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Articles Published July 2010


Jon Patullo: No other custodian actually engaged [these vendors] in this fashion and set up a summit, so they're very excited about it.

Joining the industry-wide trend, TD Ameritrade announces its upcoming project for "open architecture" technology integration
Custodian hopes to open the platform to all vendors that pass a security check

Friday 7.30.10
Manish Dave: It's not enough to have technology and a payout. Ameriprise wants to be a strategic partner.

In a move that risks a backlash from within, Ameriprise opens the door wide for bigger wirehouse brokers
Training advisors has become more expensive, says analyst -- so the company has a new strategy to recruit experience advisors

Friday 7.30.10
Joe Perry: The way  JHS presented its ethical guidelines helped win his business.

A decade of baby steps led a broker from Merrill Lynch to a three-office hybrid of his own
Potomac Investments now uses broker JHS, where an ethics policy carried the day

Thursday 7.29.10
Scott Dell'Orfano: Bigger teams are more educated, thoughtful, diligent. They’re asking pertinent questions.

Fidelity weighs in with breakaway results reinforcing the big-advisor trend
Are cost-cutting wirehouses creating a farm system for top entrepreneurial teams?

Thursday 7.29.10
Bill Crager: There's real business happening in the RIA market.

[Updated] 10 reasons why the Envestnet IPO filing is for real
The platform giant has a monopolistic position and the opportunity to pull away

Thursday 7.29.10
Taking on the naysayers, Bob Veres explains why he sees a rosy future for RIAs.

Bob Veres' vision: Scalable, multi-partner RIA firms will be profitable and powerful enough to beat the wirehouses
Microbusinesses dominate the industry -- for now. That may change as the industry evolves along the lines of the legal profession.

Wednesday 7.28.10
Daniel Barry: As a former securities industry association lawyer, I have a more balanced view.

Daniel Barry takes on two big challenges: fighting for financial advisors and filling the size 15E shoes of Duane Thompson
Barry says he'll fight hard for financial planners and RIAs, but half of FPA's members hold a Series 7

Wednesday 7.28.10
Ron Rhoades: Many RIAs rightly question the utility of limited inspections by regulators.

One-Man Think Tank: The SEC's custody examinations leave gaps big enough for Madoff to drive a bus through
How to reassure clients who are seeing Ponzi after Ponzi unveiled

Tuesday 7.27.10
William Webster: I’ve seen a lot of wirehouses lose their significance

Smith Barney broker leaves wirehouse realm after 38 years
Recruiter: an increasing number of older advisors are leaving wirehouses to be sure their books of business go to someone they trust

Tuesday 7.27.10
Kristina Fausti: We've entered a new regulatory era that calls for greater transparency and accountability.

How financial reform gives the SEC new bite; plus at least five other things advisors ought to know about the legislation
The new financial world will be constructed mostly out of the public eye, as regulators begin studying 150 issues Congress punted to agencies

Monday 7.26.10
David DeVoe: Of the deals completed so far this year, 55% were for $250 million or less.

M&A market for RIAs continues record pace: Second half looks even stronger
As compliance burdens grow, smaller firms are driving merger activity

Monday 7.26.10
Brett Sharkey: Quite honestly, I was not interested in the idea at first. Look! We have done it; we are out [of Smith Barney]. That taste of freedom is sweet.

HighTower wins its first-ever existing RIA after offering the breakaway a new way to do business -- and a chat with David Pottruck
Three Bridge Wealth Advisors surpised itself by giving up its 'sweet' freedom to regain the advantages of scale

Friday 7.23.10
Alan Olsen: The DOJ has plenty of leads developed from last year's amnesty program, and from the agency's pursuit of banks.

The next step in the IRS pursuit of high-net-worth individuals
The DOJ steps up the hunt for offshore accounts. Here's what not to try: spiriting the cash out in a suitcase.

Friday 7.23.10
Bernie Clark: The average assets of new teams that custody with Schwab has doubled compared to 2009.

Both Schwab and TD Ameritrade smash breakaway recruiting marks from last year
Schwab nets eight breakaway teams with more than $250 million of AUM each

Thursday 7.22.10
Jim Sotell: Fees that were hidden are coming to the surface. That will put RIAs on a more level playing field with brokers in the retirement plan business.

How the new 12b(1) fee restrictions could transform the financial advisory industry
Brokers selling 401(k) plans may have another nail driven into their coffin

Thursday 7.22.10
Ron Shevlin: The message is: Get more aggressive about marketing in general.

