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Articles Published February 2012


Roger Hewins: We're all pretty upset about it.

Two accounting firms abandon merger talks leaving giant Schwab RIA surprised and crestfallen
Wipfli and Eide Bailly suddenly quit the field leaving industry observers -- not to mention Hewins Financial -- wondering why

Wednesday 2.29.12
Mike Harger: What we’re hearing is, 'We like your commitment to the marketplace.'

Fidelity reports 57% boost in 401(k) sales as it sets its sights on smaller plans and advisors
Heading downmarket, the Boston-based firm is trying to muscle in on boutique providers

Wednesday 2.29.12
Tim Oden: If this doesn't get you motivated to make calls every morning then you need to check your pulse.

Fed up wirehouse advisors more eager to leave than ever, study says
A whopping three out of four advisors would take a call from an RIA recruiter, the Schwab study shows -- but what then?

Tuesday 2.28.12
Ryan McDermott: It's a proven business model, highly, highly validated. I get to work within that.

Why a $6 billion New York RIA is finally making its California debut
The partners of BBR found a fellow Goldman Sachs alum they could trust 3,000 miles away

Tuesday 2.28.12
Franklin Tsung: It is a messy business and not for the meek.

How AppCrown got a big RIA footprint overnight by handling Salesforce implementations
TD and Fidelity are in with both feet but some are taking a wait-and-see attitude

Monday 2.27.12
Andrew Arenberg: Our goal is to build Russell 1.0, not iShares 2.0.

How Russell is faring since joining the competitive ETF party with an all-star ex-Barclays crew
The team is offering two dozen enhanced ETF offerings, hoping to gain traction with advisors in an increasingly competitive market

Monday 2.27.12
Mike Bindas: We're very impressed on how they kept it together.

Securities America shifts back on offense as it wins a $350 million advisory firm from Investment Centers of America
After weathering scandal and sale, the Omaha, Neb. firm has signed on Great Plains Financial, a hybrid advisory with an eye toward growth

Friday 2.24.12
Rob Isbitts: Options typically require far less capital than inverse ETFs used to hedge.

4 reasons to use options -- and 4 more reasons why you should think twice
Options can smooth the bumps inherent in longterm investing but expect to take some time educating your clients about them

Friday 2.24.12
Leo Kelly: I say to my clients: This is going to be a household name.

HighTower wins a $700 million Merrill Lynch advisor in Maryland horse country and wrests an LA-based IAR from an RIA
The Chicago consolidator's transitions teams had a brutally busy Presidents' weekend bringing aboard teams on both coasts simultaneously, from Merrill and The Presidio Group

Thursday 2.23.12
Ed O'Brien says CRM is an appropriate hub for an advisor system of technology under certain circumstances.

As WealthCentral surpasses 2,000 users, Ed O'Brien responds to questions about Fidelity's technology system at T3
The head of Fidelity's RIA tech efforts says that the technology is a good fit for breakaways

Thursday 2.23.12
Brad Stratton: I realized that [Merrill Lynch] was going in a different direction.

Veteran Merrill Lynch manager leaves seven registrations on the table to return to his pure-RIA roots
Fed up with BofA and faced with a choice between managing advisors and being one, Brad Stratton moves to CONCERT

Wednesday 2.22.12
Les Abromovitz: The SEC and state securities regulators want to prove they are aggressively overseeing RIAs.

Lost in limbo: How and why compliance officers can seem to thwart RIA marketing efforts
CCOs have valid reasons for poring over the content of any proposed articles coming from their firm -- but they owe you a quick response

Wednesday 2.22.12
Bill Crager: I think advisors are going to want something more end to end...we think that's going to be a competitive difference.

Can the new Envestnet-Tamarac Godzilla take on the Advent-Black Diamond King Kong?
Tamarac has trusted relationships with several hundred RIA firms who might like outsourced investments on their dashboard

Tuesday 2.21.12
Joel Bruckenstein (with David Drucker): It is the only time during the year that all of the technology vendors to the industry are gathered in one place.

RIAs flock to Dallas for the T3 technology conference
The seventh annual gathering drew 500 advisors, execs, software vendors and custodians with integrations, mobile apps and clouds on their minds

Tuesday 2.21.12
Philip Palaveev: The more icy and snowy the road the less you want to hit the accelerator or the brake.

Best advice for 2012: Risk being a bit boring and focus on the organic growth of your practice
Growth from within is a challenge across all channels and needs to be addressed

Monday 2.20.12
Jack Waymire: You do not have to wait for investors to figure out the benefits of transparency on their own.

