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Brooke

Brooke Southall

Managing Principal, Reporter

brooke@riabiz.com
415.389.8207

Brooke is known locally in Sausalito, Calif. as a cyclist, houseboater, and the guy with the huge dogs. On the web he's known as a regular voice on the happenings of the RIA business. He started RIABiz in 2009 after deciding the industry could use a more focused channel of information, which has proven to be the case.

He oversees the flow of articles on RIABiz, but still gets to spend a considerable amount of time reporting and writing. Somehow he manages to pump out story after story despite his frequently crashing Windows laptop and his hunt-and-peck typing method.

Articles written by Brooke Southall


Steve Janachowski: I don't take the phone calls or I wouldn't get anything done.

Why only 10% of elite RIAs are receptive to fund wholesalers yet depend on a handful of good ones
Fund wholesalers say the research based on the FT 300 distorts reality and RIAs admit liking what wholesalers provide under the right conditions

Saturday 2.6.16
Justin Wisz: It's the same type of tracking Google has on you and me ... If we had that, we'd have the Holy Grail.

Vestorly makes play for RIA browsers with $4.1 million of VC funding -- tiptoeing past prowling issue
Justin Wisz's robo-marketing for advisors already serves RIAs like Halbert Hargrove but now he's reaching for a higher rung of robotics

Thursday 1.28.16
Valerie Brown: AIG products don't and won't get special treatment.

Why Lightyear's purchase of AIG Advisor Group isn't a Cetera-type fixer-upper case and how Donald Marron will respond accordingly
The New York-based private equity firm picked up ING's brokers in 2009 for a song after market meltdown but AIG networks has intangible value as a survivor

Tuesday 1.26.16
Tracy Calder spent 18 years at UBS before leading efforts at JP Morgan Securities.

LPL keeps on stockpiling tip-top compliance execs, with JP Morgan's ex-CCO the latest
Tracy Calder joins a lengthening line of hires that follow a deluge of SEC fines

Tuesday 1.26.16
The tangible damage that a loss of money can do in our lives is often substantially less threatening than the amorphously intangible fear of losing control of some portion of our destiny, our pride and our sense of security.

Three ways RIAs can reassure clients when they're feeling none-too-assured themselves
The objective isn't to cure the disease but to treat the myriad of symptoms being experienced until healing can occur

Friday 1.22.16
David Selig: We worked to figure out what to do when both firms competed for the same clients. Finally, we just decided to compete.

Two RIA M&A firms merge -- sort of -- when they're not competing head-to-head
Park Sutton and Advice Dynamics Partners are trying out the power of two, without too much heavy paperwork

Tuesday 1.19.16
Mitchell Kovitz: With access to Focus’ resources and capital, we believe Kovitz will be able to enter into its next phase of growth while maintaining our independence.

Focus Financial bags $3.1 billion, 50-person RIA and why it 'really is impressive'
Kovitz Investment Group becomes the roll-up's fourth Chicago holding -- and maybe the most ambitious

Friday 1.15.16
The 2014 RIA hype frenzy may have peaked when suddenly Tony Robbins was everywhere.

Why the RIA business starts 2016 without its swagger: 2014 and 2015
What's hot right now? Almost nothing and nobody. But it might be a 'healthy correction' of equilibrium

Monday 1.11.16
Michael J. Cleary: One of the things our clients are going to be looking for in the next five to 10 years is what's next for Cleary Gull.

An $8.4 billion wealth manager emerges in Milwaukee after old RBC spinoff, Cleary Gull, finds local love
Johnson Financial Group adds 40 advisors and $2.1 billion but does a reverse branding merger

Thursday 1.7.16
Brooke Southall: The RIA business continues to have two big problems. Maybe there is one solution.

Need an up-to-the-minute 2016 RIA model? Read the large print in Brooke's hypothetical Southall Advisors RIA brochure
In a world of undifferentiated wealth managers, a culture of millennial-style openness addresses the core issues -- trust and accountability

Wednesday 1.6.16
Tony Sirianni: You get views by not selling out.

Tony Sirriani buys AdvisorHUB
The founder and former CEO of Washington Wealth Management vows not to 'sell out' but AdvisorHUB's new business model is still being developed

Tuesday 1.5.16
Brooke Southall: My fake ordeals for this Christmas trip were the high airfares and limited flights that obliged me to fly into Manchester, N.H.

