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Articles Published April 2012


John Furey: Everyone just hit it off.

John Furey is creating a think-tank out of six big RIAs that want to grow like roll-ups without the pressures of an IPO
The Alliance for RIAs includes Savant Capital, Carson Wealth, Beacon Pointe, Stratos and Highline

Monday 4.30.12
Jennifer Hatch: There's been cold feet all over the state.

Christopher Street Financial's president becomes the 'Talk of the Town'
The New Yorker magazine article capped a banner week for the head of an advisory practice that caters to the gay community

Monday 4.30.12
Oleg Tishkevich: What if we took an employee retreat and brought our clients with us?

Finance Logix makes a splashy bid for RIA business with its inaugural conference in Las Vegas
The coming of Windows 8, the cloud, the massive adoption of mobile technology and tools for retirement income planning were hot topics at the Sin City confab

Monday 4.30.12
Walt Bettinger: This is a whole new ball game when you're a franchise with Schwab

Walt Bettinger explains to Wall Street why some prospects are balking at investing in Schwab franchises
The Schwab CEO tells listeners of the interim update that the $10 million asset-gathering quota is a psychological hurdle -- but one that can be overcome

Friday 4.27.12
Peter Stein: We'll try to feel as close as possible to as if we're their internal investment team.

How an ex-University of Chicago endowment chief is teaming up with a $4-billion AUM RIA to go after $500-million institutional accounts
Sharing resources with the Presidio Group, Peter Stein will lead a charge to provide customized outsourced CIO services to small and midsize foundations and endowments

Friday 4.27.12
Timothy Welsh: Campanale and his team were caught somewhat flat-footed when the story broke.

How Frank Campanale's E.F. Hutton resurrection, a TD management hire and upbeat advisors electrified IMCA's annual conference
More than 1,500 advisors came to the Potomac -- including more than a few of Campanale's Smith Barney Consulting alumni

Thursday 4.26.12
Karen Nystrom: This proposed bill is a big deal to advisors...We hold out hope that our message will be heard.

Avoiding FINRA oversight may depend on talking sense to an options-trading House Republican
Spencer Bachus, known to expertly trade options for his own account, seems to be down with what transactions-based advisors like

Thursday 4.26.12
"We don't have to work with aggregators," says Tom Muldowney, pictured here (l-r) with Glenn Kautt and Brent Brodeski, Dick Bennett, Tom Muldowney

Why a pair of Zero Alpha RIAs are combining and out-and-out avoiding roll-ups and private-equity money
Savant Capital and Monitor Group will have a combined $2.7 billion of AUM and hot prospects for gobbling up more firms

Wednesday 4.25.12
Christine Gaze: I was astounded by the culture.

TD Ameritrade poaches 'bowled over' Morgan Stanley Private Bank exec to fill key role
Christine Gaze has picked up best practices secrets in the full-service world that she's now taking to TD RIAs

Wednesday 4.25.12
Stephanie Bogan: There comes a natural point at which we want to use those skills on a larger playing field.

Stephanie Bogan: Put me in, I'm ready to play
The CEO of Quantuvis is leaving the Genworth unit and actively seeks an executive position with a yet-to-be-determined hot RIA venture -- after a Caribbean sabbatical

Wednesday 4.25.12
E. F. Hutton may need to listen harder than ever to become the fifth wirehouse in an RIA world.

What the reincarnation of E.F. Hutton says about the pace at which RIA business is moving
It's the latest in a series of recent ventures marked by infectious enthusiasm by founders -- and few details about their business plans

Tuesday 4.24.12
Gerald Graves: Scope creep can be disastrous to an individual and to a company.

How Gerald Graves grounded a high-flying career trajectory to get back to basics -- with a 6-foot-11 former NBA player at his side
After top executive spots at Schwab Institutional and M Financial, Graves started Filagree Advisors from scratch and is careful to avoid 'scope creep'

Tuesday 4.24.12
Sandi Bragar: I don't know how they can invest that portfolio without knowing what it's supposed to do.

How RIAs like Aspiriant and United Capital are working to put financial planning back at the center of financial planning firms
It's expensive, hard work, hard to charge for, difficult to deliver and adds real value

Monday 4.23.12
Gus Fleites: It is no longer possible for me to continue to represent the firm.

After a short engagement, Gus Fleites splits from his CEO spot with an Oregon 401(k) platform provider
Invest n Retire is shifting to pouring resources into technology right now after looking at a sales buildup that Fleites was expected to facilitate

Monday 4.23.12
David Booth:  If we can convince the advisor that what we're doing makes sense, then they can translate that to the individual.

DFA takes on life cycle funds by putting an alternative offering in the hands of 401(k)-minded advisors
Managed DC is the first in a series of such products, hints David Booth, but a critic says the premise on which they're built is all wrong

Friday 4.20.12
Kathleen Stewart: The industry and banks are always in a state of flux, and that's something you live with every day.

fi360 lures an executive away from Wells Fargo Private Bank to help thousands of advisors deliver fiduciary care
Kathleen Stewart wore many hats at the big wealth manager and has worked for an RIA and Goldman Sachs alike

Friday 4.20.12
Mark Casady is taking his most proven talent and giving her a challenge with a potentially momentous payoff.

