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Articles Published September 2012


Matt Judge: Demand reached a head recently.

Not without criticism, TD Ameritrade opens an 'insurance agency' for RIAs that want to provide annuities
Schwab says it will also use more annuities to meet the swelling demand for retirement income but Jefferson National's CEO questions the custodians' focus on traditional annuities

Friday 9.28.12
Charles Goldman: The number of hybrids has been tapering off and it's been tapering off for a while.

How Charles Goldman, Philip Palaveev, Brian Hamburger and Tim Oden -- and my cabbie -- caught my attention at MarketCounsel Summit
Tussles over scale, branding and professional service played out vividly in Vegas

Friday 9.28.12
Jeff Cusack: The average RIA doesn't think of Nuveen when he's thinking of alternatives.

After three RIA division heads in five years, Nuveen looks to ex-Schwab star to shift into higher gear
The $211-billion Chicago giant is counting on Jeff Cusack to introduce an alternative investments flavor to spice up its more vanilla offerings

Thursday 9.27.12
Terrence Morgan: 401(k) plan sponsors are finally ... discovering ... that all their friendly stockbroker could do was hand out enrollment kits and pat their employees on the back.

Cerulli: RIAs and hybrid RIAs make giant advances on banks and wirehouses in the 401(k) race
DOL guidance is making a difference and so is bank and wirehouse reluctance to take on fiduciary risk

Thursday 9.27.12
Randy Long: We've talked to them. I've decided I'd just rather go after their clients rather than their advisors.

How a $12 billion RIA grew to $20 billion in less than a year by raiding 401(k) accounts from legacy players
Randy Long boasted that he'd pick off the big boys' clients and came through with the help of a crack team of 12 young turks

Wednesday 9.26.12
John Moninger: It's the first milestone, and many more to come.

LPL Financial finds a starting place to bring Fortigent into its mainstream mix
The big broker-dealer will leverage the acquired firm's alternative-investments research and portfolio management with a new offering

Wednesday 9.26.12
Aaron Rowe of Edelman Financial and and Eric Clarke take the field of the Dallas Cowboys Stadium

Eric Clarke delivers a behind-the-scenes account of his own Gemini & Orion Advisor Forum
The Orion chief was taken aback by overwhelmed advisors but found time for predawn runs, a pep talk from a legendary coach, a tour of the Cowboys' stadium and the launch of 80 apps

Tuesday 9.25.12
Shirl Penney (l.) and Elliot Weissbluth (middle) take their turns listening as Rudy Adolf (r.) explains his firm's impressive M&A feats.

What exactly the CEOs of HighTower, Focus Financial and Dynasty Financial revealed when they shared a stage in Las Vegas
Aggregator honchos appeared together under the unloved roll-up tag to highlight differing and evolving facets of their firms

Tuesday 9.25.12
Ron Carson: There was a lot more to [acquisitions] than we thought.

Ron Carson launches roll-up/TAMP-like venture with Envestnet, TD Ameritrade and Advizent as puzzle pieces
The biggest of LPL's affiliates shows a walk-before-run approach to inorganic growth

Monday 9.24.12
Joe Duran: Your competition will not be Merrill Lynch. It will be the big players with value that you can't match.

Joe Duran lays out his latest case for why wirehouses -- and classic RIAs -- risk losing out to a coming oligopoly of new-model holistic firms
The coming 'life management' model won't be addressed by the big guys or the little ones in this very young industry, says the United Capital CEO

Friday 9.21.12
Walt Bettinger: They’re not in response to something else that someone has said.

Walt Bettinger strikes back to show that Charles Schwab won't be bested in the brewing ETF price war
The Schwab CEO says that moves are permanent and that ETFs are not a loss-leader for his firm

Friday 9.21.12
Robert Boslego: RIAs should not be swayed into following The Endowment Model just because the elite universities use it.

Why the Yale endowment model has potentially calamitous pitfalls according to ... Yale itself
The endowment model's 20-year winning streak had consultants and asset managers imitating its high-risk strategies -- and then came the crash

Friday 9.21.12
Joe Masterson: It's always bugged me that passive investors weren't paying their fair share.

RIAs join move to right a 401(k) wrong: Lopsided plan expenses -- a non-DOL issue
Participants using mutual funds with active management pay for their passively managed brethren; with fiduciary issues being taken for real, this is a problem

Thursday 9.20.12
Doug Pyle: U.S. Trust possessed that common culture of trust and personal responsibility for our clients.