Missive from New England: The Mill Valley-to-Maine scenery change yields its annual payload of inspiration
My big financial challenge was buying Christmas gifts with more money than ideas

Tuesday 12.29.15
Valerie Brown was Donald Marron's ace in making a silk purse out of a Cetera.

Sources: Lightyear Capital is set to snap up AIG -- and perhaps install Valerie Brown as its leader
Heads of SagePoint, FSC, Royal Alliance and Woodbury are in New York, perhaps hashing out details of their new life under Donald Marron's private equity unit

Wednesday 12.16.15
Brooke Southall: RIA vendors are selling the wrong product, selling it in the wrong spirit or marketing it in the wrong way.

How vendors fail RIAs -- and themselves in the bargain -- by insulting RIA intelligence
Anything with a whiff of closed architecture, overcharging, inauthenticity, opacity or idiocy masquerading as information is a long-term credibility corrosive

Wednesday 12.9.15
Matthew Weibler: Commonwealth’s new CRM is shockingly fast.

Why Commonwealth Financial dumped Microsoft CRM and where the decision's go-it-alone hazards lie
At stake is what many consider the advisor nerve center of the Waltham, Mass.-based broker-dealer

Wednesday 12.2.15
Matthew Papazian [l. w/Ross Fox, Sarah Keys, Dick Sisung and Marti Awad]: We had no intention of ever going after them.

What Merrill Lynch was able to strip away from breakaway RIA Cardan Capital and why the advisors made the 'tactical' decision to let go
These Denver-based advisors achieved a rarefied status at BoA's broker-dealer as money manager and wealth manager before deciding to bolt

Tuesday 12.1.15
Vincent C. Gubitosi is the person behind the people behind the robo that will manage Fidelity Go assets.

With RIAs deliberately not in mind, Fidelity Investments launches Fidelity Go, a robo-advisor with the human touch of Vince Gubitosi
The Boston investments firm is using Geode Capital to call the shots, BlackRock as ETF supplier, and its own employees as its initial test subjects

Friday 11.20.15
David Canter [With Jon Stein, l.,  at June InVest event]: For an RIA firm, this isn't simply a technology play. [Photo by Julio Gomez of Knowledgent]

With eMoney in its back pocket, Fidelity Investments won't exercise its option to continue Betterment deal as it nears launch of its own robo
The one-year semi-exclusive alliance never caught fire with Fidelity RIAs and the Boston giant will now use eMoney as kindling for a new digital-for-RIA launch

Thursday 11.19.15
Tom Kimberly: Incumbent custodians like Charles Schwab and others haven’t kept up.

Betterment hires an RIA chief who reframes the vision from 'robo' to 'one-throat-to-choke' custodian -- and viable Schwab competitor
Fresh off selling Upside to Envestnet, Tom Kimberly is Betterment Institutional's general manager and architect of a new vision

Thursday 11.19.15
Bernie Clark kept his comments in a pep talk framework Tuesday.

9 questions to ask Schwab execs when you buttonhole them in Boston at IMPACT 2015
$23 trillion of AUM is there for the taking -- but how exactly does Schwab propose help RIAs win that discovered bounty?

Friday 11.13.15
Tim Hockey: I have been able to observe the company, its culture and its operations.

Fred Tomczyk to retire as CEO of TD Ameritrade
The ex-Ivy League hockey star will be replaced by a Canadian Toronto-Dominion Bank exec named Tim Hockey

Tuesday 11.10.15
Bill Sharpe founded Financial Engines so 401(k) participants, with the 1996 ERISA bar set at zippo, got baseline algorithmic attention -- a level of service whose deficiencies were exposed this summer.

How Mutual Fund Store is the real engine now at Financial Engines
Unable to hold 9 million hands as market tanked, Larry Raffone jumped when Warburg Pincus put The Mutual Fund Store on the block

Friday 11.6.15
Adam Bold: Putting money into a 401(k) isn't enough.

Hitting a robo wall, Financial Engines buys The Mutual Fund Store for $560 million to bust out of 401(k) confines
The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based robo colossus needed human advisors, and the radio RIA liked having a non-radio source of new clients

Thursday 11.5.15
Fred Tomczyk: It's getting more competitive. There's no question people have noticed our success.

