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Articles Published May 2011


Leigh Faber will consult advisors and family offices in how to serve the ultra-affluent more effectively.

Family Office Exchange is betting that RIAs and the ultra-affluent can't get enough of each other
FOX sees niche as big RIAs fill fiduciary void, banks lose their hegemony and the economy mints more ultra-affluent investors

Tuesday 5.31.11
David Akellian was the boss of Derek Bruton (pictured here) at Merrill Lynch's Broadcort and the two will work under the same corporate roof again.

LPL brings aboard a godfather of clearing business
David Akellian left his position as RIA chief of Stifel Nicolas yesterday and is jumping to the IBD giant to diversify its business model

Friday 5.27.11
Ruth Papazian held top marketing positions at many of the industry's big-name firms.

LPL's chief marketing officer departs
Ruth Papazian made her mark in four years

Friday 5.27.11
Vinton Fountain had to go to Dimensional Fund Advisors for training before he could complete the acquisition of Langer's practice.

How a solo RIA sold his 20-year DFA-based practice to an IBD rep
Ready to call it quits but with no plan, Peter Langer found an unlikely white knight

Friday 5.27.11
Tom Bradley: We’d better be getting our act together and find out the issues so we can do a better job.

TD Ameritrade launches an effort to develop women advisors
Schwab and Fidelity do not share the philosophy of specifically targeting female RIAs - and female investors

Thursday 5.26.11
Deb Wetherby: Form a girls’ group.  Attitude matters – find and hang out with women who inspired you.

Eavesdropping on the NAPFA's pre-conference Women's Initiative
A daylong 'conversation café' emphasized communication, leadership and personal presentation; some guys crashed the party

Thursday 5.26.11
Marie Swift: Who needs Las Vegas? Salt Lake City was a blast.

Seen, heard - and tweeted - at the NAPFA conference
A bustling social scene at Salt Lake City

Thursday 5.26.11
Rob Major: If you have 200 reports that do everything but cook you breakfast in the morning, you have a system that is unaffordable for 80% of the advisors that are out there.

After tortoise-like beginnings, AssetBook is now on-the-hop in portfolio management software
Rob Major takes what he learned in building Techfi to make AssetBook a functional, no-frills system

Wednesday 5.25.11
Brent Burns: Advisors who take on a fiduciary role have a lot of branding work to do.

NAPFA conference hits hopeful note as members look to the future
Unfazed by venue change, advisors mixed, mingled, blogged and tweeted their way through the three-day meeting

Wednesday 5.25.11
John Moninger: We think we’ve struck a great balance.

LPL has a new high-margin, high accolade advisory platform but SAM's sticking around
Under Model Wealth Portfolios, the advisor stops picking investments, but they still pick strategies.

Tuesday 5.24.11
Rich Gill: You may be biting off more than you can chew - or are willing to chew.

Purchasing too much technology has its own dangers for RIAs
The more sophisticated the system you buy, the more commitment and expertise it will require

Tuesday 5.24.11
Wayne Winthrow: A philosophical shift.

After AIG presses for new deal, SEI unbundles TAMP offerings
The arrangement between the companies had endured a multi-year "dormancy"

Monday 5.23.11
Elizabeth Ostrander:  We recently spoke with an advisor who was the last to know that his client’s $50 million business was being sold.

Five reasons for RIAs to think more like Goldman Sachs about businesses owned by clients
The majority of the baby boomers’ wealth is held in the form of privately owned companies and monetizing them is an opportunity

Monday 5.23.11
Chuck Schwab is sparing in his public appearances, which gives them energy.

'Chuck' Schwab, Tony Blair to headline IMPACT 2011
A former leader of the free world? Cool. But bring on Chuck!

Friday 5.20.11
Michael Ball started a booming RIA from his college dorm room.

Three suddenly-bigger RIAs explain what sparked the growth
Michael Ball, Michael Walters and Robbie Cannon tell their stories at Trust Company of America web event

Friday 5.20.11
Bill Crager: Business is very good.

