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Nexus Strategy
Filed under: Consulting Firm


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Top Executive: Timothy D. Welsh
http://www.nexus-strategy.com
415-847-4874
57 Creek View Circle
Larkspur, CA 94939

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Nexus Strategy
filed under: Consulting Firm


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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
Peter Hess: I am extremely optimistic that we can close that gap to greatness.

Peter Hess delivers Advent Direct specifics at AdventConnect as Dave Welling wows with Black Diamond's cloud advance

RIAs on a market high absorbed Advent Software's efforts to press skyward under rainy Las Vegas skies
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
Ed Beggs: This past year, we had over 45 million downloads of 32,000 forms in our library processed by 115,000 users from 15 custodians and clearing firms, and 350 broker-dealers.

Laser App celebrates its RIA business quasi-monopoly by throwing a summit for all of whom it surveys

It's the killer app of the paper blob and it shares the wealth each year with a come-all B-to-B event
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
Talking to Chuck is likely going to cost you a few thousand more.

Schwab Private Client edges its fee closer to the classic RIA standard

Schwab Private Client jacked its price 20% and its minimum fee jumps 60%
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
Bernie Clark: Nearly 40% of RIA clients are retired, 30% are less than 10 years from retirement and 63% of those retired are withdrawing from portfolios, including from principal.

Framing it as opportunity, Bernie Clark delivers a chilling market warning at EXPLORE about the coming post-baby boom market

The Schwab chief tells 160 RIAs with $200-billion-plus of assets to learn to love and attract a poorer, younger, higher maintenance -- but lower mileage -- client pool
Tim Welsh: You know the gig is up. That's their core competency.

Bloomberg: BoA's market-making unit for its Merrill Lynch wealth division gets suddenly scrapped

The news and data giant is reporting that heat from Flash Boys made the investment bank think twice about conflicts
Natalie Wolfsen steps into a position tailored to her marketing and product-management strengths

Natalie Wolfsen is leaving New York to reunite with Charles Goldman out West

The ex-Schwab, ex-Pershing product exec assumes Myra Rothfeld's duties and then some
Symmetry founder David Connelly and ECHELON CEO and 'Deal Maker' master of ceremonies Dan Seivert

Tub-thumping debate between Tibergien and Seivert ignites Deal Makers Summit in NYC and helps RIA succession medicine go down

With some seeing RIA M&A as an oxymoron, this Summit was transparent about its own sand in the gears
Oleg Tishkevich: If the 2045 Avatar Project is successful, we will have to expand the Finance Logix technology platform to creating financial plans for immortals.

Oleg Tishkevich lets loose a de facto RIA future-shock think tank in Vegas

A Heartbleed super-expert, Sochi Olympics security chief, Joel Bruckenstein's woodshed talk and Oleg's own Year 2045 post-robo oration set the shocking tone
Cathy Clauson will act as the connective tissue between sales and the C-suite.

Charles Goldman recruits his one-time Schwab leftenant to be his right-hand woman at AssetMark

Cathy Clauson fills newly created position related to TAMP sales
Lauren Schadle: Nothing has changed to accommodate MetLife.

The FPA is now brought to you by MetLife, for better or worse

The insurer's cash is the good news but some see it as tainted money
Tom Valverde's hire is part of Fidelity's new 'geographical' sales strategy.

Fidelity Institutional bags Pershing's RIA sales chief and gives him a lesser title

The prize is Tom Valverde who Pershing replaces with Ben Harrison
Walter Bettinger and Charles Schwab: It is time to treat the cancer aggressively.

Chuck Schwab and Walter Bettinger issue call to squash flash traders but RIAs question hysteria over the issue

Calling robo-traders a 'cancer', the Schwab execs lash out while Norm Boone and other advisors question whether this is a battle to pick
Joe Mansueto sees the buy 'particularly bolstering our offerings that support an advisor’s workflow.'

Why Morningstar's purchase of ByAllAccounts might be a bigger deal than its paltry $28-million price tag shows

The Chicago firm becomes the king of charging for held-away assets facilitation and has a view into the data of its competitors
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
Matt McGinness long had the power of the pen and now has power, period.