Dynasty clinches an ex-U.S. Trust advisor's trust by playing its U.S. Trust card
Doug Pyle and Radnor Capital were absorbed by the firm back in 1999 and now they're finding footing in independence again

Thursday 9.20.12
Jonathan Morris has seen it all after having been at Lehman during the collapse.

Dynasty Financial hires a heavy-hitting lawyer to oversee a sea of contracts
A former Barclays and Lehman gun, Jonathan Morris will handle the myriad of deals the platform provider forms with vendors and advisors alike

Thursday 9.20.12
Mark Tibergien: We're on every continent except Antartica.

5 questions for Mark Tibergien on his 5th anniversary as CEO of Pershing RIA unit
Tim Welsh gets the consulting godfather to open up about NetX360, how roll-ups roll and the tripling of custody assets at Pershing

Wednesday 9.19.12
Ray Lucia: I removed the slides that are in question from my seminar presentation.

With SEC coming down hard, TV and radio star RIA principal in San Diego makes his case to listeners
The commission says Ray Lucia back-testing is questionable but some high-profile defenders take his side

Wednesday 9.19.12
Knut Rostad demanded to know what Elliot Weissbluth meant by 'zero conflicts of interest.'

The two dramatic moments everyone was buzzing about at the MarketCounsel conference
Elliot Weissbluth, Knut Rostad, Charles Goldman and Joe Duran helped show us why thought leadership begins when sparks fly

Tuesday 9.18.12
Stuart Miller: Our time horizon is another 25 years. Theirs is three.

Cetera rebrands divisions in its own name, but $1-billion advisor defects to a rival startup
Cetera says the move will help advisors attract clients, but RMR Wealth Builders, seeing it as prelude to a sale, has signed on with IEP Financial

Tuesday 9.18.12
Bob Veres engages CEO of Moss Adams Wealth Advisors Rebecca Pomering and Tim Kochis, former CEO of Aspiriant, on issues of scale.

Veres and Bruckenstein lure big RIAs to Denver to discuss getting even bigger
Tim Kochis and the virtual Moss Adams all-stars brought firepower to the 2nd annual Business and Wealth Management Conference

Monday 9.17.12
Anthony Rochte will bring his State Street ETF smarts to bear at Fidelity's new division, SelectCo.

Fidelity launches major division in Denver with an 'ETF quarterback' calling the shots
The new venture appears to be the Boston giant's long-awaited foray into exchange traded funds but some details are still being carefully guarded

Monday 9.17.12
Maria Marsala: My standard answer is: 'That will be a cup of coffee -- in Italy, please.'

How to set boundaries with clients and friends when they become 'freebie-seekers'
Establishing where free ends and fee begins can be challenging, but learning the art of declining gracefully is essential to focusing on what's important in your practice

Monday 9.17.12
Elliot Weissbluth wowed the MarketCounsel crowd in Las Vegas with the news that HighTower will take on Dynasty Financial head-to-head

HighTower throws open its doors to non-partner firms who want service and/or brand
The Chicago-based consolidator announces in Las Vegas that it is gambling that it can deliver a business model similar to Dynasty Financial Partners

Friday 9.14.12
Sheila Delutri: I didn't participate in the women's lawsuit [against Merrill Lynch].

Merrill Lynch comes up snake eyes as HighTower rakes two Sin City teams off the table on the same weekend
With about $800 million in assets combined, the teams were bone-loyal to Mother Merrill for decades before everything changed in 2008 -- and kept changing

Friday 9.14.12
Gail Graham: I want to make a legacy.

Joe Duran inks deals with two top RIA executive talents after United Capital hits a 'roadblock'
The United Capital CEO is bringing aboard Gail Graham, a former Fidelity higher up, and Stephanie Bogan, a former Genworth luminary, to be sure the firm's capacity keeps pace with marketing

Thursday 9.13.12
Advisors converged at the Bellagio this week to witness the ongoing integration of Advent and Black Diamond.

Advent envisions a cloud-based world under stormy Las Vegas skies at the software giant's annual confab
With more than 100 breakout sessions -- not counting Black Diamond's dozen -- the conference provided deep dives into the joined firms' bag of wares

Thursday 9.13.12
Peter Hess: We are happy where we are right now and won't be participating in any more acquisitions.

12 questions for Peter Hess
The freshly minted CEO talks about playing catch-up with cloud technology, Advent's acquisition plans and his continuing partnership with Reed Colley

Thursday 9.13.12
Dean Cook: In the end it came down to Pershing and TD.

