA TAMP assets are meager after having no UMA to compete.

Friday, November 19, 2021 – 4:25 AM by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: In financial journalism we throw around the term TAMP like it's candy, as if it stands for some defined, commoditized productized service that any fool would know, if they saw it. In this article, we commit the same misdemeanor because it beats the felony of ...


Eric Clarke: There’s not one feature of [BasisCode's] platform that an RIA doesn’t need or use.

Orion CEO Eric Clarke purchase builds on a strategy of developing a data capability that helps his firm keep RIAs compliant and win enterprise deals head-to-head against Envestnet-Yodlee.

Saturday, November 13, 2021 – 3:38 AM by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: It's almost hard to name a successful software company today that isn't succeeding because it has great sources of data and the ability to spin that straw into gold. Nobody in the RIA business has it nailed. Envestnet bought a big, fancy asset ...


David McNatt: It's not about having a supermarket.

The Concord, Calif., company, with $85 billion in TAMP assets, is rebooting with tighter manager curation and software that allows SMAs to work better in a portfolio with non-SMA products -- namely ETFs.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021 – 10:26 PM by Brooke Southall

Brooke's Note: SMAs were always that place where Wall Street managers and fee-based advice could co-exist. Then things changed. Advisors got wise to the fact that fancy manager names in proliferation boosted expenses but did little to bolster returns. The big advantage of SMAs, thus, ...


Suzanne Daly: RIA growth is really accelerating, and in a different manner [to IBDs].

The $10.8 trillion firm in Boston launched its first models in 2018 and with 7,000 advisors using them it has adjusted allocations to reflect preferences it couldn't have foreseen

Friday, August 6, 2021 – 4:33 AM by Oisin Breen

RIAs are again the tail wagging the dog; Fidelity Investments just added a 100%-equity model portfolio to its roster, citing RIA preferences -- not to expose clients to an ultra-bullish allocation -- but to gain more flexibility in asset allocation.


Scott MacKillop: This flat-fee TAMP idea has legs after all.

First Ascent now has $1.1 billion in RIA AUM and reached a sweet milestone -- its founder has a take-home salary and apparent sustainability.

Monday, June 14, 2021 – 8:41 PM by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: First Ascent may be Scott MacKillop's first startup, and it has had its fair share of growing pains and moments of truth. But it was hardly the career money manager's first rodeo. When he had to decide whether to risk more of other ...


Angela Pecoraro: The applications that we’ll be putting out next year will be all API-based and all very capable to be turned on as an ‘off-the-shelf’ application.

Hired to execute a revamp of old-line NaviPlan and keep the Milwaukee firm's 140,000-advisor installed base, the Advicent CEO played to the LA-based platform's mandatory acquisition of financial planning software to add to its $4 trillion of AUA.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021 – 7:22 PM by Oisin Breen

InvestCloud just snapped up Advicent three months after inking its own $1-billion deal with Motive Partners, which now owns the lot.


Natalie Wolfsen: 'Absolutely, Assetmark is evolving.'

Put in place by AssetMark's new high-powered chairwoman, the Charles Goldman protégé sees a way to take on Envestnet and Schwab after demoting MoneyGuidePro and closing the biggest deal in her company's history

Thursday, March 11, 2021 – 2:41 AM by Brooke Southall

Brooke's Note: AssetMark has long had what seemed to outsiders to be an RIA executive management Dream Team. The anchors were Charles Goldman, Michael Kim and Natalie Wolfsen, who joined the firm in 2014 following Myra Rothfeld's departure. Ex-TDA RIA software star Mukesh Mehta was added in 2017. ...


Ravi Gupta: 'We're thrilled to triple down on our partnership with Vise.'

The Sand Hill Road VC leads biggest round of $45 million and adds former McKinsey analyst and KKR director Ravi Gupta, who leads new additions at the firm, which also include an ex-BlackRock CCO.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021 – 2:40 AM by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: The robo-advice world is in a big transition. Wealthfront is becoming a bank. Jon Stein is moving on from Betterment. We no longer hear much about Trizic, Jemstep, SigFig or FutureAdvisor. AdvisorEngine is now part of Franklin Templeton. Personal Capital is part of Empower. Despite being ...


The purchase of 55ip is JP Morgan's first, since Jamie Dimon announced a more "aggressive" M&A strategy earlier this year.

The famed JPMorgan CEO scooped up a Boston-based model portfolio startup that has a very RIA book of business.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020 – 11:15 PM by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: The problem with RIAs and giant Wall Street firms getting along is that they never had anything in common to begin with. Or if they did, it created channel conflicts for the big firms and conflicts of interest for the RIAs. But times have ...


Mike Durbin keeps executing on Abby Johnson's directive for removing unconstructive internal borders.

The Fidelity Institutional head is betting RIAs will go for the 'killer app,' a one-vendor, one-fee bundle that will free time and mindspace by having the eMoney plan implement itself as a collection of products.

Thursday, December 3, 2020 – 4:59 AM by Oisin Breen

Fidelity Custody & Clearing unveiled to wows its anti-ballistic missile response to an incoming Schwab Advisor Services warhead, but it risks that RIAs will see it as a threat to their independence.


Noreen Beaman: While we respect what [Envestnet] has done, we’re focused on the future. The end investor is demanding a more seamless interaction with their money.

The closing of the Omaha, Neb. and Berwyn, Pa. brands creates one Orion brand that will begin cross-selling software and asset-management products as early as October, with a profile more like Envestnet.

Friday, September 25, 2020 – 5:02 PM by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: All the big mergers in the industry today have one common denominator: They remain mired in the purgatory of engaged but not married. Ask Plaid, TD Ameritrade and E*Trade. The getting-ready-to-get-ready processes just never seem to reach their logical ends. Against that backdrop, it's all ...