Adam Antoniades names Matt McGinness as his replacement as CEO of First Allied's $4-billion RIA-TAMP to launch new business line

Long an RIA researcher at Cerulli and LPL, McGinness makes a big leap to turn the company's internal corporate RIA into an outward-facing TAMP
Racquel Oden is tasked with RIA-ifying the training program and infusing new blood into the starchy Merrill advisor force.

Is Merrill Lynch taking its more RIA-like training program another step forward with Racquel Oden's promotion?

The new head of training breaks stereotypes and may break new ground for the industry -- or not
David Welling: The large firms are starting to outsource. I feel like the momentum is building. We're in a great spot.

Black Diamond blows the lid off asset growth in Dave Welling's first year in charge

Assets jumped about 65% and the former Schwabbie says that growth is accelerating
Greg Friedman and Neesha Hathi may symbolize how companies like his Junxure and her Schwab are getting close, but not too close.

How big companies stampeded to T3 with big bucks and how it affects the once maverick RIA software show

Broker-dealers, custodians, Salesforce and TAMPs are paid more and played more in Anaheim
Hundreds of CPAs looking to roll the dice on wealth management gathered at the Aria Resort and Casino this week.

In benevolent invasion, CPAs-turned-RIAs make statement with sheer numbers in Vegas

Once an outlier and a research prediction, the 2014 AICPA Personal Financial Planning Conference shows that accountants that keep wealth management in-house are now flamboyantly growing
Nicholas S. Schorsch: We intend for RCAP to be the most important full-service financial services and securities distribution company in the industry.

What the Cetera takeover means and why the non-RIA, product-through-the-pipe direction in the hands of a hard-hitter is an eyebrow raiser

Nicholas S. Schorsch may not let open-architecture niceties stand in the way of REIT sales
Rudy Adolf: There is no other business in the RIA space that has even close to this level of capital.

What bet Rudy Adolf is making on RIAs by pre-borrowing $550 million from Bank of America and a wider syndicate

The Focus Financial CEO sees lending rate at rock bottom and ROI on RIA investing with room to rock
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
The MarketCounsel Summit convened many kings of the jungle.

The 2013 MarketCounsel Summit is heavy on future shock

A Cassandra-like Steve Lockshin lead the gloomsters, Team Tech protested that the future is bright and Frank & Dodd laid an egg
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
Joe Piazza: I won't allow any other firm to own us. We don't need anybody's money.

As Joe Piazza's 'Robertson Stephens' venture gears up for '$40 billion,' he adds Mercer, Addepar, Fidelity and Schwab and subtracts Fortigent

The ex-Goldman Sachs executive draws blood with poaching of rival Presidio Group's Mike Tierney, but his quest for a quick $1-billion of AUM will soon be tested
Departed Schwab retail advisors protested the firm's termination policies on the first day of IMPACT.

Schwab IMPACT 2013 is another great bash but picketers and Fidelity siphoned off some precious RIA attention

Attendees were greeted by disgruntled ex-Schwab advisors chanting 'Find out how Schwab terminates' and Fidelity's RIA campaign jumped out at you on every sidewalk
Justin Wisz (r.): There is an incredible opportunity for advisors to use digital channels to generate leads for their businesses.

Joel Bruckenstein convenes a wholesale version of T3 for IBD execs who choose software for thousands of reps

In his usual no-frills style, the technology guru brought together 200 broker-dealers and tech execs where airplanes thunder in Chicago
Mike Durbin: I won't be threatened until one of these folks wakes up and decides to be a custodian or a clearing firm. I don't find that to be a near- or medium-term risk.

Part II: RIA custodians' answer to challenges to their monolithic control: We still have big-time scale advantages

Roll-ups and other mezzanine firms are squeezing RIA custody margins as a value proposition but the big-brand custodians -- and some new ones -- are liking the cards they have to play
Lauren Schadle: We need to go back to our roots with a laser-like focus for why FPA was created in the first place -- and that is to support the CFP professional.

