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Articles Published March 2010


Tamar Frankel says the Supreme Court Decision on mutual funds fees surprised and delighted her because of the pressure it puts on mutual fund boards of directors

Mutual fund industry may be too quick in declaring victory on the Supreme Court Decision
The standard is upheld but the people-with-muscle caveat is a true victory for investors, according to Tamar Frankel

Wednesday 3.31.10
Lon Morton: Most potential clients do not fully appreciate the differences between dealing with an advisor from a Merrill Lynch or other wirehouse versus a fee-only advisor -- RIA.

Advisor Spotlight: Lon Morton went from being a minor league baseball player to a major league RIA
Morton Capital Management gets referrals from both Schwab and a local bank that acquired it

Wednesday 3.31.10
Mike Durbin: Fidelity's investment management heritage and capital markets resources are unique qualities among custodians

Fidelity plows ahead in the RIA business with overhauls of service, technology and management
Stagnant for more than a decade, the Boston-based RIA custodian has become a cauldron of dynamic change in last few years

Tuesday 3.30.10
David Brochu: I am paying the price for asking questions.

[Updated] David Brochu finds his lawsuit against Focus Financial is a rough experience
The Rhode Island RIA keeps up the legal battle to clarify the size of his firm's equity stake

Tuesday 3.30.10
Broker Protocol: Any firm can join the protocol by contacting New York law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

Newest additions to Broker Protocol
In four-day span in early March, seven companies joined

Tuesday 3.30.10
Dan Kurt: Advertisements are counterproductive for what we are trying to do

RIA Central has launched its bid to be the Facebook of RIAs
Heather takes a close look at how Fugent has pieced together a pioneering effort

Monday 3.29.10
Suzanne Siracuse: It diversifies us.

InvestmentNews shows it means business in the consulting business
The news giant snags a Schwab employee and looks to expand its mission

Monday 3.29.10
Bob Adams: Advisors can rest assured that we will meet the needs they have. We're acting in their best interests.

Fidelity delivers a white paper and a warning to RIAs regarding new cost-basis rules
Multi-custody arrangements and third party platforms can lead to troublesome data fragmentation, the Boston custody giant says

Friday 3.26.10
Ian MacKenzie: [IMCA] has been well-known within the wirehouse community for 25 years, and my goal is to use my experience and expertise to elevate that recognition among independent advisors serving a high-net-worth client base.

IMCA fills out roster by nabbing yet another FPA talent
One Denver advisory association looks to the other for hires but the two organizations profess peace

Friday 3.26.10
Ric Edelman: The wirehouses have done themselves a lot of damage this year.

Encouraged by early success in New York, Edelman ramps up office openings
Big Virginia RIA sees an opportunity in wirehouse fumbling and he's grabbing it

Thursday 3.25.10
Heather Underwood goes deep into the made-for-RIA features of BrightScope's website

How BrightScope is using technology to create order in a messy 401(k) market
A San Diego-based company gives a peek behind the curtain of many of the 60,000 largest defined contribution plans

Thursday 3.25.10
Rebecca Pomering: I would not say we have outsourced. We are using them as an additional source.

Why Moss Adams signed a big contract with Fortigent
The Seattle-based RIA is looking to grow investment capabilities without adding staff

Wednesday 3.24.10
Carol Fabbri: We tell clients if the want to chase the next big thing, they should take 10% of their money and go to Vegas.

Breakaway spotlight: Former Merrill Lynch broker uses just-the-facts approach to win business of scientists, engineers
Two MIT grads do the math for clients, including numbers that show 401(k)s lacking

Wednesday 3.24.10
Custodians are aggressively hiring good talent to keep up with RIA demand. Schwab's hire of Nick Georgis was a good example of that.

Part II: The things 11 through 20 that show the RIA market is really heating up in 2010
Everything from New York Times recognition to accelerating executive hires suggest the RIA realm is getting hot

Tuesday 3.23.10
Barack Obama is painting Republicans and Wall Street executives as allies.

A newly emboldened Obama may yet win on financial services reform
Why some Washingtonians are wrong about the bill's prospects

Tuesday 3.23.10
Quality health care and financial issues are uneasy bedfellows

What an RIA needs to know now that health care reform has passed
Some tax increases kick in next year

Tuesday 3.23.10
Christopher Dean, managing director of Summit Partners in Boston, invested VC money in RIAs

10 things that show the RIA movement is really heating up in 2010: Part I
Observers need a scorecard to keep track of all the advances that RIAs are making

Monday 3.22.10
Les Abromovitz: When it comes to past perfomance, you are obliged to reveal the bad along with the good.