How exactly RIAs can leverage the new transparency as a marketing tool
Fee-only advisors will reap the benefits of fuller disclosure and here are some ways to highlight your competitive advantage

Friday 2.17.12
Kevin Uebelein will assume the new role of global head of solutions delivery for Pyramis

What's a Pyramis? Fidelity poached a top Columbia funds exec so you won't ask that question
Mike Jones oversaw $326 billion at the Ameriprise Financial subsidiary

Friday 2.17.12
Paul Schott Stevens: These proposals are like a game of Clue. (Photo by Bloomberg)

New rule threatens to drive millions of investors out of money market funds, ICI chief warns
Paul Schott Stevens and a very blunt John Bogle air their views at the Bloomberg Portfolio Manager Mash-Up Conference in New York

Friday 2.17.12
Jud Bergman: We value their market position within the independent RIA segment which is core to Envestnet’s growth initiatives.

Big deal: Envestnet will acquire Tamarac for $54 million
The big Chicago outsourcer nabs the fast-riser in the RIA software business and one competitor says: "now what?"

Thursday 2.16.12
John Beirne: It was really traumatic to go to my manager's office and resign.

A $2 billion, 69-year-old Merrill Lynch advisor passes up the gold watch in favor of breaking away
Fearing the loss of massive public accounts, John Beirne swallowed the idea of independence with help from Focus Financial

Thursday 2.16.12
Marie Chandoha: I like to build things.

Schwab turns the YieldPlus page the old-fashioned way -- with a whole new CSIM team
Ex-Goldman and former BlackRock star Marie Chandoha has quickly overseen Charles Schwab Investment Management's rise from Barron's #34 to top 10 -- but Morningstar wants to see more

Wednesday 2.15.12
Mag Black-Scott: We want to be in major cities where there is a good opportunity. That will take us to the East Coast eventually.

RIA items of interest: Mag Black-Scott expands beyond Beverly Hills and BAM adds an advisor who contributes to The New York Times
Two advisors who vowed to grow are showing some signs of doing just that

Wednesday 2.15.12
Lou Harvey: It's really going to annoy the hell out of the plan sponsors.

Which three of DOL's new 401(k) rules represent the biggest land mines for financial advisors and plan sponsors
Accepting gifts, estimating fees and using asset allocation models all demand treading lightly

Tuesday 2.14.12
John Bunch: I felt like I can go out on top and do something different.

A few words with John Bunch as he steps into the CEO spot at The Mutual Fund Store
Getting recruited away from TD Ameritrade was a shock but ultimately one that captured his heart

Tuesday 2.14.12
Bill Van Law: The RIA space is where the growth is. We looked at it and said: "We're not really capturing it"

Raymond James launches a separate RIA unit and appoints a former Merrill Lynch breakaway to head it
Calling the RIA business a 'strategic imperative', Chet Helck is making Bill Van Law the founding president of the RJ investment advisors division

Monday 2.13.12
Maria Marsala: Change of pace is nice, constantly operating this way will drive you nuts.

10 reasons for advisors to just say no to less-than-ideal clients
Choosing a niche helps identify the ideal prospect

Monday 2.13.12
Fred Reish: Before, the statement said that you should consider firing the provider but now it's very clear that it's mandated.

DOL tells employers when they must fire advisors to 401(k) plans
The new teeth in the rules went unnoticed by many people amid other changes

Friday 2.10.12
Derek Holman: We had grown to the point where the business took up most of the day.

Looking for a second growth spurt, a billion-dollar-plus RIA hires away a Nuveen global ops man
Patrick Goshtigian, new president of EP Wealth Advisors has taken over back-office operations from its founders and is also heading up its expansion efforts

Friday 2.10.12
Ben Brigeman is leaving as Schwab searches for ways to boost profitability in its retail business.

Ben Brigeman is exiting Schwab and his position atop its retail business -- perhaps portending bigger changes
The San Francisco-based company will have Andy Gill and John Clendening assume the duties

Thursday 2.9.12
Frank Leto sees value in Davidson Trust though Boston Private said it had a negligible bottom line impact.

Where Boston Private Financial stands after selling one of its last original acquisitions for $10.5 million
The roll-up spun out Davidson Trust and its $1 billion of AUM to Bryn Mawr Trust, which largely unwinds Boston Private's aggressive buying spree from last decade,

Thursday 2.9.12
Chris Blunt: Meet with both spouses at least once a year for a “what if . . .?” conversation.

After the loss of a spouse: Five pointers for helping grieving clients
Effective guidance at this crucial time can be enormously helpful to those you serve – and support the maintenance of valued relationships as well

Thursday 2.9.12
John Bunch's decision to join The Mutual Fund Store sets up a major expansion.