Lauren Schadle shows mettle as FPA stakes out turf in skirmish with CFP Board at its national conference in Orlando

Despite a no-show Phyllis Borzi, the FPA Experience was a substance-filled event in which the organization sought to redefine and reclaim its soul
Marty Bicknell: I don't consider this to be an afterthought.

Marty Bicknell jumps into the mass market with no 'robo-advisors' and a missionary zeal

After amassing $6 billion in his RIA and $18.5 billion in his asset manager, the Mariner Holdings chief is opening FirstPoint, its Old Navy for the impecunious to fill a Gap
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
Under same management, but with a new logo,  Advent lowers the boom on its retired signage.

Advent unveils new logo at its annual San Francisco conference -- after discarding one that failed to elicit a sense of the progressive from RIAs

From signage to stationery to T-shirts to a new tech platform, Advent aims to move past its safe-as-houses reputation and up into the cloud
Greg Friedman: Junxure Cloud will work for advisors customized for wealth management right from the start.

After years of making Junxure's future more 'cloud'-y, Friedman takes a big stage in Texas to explain

With Salesforce not even slowing to catch its breath, the RIA shows he can fight back in his own way
Bill Crager: New chapter, full speed.

Envestnet goes back to its un-marketing marketing approach as Marion Asnes (mostly) leaves and her CMO spot gets deleted

On fire, Envestnet will still 'market' through conferences, advertisements and the like but with a more decentralized command structure
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
Sal Zambito: Many times these RIAs are large organizations but they haven't put a true business team together.

LPL Financial tells its faithful in San Diego that a fuller-service, more dependent model will get corporate support

With Philip Palaveev overseeing the project, LPL is working to install more management expertise in the crazy-growth OSJs it both supports and competes with
Meredith Lloyd Rice: [Fee proliferation] is a trend but the RIAs are still very distinctive in their attitudes and preferences.

Cogent study shows one big RIA distinction getting swallowed up -- or not

It'll be a head-turner if, in fact, two-thirds of all retail assets are fee-based in 2015, but there may be more to the story
Jon Patullo: This isn't endorsing the [software] firm.

How TD Ameritrade is playing the logo game to spur 4,000 of its wavering RIAs to adopt its third-party hook-ups

'Veo Integrated' is a clunky name for smooth hand-offs of data from custodian to vendor to RIA -- and back
Peter Wheeler: There's a one in a billion chance that something like this would happen twice.

RIAs get hit with data losses held at small RIA-owned firm that, in turn, blames giant Amazon for lack of backup and for selling its space

Bad luck and the Seattle web giant's too-porous cloud technology vexed ElevateCDS, its owner says, but RIA tech experts say perhaps more care was owed to virtual belts and suspenders
Roger Shaffer: At first, I was looking for an option that didn't exist.

Why Roger Shaffer happily agreed to become a 'HighTower' advisor without getting paid for his practice

After two decades at Merrill and then SunTrust, the Atlanta advisor finally found the right admixture of autonomy, open architecture and paternal assurance
Dan Sievert and Greg Friedman, who noted:I am basically the poster child for every problem in our industry.

The FPA NorCal Conference burnishes its little-gem image with big RIAs and other advisory progressives

700 people pow-wowed at The (respendent) Palace of San Francisco and none of their activity escaped the Tim Welsh watchful eye
Mark Tibergien: It's been a dream of ours.

Pershing and BNY Mellon unveil a unified, 'dream' RIA and bank custody unit

The idea is to create one service experience for assets held in both bank and brokerage accounts under a single advisor -- with Mark Tibergien calling all the shots.
Leonard Palmer allows that not every RBC broker's request to become an RIA under RBC is approved.

What ever became of RBC's RIA custody unit after it showed such promise

Royal Bank of Canada high-ups say RBC Advisor Services still holds importance, but the Cerulli numbers are concerning and some RBC brokers are barred from channel switches
Martin Smith: We never considered this investigative in the sense that it wasn't information that was already out there.

