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Articles Published June 2010


Bill Crager: We do have a very large presence in the broker-dealer market, but most of the fiduciary work we've built will be delivered to the RIA market initially.

Envestnet is honing its business model -- and message -- as it drives toward an IPO
The giant product clearinghouse is recasting itself as a purveyor of fiduciary process

Wednesday 6.30.10
Les Abromovitz: You can establish a dialogue with the SEC -- but beware of asking to change your audit to a different day.

Hello! The SEC wants your records by tomorrow
One advisor had a day to produce voluminous records. That's the kind of request likely to grow more common as the SEC performs more unscheduled audits

Wednesday 6.30.10
Neesha Hathi is prepared to have Schwab accommodate most technology vendors but to marry far fewer

Schwab's Project C now has two tiers and three new names
The company's grand technology plan will include a modular plan and a turnkey package

Tuesday 6.29.10
Bernie Clark: I’ve never seen us announce something that has been so universally embraced [as Project C].

A glimpse inside Schwab's EXPLORE conference
The gathering includes big RIAs looking to learn from each other

Tuesday 6.29.10
According to an ADV dated May 25, Ronald M. Starr was chief compliance office of Starr Investment Advisors

Ronald Starr steps down from board seat citing the 'misfortune' of being his father's son
Son of Kenneth Starr says his actions are intended to keep adverse media attention away from GlobalOptions

Tuesday 6.29.10
Marc Cohen: Frankly a number of our attorneys stayed up way too late sitting around a conference table continually throwing out words that could possibly get someone into trouble.

MarketCounsel's MailBanc automates away some of the liability risk of instant communications
A web-based email archiving and compliance tool for small to mid-size RIAs

Tuesday 6.29.10
Elizabeth MacBride on how a small group of advocates for advisors and the fiduciary standard influence the debate this year in Washington, D.C.

What went right: the story of the fiduciary standard this year
A long-odds fight by advocates and a well-timed Goldman Sachs stumble and -- voilà -- brokers may have to begin putting customers' interests first

Monday 6.28.10
Michael Lee: It wasn’t ugly before but it’s better and there’s much more data right on the main page

What four beta testers of Black Diamond's new software have to say about it
Testers of Blue Sky say that the product saves them time and effort

Monday 6.28.10
A strong advocate for the fiduciary standard, Frank pulled out a win in the conference committee this afternoon.

Improbable win for fiduciary standard: Congress set to hand SEC power to impose fiduciary duty on broker-dealers
Conference committee agrees on a measure that calls for six-month study and then gives SEC authority to write single set of rules for advisors and brokers

Friday 6.25.10
Michael Kim: Advisors learned a tough lesson that they need to keep the pedal to the metal and seeking referrals is the best way to do that.

Fidelity primes the referral pump for RIA clients
A new program gets a warm reception from advisors ready to snap out of hand-holding mode

Friday 6.25.10
Tom Harkin: “No-one has lost their money – period,”

Regulatory Wire: The public is depressed about financial reform and an exemption for auto dealers is just a warm-up
John Q Public doesn't know beans about financial reform -- except that it doesn't go far enough

Friday 6.25.10
Catherine Ayers-Rigsby: When someone wants to use a new product, we don’t shy away from it. We research it and say: ‘Let’s go forward.’

Ceros Financial hangs a welcome sign out for RIAs who trade actively
The former Rydex RIA unit is starting new life under German ownership

Thursday 6.24.10
Ron Rhoades: Fiduciary organizations benefit from the media's growing attention to the fiduciary issue.

One-Man Think Tank: Being a fiduciary is suddenly in style, even as lawmakers dance around the issue
The conference committee puts off action for another day, but Ron Rhoades points out that the private sector is finding its own solutions

Thursday 6.24.10
Barnaby Grist: If you fit into the LPL box, that’s a great place to be, but if you like to do things your own way, you probably want to go to an environment that’s more customized to your needs.

Cetera Financial shores up its technology as it prepares to take on LPL for big hybrid RIAs
The face-lift of the old ING broker-dealers is starting with a big investment in Advent Software

Wednesday 6.23.10
Mike Byrnes: Advisors need to consider their practices for courting clients.

10 advisors explain how they build sales without getting 'salesy'
High net worth clients want to get to know you and like you first

Wednesday 6.23.10
Paul Weisbruch: ETFs can trade at a discount or premium to NAV, but the statistically insignificant differences are used as a device of fear.