9 things to know about the 'truth' concerning RIA use of social media
Results of a new Pershing-Aite study show advisors really are using social media -- and making more money by doing so

Wednesday 7.21.10
Pat Allen: From the bottom up and from the top down, wirehouses and broker-dealers are working toward enabling advisors to participate online.

What three highly wired financial advisors have to teach us about social media
Blogs may be the most influential -- and most forgotten -- form of social media

Wednesday 7.21.10
U.S. Rep. George Miller is one of a number of Washington, D.C.-dwellers paying more attention to hidden fees in 401(k) plans.

One down, two to go: Trio of important DOL regs reshapes 401(k) advice business
Plan fiduciaries may face an easier world -- if their disclosures don't come back to bite them

Tuesday 7.20.10
Eugene Steuerle explains why it's often better to spend your 401(k) for a year or two before delving into Social Security

RIABiz Conversations: Eugene Steuerle answers RIAs' technical questions about how to use Social Security as an annuity
Plus, a debate you may have missed on Harold Evensky's FINRA comments

Tuesday 7.20.10
Joining the Broker Protocol is free, which shows that summer weather can slow any kind of business activity

The steady Broker Protocol drumbeat slows a bit in July
KC Asset Management Inc., O'Dell Jarvis Mandell LLC, Scenic Wealth Management LLC are among the new to the list

Tuesday 7.20.10
Kevin Tanner: We average $500,000 a day [of new assets], and the rate has been rising.

Suddenly noticed by big investors, Kevin Tanner's small RIA is bracing for billions of AUM
A retired retail client who serves on boards got Saratoga Research & Investment Management in the institutional door, and the assets are starting to pour in

Monday 7.19.10
Ron Rhoades: Potential clients rightfully adhere to the old adage, "Where there's smoke, there's fire."

One-Man Think Tank: Six steps to avoid getting sued and having your reputation destroyed in the bargain
Beware prospects who bad-mouth their old advisor; fire clients who don't stick to the strategy

Monday 7.19.10
Tom McGuirk: "It was this intense feeling of euphoria and also a moment of whoa! I am really a business owner now."

How an Olympic hurdler and Smith Barney broker made the leap to his own RIA
Goal oriented: Tom McGuirk put his breakaway date on the wall in the place where his running time used to be

Friday 7.16.10
The Committee for the Fiduciary Standard recalls Goldman Sach's Lloyd Blankfein's stammering testimony with a new video cut to make a specific point.

Goldman Sachs settles to make its scandal die, and Congress passes financial services reform. What does it mean for RIAs? Not much, yet.
In an attempt to sway new regulations on the fiduciary standard, an advocacy group releases a video of Goldman Sachs execs' worst moments before a Senate committee

Friday 7.16.10
George Keith: People know it’s tough out there so productivity has skyrocketed. Before, people were in at 9:30 and out at 4:30.

RIAs are rushing to take advantage of a fire sale on talent
Putting great people and the RIA business model together holds tremendous promise, analysts say

Thursday 7.15.10
Richard Stein tells the Times: Everyone thought the ice age had returned, but the thaw has come and we’re in catch-up mode.

The six key points about Wall Street's surprising employment picture
Hiring is on the rise and the picture is far better than most white-collar sectors, according to article

Thursday 7.15.10
Les Abromovitz: Back when I went to law school, attorneys didn’t advertise on television, let alone on urinals.

How far can RIAs go with advertisements?
Don't take your cues from restaurants or lawyers

Thursday 7.15.10
Ron Rhoades: It is time for FINRA to be dismantled.

One-Man Think Tank: Six reasons that FINRA should be dismantled
Insuperable issue: Each FINRA firm has an equity interest in FINRA - and would be entitled to a slice of its billion-dollar war chest

Wednesday 7.14.10
Harold Evensky: Although [shunning FINRA] may provide a temporary visceral high, it is counterproductive and unprofessional and will result in our voices being ignored

Why Harold Evensky believes that a FINRA-as-devil attitude is counterproductive
The fiduciary standard-bearer is optimistic that FINRA can make fiduciary standards work in the 'real world'

Wednesday 7.14.10
Kevin Tanner and John Dolan sip champagne after signing a long-term deal.

Two Silicon Valley RIAs marry their practices to lay the groundwork for succession
The merger key was that Kevin Tanner wanted John Dolan and not just his book of business

Tuesday 7.13.10
Vic Gundotra was the master of Googling ceremonies at the event of 5,000 geeks

What RIAs should know about my three days at Google's I/O conference
Less reliance on web connections and cheaper leapfroggings in software-as-a-service are on the way

Tuesday 7.13.10
Matt Stroh: Our clients tended to think our service reputation was the best of all the vendors they were working with, and they began relying on us more and more.