Why the industry needs to accept some blame for 'flaws' in PBS Frontline's 'Retirement Gamble'

The PBS report was slanted, simplistic and went in for shock value, say critics, but some in the industry say too-high fees are in fact the root of the problem
Bill Crager: The content race will be on and we'll open up a whole new competitive landscape for asset management.

Having won advisor assets, Envestnet's next -- more Google-like -- play is for their smarts

The Chicago outsourcer will soak up and synthesize information from 23,000 advisors and distribute it in real time in an effort to create one big giant brain out of an atomized industry
BloombergBlack, which registered as an RIA with the SEC in 2010, has 33 employees, including former branch managers from TD Ameritrade and Fidelity will occupy a few square feet of this building.

What is up with Bloomberg launching an RIA, BloombergBlack, and hiring a bunch of ex-TD, -Fido and -Schwab folks to staff it?

It's not clear how this fits in with Bloomberg's bigger plan and the effort seems a little tentative but the data giant has resources
Philip Palaveev: Client service expectations are ... more difficult to manage profitably.

Round 2 in Vegas: Finance Logix advisor conference ponders simplicity as sophistication

As the RIA industry matures, first-time buyers are gone and differentiation is the name of the game
Mark Hurley: The middle ground [of tweeners] is going to go away and there's a staggering amount of opportunity.

Mark Hurley drops a new wealth management prognosis on the industry with a zero-sum flavor

With the best clients aging, RIA business will be shaped by how about 2,000 'tweener' firms react to fast-deteriorating business conditions
Roger Hewins: What the heck are they doing for clients to earn this?

Industry leaders puzzled by RIAs' being paid by Schwab and Fidelity for investing in funds

Some RIAs see it as an unacceptable conflict, but the custodians are unabashed about the arrangements
Jesse Mark: The RIA channel is probably the most sophisticated of the distribution channels. [Wholesalers] need to be able to speak at the level of that RIA.

How RIAs are forcing mutual fund wholesalers to lead or get out of the way

Numbers of internal salespeople are fast on the rise as the old-model external forces hit a plateau, according to Ignites research
Can RIAs do TED? George Tamer gives it a go.

How the FPA sexed up its 2013 Business Solutions Conference

One session was so successful that the attendees wouldn't let it end -- surely a conference first, our correspondent believes
Joe Piazza:  I have always felt that I was "interrupted" 10 years ago.

With big LPL backing, the Robertson Stephens brand revives to roll up advisors to the suddenly wealthy

Joe Piazza is taking the once-premium San Francisco investment banking brand and combining with Fortigent to lure brokers to a hybrid platform
Chris Kojima told FundFire: The RIA business is a smaller part of the assets that AIMS manages, it has more than doubled in the last two years and it is growing

Sparks fly after FundFire reports that Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs are offering some RIAs their corner-office research

The Financial Times publication stands by its story, but Merrill won't comment, making the fiery situation smokier; Goldman is unabashed
Tim Welsh: If you're not there people say, Why isn't so and so there? It's the missing persons effect.

Postscript: What exactly should we make of the T3 phenomenon?

True, software vendors themselves may be more enthused than advisors, but the conflagration of information-sharing ventures on RIAs' behalf is no footnote
Fidelity brought to T3 a smart TV using Aviya technology that provides avatars for an online, remote meeting.

T3 goes big in Miami but Fidelity steals the show with avatar advisors and smart coffee tables

Joel Bruckenstein's hype about his event's must-see status ain't hype as virtually every RIA technology vendor -- from behemoth to garage dweller -- put on a show for advisors
Esther Stearns: We are not really recruiting advisors in the sense LPL does. We're training them to become good advisors.

NestWise is starting to take shape and take flight under LPL's wing -- and from under Schwab's shadow

The San Fran-based venture, headed by a former Schwabie, is pioneering technology, mass-affluent retainers and choice of labor pool, for starters
Tom Bradley and Tom Nally are still very much at ease sharing a stage.

Tim Welsh grills Tom Nally and Tom Bradley at TD's annual conference

The two Q&As reveal where the president of TD's RIA business is looking for the firm's next $100 billion and that Tom Bradley isn't saying never to rejoining RIAs
Flash mob dance crew 'The Poreotics' take center stage at the 17th annual industry conference.