One excuse the SEC doesn't listen to: I was just following the crowd
Third-party rankings misleading without the context; here's how to give it

Monday 3.22.10
Sen. Herb Kohl is taking on brokers, life insurers with amendment to regulate financial planners.

Revised amendment aims to heal breaches in advisor community
New oversight for financial planners may be tougher for Senators to vote against because it is seen as pro-consumer

Friday 3.19.10
James Poer: NFP Securities has undergone a vast evolution and now aims to serve a broader market.

With Schwab [and maybe Fidelity] as custody partners, NFP is positioned to make a run at the hybrid market
If NFP IndeSuite catches on, the success could make up for some struggles on the roll-up side of the business

Friday 3.19.10
Ryan Alfred: I would have expected Mr. Utkus to do a little bit more research before reaching this erroneous conclusion

Blog battle: Vanguard 401(k) principal and president of 401(k)-tracker have it out over the Internet
Steve Utkus suggests a flaw in BrightScope's system and Ryan Alfred is having none of it

Friday 3.19.10
Brenda Blisk: I grew up on a farm. I got up at 5:30 and helped milk 150 cows, so I knew I could outwork them

How to market to women: Don't
One pioneer on how she sees her market -- hint: it's not a monolith

Thursday 3.18.10
Fortigent hired Chad Givens to conquer California

Fortigent and Adhesion staff up to haul in bigger fish in the outsourcing market
Advisors who never considered outsourcing see it in a different light today

Thursday 3.18.10
Eric Clarke: Growth-minded advisors have made Orion's pipeline of prospects fatter than ever

Orion is outshining competitors in the eyes of some RIAs
The Omaha-based portfolio management outsourcer is winning on service and innovation

Wednesday 3.17.10
Facebook:

Orion will take a page out of Facebook to help RIAs achieve better inter-office chats
The Omaha-based portfolio management outsourcer sees potential in co-opting social media methods

Wednesday 3.17.10
Charles Huebner: You can see it in their eyes. They say: You can tell what it is like to take the risk.

Two senior UBS brokers pass on retirement to pursue aggressive breakaway plan
Huebner and Jagger are winding up, not down with multi-faceted growth strategy

Tuesday 3.16.10
Kristina Fausti: The legislation adds some consumer protections and oversight of the SEC.

Senate proposal pushes most RIAs one step closer to state regulation
Senate and house bills now both seek to wrest 75% of RIAs away from SEC oversight

Tuesday 3.16.10
Ron Rhoades: The large broker-dealer firms should be partying tonight

FINRA and SIFMA win big for Wall Street with release of Senator Dodd's bill yesterday
The proposal is a 'devastating grant of authority to the SEC to write the rules'

Tuesday 3.16.10
Maggie Serravalli: It is about taking it to the next level and making it a distinctive experience

Fidelity names buck-stops-here service czar for all of its financial advisory channels
Maggie Serravalli is aiming for service quality consistency

Monday 3.15.10
Karen Lisowski: I’ve consulted directly with some of the largest RIAs and breakaway teams

Black Diamond adds a Fidelity veteran to its sales team
Karen Lisowski will work from San Francisco

Monday 3.15.10
Heather Underwood: Orion is planning on integrating some well known social media constructs, most notably the Facebook Newsfeed or

A closer look at Orion Advisor Services' software and what's in store for its next release
Eric Clarke's Omaha company has wedged its way into the RIA consciousness with good reason

Monday 3.15.10
Arthur Tambaro: It validates all the work we have done and the technology we continue to develop

How Royal Alliance won a big-time RIA after a string of losses
Rehmann Financial loves the AIG subsidiary's alliance with Pershing

Friday 3.12.10
Stan Hall: His firm joined the Protocol to open the door to high-producing brokers.

Which firms are joining the Broker Protocol, and how your firm gets on the list
Signing up is simple and firms can market their eagerness to recruit talent

Thursday 3.11.10
Rob Isbitts: For many investors in their pre-retirement years, Target Date Funds are not just a bad idea but a misleading one.

What the alternative is to ill-conceived Target Date Funds
The popular savings vehicle may be structured for bad performance

Thursday 3.11.10
Mike Durbin authored a memo detailing a major changes to Fidelity's RIA business

Fidelity reorganizes its RIA business
Mike Durbin folds sales and relationship management together and two veterans depart

Wednesday 3.10.10
Sen. Herb Kohl favors disclosure by planners of conflicts of interest and compensation.