LPL cannibalizes executive talent and launches mass-market entity
If anyone can crack the uncrackable low-end market, it's Esther Stearns, analysts and headhunters say

Thursday 4.19.12
Richard Saperstein: We wanted to keep our assets at one of the safest institutions in America.

Why some RIAs are jumping through hoops to custody assets with JPMorgan
After selling its RIA unit to RBC, its marquee name, sterling reputation and a new platform continues to draw advisors

Thursday 4.19.12
Jon Beatty: The pie is growing and everybody's benefiting.

Roll-up-like deals back on the rise in first quarter as RIAs look for succession plans
National acquisition firms accounted for more than half of deals, with HighTower the big buyer

Thursday 4.19.12
Chip Roame sees a coming explosion of discount brokerage branches.

8 notable takeaways from the spring 2012 Tiburon CEO Summit
The breakaway movement still depends more on Wall Street's moves than Main Street's moxie

Wednesday 4.18.12
Tom Nally: I think RIAs are finding they're bringing in assets more easily than recently.

'Little' TD Ameritrade keeps moving toward being a big custodian
The custody unit continues to roll at a 100 breakaway per quarter pace as Tom Bradley's replacement settles in

Wednesday 4.18.12
Danny Sarch: Some guys at Merrill have targeted this date for more than a year.

Merrill Lynch springs a 62-advisor, $13 billion asset leak in the first quarter
February was a cruel month for the wirehouse as payouts and retention bonuses came due; UBS came out smelling like a rose

Tuesday 4.17.12
Ric Edelman: We are very actively seeking a buyer who will provide a better offer than Lee.

Ric Edelman strikes a private-equity deal that subtracts $2 million in expenses -- now let the after-bidding begin
Edelman Financial prepares to marry Lee Equity, but it's also open to a better offer

Tuesday 4.17.12
Jim Lumberg: People get fixated on reports.

Never mind Tamarac, Envestnet is getting RIAs on board with its own stand-alone software
Four principals of RIAs sized $25 million to $2 billion in AUM talk about why they just switched to Vantage from other providers

Monday 4.16.12
Brad Klontz sold his truck and invested the proceeds in bad stocks. Now he counsels people with similar dysfunction.

In what may be a first, an RIA brings on a psychologist as a financial planner
The move is designed to break through the paralyzing ambivalence that keeps clients from believing in their goals enough to plan

Monday 4.16.12
John Lynch: I'm not really hog-wild about the whole RIA idea.

Why a FiNet advisor with $477 million of advised assets flew the coop but said 'no thanks' to becoming a Schwab RIA or LPL rep
John Lynch landed with Raymond James, where he feels at home and retains the option to shift to an RIA model

Friday 4.13.12
Dan Moisand: They have the opportunity to stop it, or screw it up worse than they already have.

Fearful that the SEC has been overworked, lobbied and bullied into a SIFMA stupor, fiduciary crowd launches 16-page missile
Among other things, the letter calls SIFMA's idea of a uniform fiduciary standard a 'broker sales standard'

Friday 4.13.12
Tony Wood: We may be a minority owner, but we want to manage the firm and develop a business growth plan for them.

Dynasty is on the ground floor of a roll-up-like venture grabbing RIAs inside the largest accounting firms
Atlanta-based Method will parachute in to take over operational and management control of wealth managers providing advisory expertise their CPA-firm parents may lack

Thursday 4.12.12
Jerry Eberhardt: I know a lot of people [from Smith Barney] who may be appropriate to look at the independent space.

Extracting a mentor from retirement, Shirl Penney continues to make Dynasty look more like Smith Barney than Smith Barney
Jerry Eberhardt oversaw Citi's wirehouse for the Western U.S. and now he's eager to help advisors looking to transition from the big branded firms

Thursday 4.12.12
Kim Pugliese: I should be thanking Kodak.

How a billion-plus RIA in upstate New York bagged top managerial talent from just down the street
Lori Van Dusen hired Kim Pugliese away from Kodak after deciding she needed heightened managerial skills at her newly independent firm

Wednesday 4.11.12
Jack Waymire: Type B advisors should provide a form that investors use to obtain information from Type A advisors. Any advisor who refuses to complete the form is automatically excluded from further consideration.

How analytical advisors can finally supercede salesy advisors
In an era of transparency a new type of advisor gets the edge, but it starts with deliberate documentation and arming the prospect

Wednesday 4.11.12
Blaine Aikin: Regardless of what happens to regulatory reform, we expect to do really well.

Private equity strikes again, this time quietly buying control of fi360 for $11.5 million
Bluff Point Associates principals liked the recurring revenues and bright growth prospects

Tuesday 4.10.12
Maria Marsala: You'll feel more confident in networking situations if you've already worked out a few 'scripts' ahead of time.