TD Ameritrade wins a $2.5-billion RIA custody client on the strength of its delivery of B-to-B capabilities using Orion, Veo and API
FTJ FundChoice took its assets from a bank in the name of efficiencies aimed at big growth

Wednesday 9.12.12
Ron Ferguson revitalized the RIA-owned trust company when he came aboard in 2008.

Ron Ferguson steps down as CEO of National Advisors Trust after 4-1/2 years
The executive proved an adept turnaround artist; now the RIA-owned company is left to search for his replacement

Wednesday 9.12.12
Joe Goldberg: [A Facebook employee] told me, 'I've met with Goldman, Merrill and Morgan and no one has given me a reason to pay them a dime.'

Why sudden wealth at Facebook is gushing into a $17-billion RIA and triggered a merger of two DFA giants
Buckingham Asset Management won a single Facebook employee and now it's all hands on deck as eight teams see prospects -- often til 2 a.m.

Tuesday 9.11.12
Jessica Bibliowicz: We don't have to own everybody.

Once Exhibit A that roll-ups are a flop, NFP is emerging as a stingy, strategic player
Under outgoing CEO Jessica Bibliowicz, the bruised but fast-growing New York aggregator no longer resembles its insurance-dependent 2008 self

Tuesday 9.11.12
Lori Van Dusen: You can't say that the client is first and then look for ways to double-dip.

Focus Financial firms play a lively game of ping-pong with the Broker Protocol
Focus and its biggest RIA, Buckingham, exited the Protocol this summer while Lori Van Dusen signed on, but there's no change in its strategy to go after breakaway brokers, co-founder says

Monday 9.10.12
Peter Giza: I want to be able to catch the next wave.

Making himself purposefully redundant, 'visionary' RedBlack co-founder moves on
Peter Giza says he's still bullish on the company as he charts his next move

Monday 9.10.12
If any characteristic should be rewarded, it's courage.

5 recent acts of courage in the RIA business
Scott Leonard, Tim Kochis, Ron Rhoades, Steve Lockshin and Mike Brown have each shown backbone in their own way

Monday 9.10.12
Kevin Kraus: This is the bread and butter of our platform.

Revamping its trading platform, Schwab at long last is poised to catch up with its smaller peers
The giant RIA custodian explains it deliberate pace as a balancing of innovation with the veracity of the existing platform

Friday 9.7.12
Philip Palaveev: If it meant leaving Fusion behind, God knows what decision I would have made.

Philip Palaveev hangs out his shingle with a new consulting model for RIAs and a money-back guarantee
The former Moss Adams star will still serve the Fusion constituency but The Ensemble Practice LLC will let him spread his wings, too

Friday 9.7.12
Alan Spoon: The only question is when we choose to do so.

Focus Financial VC backer says IPO still on the table after private auction yields no sale
After three private equity firms passed on the deal for the $50-billion aggregator, Polaris Venture Partners' Alan Spoon seems to be calling shots and comfortable with its options

Thursday 9.6.12
Lauren Locker: I'm very, very busy.

Little-known understudy steps into NAPFA star role as Ron Rhoades bows out
Some are still pining for Ron, but Lauren Locker is confident she'll be able to win over her audience

Thursday 9.6.12
Jim Dario developed respect for TD Ameritrade over the years as a competitor.

What's up with Jim Dario making the leap from Pershing to TD Ameritrade
The former Fidelity star -- and an almost star in 'Jaws' -- made an intra-Jersey City move but actually never left Boston

Wednesday 9.5.12
Meg Green: If you ask a question, I'm going to answer.

Sterne Agee makes its RIA custody debut after customizing for Meg Green's $650-million RIA
It started as 25 people with notepads and Southern accents surrounding the Royal Alliance-using Miami--based advisor principals

Wednesday 9.5.12
Steve Altman is seeking to combine deep local roots, Merrill Lynch training and world-class technology to build a recognizable brand.

Big Pacific Northwest RIA formed with one brand, two P&Ls and a big Dynasty deal
The ex-branch manager-centric business model may indicate true north for True Private Wealth Advisors, in Oregon particularly

Tuesday 9.4.12
Roger Hewins: We could end up with thousands of small clients.

A $2.5 billion RIA makes its mass-market bid for thousands of new clients
Hewins Financial is making the no-minimum move after a six-figure investment in Tamarac software

Tuesday 9.4.12



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