Kelly

Kelly O'Mara

Reporter

kelly@riabiz.com

Kelly is the latest addition to the RIA Biz team, coming on board in the spring 2012 after working as a local news reporter for the last few years. She finds financial news more interesting that following small-town police cars around. Along with RIABiz, Kelly writes for a number of running, cycling and triathlon magazines.

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Kelly also spends a lot of time running, cycling, and racing triathlon. It's always nice weather in Marin County.

Articles written by Kelly O'Mara


Bill Ruckelshaus: The company will be a one-stop shop for tax advisors.

Dissecting Blucora's giant act of financial engineering -- adding a broker-dealer to a software roll-up
M&A expert Bill Ruckelshaus' Bellevue company is paying $580 million for H.D. Vest, a crazy price by some measures but not if 5.5 million existing Blucora customers can be cross-sold

Tuesday 12.15.15
Mike Schroepfer is the latest Facebook add to Wealthfront's squad.

Wealthfront takes on another Facebook vet -- a clue that going dark in Palo Alto doesn't mean going away
The last-standing pure B2C robo hopes to outwit, outlast, and outplay its competitors by out-hiring them

Thursday 12.3.15
Steve Lockshin: One is a hammer and the other is a screwdriver.

Why exactly Betterment backers Marty Bicknell and Steve Lockshin became customers of rival robo and custodian TD Ameritrade
What makes the counterintuitive step work is how Jemstep helps round up the mass-affluent's mess of paperwork

Wednesday 11.25.15
A plethora of definitions and categories must be sorted and so must manipulation of the count.

How many RIAs are there? No, seriously, how many?
Competing counts are full of 'bastardized' definitions of 'advisor,' state vs. SEC- vs. dually registered IARs, differing study criteria and agendas

Wednesday 11.11.15
Sharron Ash: If there's one rule about raiding it's this: there are no rules.

The odd case of MetLife's claim that it's being bullied by LPL
The $60 billion market-cap insurer alleges LPL was underhanded in luring away 60 employees -- but thousands have already left its broker-dealer without LPL's help

Tuesday 8.18.15
Amy Parvaneh: I was a cold-calling machine.

How an ex-Goldman superstar asset gatherer in LA is bringing her bazooka to the RIA knife fight
Growing up in a West Egg-East Egg scenario among the Long Island rich, Amy Parvaneh burnished her credentials with unusual Parisian luxury brands training, a Duke MBA and a dramatic Wall Street debut

Monday 8.10.15
Mike Sha: We haven't actually rolled out our asset management service yet.

Why SigFig is shifting its focus to using banks as middlemen despite having captive consumer audience with $350 billion
The San Francisco-based robo-advisor has trepidation about the scale it would take to handle the conversions after bad experience

Tuesday 7.21.15
David Benskin: Basically, I built 50 spreadsheets.

How a software-flummoxed ex-Merrill Lynch private banker set up shop, invented his own dashboard and is selling it to top RIAs
David Benskin is bringing on talent from eMoney, Black Diamond and Envestnet to grow Wealth Access

Thursday 6.25.15
John Michel: We started all over again. We're not building the same product.

BloombergBlack rematerializes as CircleBlack minus Bloomberg
John Michel salvaged the lessons learned and momentum of a venture that was on a roll when its plug got pulled

Tuesday 7.15.14
Joseph Saldana: It's like sitting at your house and watching a storm blowing in from the horizon — you don't really know how bad it is until it's upon you.

An ex-Lehman exec with a 2008 crash sideline seat becomes Mr. Inside for the TAMP, roll-up and RIA where Michael Kitces is Mr. Outside
Pinnacle has hit $1.3 billion of AUM and is pushing forward aggressively with hires, strategic plans and offering 'office hours' with the planning research head dubbed 'stump the Kitces'

Thursday 7.10.14
Anthony Sperling: We're de-coupling our growth from accounting systems.

Two years in, Advent Software gives itself a Sept. 30 deadline to release the middleware that will draw Axys users into the Cloud
Advent Direct is groundbreaking and breathtaking in its ambidexterity but is it enough to stop the feeding frenzy by Tamarac, Orion and other cloud natives

Thursday 5.29.14
Mike Sha: Most people have a lot of dirty laundry that needs to be cleaned.