John Bunch is hired as the new CEO of The Mutual Fund Store
The TD Ameritrade and Schwab veteran is charged with dotting the country with MFS company outlets as Adam Bold moves over

Wednesday 2.8.12
Tom Bradley: It all came together over the weekend.

Why TD Ameritrade didn't reveal Tom Bradley's new executive position during its national conference
...and other things I learned from talking to the new president of TD retail and his replacement, Tom Nally

Wednesday 2.8.12
Jon Foster: We think there will be a natural flow of wealthy families.

Jon Foster partners with $40 billion institutional advisory firm in bid to create big RIA
The former E*TRADE and Carson Wealth executive is leveraging the business of Angeles Investment Advisors and will recruit elite wirehouse brokers

Wednesday 2.8.12
Robert Moore: We like transparency.

LPL sees bright spots amid sideways 4Q earnings report
The firm is buoyed by increase in advisors, a perceived edge in the 401(k) segment and interest generated by the Fortigent deal

Wednesday 2.8.12
John Philpott: We want to make sure that they're going to get the return on the investment.

Miller/Russell chooses IAS, after considering Advent and Schwab
The $1.3 billion wealth manager is offering new services and felt it couldn't afford to wait for Schwab's new system

Tuesday 2.7.12
Dennis Miller: My view was their stock was better than mine.

Why this time Dennis Miller is entrusting his $1.3 billion RIA to an advisor who sold his $2 billion RIA
Miller/Russell formerly sold to a bank and so did its new CEO, Mark Feldman; GenSpring and Western Alliance were pretty good partners but it was still a pretty rough experience for the advisors

Tuesday 2.7.12
Tom Nally finally gets to step up into a role that has been synonymous with Tom Bradley's name.

Tom Nally to take the reins of TD Ameritrade's RIA business from Tom Bradley
Tom Bradley will become president of retail distribution, setting him up as a potential successor to Fred Tomczyk in the CEO role, one expert says

Monday 2.6.12
Larry King: No one owns us...It's really the best of all worlds.

Dynasty adds Larry King, a cornerstone advisor of legacy Smith Barney's family wealth unit
At Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, the Saratoga Springs team had about $1.2 billion

Monday 2.6.12
Tom Bradley has achieved impressive results by not taking life too seriously.

What Tom Bradley's 25-year reign at TD Ameritrade says about the RIA business
People in this industry can be themselves while prospering and inventing a profession

Monday 2.6.12
Dick Cheney expressed some gloomy views about the economy and the terrorist situation.

TD Ameritrade brings some Florida heat to the RIA winter
The custodian rolled out a major event sprawled across multiple hotels

Monday 2.6.12
Tom Bradley: We're not seeing any inroads to our business from these smaller players.

Tom Bradley answers 10 questions about TD Ameritrade's competitive stance in his 25th year
The industry veteran takes time out from TD's Orlando, Fla. conference to talk about about how his RIA custodian can compete with bigger and smaller competitors alike

Friday 2.3.12
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is the king of “halftime adjustment."

What does Tom Coughlin bring to a Super Bowl that Bill Belichick does not?
He brings a military precision and you're late if you're not five minutes early to a meeting

Friday 2.3.12
Marty Bicknell: There will absolutely be more deals [this year].

Mariner Wealth Advisors buys a $1.3 billion wealth manager that first unwound its ties to a bank
CEO says Kansas firm will also add 100 advisors in its quest to become $50 billion company

Thursday 2.2.12
Scott D'Alessandro left Fidelity last month as part of Fidelity's realigning of its sales efforts.

As Fidelity disassembles powerhouse sales team aimed at major RIAs a top talent departs
Scott D'Alessandro's position was a casualty of Fido's new regional approach that worked so well that the last vestige of the old system was eliminated

Thursday 2.2.12
Mike Byrnes: Likely, the advisor's lack of preparation leads to a fire sale, or even worse, the business just disbands and the clients are left out in the cold.

Have an aversion to succession plans? Consider a continuity pact as a vital baby step
Dying without any plan is inviting disaster for family, employees and clients

Wednesday 2.1.12
Rudy Adolf: We have more capital than anyone else in the (advisory-buying) industry.

Focus Financial gains access to 'huge money' -- $320 million in credit
The capital hoard positions the big aggregator to double its advised assets, one observer says

Wednesday 2.1.12
Mike Durbin: Now we can say: Here's the data.

Fidelity dissects the breakaway cycle with a new study
On average it's a seven-month process, and many advisors admit that they are winging it

Wednesday 2.1.12

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