Criticism of ETFs is based on fear more than factual basis: columnist
Concerns over the illiquidity, manipulation and prices of ETFs get way overblown

Tuesday 6.22.10
Mark Tibergien: To advisors, broker-dealers are the Soviet Union and FINRA is the KGB.

Why advisors see FINRA as the devil
A conversation with Richard Brueckner and Mark Tibergien lends perspective to this widely held view by RIAs of the b/d regulator

Tuesday 6.22.10
Adam Honoré: The reason you’d want Merrill Lynch is that you’d want access to their advisors and to their training.

Why the launch of Merrill Edge may be a shrewder move by BoA than it first appears
Success will depend on how closely BoA/Merrill Lynch can tie the new online brokerage to its full-service offering

Monday 6.21.10
Dave Welling: That ability to get data quickly is very powerful.

Already known to be cutting edge, Black Diamond shoots for the bleeding edge with total rewrite of its software
RIAs can multi-task, upgrade and customize better with the new portfolio management system

Monday 6.21.10
The new working relationship of Vere Reynolds-Hale and Matt McGinness was helped by trust and San Diego connections

Former LPL execs reunite to compete for big hybrid RIAs -- this time with a smaller IBD
Matt McGinness joins Reynolds-Hale at First Allied and the two men plan to move quickly to execute plans

Friday 6.18.10
If only the conference commitee room were this peaceful.

Regulatory Wire: former SEC chairs slam financial services reform
Plus, DOL's new webinar on 401(k) compliance; the SEC speaks on target date funds; and questions about Stoneridge

Friday 6.18.10
Phil Chiricotti says the rules are the rules when it comes to the 401(k) business

Phil Chiricotti speaks out on broker-sold commissions, RIA fees and heresy
The 401(k) expert says RIAs generally lack the qualifications to work in the retirement assets market -- and may charge too much

Friday 6.18.10
Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass) sees SEC rule-making authority, but after a certain “preparatory” time.

As House and Senate talk compromise, Barney Frank hints at a win for fiduciary advocates
In Washington end game, the fiduciary standard hangs in the balance between Barney Frank and Tim Johnson

Thursday 6.17.10
Craig Watanabe: Adequately servicing 401k plans is a demanding endeavor and we will likely see retirement plan specialists gaining market share.

What Cogent's new study says about where RIAs stand in the 401(k) business
Brokers still dominate most segments but RIAs do well with bigger plans, results of two surveys show

Thursday 6.17.10
Timothy Welsh: The competition between custodians means that even if advisors don’t invest in technology, their custodians will, providing advisors with the horsepower, efficiencies, productivity and the scalability to create leverage and value.

Counterpoint to Mark Hurley study: Wealth management firms are in rapid transition
Painting RIAs with a single no-value brush ignores vast technological strides and growth

Thursday 6.17.10
Marc Channick: Any of the three of us could have turned the other two in and tripled their book of business

A Harvard lawyer, a Columbia MBA and an engineer break away from AllianceBernstein private client unit to form an RIA
The San Diego-based advisors may be among the first to leave the company to turn independent

Wednesday 6.16.10
Julie Sunwoo: Advisors tell us that maximizing productivity and efficiency to enable growth is one of their top business priorities

Schwab launches 'university' for advisory personnel
The San Francisco-based custodian is taking a self-service approach to a crying need for training employees of RIA firms

Wednesday 6.16.10
Kevin Nichols: LinkedIn is by far the social media connection of choice for affluent investors.

How to use LinkedIn to win more business in your niche
Four easy steps will help you get a list of prospects, but then there's a caveat

Wednesday 6.16.10
Mark Hurley's new report says building enterprise value is “unattractive and fraught with risk."

What to make of Mark Hurley's latest prophesy that most RIA firms will go out with a whimper
The Fiduciary Network principal sees minimal enterprise value -- and little will to build it -- among 19,000 wealth management firms

Tuesday 6.15.10
Mike Apker: We want advisors to think of us as a full outsourcing partner.

Envestnet buys a company to gain an edge with Schwab RIAs
The big TAMP's purchase is a move toward more generalized outsourcing

Monday 6.14.10
Richard Brueckner dashed out to get ready to introduce Henry Paulson, but Jim Crowley and Mark Tibergien stopped for a meeting-room photo.

Wrapping up INSITE: Execs on the growth of the advisory business -- and what might endanger it
Pershing works to make a winner of of having multiple advisor businesses under one BNY roof; plus, a conference slide show

Monday 6.14.10
In a lobbying letter, Maria Elena Lagomasino wrote, "All families should be able to access the same high fiduciary standard of investment and financial advice that wealthy families can access. Why should smaller investors be left behind?"

