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Articles Published September 2011


Alex Potts: One thing is certain. This battle will continue at least through the end of this year.

Where the rewrite of financial regs stands relating to RIAs
The stakes are high and the outcome is still uncertain; here's what we know

Friday 9.30.11
Ed Gjertsen: It's the microwave generation.

Trust Company of America is giving RIAs more weapons for free-wheeling
New technology puts advisors and clients literally on the same virtual page

Thursday 9.29.11
Ed O'Brien says says Fidelity's ability to integrate third-party vendors sets WealthCentral apart from others.

Fidelity is set to add Envestnet, Redtail, Morningstar, AppCrown and Salesforce to WealthCentral
Early to the integration game, the Boston giant will seek to pad its lead -- but it could take a while to execute

Wednesday 9.28.11
Felipe Luna: While the wirehouse model certainly has its detractors the one thing it does really well is it support the advisor on client-based activities and that's why they're so much more productive. That's the crux of our model.

CONCERT Wealth Management nabbed 12 wirehouse teams in the last 12 months and this wirehouse-lite is just getting started
The San Jose-based firm targets advisors with as little as $100 million and it doubled in size in the last year

Tuesday 9.27.11
Bill Crager: So many advisors dialed in. We realized there was great demand for timely information and analysis that was easily accessible.

With fear ruling the markets, Envestnet makes a temporary conference series into a semi-permanent one
The Chicago company is also opening the call to any advisor - regardless of whether they do business with its TAMP

Tuesday 9.27.11
Brian Hamburger, founder of MarketCounsel's Member Summit 2011, expects 200 advisors with between $100 million and $1 billion in assets

MarketCounsel, CFDD, T3 and Schwab vie for advisors to attend their fall conferences
As competition for RIA time and money grows, many events are catering to more defined niches

Monday 9.26.11
Michael Nathanson: If there is no IPO, we'd still be comfortable holding shares.

A look inside Focus Financial's big deal with The Colony Group
The Boston RIA put the big New York aggregator under a microscope and used high-end lawyers and investment bankers for added vetting

Friday 9.23.11
Tim Oden: If clients fire the market then they don't need financial advisors.

The booming breakaway market could be slowed by the sick stock market, say Raymond James and Schwab
Dislocation at places like UBS and Merrill Lynch helps recruiters until the point where clients are thoroughly spooked

Friday 9.23.11
Alan Carlisle: Between Orion and Envestnet, it came down to pricing.

Orion wins another RIA with $1 billion-plus in AUM
Hanson McClain is switching over from Schwab PortfolioCenter and Envestnet was the runner-up

Thursday 9.22.11
Les Abromovitz: Ironically, the RIA that received notice of this desk audit was not required to be registered in the state conducting the examination.

RIAs switching to state registration may be examined by a second regulator, too
The audit may come remotely from a state where the advisor doesn't have a place of business

Thursday 9.22.11
Jeff Leventhal: One lawsuit in a lifetime is enough. I followed the protocol to the T.

HighTower extends its winning streak of luring breakaways near the nation's capital
The Chicago aggregator has already tied last year's annual recruiting with more than three months to pad the mark

Wednesday 9.21.11
TJ Gilsenan: Consider the entire campaign a real-time experiment in content marketing.  I highly encourage Schwab to share this information with advisors.

How Schwab's RIA advertising campaign could pay quick dividends for some advisors
The effort should yield quantities of quality content that firms can use

Wednesday 9.21.11
Marie Swift led a roundtable discussion that yielded some novel thoughts

Advisors talk over the future of financial planning at FPA Experience 2011
Outgoing robo-calls, 1-900 advice shouldn't be dismissed as tools

Wednesday 9.21.11
Doug Trott: if you hold the line and don't lower your prices when the market goes down you can still keep your clients.

Slashing fees to clients in tough times won't help your business, study says
PriceMetrix survey covering advsiors with $900 billion AUM shows clients are mostly attuned to trustworthiness, not basis points

Tuesday 9.20.11
Elizabeth Ostrander: Leaving the financial advisor out of the process can actually impede, rather than fulfill, the wealth planning goals of the client.

How RIAs can help clients sell their real estate without taking a tax bite
A range of strategies, including the tax-free 1031 exchange, enable investors to tax-efficiently monetize their real estate investments

Tuesday 9.20.11
Scott Leonard with his wife, Mandi.

RIA on the waves: Scott Leonard's three-year adventure running his practice from a sailing ship at sea
The advisor has encountered bigger challenges than even he imagined and, during Hurricane Irene, learned the true definition of working remotely

Monday 9.19.11
Frank Noto saw no sun in San Diego as the FPA conference warmed to its task.

An advertiser's-eye view from among the booths of the FPA convention's exhibit hall
Technology companies, Chubb, TD Ameritrade and BrightScope get special notice

Sunday 9.18.11
Bernie Clark: This is our responsibility.

Schwab to pump millions of dollars into promoting RIAs as a channel
Bernie Clark tells crowd at national FPA conference that it's not about Schwab

Friday 9.16.11
Pat Horan: You can't just do one seminar over three nights and say, 'it didn't work.' It's a discipline.

The art and science of how one RIA grew assets 125% by springing for several hundred steak dinners a year
Patrick Horan more than doubles his ROI on seminars with a disciplined process

Friday 9.16.11
Seth Abraham: My greatest asset is my Rolodex.

