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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


Andrei Cherny: We're trying to bring the investment product relationship online. I do think it harks back.

New robo-advisor, Aspiration, gets ex-eBay head as backer and 40,000 on 'waiting list'
The pay-what-fees-you-want format and $100,000 maximum investment stand out along with its impact investing angle

Monday 1.26.15
Cardale Jones has already earned one CFP.

Passing on the NFL draft, Cardale Jones has a better idea: Study to become a financial planner
The Ohio State quarterback won the National Championship, humiliating the opposition, and doing it all after being relegated to third string

Friday 1.16.15
To Bill: There was a time when every time you spoke to the media, it took PIMCO higher and your standing with the media went higher still. Talk about credit creation.

Dear Bill Gross, Please stop crowdsourcing emotional support and making open-ended calls of doom
Your recent writings and media interviews are still infected by your PIMCO dethroning but find a new outlet for venting about that

Tuesday 1.13.15
Brooke Southall: Keep expressing heartfelt, unsanitized views, keep reading other's views, critically but copiously, and keep encouraging this intense unending interchange that is at the heart of what we do and who we are as we live in freedom.

RIABiz takes stock as journalism comes under siege
The recent blizzard of attacks on journalists, cartoonists and moviemakers reminds how precious is the right to give and receive free expression

Thursday 1.8.15
Wealthfront is the robo-advisor most associated with the term -- and with the founder, Andy Rachleff, who hates it most.

What exactly are robo-advisors, why did they steal the 2014 show and what will a 2015 repeat take?
We're talking 500 people, $250 million in capital with identifiable characteristics and 5,000 nervous legacy providers

Friday 1.2.15
Andrew Parish: I am personally disappointed that Reuters chose to print information about my family and personal life.

After hard-hitting Reuters article about AdvisorHUB, the online publication responds, like a sphinx
The gossip and news start-up takes issue with tone, taste and who called whom but also oozes gratitude

Monday 12.29.14
The deer don't mind the un-white Christmas of Maine.

Frozen toes in Maine make a welcome change from California's rains
Remmie the labradoodle and a new angel atop the tannenbaum mark their first Christmas at the Southall 'up nawth' homestead

Tuesday 12.23.14
Doug Wolford: ...That's one of the things that you can do when you put in place a professional management structure, which we're doing in the next five years.

With Convergent experiencing advisor exodus, City National takes greater control of the RIA
Doug Wolford gets a vote of confidence from his City National-controlled board of directors and he references a new five-year plan of creating a 'professional management structure'

Saturday 12.6.14
Tony Robbins will mostly give his generic speech to RIAs.

Tony Robbins prohibits reporters from covering his two-hour MarketCounsel speech
His PR firm says that no-coverage rules are part of his standard contract but the 11th hour heads-up today to journalists on legal points raises confusion

Friday 12.5.14
Tony Robbins was offered an hour but demanded two.

Tony Robbins is set to crash the RIA party with two hours of testosterone
The maestro of motivators became a client of Brian Hamburger and now he is speaking at the lawyer's Vegas conference next month

Wednesday 11.12.14
You can own 10 Dunkin' Donuts locations or one $1 billion AUM RIA

RIAs are ready to make the 'golden hire' and more painlessly add another $1 billion of AUM
The cost of hiring a COO is pretty staggering and so are the potential rewards of solid operational control

Tuesday 11.11.14
Eric Poirer: We have invested tremendously in our culture.

After one year of 'eight-fold' growth, Addepar rotates Karen White out and an ex-SAP exec in
The new CMO, Barbara Holzapfel, will face the challenge of establishing a niche more specific than 'all of the above'

Monday 11.10.14
Doug Wolford: I believe that our full and fast response to this situation will in time become a model for the industry.

Convergent Wealth begins to pick up the pieces after David Zier's death
The $9.4-billion RIA is said to be facing massive challenges in retaining advisors and clients -- rumors discounted by CEO Doug Wolford

Tuesday 11.4.14
Jon Stein: It's thousands and thousands of dollars instead of $8.

Betterment's bad-news play at getting in good with RIAs and investors
The NYC-based auto-advisor will flash tax ramifications at investors as they test drive trades

Thursday 10.30.14
Adam Nash: Having $100 million in the bank allows us to retain independence from Wall Street.

Wealthfront responds with force to Schwab CEO's robo announcement
The Silicon Valley-based auto-advice leader stokes its aura of invincibility by raising $64-million that it won't need anytime soon

Tuesday 10.28.14
David Zier apparently was questioned about money managed for friends and relatives outside the RIA he managed.

Barron's: David Zier's death takes another tragic twist
The Convergent executive's death was likely a suicide related to non-Convergent money managed for family and friends by Zier in a 'personal account'

Saturday 10.25.14
David Zier was a successful and beloved financial advisor.

The RIA business mourns the death of David Zier
The chief executive of Convergent Wealth Advisors was only 44

Saturday 10.25.14
Charles Goldman: These are folks I knew from the past that I knew and liked.

Charles Goldman rolls up a TAMP that handles clients with concentrated equity positions and 401(k) accounts
The AssetMark deal adds $1.7 billion and 600 advisor-clients

Friday 10.24.14
Robert Moore: Today, our independent RIA business accounts for approximately 65% of our new business development.

