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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


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
Jerry Chafkin: The old [formula for managing investment risk] is less than fully baked.

AssetMark keeps to the ex-Schwab theme, tapping Jerry Chafkin as chief investment officer
After a prolonged search, Charles Goldman hires the former CEO of $240-billion AUM Natixis, president of Charles Schwab Investment Management and Yalie

Wednesday 9.3.14
Sterling Shea: One day we may have an advisor from Edelman Financial on the list rather than Ric himself.

Getting inside Barron's Top-100-Advisor lists with some help from Sterling Shea
As the scrutinized lists expands and evolves, the Dow Jones newsweekly is striving to parse better from bigger -- all while keeping a promise to Rupert Murdoch

Wednesday 9.3.14
Elliot Weissbluth will play moderator with a strong robo viewpoint -- by Hamburger design.

Elliot Weissbluth will referee -- with a human bias -- a debate on robo-advisors starring Joe Duran, John Michel, and Jon Stein
MarketCounsel Summit also adds a second panel: Fortigent's Jamie McIntyre mediating Envestnet’s Jud Bergman, LPL’s Victor Fetter, and ActiFi’s Spencer Segal on an advisor support futurist theme

Thursday 8.28.14
Peg Pike: I looked at a number of opportunities. It's rare.

How one $1.3-billion RIA in Tiburon found its woman by taking the 'grueling' route
Steve Janachowski was determined to do 16-hour 'test-drives' of all candidates and finally Peg Pike proved more hard core than him

Monday 8.25.14
Before boomers turned into Bobos, they were characterized as “selfish, entitled and unwilling to grow up.”

A New York Times article gets real on the topic of marketing to millennials
It's the what-do-women-want dilemma in different form but the answer is the same: Treat me foremost as a human being but don't waste my time or expose me to psychological mildew

Monday 8.25.14
Ryan Marcus: I said, I don't care what it takes.

Fresh off an RBC exit, Ryan Marcus lands with Joe Duran
The recently departed face of RBC's RIA custody will tackle the Northeast corridor of the US for United Capital

Tuesday 8.19.14
Marty Bicknell: The thing I manage is reputational risk.

Marty Bicknell adds an investment bank to his $10-billion RIA and $26-billion asset manager
The CEO of Mariner Holdings prefers not to throw his wealth management clients to the M&A wolves when they liquidate big companies

Monday 8.11.14
Joe Lonsdale: Wealth management is designed for the 1950s, not this century.

Takeaways from a New York Times article about Addepar
The Mountain View, Calif. start-up kept it close to the vest but revealed who they believe uses big data to good effect

Friday 8.8.14
Nick Georgis: We're told by our clients that they're not getting this help anywhere else.

What tidbits jumped out of Schwab's business update to Wall Street -- including the two underscored advantages relating to Schwab Advisor Services
Braving 'ahems' from Fidelity and Pershing, Bernie Clark claims Schwab is now the preferred vendor to roll-ups and Nick Georgis says Schwab stands alone as a business consultant to RIA firms

Monday 8.4.14
Lars Knudsen: I think they're the best of the best.

HighTower Advisors shows its breadth of appeal by nabbing a 25-year RIA veteran with Moss Adams DNA
The Great Northwest's Triad Wealth Stewardship is now Bellevue Hightower and will stick with Tamarac after a long trial period

Friday 8.1.14
Ray Lucia Jr.: We have a profound respect for my father ... his regulatory challenges are his and his alone.

Derek Bruton joins forces with Ray Lucia Jr. in San Diego to execute national RIA hybrid plan
The ex-LPL exec saw no issue at all joining the eponymous son of the radio host barred by the SEC

Thursday 7.31.14
Fred Tomczyk: Some of our peers will catch up with that ... probably all of them will redesign their technology to make sure they meet that competitive advantage that we've had.

How TD Ameritrade's patient, patient bet on RIAs is finally paying off
CEO Fred Tomczyk is talking advisor software like he might have previously discussed trade volume as RIA assets, and prospects, soar

Monday 7.28.14
Bernie Clark: We're going to rewrite the whole portfolio management tool.

Bernie Clark promises Schwab is getting there on its PortfolioCenter rewrite but competitors say the clock is ticking
Rivals cite lingering challenges for the ubiquitous software but its custody platform tie-in is a difference-maker, Joel Bruckenstein says

Friday 7.25.14
Walter Bettinger: We are fast at work.

What's up with Schwab getting into the robo-style online advice business and is Windhaven the linchpin?
Walt Bettinger's options for building using existing ETF portfolio capabilities or buying one of the many robos in existence point to a no-lose move

Friday 7.25.14


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