How a $5-billion RIA is using a client's legendary Rolodex to build a sports practice
Seth Abraham is motivated by the way he saw some boxers manipulated by unscrupulous handlers

Friday 9.16.11
David Canter: We hear from advisors at least on a weekly basis that they're looking to upgrade technology.

Fidelity jumps into the game of providing technology for picking RIA technology
Unlike Actifi technology used by TD Ameritrade, the Boston giant's gizmo declines to suggest vendor names

Thursday 9.15.11
Peter Hess: It's so much better (collaborating) than if we're at opposite sides of the country wondering what the other side is doing.

Advent and Black Diamond are looking like soul mates but the Axys-to-BlueSky 'Easy Button' is still on the to-do list
The merged companies still maintain a vision of converting Axys users to BlueSky in a few clicks of the mouse

Thursday 9.15.11
Mark Green: These people have really sort of fallen into our lap because of all of the change happening at Lowry Hill.

Giant Indiana RIA is the latest to take a bite out of Wells Fargo's UHNW unit
The defection of five advisors will allow $16-billion Oxford Financial Group to open a Minneapolis office

Wednesday 9.14.11
Greg Friedman: We are researching this as we speak and thinking about how we want to work with this relative to Junxure and our future Cloud product.

As advisors flunk social media 101, CRM makers are starting to pick up the slack
Salesforce, Junxure, and other CRM companies look to tap the rich vein of information on Facebook

Wednesday 9.14.11
Ted Rich will consider switching from RedBlack's rebalancing software to the new Black Diamond offering.

AdventConnect Report: Black Diamond will sell rebalancing software and better reporting on alternative investments
The Advent Software division will still collaborate with RedBlack and iRebal but some RIAs will switch to the new Black Diamond offering

Tuesday 9.13.11
Gerald Gasber: Because Tamarac Advisor integrates seamlessly with our PortfolioCenter database, we have significantly reduced data entry time and substantially reduced the potential for error in client accounts.

One firm's odyssey to upgrade its rebalancing system with Tamarac
The process was not without pitfalls, but the longterm gains outweighed the pain

Tuesday 9.13.11
Scott Welch says his company's success can be attributed to putting manager research and reporting under one roof.

How Fortigent got $50 billion on its platform by treating an RIA pain-point
The Rockville, Md.-based company was early in the high-end of the market but other outsourcers are catching on

Monday 9.12.11
Timothy Bello was hired to ride shotgun with advisors

Dynasty Financial Partners brings on Timothy Bello from SkyBridge Capital
A big part of the new hire's job will be to make sure RIA clients make good use of the Dynasty platform

Monday 9.12.11
Jeff Spears: The profit margin on brokerage revenues is in the low teens. For banking products and services, it’s 30%-plus.

A memo to Merrill Lynch brokers and customers from an executive who's walked in Sallie Krawcheck's shoes
The brokerage chief's departure last week marks the end of the experiment of a semi-autonomous Merrill Lynch

Monday 9.12.11
Chuck Olsen: Our decision was made before the Ladenburg purchase was even announced.

Three more major firms decamp from troubled Securities America to Commonwealth
The embattled Omaha IBD did not go down without a fight and it may be effectively slowing further losses with retention bonuses

Friday 9.9.11
David Darnell spent time today letting Merrill Lynch brokers know that he's a banker sympathetic to generous brokerage compensation.

David Darnell tells Merrill Lynch advisors he won't mess with their pay
But recruiters say all comp factors don't necessarily show up on the official payout grid

Thursday 9.8.11
Myra Rothfeld: You walk the floors here and you really feel the energy.

Genworth Financial snags Myra Rothfeld from Citibank
The TAMP is making the former Schwab and Citi executive its head of marketing

Thursday 9.8.11
With Sallie Krawcheck purged, 'the game is about to change in a big way', a former Merrill exec says.

Merrill Lynch brokers brace for sweeping comp changes as Sallie Krawcheck departs BoA and takes her advocacy with her
It's like 2008 all over again with some brokers just wanting out as clients question choice of employer, recruiter says

Wednesday 9.7.11
Martha Pomerantz has helped raise billions of AUM from places like small-town South Dakota.

Evercore feasts on veterans of an elite Wells Fargo wealth management unit
Weaned on U.S.Trust talent, the New York-based RIA now has a Midwestern foothold and a formula for big-time poaching

Wednesday 9.7.11
Bernie Clark: We win a disproportionate share of business.

Schwab Advisor Services is nearing $800 billion of RIA assets but analysts are split over whether it can continue to dominate
Fidelity keeps flexing its muscles as Schwab raises its hybrid-friendly profile, reaches out to IBDs and rolls out an ambitious vendor platform

Tuesday 9.6.11
Mark Benioff: ...So shall we see a Corporate Spring in companies that will be tossing out executives who do not bridge the Social Divide.

Dreamforce review: Social media enters the business cloud and why RIAs should care
Salesforce's annual event was a city in a city for a cult-like following of 45,000, including many financial advisors

Friday 9.2.11
Bob Belke says he sees opportunities for scale and efficiency.

Why exactly private equity firms are dumping money into IBDs at a time when many are going bust
Flush PE firms see the broker-dealers as poised for growth, but others fear such purchases could lead to 'pump and dump' scenarios

Friday 9.2.11
Peter Hess: We are continuing to aggressively reinvest Black Diamond’s profits back into the business to accelerate our ability to expand [its] feature set and serve even more clients.

How Advent plans to make money with purchase of 'break-even' Black Diamond
Company execs tell Wall Street analysts that in-house Axys migrations will be more likely and more profitable

Thursday 9.1.11



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