Why Mike Sha has a 2015 goal of $1 trillion in robo-assets for SigFig and where Marissa Mayer fits in
The ability of the ex-Amazon whiz to make slippery YahooFinance users sticky appears to be the get to launch this fueled-up rocket

Tuesday 5.27.14
Hardeep Walia: Our vision for our advisor platform is an open architecture DFA.

The two big moves Motif is making as Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan invest part of new $35-million raise
The San Mateo start-up online broker will take its act overseas and build out a smart beta effort with Dimensional Fund Advisors' hundreds of billion of AUM in mind

Tuesday 5.13.14
Jeff Maurer: At no point did we say let's go hire as many people from GenSpring as possible.

How Jeff Maurer is now ploughing into Florida using his old Evercore tricks but with new GenSpring wrinkles
The U.S. Trust-alumni RIA shows no sign of let-up at $5 billion of AUM

Tuesday 4.29.14
Libby Cherrington (right) and Krista Dunton have two kids and have been married almost five years.

How Morgan Stanley and a lesbian super-producer came to grief in South Carolina and why she alleges bias
The wirehouse's response: Libby Cherrington is using the gay issue to distract from a $6.7 million loan that has gone unpaid by the AIG rep

Tuesday 4.15.14
Rob Foregger left Personal Capital to found NextCapital, which has a rare attribute -- big managed assets.

How one 'robo-advisor' got $25 billion on its platform with a Mint.com mindset, 401(k) friendliness, a merger and 16 years of work
NextCapital has deals with Barron's, Dow Jones and Russell Investments as part of a brick-by-brick history in a put-up-your-robo-shingle world

Monday 3.31.14
Mike Paulus (r.) being interviewed by Bill Winterberg: It was a very long and smooth transition. (photo courtesy of Winterberg.)

The face of Addepar leaves the company amid intrigue about just where it stands with the RIA market
Mike Paulus was company president during its formative time and exemplified its faith in youth

Monday 3.24.14
Justin Richter: I wanted to avoid the tortured stares of my older colleagues, who went into investment banking and sold their souls.

A 32-year-old Kansas advisor -- at all upheaval costs -- followed his mentor to Mariner Wealth Advisors
Losing clients and leaving money on the table are risks that more young advisors are willing to take, especially with social media as a viable workaround to the non-solicitation straitjacket

Thursday 2.27.14
John Rourke: I've never seen a more wide-open industry.

VC-backed RIA CRM firm bursts onto the T3 scene looking to knock off Redtail, Salesforce etc.
Gotham Tech Labs seeks to blur the line between CRM and social media -- for a bargain

Wednesday 2.12.14
Trey Tune: It's the right place to build a business in the private client space.

How an Alex. Brown spin-off grew to be a $46 billion RIA and how a Brown Brothers breakaway fits in to its plan for accelerated growth
The Baltimore-based firm, Brown Advisory, will invade Bank of America's hometown with an up-to-date investing approach and Old Money flavor

Wednesday 2.5.14
Bill Rourke: If we don’t do this, we don’t get the business.

How Ric Edelman's bounty of radio and TV leads pushed his $12-billion RIA from Microsoft to GoldMine to Salentica
The secondary effect was a muscle flexing that brought about a TD integration with Schwab's gritted-teeth blessing

Tuesday 1.21.14
Charles 'Chuck' Schwab seems to be betting that Merrill Lynch won't try 'accountability' in its line-blurring ads

How Schwab is calling out wirehouses with its 'accountability' blitz and what collateral effects could hit RIAs
Chuck's new money-back guarantee sends a 'shot across the bow' to wirehouses but Schwab RIAs won't be untouched

Thursday 12.26.13
Stuart DePina: It's not as streamlined when you're using two systems.

Envestnet increasingly cuts Schwab out of its RIA software mix and 39 RIAs are leading the way
As new owner of Tamarac, the Chicago outsourcer has its own portfolio accounting, not Schwab PortfolioCenter, as the guts of its mini-ecosystem for the first time

Wednesday 12.11.13
Stuart DePina: They wanted to find a reach into the RIA channel and they placed their bet on Tamarac to make that happen.