10 indispensable questions for advisors to ask -- and 10 to answer -- at networking events
You have their attention. . . so now what?

Tuesday 4.10.12
Paulo Coelho: This is obviously a long-term move for me and my career.

In its latest talent grab, Evercore Wealth Management hires a 'young, up-and-coming player'
The $3.2 billion RIA is mostly made up of seasoned of ex-U.S. Trust stalwarts but its poach of Paulo Coelho from Convergent shows its mindfulness of the coming generation

Monday 4.9.12
Les Abromovitz: If you ignore securities regulators' priorities ... you're likely to get dealt a bad hand during an exam.

The SEC will often 'tell' advisors what compliance issues deserve attention
The agency has its own ways of communicating what gets on its regulatory nerves

Monday 4.9.12
Jon Jones: Five years ago, I would have said I would never spend $500,000 a year on marketing. But now I'd be surprised if I don't spend a million.

Why a $2-billion RIA is embracing the idea of a $1 million annual marketing tab, and how Advizent fits in
Brighton Jones is getting marketing religion despite needing very little to get to its current size in 12 years

Monday 4.9.12
Myles Pritchard: They were making it more difficult and they were getting ready to close accounts down.

Myles Pritchard thought it was better in the Bahamas and Merrill Lynch didn't -- so he left for life with CONCERT Wealth Management
With half of his clients offshore, the LA advisor grew disenchanted with Merrill's lack of appetite for international business

Friday 4.6.12
Steve Lockshin: We are never going to succeed unless we build a brand.

Steve Lockshin and Charles Goldman begin to unveil Advizent, a venture that could put thousands of RIAs under a single cooperative
The Convergent CEO and ex-chief of the Schwab and Fidelity RIA custody units will refer consumers to advisory firms -- but only after doing an intensive 'audit'

Thursday 4.5.12
Alan Goldfarb:  We must continue to re‐examine and improve upon the CFP certification and our processes to enforce its high standards.

CFP Board makes a raft of changes -- including plans to send out press releases about CFP members who declare bankruptcy
There's been a big upswelling of members with bankruptcy problems

Thursday 4.5.12
Jon Patullo: If they're on the golf course, they can place the trade and have somebody back in the office make the allocation .

TD Ameritrade makes trading on iPads for RIAs available before mobile devices
Jon Patullo encourages RIAs to leave the laptop at home on travels to avoid back pain

Thursday 4.5.12
Brad Griswold: Many of the changes were beneficial to the [LPL] advisors as a whole, but did not offer as much value to our practice.

Why an 18-year LPL rep moved most of his firm's $250 million of assets to Schwab
Brad Griswold had a fondness for Schwab from using PortfolioCenter and is determined to remove all obstacles to growth, profitability and offering choice to clients

Wednesday 4.4.12
Glenn Neasham: I didn't do anything wrong.

How Glenn Neasham lost his house, was forced to go on food stamps and faces jail time after selling a senior an indexed annuity
The case of this Lake County, Calif. insurance agent gives pause to advisors and agents dealing with seniors -- and indexed annuities

Wednesday 4.4.12
Michael Francis: It's my belief that they shouldn't be fiduciaries because they can't be according to the way the law is set up.

Merrill Lynch jumps on the fiduciary bandwagon in retirement plans but critics see lingering conflicts
Morgan Stanley, UBS and Wells Fargo Advisors already went this route but can wirehouses really deliver strict fiduciary care?

Tuesday 4.3.12
William Greiner: What excites me isn't trying to beat an index by 20 basis points and saying: aren't I smart.

Mariner Wealth poaches a chief investment officer from a big local mutual fund company
In an intra-Kansas City move, Marty Bicknell lures Bill Greiner from Scout Investment Advisors

Tuesday 4.3.12
Susan John: If no one is willing to advise the consumer of the $25K IRA, that’s a problem.

NAPFA's John responds to critic questioning her group's stance on compensation in light of new DOL rules
The national chair says the first objective is not to scare small investors away

Tuesday 4.3.12
Doug Trott: It'd be premature to share names, but we have dialogues going with three of the custodians.

Morningstar gives advisors a glimpse of fees RIAs are charging clients using PriceMetrix data
Price histories of 20,000 advisors are now at the fingertips of many Advisor Workstation users

Monday 4.2.12
Jim Steiner: I think it’s harder for RIAs to compete [in the UHNW market].

Wells Fargo targets tempting but treacherous UHNW market with Abbot Downing launch
With $33 billion of assets and legacy Lowry Hill and Calibre elements, the unit plans to hit the ground running and compete in a realm where RIAs are only starting to make a dent

Monday 4.2.12
Philip Chao: The fiduciary standard should not be reserved for the affluent America.

Why it's not OK that NAPFA and FPA agree with FSI about relaxed accountability for holders of IRAs
There is no 'suitability' America and 'fiduciary' America

Monday 4.2.12

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