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Articles Published April 2011


Randy Allison Hustvedt was looking for the right fit.

A big Boston rainmaker joins an RIA start-up in New York with meteoric growth
Randy Hustvedt's hire to Evercore resumes hiring for ex-U.S. Trust CEO's fast-growing venture

Friday 4.29.11
Mindy Diamond: In a perfect world, most advisors would say that they would love to have their own business, and control their destiny.  But it’s not a perfect world.

The six traits that separate successful independents from wirehouse denizens
Mindy Diamond's advice on how to see the realistic reflection in the mirror.

Friday 4.29.11
Mindy Diamond: Right now, independence is what’s hot.

Why Mindy Diamond is morphing her firm away from pure wirehouse recruiting
Fees are still paid on contingency so a sit-down with her consultancy costs nothing

Friday 4.29.11
Existing sites that list advisors aren't comprehensive, says Mike Alfred. "The average consumer won’t be able to go on line and find the person who took them to lunch that day.”

BrightScope's huge advisor database is first search-engine friendly way to connect consumers, advisors
Advisors can pay to add information, but disciplinary actions will show up

Thursday 4.28.11
Andrew Lin rejoined his old RIA firm after a stint at United Capital and wasted no time setting a new technological and strategic series of events in motion.

How five recent RIABiz articles caught readers' attention and what bigger stories they tell
If advisors blinked in the last two weeks, telling chapters of growth slipped by

Thursday 4.28.11
Chip Roame says wirehouses can overcome their tarnished brands but may stumble on their lack of a strategy.

10 things I learned at the fall 2010 Tiburon CEO Summit
Chip Roame puts wirehouses, new regulations and the economic downturn into perspective

Wednesday 4.27.11
Aite's Sophie Schmitt: A lot of firms are looking to move from their GoldMines and their Rolodexes.

Aite Group report: CRM software industry wins RIA respect -- and dollars
Tops execs for Redtail and Junxure say growth likely to be much higher than report's estimates

Wednesday 4.27.11
Scott Hanson, Skip Schweiss and Stuart DePina in New York

Eavesdropping on the Tiburon CEO Summit: A cross-advisory channel power crowd converges on Wall Street Ritz-Carlton
Leaders as diverse as Jack Bogle and Mark Casady received recognition

Wednesday 4.27.11
Redtail's Brian McLaughlin: Are we on the same page, and are we ready to go with the ability to open a new account through Redtail?

TD Ameritrade brings software elite to Dallas for an API summit
The number three custodian its letting its technology partners put the final touches on a low-walled garden

Tuesday 4.26.11
Dorie Rosenband: "Too often, I was approached by male brokers, much older than me, who felt it would be a perfect match for me to fold my business into theirs and work on growing their firms, in exchange for a cut only slightly above my wirehouse payout."

Dorie Rosenband's tough questions about being a woman broker led her to become an RIA
What are the most valuable skills for an investment advisor?

Tuesday 4.26.11
Robert Martorana: Wirehouses are reinventing their advisor strategies and portfolio construction to gain a bigger slice of the wealth management business.

FRC report: Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, UBS, Wells Fargo are undergoing a radical transformation to a brighter future
Their power to bring institutional-level investing to mass affluent investors could give them the edge though observers have doubts

Monday 4.25.11
Joe Wride: You can start with a 30,000-foot-view of a client’s situation and then select different reports.

Advisor Tested: eMoney's automation adds the biggest benefit; account aggregation still building
Web-based software available to clients; Sage Advisors plans to use the iPad to show off the capabilities

Monday 4.25.11
Nick Georgis: Advisors get knocked like they’re not good business people. I don’t agree with that at all.

Schwab University is fast off the mark and its course selection is set to grow
RIA principals are pleased to be relieved of rote training tasks

Friday 4.22.11
TD's Skip Schweiss: “We have advisor demand for it. We started offering it (to a small handful) and doing manual processing to make it work.”

TD Ameritrade beats Schwab to the punch with ETF option for retirement plans
Platform allows advisors to sell mutual fund and ETF capability

Thursday 4.21.11
Robert Rowe: "When we came on board within three months, we lost a $100 million portfolio because we couldn’t provide accurate performance capabilities. Right off the bat you’re absolutely dead."

Advisor sues Raymond James after he joins one RIA and forms another
Robert Rowe alleges he was misled into leaving Morgan Stanley with his 8-person team

Thursday 4.21.11
What did Lance Roberts do when 80 clients showed up in the studio? Used them to start an RIA

Streettalk Advisors aims to hit $1 Billion in AUM as it develops 50 more markets
Expansion plan includes finding two things in each new location: a radio market and a small RIA in need of a partner

Wednesday 4.20.11
Wealth managers average 5.2 personnel per practice, compared to 4.0 in financial planning practices and 3.8 at investment planner practices. Firms must anticipate increasing labor costs in order to build a foothold among wealthier investors.

