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Articles Published July 2011


Adam Bold says to expect more stores and more marketing

Mutual Fund Store sells controlling interest to Warburg Pincus
Giant of private equity world will play a passive role and Adam Bold will continue to run the show

Friday 7.29.11
Scott Collins: I felt there was a better way. I had one [platform] I could sell. It was like an advisor showing one mutual fund.

Two former LPL execs set up a breakaway boutique that works with Raymond James and Schwab, among others
Flush with IPO cash, Scott Collins and Scott Miller were determined to have open-recruiting architecture and more counseling

Friday 7.29.11
Elizabeth Ostrander: Now PE firms are sitting on piles of cash raised in ’06-’08 that they must invest soon or return to their investors

RIAs can turn stockpiled private equity cash to clients' advantage and into AUM
Clients who grimace at selling their business or standing pat may love a rising new option

Friday 7.29.11
Linda Strachan was one of the founding team members of EISI when she was a PhD student under Mark Evans at the University of Manitoba.

Review: EISI is producing a simpler NaviPlan in an effort to keep its towering market share
The 21-year-old company, which has swung from complex to simple and back, now aims to be both at once

Thursday 7.28.11
Steve Blumenthal abandoned his fund of hedge funds due to tax reporting nightmares.

Three RIA adventures that led to dramatic asset growth
Conversations with academics, expanding strategies and veering away from hedge fund of funds led to thriving niches.

Thursday 7.28.11
Erik Joh is using Dynasty Financial to ward off every wealth management brand and Madoff's ghost in Palm Beach

Three RIA happenings this last week
Dynasty Financial's newest customer speaks; a big RIA forms a women's division; and a dislocated Silicon Valley RIA tucks into a larger firm

Wednesday 7.27.11
Alois Pirker: Firms will have to renew retention bonuses next year or brokers will jump ship.

RIAs and online brokers are winning the market-share game
Wirehouses will have to re-up retention bonuses or see mass migrations of top producers

Wednesday 7.27.11
Tom Scalici is one RIA who has gotten $700 million in non-profit assets in recent years up from virtually no assets just three years ago.

After IRS audits hit non-profits, RIAs are positioned to wrest a fortune in 403(b) assets from annuity companies
The money in motion may reach into the hundreds of billions, though gaining an entree has its frustrations

Tuesday 7.26.11
Ron Rhoades channels his inner Chekhov to envision a scenario arising from a uniform fiduciary standard as per SIFMA's wishes.

A conversation between a wirehouse advisor and a senior citizen who seeks trust
Aunt Bea extracts the true meaning of the word 'fiduciary'

Tuesday 7.26.11
Harry Jones: We went through an exhaustive search.

What headway Pershing's RIA unit is making after four years under Mark Tibergien
98 RIAs joined the Jersey City custodian in 2010, up from 35 RIAs in 2009 and 24 in 2008

Monday 7.25.11
Brent Burns: In a falling interest rate environment, rising prices can mask the added risk of taking bets ... the headwind of rising rates only magnifies them.

Bill Gross' commentary should be taken with a bigger grain of salt in this market
The PIMCO founder is a mutual fund manager and may view the market with a trader's eye

Monday 7.25.11
Shirl Penney: They want more wallet share.

Dynasty Financial nabs a big Florida RIA as a client, pulling closer to Schwab
The New York start-up has known Cypress since a conversation in 2008

Friday 7.22.11
Scott Couto takes over from Peter S. Cieszko.

Fidelity Financial Advisor Solutions is hatched and Scott Couto will head it
The $385 billion unit is looking to put its best wealth-management foot forward

Friday 7.22.11
Mario Hernandez: In the future, clients will be able to electronically sign. We can electronically take it to Schwab rather than using FedEx or a fax.

Schwab connects CRM to account opening for RIAs
The software fulfiills some of Schwab Intelligent Integration's promise without the fancy cross-wiring

Friday 7.22.11
Larry Roth: We're attracting more interest and more advisors [than at any time] since I've been in the business. It's not luck. It is our size, scale and platform.