Regulatory Wire: Do Fiduciary advocates now have the Obama faction on their side? Treasury speech offers hope.
Insurers step from behind the curtain with lobbying letters; big names in family office world sign on to the fiduciary fight

Friday 6.11.10
Fred Tomczyk: I slept in my own bed once in two weeks.

Fred Tomczyk shows RIAs at TD's 'Elite' event his drive to beat rivals -- by carefully picking his spots
The TD Ameritrade CEO jacks up marketing budget but keeps lid on balance sheet risk

Friday 6.11.10
Rich Brueckner: FINRA would be a logical place to look for help regulating RIAs.

Advisors flock to steamy South Fla. for Pershing's conference and get a glimpse of web-based NetX360
Keynote speaker Henry Paulson talks about the most important moves of the financial crisis, says he couldn't have saved Lehman, and acknowledges he may never be widely recognized for averting disaster

Thursday 6.10.10
Jody Agius Vallejo: Merrill Lynch is one of the major sponsors of [Hispanic business] events. They’ve made a major effort to reach out to this population.

Vallejo makes case that advisors shouldn't ignore the Hispanic market of investors
Speaker at TD conference uses demographic data and the example of Merrill Lynch to help make her point

Thursday 6.10.10
Jeff Spears: Some people needed it and spent it and will never be able to leave but I truly believe a high percentage are responsible and disciplined.

7 things to know about retention bonuses and why the post-check ether may be wearing off
Brokers who got checks report higher satisfaction but many still have their eyes on the exits

Wednesday 6.9.10
Condoleezza Rice: The U.S. has no heir apparent as the leader of the global economy despite rumblings.

Condoleezza Rice wins the hearts of attendees at the TD Ameritrade Elite Advisor Summit
She still prefers Fox News but she also sounded a more moderate tone when questioned about the 'present administration'

Wednesday 6.9.10
Jim Crowley: We're in a position to move upmarket.

RIABiz team fans out to to Pershing INSITE and TD Ameritrade's Elite conferences this week
NetX360's on the agenda at one of the industry's largest gatherings; Henry Paulson will be on the spot

Tuesday 6.8.10
Nevin Freeman: The question is: Do regular marketing approaches work on these new online media?

Social media: There's a bigger mistake you could make than offending the SEC
Nevin, RIABiz tech guy, weighs in on how advisors ought to approach social media

Monday 6.7.10
David DeVoe: The numbers have slowly crept up in terms of advisors that have these plans in place but we still see situations where folks don’t.

Favorite succession plan of RIAs remains the same: none at all
The biggest impediment to planning is finding a successor

Monday 6.7.10
Les Abromovitz: The SEC has extremely high expectations for people serving as chief compliance officers.

What the ADV form of Kenneth I. Starr's RIA reveals and what to make of it
It appears that Starr had his son, Ronald, as chief compliance officer

Friday 6.4.10
The SEC says fraud costs $40 billion a year

Regulatory Wire: CREW report criticizes the SEC and blasts its chairman, Mary L. Schapiro, for being slow to fight fraud
Measures against the Bernie Madoffs, Kenneth Starrs called insufficient; accountants on extensible business reporting language; and a strong letter from NASSA

Friday 6.4.10
James Carney: It’s starting to grow because it works.

After more than a decade of trying, ByAllAccounts is gaining momentum with advisors -- by taking a new tack
The account aggregation company is working with former competitors like Advent Software

Thursday 6.3.10
Karla Paxton: We don’t care what we pull, we don’t care where we send it to.

Tech Review: ByAllAccounts has built its company brick by brick and the result is a solid product
The account aggregation provider's interface isn't flashy, but it functions well

Thursday 6.3.10
Peter Berg: What’s been missing is a business development effort of any significance.

BNY Mellon's new RIA custody unit will collaborate [and compete] with Pershing Advisor Solutions
The giant bank believes it can meld technology and sales forces to lure to dug-in breakaways

Wednesday 6.2.10
Charles Lowenhaupt:  What was really clear after 2008 was that diligence and process were the gold standard.

Two longtime fiduciary advocates make a pitch for family offices to sign on to standards
After Bernie Madoff and now Kenneth Starr, the family office business seems in need of some better guidelines.

Wednesday 6.2.10
Alois Pirker: Wirehouses are watching the breakaway movement slowly and are likely to adapt. "They're not stupid."

Study: Breakaway trend may slow as wirehouse mergers start to click
To keep brokers, some wirehouses may offer more independent platforms

Tuesday 6.1.10



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