TD celebrates its $200 billion tipping point with an exuberant, VIP-rich conference in San Diego

Malcolm Gladwell, Pat Benatar and Condi Rice were on hand as TD served notice it's going after the $28 trillion millennials will soon bring to the table
Mike Durbin is not shy about going and getting top sales talent from competitors large and small.

Power shift in Fidelity's RIA sales: Scott Dell'Orfano is out; Rich Policastro defects from Schwab

Bob Oros has his hands full as the Fidelity sales effort gains more of a Schwab presence and feel
Rob Mooney: This is not about Merrill Lynch.

A mini-Merrill springs up with its own broker-dealer and plans to grow

Two former Merrill higher-ups brought aboard two teams of Merrill brokers -- and they're just getting started
Schwab held IMPACT in Chicago this year but really the city was already very much on the RIA map.

The case for Chicago as an epicenter of the RIA world

The rise of registered investment advisors here means the city, once viewed as a very secondary financial center to New York and the Bay Area, is coming into its own in a big way
Michelle Draper: Bringing in other custodians to RIA Stands for You is still on the table.

Schwab is set to connect RIAs outside its referral network to HNW investors through its 'Got-milk'-style campaign

RIA Stands for You will use things like digital New Yorker ads, messaging and candid videos with RIAs is funneling down to phone calls from virgin prospects
The IMPACT production team went all-out to craft a dramatic backdrop for Bernie Clark's opening remarks.

The 2012 Schwab IMPACT conference comes off with a theatrical flair

Bernie Clark all but donned top hat and tails for a dramatic presentation of upcoming initiatives, and a last-minute celeb subbed for a famed basketball coach
Tom Nally: If we just have a small piece of their business, we won't show up on the radar of senior management and internal operations staff will just look at you with resistance as yet another form to fill out or process to re-engineer.

Tom Nally answers 10 questions that show one seminal shift: TD Ameritrade no longer seeks a few assets and extended probation

The RIA custodian built by taking token accounts from Schwab malcontents then scrambling for the rest is now leaving the peashooter at home
Philip Palaveev: Wirehouses would be wise to explore the opportunity to brand the teams alongside the national brand and to create compensation structures that give team captains control over the hiring and compensation of their team members.

The 10 things Morgan, Merrill, UBS and Wells Fargo could do if they really, really wanted to stem the RIA tide

Advisors are happy to hand over the blueprint to wirehouses because they're certain the firms are too fainthearted to execute it
The FPA packed them in

The FPA throws its annual gathering in a spirit of renewal after years of membership decline

The Financial Planning Association aims to rally around the CFP designation, bring in fresh blood and build membership back up
Rich Steinberg: We're essentially hiring ourselves.

A big Schwab RIA in Florida launches a mass-market venture with Placemark and Schwab as the key pieces

Rich Steinberg is using, in effect, his own RIA as the manager to clients of a startup RIA, outsourcing the technology and counting on Schwab referrals
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
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
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
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
Launch No. 2: RIABiz correspondent Timothy Welsh and T3's Joel Bruckenstein set sail.

After a year under wraps, Laser App unveils a new "anywhere" product at its sixth annual conference in San Diego

Laser App Anywhere is, from its cloud, fundamentally different from the company's legacy desktop, server-based software products
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
Kate Healy: For me it's the culmination of the last 25 years of my career in the industry.

As Paul Zettl follows Tom Bradley to the retail side, Kate Healy becomes marketing chief of TD Ameritrade's RIA business

The former Merrill Lynch product manager will work from Jersey City and face the challenge of selling the not-so-soft landing of becoming an RIA
John Sullivan: At some point, there was no turning back.

Dynasty Financial recruits another field general from the Citi-Smith Barney army

John Sullivan will do some of the heavy lifting from Chicago on advisor service and be a subject matter expert for lending
Stuart Silverman: We're not saying: 'Let's take the culture for 250 (the existing Fusion advisors) and bring it to (all) 1,400 (NFP reps firms).