Envestnet and other TAMPs keep the asset train rolling in the first quarter
Genworth had a rare deceleration in net flows but it'll be short-lived after a new product launch, according to Gurinder Ahluwalia

Thursday 5.19.11
Zack Miller: None of what the largest RIAs are doing online should provide a compliance hurdle. So, just ape them.

Five ways that big, savvy RIAs are winning clients online
It starts with web content and ends with reasonable expectations about compliance and LinkedIn

Thursday 5.19.11
Steve Cassaday: Now, the parts are interchangeable: These guys are largely my peers in terms of their skill sets.

How a top Royal Alliance advisor is selling his practice to young staffers
First Steve Cassaday cloned himself then he began executing his succession plan

Wednesday 5.18.11
The Bellagio encourages gambling but IMCA asks vendors to cool it on the overt recruiting.

IMCA delivers sobering content in high-rolling atmosphere of Las Vegas
Shiller's downer message was tempered by Ben Mezrich; the conference buzz was the Advent-Black Diamond deal

Wednesday 5.18.11
Joe Duran:  "I think it’s exactly like the travel agency. These one-man shops think things aren’t changing. They don’t realize it until it’s too late.”

Why Joe Duran believes that classic RIA firms face extinction
Baby Boomers' expectations and rising technology could put a new squeeze on the old model

Tuesday 5.17.11
Matthew C. Brown: For most RIAs, outsourcing to a reputable vendor that offers an independent, end-to-end alternatives solution makes the most sense.

Step-by-step on finding a platform for alternative investments
A guide to assessing solutions to meet rising demand from high net worth clients

Tuesday 5.17.11
Charles Goldman made sure that Advent had its talking points ready.

A blessing from Charles Goldman helped seal the Advent-Black Diamond deal
Executives were ready to pull the trigger but wanted reassurances about how elements of the RIA market would react

Monday 5.16.11
Barnaby Grist: We’re starting with large advisors and there’s quite a wait list.

Cetera spends millions on rebalancing software to make its reps more RIA-like
Automation of investment management using Folio Dynamix follows Advent implementation

Monday 5.16.11
Peter Hess: Black Diamond had emerged as the pre-eminent player in [the RIA] space.

Why Advent and Black Diamond are merging and how advisors look at the deal
The rival software makers hit it off after their top execs had a February phone call

Friday 5.13.11
Les Abromovitz: In a discussion of this issue, one attorney at NCS argued that the individual was giving the Facebook page a thumbs-up, not the advisory firm. It remains to be seen if regulators will make that distinction.

Why compliance experts are apt to dislike Facebook
When does a click constitute an endorsement?

Friday 5.13.11
Reed Colley is selling his firm for more than three times what Techfi received in a similar deal

Advent to buy Black Diamond for $73 million
The big San Francisco provider will purchase one of its scrappiest competitors

Thursday 5.12.11
John Peluso: "We believe in choice."

FiNet's wirehouse-lite model scores with advisors
Investment in recruiting pays off with highest average assets among IBDs

Thursday 5.12.11
Andy Rachleff: Am I frustrated I can’t update Brightscope’s database? Sure, but I think they’re doing the right thing for the consumer.

BrightScope debate has familiar feel of an industry being dragged kicking and screaming into the new world
Investing in the Digital Age: Andy Rachleff writes about the freight train of transparency

Thursday 5.12.11
John Morris: There was really excitement around the news of Bin Laden.

Fidelity holds exclusive annual conference and gets an unforeseen jolt of energy from Bin Laden's death
Advisors were happy to have Bill Clinton, Fareed Zakaria and other experts on hand for perspective

Wednesday 5.11.11
Rob Isbitts: What we don’t know is whether the current strength is sustainable, or whether easy money from the Fed is stoking the rally, which has now produced more than a doubling of stock prices (based on the S&P 500’s value) in just over two years.

Why smart diversification and risk management are your best friends
Earnings season gave stocks a reason to rally in April; healthcare and European funds lead pack

Wednesday 5.11.11
Ross Ozer: We’re bringing the strength of our marketing (experience) to bear. We do this for a living.

Fidelity steps up effort to bestow its marketing magic on RIAs
Schwab, Pershing and TD Ameritrade are all quietly amping advisors to win new business, too

Tuesday 5.10.11
Frank Pizzichillo: The road less traveled has a few more footprints on it.