Larry Roth has AIG playing offense again in the advisor game
The CEO is looking for big acqusitions and ways to compete for big RIAs

Friday 7.22.11
Sam Vassa: I have clients who say they’ve spent three weeks learning NaviPlan — our philosophy is that you should be able to use a piece of software immediately.

Former Microsoft executives are out to make Figlo compete with EISI
The Dutch financial planning software has a solid history with European banks, and is gaining traction with RIAs

Thursday 7.21.11
Chris Costello: We call it creating the bionic adviser.

How two Wachovia breakaways broke some rules and grew $23 million AUM to $320 million in seven years
The ex-Wachovia team creates 'bionic' advisors, tucks in advisors, poaches advisors and does free work

Thursday 7.21.11
David Welling: We are being careful not to tackle too many 'integration' projects out of the gate.

Update on Black Diamond-Advent merger
The sales teams are staying separate but sharing training this week

Wednesday 7.20.11
Ron Carson is getting information to clients faster: 'Now we have our own compliance process.'

Ron Carson quickly sees benefits of converting his practice to an RIA
Positive client feedback centers around faster flow of information under new compliance arrangement

Wednesday 7.20.11
J. Garrett Stevens: You have to be fast in this business. The barriers to entry have been so high for the individual RIA.

New company will allow RIAs to manufacture ETFs
Exchange Traded Concepts hopes that a cheap, simple ETF process will lure mid-sized firms onto the playing field

Tuesday 7.19.11
Kevin Nichols: Facebook has segmenting capability but it's complicated and convoluted to set up.

RIAs fed up with Facebook should hop on the Google+ bandwagon
The new social medium embraces the fact that people need CRM for their lives

Tuesday 7.19.11
Joseph Theisen was looking for better CRM and more customized reports.

Orion wins software accounts of two $1-billion-plus firms - one a broker-dealer and one an RIA
Advance Capital leaves IAS and United Planners gets performance reporting for the first time

Monday 7.18.11
Griffin Meyers: Although not mandatory, providing a competitive GIPS-compliant track record can also help demonstrate a firm's track record.

How an RIA can capitalize on referral programs offered by Schwab, TD and Fidelity
Success in converting leads favor the firm that makes dedicated hires

Monday 7.18.11
Rob Fiore: We're finding there's a tremendous amount of activity right now in the RIA space compared to family office and private banks.

Private Client Resources is a software darling of private banks but can it conquer RIAs?
The Connecticut firm has experience and technology and a new CEO sees a swelling pipeline of RIAs

Friday 7.15.11
David Wray: We are putting real money away.

DFA and RIAs unite over post-meltdown 401(k) opportunity at Chicago event
The baked-in-cake dollar cost averaging of the defined contribution system allowed it to survive massive 2008 stress test

Friday 7.15.11
David Booth: We work so hard it's a shame to call us passive.

Dimensional Fund Advisors tells RIAs it's getting active in its quest for 401(k) assets
DFA says this new plan will complement, not compete with, the services an advisor offers

Thursday 7.14.11
Mike Papedis: HighTower has had five 'eighth-inning' conversation in the last two weeks with with wirehouse teams with a combined $9 billion of assets.

Three telling conversations about where the RIA business is headed
In which RIABiz editor Brooke Southall talks with a recent widow in search of an advisor, the recruiting director of HighTower and the CEO of Focus Financial and gains a snapshot of the RIA arena, circa summer 2011

Thursday 7.14.11
Jeff Grinspoon faced one interesting breakaway challenge relating to his 100 year-old grandmother.

Big Morgan Stanley team on the Beltway hightails it to HighTower on second thought
The learning curve required for complete independence looked unpalatable when it came to decision time

Wednesday 7.13.11
Les Abromovitz: [Chief compliance officers] are putting their necks on the line if they don’t know their jobs and fulfill their responsibilities.

Time for chief compliance officers to get tough and get smart, or else
Double-checking, delegating (giving virtual head slaps) and becoming a student of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 are part of the deal

Wednesday 7.13.11
John Philpott: We think we have a pretty unique value proposition with the single consolidated platform and single consolidated database

Interactive Advisory Software joins the horse race with VC funding, a new look, and new CEO
The updated user interface was built on the same technology at Gmail and it shows

Tuesday 7.12.11
Ed O'Brien: It continues to grow, especially as the devices get better.