LPL Financial shares hit rough patch on $18-million surprise as RIAs now represent the vast majority of the firm's business development
Wall Street dings the IBD for spiralling compliance costs but hybrid RIA assets are serious bright spot

Thursday 10.23.14
Trisa Summers: The more I understood the level of transparency ... you have to be really comfortable.

Zero Alpha Group fraternity adds a sister to its elite $14-billion DFA RIA club
The esteemed study contingent tapped Trisa Summers, an elementary school teacher by training who now leads a $1.7-billion RIA

Wednesday 10.22.14
'Chuck' is advising a move to lower-expense ratio funds and stable management teams.

Schwab phones (at least some) Private Client customers to advise dumping PIMCO Total Return fund
Funds under Schwab discretion exited the Bill Gross fund three weeks ago

Tuesday 10.21.14
Abby Johnson's smarts and fierce work ethic are a given but some wonder if she can match her father's force of personality.

How Abby Johnson won the hearts of mega-RIA clients in advance of taking the CEO spot at Fidelity Investments
It wasn't what Ned Johnson's daughter said; she mostly let her ears do the talking

Monday 10.20.14
Rodney O. Martin Jr.: I have decided to directly oversee the next phase of the businesses' growth and expansion.

What's behind the sudden exit of Voya's top 401(k) exec, Maliz Beams, and her replacement by the firm's CEO, Rod Martin
In post-IPO, post-rebranding mode, the No. 2 defined contribution company is open to big change in the face of 401(k) hyper-competition

Thursday 10.16.14
Jon Stein: We've been working on it for the last six months. We wanted to wait until tax loss harvesting and trust account support was in place.

Fidelity and Betterment sign a deal with Steve Lockshin and Marty Bicknell as groomsmen at the altar
The RIA principals are distributing the online asset manager service to fellow RIAs, and Fidelity is quelling an uproar of demand from RIA clients for robo answers for the mass affluent

Wednesday 10.15.14
The forecast for the 401(k) business is bright and foggy.

What exactly is doable for an RIA in the 401(k) business?
Conflicting forces of change have made the question harder to answer but has sweetened the pot

Wednesday 10.15.14
Bill Gross exudes personal accountability -- even amid a few eccentricities.

The very good news that RIAs can take away from the whole Bill Gross imbroglio
Without a say-what-he-wants-when-he-wants 70-year-old to hold to account, PIMCO is reduced to a robo status that makes many decisionmakers nervous

Wednesday 10.8.14
Gail Graham: We firmly believe that the Guidebook is to financial planning what the smartphone is to the telephone booth.

United Capital unveils its killer electronic app but boomer clients still say: Paper, please
The $10.5-billion RIA spent millions of technology but client habits may delay use of the electronic version

Tuesday 10.7.14
Paul Orfalea founded West Coast Asset Management when he sold Kinko's but left two years ago.

Derek Bruton brings aboard two advisors seeking big back office after founder of their RIA, UHNW Kinko's founder, moves on
The former LPL executive's roll-up effort absorbs accounts of West Coast Asset Management, after it had challenges as a stand-alone RIA

Monday 10.6.14
Ali Rosenberg: I found myself evangelizing Wealthfront.

After bagging Google, Wealthfront hires a Facebook web-traffic pied piper to manage mega-prospects knocking at the door
With 'bigger' deals than Google in the works, Alison Rosenthal hits the ground running -- fast -- at the online RIA

Thursday 10.2.14
RIAs got their first direct splash of Gross's eccentric behavior at Morningstar's Investors Conference in June.

The real Bill Gross story with big help from the Wall Street Journal's reporting (Hint: The signs were there)
The humbled Bond King goes to an equity shop with a shove from PIMCO, a DoubleLine query and diminished options, WSJ reports

Friday 9.26.14
Stephen Brown writes: We advise several CEO's and CFO's of Fortune 500 companies, as well as some professional sports teams.

How Merrill Lynch's divorce of its own $2.5-billion team shows just how fed up the wirehouse is with RIA-bound breakaways
The sudden pick-up in these seemingly self-defeating dismissals by Wall Street firms suggest new vigilance against gradual breakaways

Monday 9.22.14
Cup holders, like robo-capability, matter whether or not they should.

How the new RIA competition is akin to the cup-holder dilemma for automakers
Many robo-innovations are superficial but are nonetheless looked for by investors as a sign of substance

Thursday 9.18.14
Being heedless of competitors is dangerous but crying wolf has its own perils.

Why Joe Duran is dead wrong on 2015 marking the end of the Golden Era of the RIA
The serial entrepeneur's column in InvestmentNews forgets that RIAs are also advancing and that the 'new competitors' carry baggage and have fatal shortcomings

Monday 9.15.14
Ken Fisher has been trying to tell anyone who would listen.

The documented RIA threat, 'phono-advisors' and their nearly $300 billion of assets
Not much romantic about call center-based advisors but under banners like Vanguard, Fisher Investments or Merrill Edge, they are a force to be reckoned with

Friday 9.12.14
Tony Hallada: They'll be far beyond in two years where they are today.

Envestnet-Tamarac wins four more RIAs with an average of $5 billion of AUM by selling a vision
The Seattle-based firm signs on CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors, Beacon Pointe Advisors, Convergent and Freestone

Wednesday 9.10.14


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