Proposal would sweep RIAs, planners, brokers into one huge regulatory pool (Updated)
New board promoting the fiduciary standard would oversee 75,000

Wednesday 3.10.10
Janelle Sallenave: Stay focused on your ideal client profile by taking plenty of time to get to know prospective family clients.

Look before you leap: Six questions you must consider before becoming a multifamily office
Taking the attitude that any client with $25 million is a good client leads to trouble

Tuesday 3.9.10
Steve Bono: A number of friends and acquaintances have asked me about Constellation

Constellation Wealth Advisors nabs a major rainmaker
Silicon Valley RIA practice hopes that Steve Bono can jump start its $4 billion practice

Tuesday 3.9.10
Mark Tibergien: We are managing risk. That is what B-to-B firms do.

Pershing is working to create a better alternative assets experience
The Jersey City RIA custodian believes a defined list of criteria gives it an edge

Monday 3.8.10
Ben Valore-Caplan: Monte Carlo didn't work in 2008 but seemed to work in 2009

Four questions that financial advisors and clients need to ask in a post-Madoff, post-meltdown era
Until hard questions are asked, people default to the old answers

Monday 3.8.10
Ron Rhoades: Arguably, language in the Johnson Amendment provides the SEC with the authority to craft whatever rules it wants to.

Why the New York Times fiduciary article won't deter the special interests
Consumer-protection regulations rarely get stiffer in the legislative process

Friday 3.5.10
Blaine Aikin does not take a statement about the fiduciary standard at face value. Rather, he asks whether a person or organizations embraces the principals behind the existing standard.

NY Times uncovers deeper fiduciary truth by interviewing wirehouse brokers
Yesterday's article in respected newspaper shows brokers themselves make no pretense about putting the client first

Friday 3.5.10
Wayne Withrow: If IBDs see us growing their advisors, that is new growth for the broker-dealer also.

SEI has a new strategy for boosting 2010 sales and an analyst calls it a 'grand slam'
The big TAMP launched a national team in January to help independent broker-dealers

Friday 3.5.10
Mark Tibergien: We were so impressed with Schwab's service that we hired 14 of their people in the past two years.

Mark Tibergien is making Pershing an industrial strength custodian with an RIA service touch
The feisty CEO of Pershing's RIA unit believes his offering will speak to big RIAs

Thursday 3.4.10
Lou Harvey: The bigger impact is on IRAs, not 401ks. There are a heck of a lot more IRAs out there and advisers involved in IRAs.

IRA assets could be ripped from the grasp of brokers if DOL has its way
With brokers disqualified, fee-only advisors may have 'phenomenal' opportunity to dominate $4.1 trillion IRA market

Thursday 3.4.10
Ed Ferrigno: It’s still extremely muddled.

Why the DOL's proposed 401(k) rules could ding brokers and leave the spoils to RIAs
SIFMA cries foul on the basis that such regulations would reduce people's access to retirement plans

Wednesday 3.3.10
Sara Hansard: Joining RIABiz as an occasional contributor

Sara Hansard will help RIABiz cover Washington
Veteran reporter brings knowledge and experience to complex regulatory issues

Wednesday 3.3.10
Nick Georgis: I had time to get away from the thinking you get from coming to the office and doing the same thing every day

Why Nick Georgis came back to Schwab and how the old hand may bring new vision
The former sales chief believes he is wiser after being away for six years

Tuesday 3.2.10
Julie Littlechild: There is so much in this industry about talking. This is about doing.

The FPA's practice management event boasts two hot speakers in its first day
California entrepreneur and NSA star are among the top draws

Tuesday 3.2.10
Nick Georgis: My job was [previously] more the day to day issues. What’s exciting is helping to determine where the business evolves in the next five years.

Nick Georgis returns to Schwab Advisor Services
The former head of sales will assume many of Barnaby Grist's duties

Monday 3.1.10
Kelly Trevathan is ready for quantum growth in San Francisco under the United Capital brand

Berkeley professor challenges United Capital directors to act more like managers and less like entrepreneurs
Eat-what-you-kill mentality won't take a company to the next level

Monday 3.1.10
Bernie Madoff did his part to help increase attendance at the Investment Adviser Association’s annual compliance conference

Four hot topics in compliance from the IAA conference
The mutual fund and ETF question gets looked at from a regulatory standpoint

Monday 3.1.10
Neil Simon: What we are facing... is the possibility of the end of the regulatorily-distinct investment advisory profession

Top RIA lobbyist says insurance foes have been 'more effective' in fiduciary battle but urges patience
Neil Simon: Supporters of a strict fiduciary standard can prevail with an effective end game

Monday 3.1.10

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