National Financial Partners buys longtime partner Fusion signaling a shift away from the 'roll-up' model

The New York-based agglomeration of financial businesses is looking to inject higher levels of intelligence, best practices and culture by bringing the services of Fusion in-house
Dan Arnold is the new LPL CFO but he's also the guy charged with charting the future course for his company

What LPL's pick of a new CFO says about how strategic -- and RIA oriented -- the company plans to be

Dan Arnold is not a central-casting pick, but the company is betting he is the guy who can find the judicious RIA-brokerage mix
Tom Nally: There are less hand offs and what used to take five hours now takes five minutes.

Ten questions for Tom Nally as he gets going filling Tom Bradley's shoes

TD's new RIA chief is drawing a target on the IBD back and he challenges the 'rollups' to better define their value
James Carville lent his big presence and Louisiana accent to a small event with large ambitions.

TD Ameritrade's 2012 Elite Advisor Summit gathers $89 billion of RIA assets under one Laguna Beach umbrella

Fresh off a week of D.C. intensity, the annual event crackled with strong opinions and offensive strategies
In the old days, it was all good to call an advisory publication 'Registered Representative'

Registered Rep. is finally changing its name

It'll be WealthManagement.com for online content and the print publication also gets a modified moniker
Oleg Tishkevich: What if we took an employee retreat and brought our clients with us?

Finance Logix makes a splashy bid for RIA business with its inaugural conference in Las Vegas

The coming of Windows 8, the cloud, the massive adoption of mobile technology and tools for retirement income planning were hot topics at the Sin City confab
Timothy Welsh: Campanale and his team were caught somewhat flat-footed when the story broke.

How Frank Campanale's E.F. Hutton resurrection, a TD management hire and upbeat advisors electrified IMCA's annual conference

More than 1,500 advisors came to the Potomac -- including more than a few of Campanale's Smith Barney Consulting alumni
E. F. Hutton may need to listen harder than ever to become the fifth wirehouse in an RIA world.

What the reincarnation of E.F. Hutton says about the pace at which RIA business is moving

It's the latest in a series of recent ventures marked by infectious enthusiasm by founders -- and few details about their business plans
Sandi Bragar: I don't know how they can invest that portfolio without knowing what it's supposed to do.

How RIAs like Aspiriant and United Capital are working to put financial planning back at the center of financial planning firms

It's expensive, hard work, hard to charge for, difficult to deliver and adds real value
Steve Lockshin: We are never going to succeed unless we build a brand.

Steve Lockshin and Charles Goldman begin to unveil Advizent, a venture that could put thousands of RIAs under a single cooperative

The Convergent CEO and ex-chief of the Schwab and Fidelity RIA custody units will refer consumers to advisory firms -- but only after doing an intensive 'audit'
Doug Trott: It'd be premature to share names, but we have dialogues going with three of the custodians.

Morningstar gives advisors a glimpse of fees RIAs are charging clients using PriceMetrix data

Price histories of 20,000 advisors are now at the fingertips of many Advisor Workstation users
Matt Lynch: Tiburon's challenge is to find the right people to respond to the volume of inquiries that come in.

Tiburon Strategic Advisors signs on ex-IBD CEO and ex-Moss Adams consultant as it strives to meet rising demand

Matt Lynch is coming aboard with Chip Roame as a principal after heading up Capital Analysts for the past five years
Ed O'Brien says CRM is an appropriate hub for an advisor system of technology under certain circumstances.

As WealthCentral surpasses 2,000 users, Ed O'Brien responds to questions about Fidelity's technology system at T3

The head of Fidelity's RIA tech efforts says that the technology is a good fit for breakaways
John Bunch's decision to join The Mutual Fund Store sets up a major expansion.

John Bunch is hired as the new CEO of The Mutual Fund Store

The TD Ameritrade and Schwab veteran is charged with dotting the country with MFS company outlets as Adam Bold moves over
Ben Brigeman is leaving as Schwab searches for ways to boost profitability in its retail business.

Ben Brigeman is exiting Schwab and his position atop its retail business -- perhaps portending bigger changes

The San Francisco-based company will have Andy Gill and John Clendening assume the duties
Tom Bradley: We're not seeing any inroads to our business from these smaller players.