Fidelity releases mobile trading for advisors - just don't expect many mobile trades
RIAs generally make block trades and use rebalancing software these days and mobile apps aren't ready for that

Tuesday 7.12.11
Marcie Daniel: People need to continue to work and not tap into their savings.

T. Rowe Price preaches a new retirement message that doesn't involve retiring anytime soon
The bad news is that you work until you're 70; the good news is that you're going to Hawaii

Tuesday 7.12.11
Chad Hassinger: Attorneys are frustrated with banks. With all the merging it’s not a one-on-one relationship anymore.

National Advisors Trust gets busy Northern Trust-ifying the RIA business, minus the big fees
Strategic Financial Group, Sterling Financial Planning and Snow Creek Wealth Management are aboard as foot soldiers for an ambitious new tactic to unseat unassailable trust assets

Monday 7.11.11
Sophie Schmitt: You have to look at the client experience from day zero.

Financial advisors need to look at client onboarding in a whole new light
Aite Group study shows that advisors are seeing the critical phase in back office/front office terms, not as a way to excel

Monday 7.11.11
Christy White: No 401(k) plan provider has succeeded yet in having a top brand and a top service rating..

Fidelity, Vanguard and Schwab have top 401(k) brands but plan sponsors like the service of off-brands better, study shows
In market share wars for retirement plan dollars, big and small brands alike have much to learn

Friday 7.8.11
Martin Walsh: There is virtually zero chance of 'hundreds of billions' of municipal defaults in 2011.

The deep dish on why Meredith Whitney was dead wrong on municipal bonds
There are trouble spots but these unglamorous holdings are still among the safer and more tax-effective instruments around

Friday 7.8.11
James Carney: Advisors are not a focus of their business (at CashEdge).

Fiserv purchase of CashEdge could affect account aggregation space
$465 million deal is mostly a payment processing technology-grab, according to ByAllAccounts

Thursday 7.7.11
Scott Brown: Before there was more flexibility for how to calculate assets under management. This enabled certain advisers to opt in or out of federal or state regulation and circumvent the legislative intent of the rule.

Cheat sheet for recent SEC regulatory changes and amendments
Why 'assets under management' are now 'regulatory assets under management'

Thursday 7.7.11
Jim Lumberg: Our ambition is to become the leading provider of aggregation performance reporting and billing solutions in the marketplace, and we’re investing accordingly.

Envestnet unbundles portfolio management software for RIAs and it won't be a sideshow
The Chicago firm serves 19,000 TAMP clients with technology, now it wants to take on Advent/Black Diamond

Wednesday 7.6.11
Philip Palaveev: I would hypothesize that a significant number of firms had a knee-jerk reaction.

Big Schwab survey: RIAs surpass 2007 former peaks in assets and revenues
One analyst still sees troublesome signs in the findings but outsourcing is on the rapid rise

Tuesday 7.5.11
Elmer Rich: Using scripted content to advertise your firm- as Morgan Stanley recently did - is a common mistake among financial services firms and advisors.

Social media is effective with ultra-wealthy clients but forget the Morgan Stanley approach
Social media checklist needed to effectively reach out to wealthy clients

Tuesday 7.5.11
Ron Cordes in Buyobo, Uganda in Nov 2008: I’m hard wired to build financial projects and evangelize where I think the financial industry is going.

Ron Cordes tells about his Next Big Thing after selling AssetMark
The Genworth exec headed to Africa to dig wells after cashing out of AssetMark but realized he could do more with impact funds

Friday 7.1.11
Mary Hepler: Before 2008 the company was struggling along. The software was good, but it’s not what it is today.

Turnaround artist has almost completed her revamp of Cornerstone Revolutions
Mary Hepler was hired on behalf of an unidentified private equity group to catch up to Advent, Tamarac, and PortfolioCenter in features and tech

Friday 7.1.11

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