The RIA world according to Cerulli
How do you build a top practice? Pick the right model, specialize and focus on referrals, says broad study

Wednesday 4.20.11
Robb Baldwin: They’re going to refer business to us… they get multiple inquiries of people that want to go RIA.

Wells Fargo now has a testing paw in the RIA stream
A deal between Trade-PMR and its clearing unit sets up interesting possibilities

Tuesday 4.19.11
Frank Maiorano: “It’s like Intel inside. Our advantage is that your rebalancing and performance reporting will be part of the process without taking an additional step.”

Trust Company of America adds inexpensive Black Diamond technology -- in its own way
Certain advisors want hyper-customized performance reporting

Tuesday 4.19.11
Richard Prout: We found TD to be really interested in the growth of our firm, and they put together an economic package that was superior to the Schwab package.

TD Ameritrade uses greater financial incentives to attract custody clients
Breakaways say they appreciate the economic boost and that it makes them feel welcome

Monday 4.18.11
Tom Nally: It was a small network of folks and it was referrals; they’ll tell you who their friends are.

TD Ameritrade makes a clean sweep of five IBD reps in New England with about $1 billion of combined AUM
The five big Commonwealth advisors had some knowledge of each other but made their own decisions

Monday 4.18.11
Sheryl Garrett:  “Given the funding issues currently facing the SEC, it may not get the resources to continue to regulate registered investment advisers. In that event, the Committee supports an alternative self-regulatory organization (SRO)."

Influential fiduciaries endorse bootstrapping advisory-industry SRO
Maria Elena Lagomasino and Harold Evensky among those giving nod to Mississippi law students

Monday 4.18.11
If an army of bankers, brokers, accountants, insurance agents, and advisors can't bring your finances together, perhaps you need a general.

In a world of Schwab and Merrill, can the CFP Board use $36 million of ads to make planning sexy?
Goal is for consumers to see CFP mark as a Good Housekeeping seal of approval

Friday 4.15.11
Scott Welch:  Madoff’s scheme wasn’t a hedge fund or an alternative investment, but hedge funds and alternative investments were vilified in its wake.

Buy alternative investments and get over Madoff, especially as interest rates threaten to rise: columnist
Regulated alternative investments -- aka mutual funds -- may cannibalize hedge funds

Friday 4.15.11
Jim O’Shaughnessy says his company has been transitioning to a fee-based business since December 2006

Cerulli report: Specialized RIAs likely to win middle-market 401(k) plan battle
Gold-standard study shows fee-only adviser poised to take over

Thursday 4.14.11
Les Abromovitz: Resolving these issues at the firm level reduces the risk that someone will take their complaint to regulators.

Potential whistleblowers have little to lose and millions to gain with the SEC's reward system
Here's how to keep complaints from turning into tip-off phone calls

Thursday 4.14.11
Kevin Keller: We do not want to be a regulator. Our role is setting standards, and our role is most appropriate as it is.

(Updated) What’s behind the CFP Board’s big fee increase
'Category-killer' is in the eviable position of controlling a mark that many advisors think is essential

Thursday 4.14.11
Keith Mistretta: I didn’t like what I was seeing.

First Allied builds a bridge to potential Securities America defectors
San Diego IBD hires a talent in the Northeast from the embattled Omaha-based IBD

Wednesday 4.13.11
State Street's Anthony Rochte: It’s OK if your client has other advisors, but you want to be the quarterback.

How some firms take on lead advisor role - and charge $100,000 a year for it
Research offers a clue to cope with breakdown of trust

Wednesday 4.13.11
Brian Holmes: Client in the ultra high net worth (arena) are eager to refer.

How a $2 billion LA-based Schwab RIA doubled in size in five years with a laid-back California style
The John Hancock agents behind Signature believe they have cracked the code for near 100% retention

Tuesday 4.12.11
Andrew Lin: All of the competitors are willing to roll up their sleeves but Tamarac didn’t say: We’re the best at everything.

The inside story of a giant RIA's move to Tamarac from Advent
The Seattle-based provider delivers Schwab PortfolioCenter, with a flair, to $2-billion Signature Estate

Tuesday 4.12.11
NASSA's David Massey: “(The letter) was helpful news, which is unusual."

Deadline for state registration may have shifted; SEC's Robert Plaze offers clarity
It's nice, but it's not a rule, say compliance experts, regulators frustrated by amorphous situation

Tuesday 4.12.11
Ric Edelman: His firm is in major expansion mode; production costs for show are $2 million.

Edelman joins ranks of TV RIAs with PBS show that will reach 20 million
Ken Fisher advises treading with care: 'You can’t find anyone in history that’s done a TV show and built a big money management firm'

Monday 4.11.11
Tony Sirianni: “The big firms don’t see the value in (branch managers), which is crazy because that’s how they built themselves.”

Former MSSB exec powers up Washington Wealth Management as branch-manager franchise
RIA structured as an independent branch network rises in Virginia's horse country on Fidelity platform

Monday 4.11.11
Jon Patullo says that advisors will be able to test TD Ameritrade's iPad app next month at the national conference.