Envestnet struts upmarket stuff by signing a $1.5-billion, a $3.3-billion, a $2.3-billion and a $4-billion RIA to big technology deals
Post-Tamarac acquisition and bolstering, the Chicago-based king of SMAs to IBDs poached accounts from the likes of The Colony Group, Henssler Financial, Laird Norton, RegentAtlantic from legacy RIA providers

Monday 11.25.13
Andy Gill: We believe we'll continue to attract affluent clients at an accelerated pace.

Schwab drops pretense: $2-million clients its staple branch diet in bid for fresh $2 trillion
The San Francisco-based broker has named its composite perfect ideal client 'Tobin' -- representing a graying, masculine entreprenuer

Tuesday 11.5.13
Josh Brown -- right -- with partner Barry Ritholtz: Our message of simplifying your portfolio, passive investing, and putting the bulk of assets in index funds gets a little fuzzy when on the other side of the wall they're pitching hedge funds.

Mystery solved: Josh Brown and Barry Ritholtz start RIA -- or is that actually where the intrigue begins
After a couple of years of 24/7 tweeting and blogging, the duo is poised to scoop up talent on the cheap, keep it simple and dare to offend but experts say they also need to avoid 'talking heads' syndrome

Friday 10.11.13
Jason Wenk says he brought in 105 prospective clients through blogging last month. 'No one could keep up with that.'

How a 33 year-old advisor ditched the Midwest for California and used mad blogging and SEO skills to hijack annuity-bound web traffic to propel giant growth
With $40 million and counting in new business this year alone, Jason Wenk expects to double his AUM by year's end in part by mining clients' keyword gold

Wednesday 10.2.13
Michael Zeuner, Maria Elena "Mel" Lagomasino and Santiago Ulloa believe they're through the start-up phase of W.E. Family Offices.

GenSpring offshoot poaches four more as it reimagines the service model for UHNW families
With new talent from Bessemer, HSBC, the SEC and -- of course -- GenSpring, W.E. Family offices is betting that putting the client back in charge is really the way to go

Monday 9.23.13
Greg Mech: Increasingly, there's an overemphasis on cross-selling and a lack of transparency in [the wirehouse] space.

How a $2.5 billion Boise RIA will use Merrill Lynch's former SoCal overseer to win the over-sunned of The OC
The former Bank of America market president stepped back into the industry after a two-year hiatus following an epiphany and will be recruiting families, not his former flock of brokers

Monday 9.9.13
Esther Stearns:  I remain committed to that mission.

Why exactly LPL Financial nixed NestWise and how OSJs, once again, may be wagging the big dog
The event is eerily similar to BloombergBlack's full stop, one analyst says, but LPL's story has its own twists, it seems

Tuesday 9.3.13
Shawn Carpenter: We preemptively raised capital to take advantage of the growth we are seeing with advisors, hedge funds and portfolio managers.

Morningstar takes a big stake in a startup gunning to be the Bloomberg for RIAs
Flush with $8 million in VC dollars, YCharts is betting that its data feed and content can challenge the Bloomberg behemoth by filling a hole for wealth and hedge fund managers

Tuesday 8.13.13
Maria Elena Lagomasino: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

One special GenSpring spin-away (the old chief's new venture) is thriving as a $1.6-billion RIA and using a retrofitted stock broker's trick
Miami's Mel Lagomasino, former CEO of J.P. Morgan Private Bank, (and GenSpring) will be a family office that eschews asset-based fees, discretionary assets, commissions and even -- going forward -- its international emphasis

Sunday 7.7.13
Vince Lowry: It's worth noting that we have gotten little resistance on fees.

This $9-billion Philly RIA is launching an ETF company financed by Chinese private equity
Vince Lowry, an ex-cop and Smith Barney managing director has made a big bet on Chinese ETF market that's mushroomed from $12 million $38.8 billion in the last decade

Friday 6.21.13
Alan Markarian: We're the largest commercial bank focusing on this need.

How U.S. Bank appeared on the scene as an RIA custodian and where it might find love
Though the brand seems to scream out Generic Retail Bank, its Cincinnati RIA unit see room to wrest share from bigger, more faceless banks and the smaller brokerages

Tuesday 6.11.13
John Stuart: We're replicating the wirehouse portal.

One RIA's bid to make the technology that makes it possible to use one password
Beverly Hills Wealth Management wants to eliminate the downside of open architecture

Wednesday 5.29.13

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