A close look at Tamarac's Advisor 9 and its strategic use of Schwab software
The Seattle company is trying to create a sense of familiarity for users with Outlook and PortfolioCenter features

Monday 7.12.10
Bernie Clark sees advisors building better businesses now that there isn't a bull market to make almost automatic.

Schwab's Bernie Clark on why RIAs are figuring out how to grow ... and other items from the RIABiz cutting room floor
What was left out of RIABiz's Amerprise story, and why; plus, advisory industry intelligence from our readership stats

Monday 7.12.10
Joel Bruckenstein: iRebal is still better technology but Tamarac is 'infinitely better' than it was two years ago.

Tamarac claims what was unthinkable two years ago -- that it is on the same playing field as iRebal for rebalancing software
Tamarac has made leaps, say iRebal loyalists, but it had a long way to go

Friday 7.9.10
Dorie Rosenband: I invested $150,000 and still haven’t taken a salary, so this was a significant financial event for my family, but so worthwhile!

Dorie Rosenband's post-maternity return to Smith Barney shocked her into becoming a RIA
Seeking to build a practice serving women-in-transition, she hopes to attract other women advisors, too

Friday 7.9.10
Scott Pritchard: As much as I’d like to say that Fidelity has lost their edge, I think this is just a reflection of the fact that a small percentage of plan sponsors have begun to recognize the value of working with independent RIAs.

What the confidential documents uncovered by Reuters say about Fidelity's future in the 401(k) business
A rare glimpse at the 401(k) giant's client tally shows slippage among big customers but its 401(k) business may be finding increased traction with advisors

Thursday 7.8.10
Alan Pfeffer: Not only have there been no findings; there have been no allegations.

As DOL investigation continues, Geller Group says it is executing the final stage of a four-year succession plan
Sheldon Geller and Manny Ehrlich have been grooming Alan Pfeffer to take over the 401(k) company since selling a big stake to Focus Financial in 2006, according to the firm's new leader.

Thursday 7.8.10
Scott Slater: I see it as the next step in the maturing of the RIA industry.

How the market downturn affected 870 Schwab RIAs in 2009 and how they are reacting to it in 2010
Profits took a tumble in the market downturn but resolve to grow is on the rise, according to a massive new survey

Wednesday 7.7.10
Meg Green: Not all the bodies were really profitable in my model.

What Meg Green was thinking when she purposefully shed $40 million of assets
The advisor saw more downside than upside to the smaller accounts and pulled the trigger on a deal

Wednesday 7.7.10
H.A. McGill didn't have Ameriprise on his radar until friends told him the give it a look.

How Ameriprise used its franchise system to snare a Smith Barney breakaway
H.A. McGill found that the Minneapolis broker-dealer was friendly to tuck-in deals

Tuesday 7.6.10
Frank Pizzichillo: LLCs are king 'but there are situations in which an S-Corp may be appropriate and, much less often, where a C-Corp may be the way to go.'

The Leading Indicator: Do not forget corporate concerns in the transition to independence
The quick-hit S-Corp.-versus-LLC rundown for breakaway brokers

Tuesday 7.6.10
Gene Steuerle: The option of adding to your Social Security annuity is there, but hidden by overlapping and confusing provisions.

An annuity even an RIA could love: no commissions, no fees, solid returns and the highest investment security on the planet
Here's a way to help retirees build more security for their old-old years

Friday 7.2.10
RIAs continue to rise above the landscape and capture notice from across constituencies

What happened in June shows that RIA fortunes stayed on the rise
The giant legislative victory was a landmark for RIAs but much more happened as Spring turned to Summer

Friday 7.2.10
Broker Protocol: Any firm can join the protocol by contacting SIFMA.

Leerink Swann, Multi-Financial Securities Corp. and Maine Asset Management all join the Protocol for Broker Recruiting
The joining rate held steady as 29 more companies jumped on board

Friday 7.2.10
Susan Theder: The opportunity was exciting and unique enough to make me think that it wouldn’t come around again – not with a management team and board of directors this strong and an entrepreneurial environment this enticing.

Cetera lifts a high-end talent out of Pershing but can the IBD establish itself as a brand presence among advisors?
Susan Theder left a big job and she is moving cross-country; she'll try to make 'Cetera' stand for more than the old ING Advisor Network in a new wrapper, analyst says

Thursday 7.1.10
Mike Byrnes: Plan now. The resulting greater success will be compounded over time.

What if you spent one hour a day on the #1 idea to free up time and cash flow?
10 people in the RIA business offer their best thought for making the second half of 2010 more productive

Thursday 7.1.10



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