The overlooked option for breakaways: tucking-in
A new channel to independence emerges, complete with soft-landing service providers

Tuesday 5.10.11
Brian Amidei: We’ve gotten flowers and chocolate-covered strawberries.

HighTower wins a Palm Desert Merrill Lynch team in lightning fashion
Amidei, a former gas station owner and bond trader, knew what he wanted and acted fast

Monday 5.9.11
Rudy Adolf: “This is an area we wanted to invest in and we wanted to add additional resources. The thing we’ve figured out better than anyone else is how to invest in entrepreneurs.”

Focus Financial pivots to breakaway strategy with Fidelity recruit
Mark Dupont will put a new spin on the big aggregator but entrepreneurial bent remains

Monday 5.9.11
Commonwealth's Todd Estabrook: “This is one of the things that are really important. We believe it’s important to be part of an integrated marketing strategy.”

Cambridge, Commonwealth vault advisors into social media; the boost is mostly free, for now
Will partnerships with, respectively, Socialware and Erado, translate into elusive growth-via-networking?

Friday 5.6.11
Ron Carson is training -- and recruiting -- out in the Arizona desert.

Eavesdropping: Ron Carson gets an electric reception at his PEAK event, and calms the waters surrounding his new RIA
A peek inside the Excell conference

Friday 5.6.11
Trevor Norton needs no introduction at Fidelity.

Fidelity nabs a top LPL RIA executive for new ultra-affluent unit
Trevor Norton will lead Fidelity's drive to bring white glove services to giant clients of RIAs

Thursday 5.5.11
Advisor Donald Purtill: The government’s records are fine. They have all of the right information and anyone can see it.

Under fire, BrightScope says it will allow advisors to update simple information for free
Company slams SEC as obstructionist

Thursday 5.5.11
Success for Ron Carson (far left) is measured in summits, both of the mountaintop variety and billions of AUM. LPL's soon-to-be mega-RIA principal is photographed here on Mt. Ranier south of Seattle.

Why exactly is Ron Carson forming an RIA and why is it happening now?
LPL still works as a custodian for his $3-billion practice, but the lack of custodial flexibility was hurting his plan to bring on scores of new partner firms

Wednesday 5.4.11
Dan Inveen: I’m not writing off serial buyers. We’re seeing survival of the fittest.

M&A market reaching a new normal based on RIA-driven deals, say competing reports from Pershing, Schwab
Schwab data contradicts the report on the surface but also shows fewer big, traditional deals

Wednesday 5.4.11
Susan Bradley: “It’s a great opportunity as well as a peril if advisers are not prepared. Clients don’t feel heard, seen, taken care of or understood during (transitions).”

When dreams of sudden riches turn to nightmares, there are answers for clients and advisors
A special compassion and knowledge is required for people who get what we think they want

Tuesday 5.3.11
Advisor Marjorie Fox uses DFA: “But Dimensional Fund Advisors is rarely mentioned in the press,” she says. “So, clients were suspicious about how we chose Dimensional and wanted to know what exactly is Dimensional?”

Why women just aren't buying what financial advisors are selling
Slick and smooth won't win trust, Spectrum study shows, and improving results are too little, too late

Tuesday 5.3.11
Ryan Alfred: If you do something disruptive (in the marketplace), it’s going to be polarizing.

BrightScope sticks to its guns as it responds to outspoken critics of its Advisor Pages
The San Diego-based data tracker opens a window on the practices of 450,000 advisors; skeptics say it crosses a line

Monday 5.2.11
Ron Carson: We want to continue to stay ahead of the competition and this required a move to our own RIA.

LPL's biggest rep, Ron Carson, will convert his firm to an independent RIA
The big IBD is staying in the picture but Carson is also forming its own broker-dealer; Schwab, TD Ameritrade get assets

Monday 5.2.11
Jeff Spears: Advisors should call on the same prospects that brokers have traditionally pursued with great success.

Four brokerage-world practices that could ramp up RIA asset growth
... four RIA-world lessons brokers would do well to heed

Monday 5.2.11



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