(Updated April 11) Fidelity, Schwab and TD Ameritrade prep for arms race in mobile technology for advisors
Pershing appears to have a lead in this area

Monday 4.11.11
Lockdown in Washington may mean a short reprieve for advisors in the midst of exams, but the looming shutdown portends nothing good for the industry in general, say lawyers

Government shutdown may wallop SEC to the long-term detriment of RIAs
Audits on hiatus; fraudsters get more of a lead; most of the SEC on skeleton staff

Friday 4.8.11
Craig Campbell: While it wasn’t easy to go independent after years in corporate America, he says, “that doesn’t mean it isn’t worthy of the effort. I definitely feel it’s been worthy of the effort.”

Why a senior Merrill Lynch advisor reluctantly broke away with ultra-affluent clients from the Texas oil patch
After getting the cold shoulder from his younger team members, independence with Wells Fargo's FiNet became attractive

Friday 4.8.11
Ron Rhoades: We need to foster a next generation of leaders, armed with a greater knowledge.

Ron Rhoades is a lawyer and RIA with no back-down; the VA industry is finding that out in a hurry
The relationship began with a comment about the ineffectiveness of cosmetics on pigs

Friday 4.8.11
Fidelity's Sanjiv Mirchandani sees a gray industry. Unless  younger advisors are recruited, he said, Gen Y clients will be under-served.

Fidelity's big advisor survey: Independent channel seen as most profitable after banner years for firm-switching
More clients come along for the ride; compliance fears keep some advisors from going independent; meanwhile, many refocus on top clients

Thursday 4.7.11
Mike McNamara: The numbers were staggering.

How Mike McNamara became a TD Ameritrade RIA and pruned his book in one move
The former Commonwealth advisor also had goals related to succession, compliance and a bigger bottom line

Thursday 4.7.11
State Street's Anthony Rochte: Some ETF managers are building true institutional-powered portfolios. Some have strong performance records and can take their solution and market it to other RIAs or investors.

Windhaven's success draws attention to emerging ETF managers
Aided by big companies like State Street and BlackRock, managers offer a leg up to RIAs seeking ETF strategies

Wednesday 4.6.11
Dynasty's T. Patrick Mulvey: Charles Schwab is an important partner for Dynasty, and we believe Loren will make that partnership even stronger.

Schwab strengthens its hand against Fidelity via hot NY startup
Loren Morris's move from Schwab to Dynasty looks a bit like an arranged marriage

Wednesday 4.6.11
Julie Cooling: In 2009, we were seeing (on average 120-150) RIAs (of all kinds) new per month and 160-280 per month in 2010.

Six things to know about how and where RIAs are growing
Wealth managers are being added at a high rate; California is king

Tuesday 4.5.11
Thomas B. Lewis: A new protocol might exclude non-wirehouses.

Broker Protocol signings regain momentum amid new signs that the wirehouses could shut the breakaway portal
Uneasiness over garden leave at BoA; is it s harbinger of a crackdown or an isolated event?

Tuesday 4.5.11
CEO Perry Blacher: There are about 80,000 mutual funds globally but there are tens of millions of people with much of the same tools, access to research and, most importantly, talent actively managing their own portfolios.

How Covestor got VC backing, became an RIA and is waving a fist at mutual fund giants
Unlike other such social networking efforts, Covestor's platform mingles amateur RIAs with professional money managers on its platform

Monday 4.4.11
Mark Hurley: While we had little doubt that many people would disagree with our conclusions, we tried to be brutally candid about what our research found.

Mark Hurley's comeback to Veres: Fiduciary Network is investing millions in wealth management businesses -- it's just that few in the industry make the grade
Veres has 'concocted' a conflict-of-interest, says Hurley

Monday 4.4.11
LInda Cena: Michigan's top RIA regulator, says one advisor recently told her, "Unless we have a direct connection with God, we’re not going to complete all the ADV forms."

(Updated) RIAs stumble at ADV form goal line
SEC's still mum about what will happen to procrastinators; states adopting laidback approach

Monday 4.4.11
Rebecca Pomering: The next big growth hurdle we have in mind is $3 billion.

Advisor Spotlight: Moss Adams looks to branding for its next $2 billion of growth in RIA assets
How the West Coast firm revised its business model and went on a hiring spree

Friday 4.1.11
A technology platform decision by Presidio's Paul Boscacci sparked a story that led the RIABiz rankings for March.

The RIABiz Top 10 for March: High drama in the tech world; and the 401(k) revolt
The RIABiz Directory hits 300 listings

Friday 4.1.11
David Lucas: They call it cross-selling, but it’s really pestering.

Why one Wells Fargo defector had no use for wirehouses, IBDs or the RIA model
David Lucas chose Raymond James for a supportive, collegial place to ply his commission-based trade

Friday 4.1.11

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