TD Ameritrade CEO sees RIA custody competitors adjusting to his killer strategy -- even as he whips his in-house RIA into shape
The Jersey City, N.J. custodian's under-the-radar hypergrowth rate is now also big in absolute terms, which may attract unwanted attention from absolute giants

Thursday 11.5.15
Ken Kaltman: Big is better for the client

As RIA compliance complexity explodes, two big outsourcers merge to keep pace
National Compliance Services Inc. is a biggie with smaller RIAs and Regulatory Compliance LLC already provides ultra-handholding that firms increasingly demand

Tuesday 11.3.15
Mike Durbin: It's an unbundling. That's exactly what it is.

Mike Durbin gets right to work as eMoney CEO with MoneyGuidePro coopetition deal -- even though he's 'interim'
The collaboration of the two sworn competitors and a Fidelity guy in between validates that so-called 'dashboard' technology a killer category with new entrants on the way

Thursday 10.22.15
Joe Piazza: Many advisors will not wait around for the deal to close.

Credit Suisse punts its private banking business to Wells Fargo
The take-my-brokers-please deal has skeptics but shows forethought, too

Wednesday 10.21.15
Eduardo Repetto: It's solving a problem before it exists on the back end.

Dimensional Fund Advisors to launch 13 target date funds but can its RIA 'cult' deliver success?
The Austin, Texas-based fund giant sees a 401(k) opening the size of its home state if Vanguard, T.Rowe and Fido are any indication

Friday 10.16.15
Frederick Pickering:  eRIAs should consider pivoting to a business-to-business model.

Citing Edward Jones as a cautionary tale, Cerulli alerts 'eRIAs' -- i.e. robos -- that they need to be world-beaters just to survive
The Boston-based researcher suggests by 2016 the standalone B2C model will demand net asset gathering $150 million per month -- a figure that will soon balloon to $180 million per month

Wednesday 10.14.15
Tricia Rothschild: We haven't allowed advisors to act. Now when you want to make a trade, you don't need to go somewhere else.

Morningstar buys standalone rebalancer to fulfill its all-in-one vision by getting Sheryl Rowling to cash out and go back to RIA
This way M'star gets to intellectually fuel trades but execute lift-off without an awkward hand-off out of its own software zone

Monday 10.12.15
Corient principals: Clients looked at us with a strange look on their face, saying, 'Well, aren’t you my financial adviser?’

Why a $3 billion UHNW team in Newport Beach bolted Merrill Lynch and what breakaway bugs are reading into it
The alternating carrot/whip spurs for wirehouse mega-teams has the breakaway buggy bolting along

Tuesday 10.6.15
Paul Woolway is making Schwab Bank grow fast with help from RIAs.

Schwab alerts its RIAs that it will liquidate client money market holdings by Dec. 1
The San Francisco-based broker is shipping all cash in sub-$500K accounts to its bank

Wednesday 9.30.15
Co-founder Charlie Kroll started a successful online venture in his Brown University dorm room and appears be the day-to-day operator of this robo.

Relying on men but 'losing sleep' Sallie Krawcheck seeks to robo-reap women investors with Ellevest
Industry luminaries Joe Mansueto, Mohamed El-Erian, Ajay Banga and Robert Druskin -- never mind co-founder Charlie Kroll -- make up a stellar roster of male executives backing this play for women's wealth

Monday 9.28.15
Mike Crinieri: Our clients asked us to apply our investment expertise to exchange traded funds.

The wild ride that Goldman Sachs took to launch its first ETF -- one that even an RIA could love?
Three years of leaking assets in $1 trilion Goldman Sachs Asset Management pushed Lloyd Blankfein to treat the unit like a deal leading to acquisitions, hires and an exchange traded fund strategy

Wednesday 9.23.15
Roger Aliaga-Diaz: We are being more outspoken.

Anything but passive, Vanguard Group chides Yellen for mistaking market static for market signals in leaving rates alone
Roger Aliaga-Diaz is concerned that the Federal Reserve itself stoked market volatility then cited it as a reason to stand pat

Thursday 9.17.15


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