Tom Bradley answers 10 questions about TD Ameritrade's competitive stance in his 25th year

The industry veteran takes time out from TD's Orlando, Fla. conference to talk about about how his RIA custodian can compete with bigger and smaller competitors alike
1,600 Laserfiche users, vendors, resellers, consultants and technology partners assembled in Disneyland to learn about latest developments in content management.

Laserfiche user conference draws a big crowd that wants to toss filing cabinets

Dan Skiles, Bill Winterberg and Joel Bruckenstein lent an RIA air to the 1,600-person event
Bob Oros resigned from Trust Company of America on Jan. 17.

Fidelity hires Bob Oros as its new RIA sales chief

The Schwab and LPL veteran leaves Trust Company of America and fills a void left by Scott Dell'Orfano
Scott D'Alessandro left Fidelity last month as part of Fidelity's realigning of its sales efforts.

As Fidelity disassembles powerhouse sales team aimed at major RIAs a top talent departs

Scott D'Alessandro's position was a casualty of Fido's new regional approach that worked so well that the last vestige of the old system was eliminated
Schwab is moving Schwab Private Client completely out of its branches to a remote RIA.

Starting 2012 with a bang, Schwab will place its private client business under a new RIA

The Bay Area firm says it's making the move to avoid compliance clashes with ERISA; others say Schwab's riding the coattails of the RIA movement
Mike Golaszewski: I absolutely intend to stay connected to this industry.

After defecting from Schwab a year ago, Mike Golaszewski departs Pershing

The techie helped develop strategies and websites for both companies
David Canter is bringing an open architecture approach to assimilating intellectual capital at Fidelity.

Fidelity gives its execs a one-day crash course in RIA practice management

As a harbinger of a bigger initiative, the financial services giant called Mssrs. Skiles, Welling, Hurley and Rogers to a room in Boston
Brooke Southall: The RIA business needs to be alert to the danger of becoming something uncomfortably similar to the world of banks, brokerages and trust companies that it is trying to reinvent.

Nine threats to the RIA business and how they can be avoided

The fragmented 13,000-firm army is poised for great things but too much focus on expediency could bring its own problems
Bob Veres is helping provide the practice management twist to this new conference series.

What Messrs. Bruckenstein, Drucker and Veres cooked up in a Chicago airport hotel

The pilot effort to make a T3-like event with heavy admixtures of wealth management and practice management looked good
Lori Van Dusen has been thinking about starting an RIA for 20 years but the 'pieces' couldn't be assembled to her liking, until now.

Dynasty Financial wins the account of Lori Van Dusen's new RIA through Focus Financial

The arrangement holds the possibility of a symbiotic advisor-vendor relationship between the wealth management platform and the big aggregator
TD Ameritrade Institutional is moving staff into this San Diego building as part of its growth

What's happening at RIABiz this week and why it matters

We've got our eye on TD Ameritrade's growth, do-it-yourself hedge fund analytics and two elite conferences starting Wednesday
With Sallie Krawcheck purged, 'the game is about to change in a big way', a former Merrill exec says.

Merrill Lynch brokers brace for sweeping comp changes as Sallie Krawcheck departs BoA and takes her advocacy with her

It's like 2008 all over again with some brokers just wanting out as clients question choice of employer, recruiter says
Mark Benioff: ...So shall we see a Corporate Spring in companies that will be tossing out executives who do not bridge the Social Divide.

Dreamforce review: Social media enters the business cloud and why RIAs should care

Salesforce's annual event was a city in a city for a cult-like following of 45,000, including many financial advisors
Ed Beggs: Last year we had over 12 million forms downloaded from over 136,000 programmable pages.

Laser App is showing the prosaic business form's sexy side at its San Diego conference

Boring? Making the trip for the App Net event were folks from companies including: Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Pershing, Fidelity, Shareholders Service Group, Orion, Albridge, DST, Laserfiche, Redtail, MoneyGuidePro
Andrew Salesky: It’s come up many times in the past. The timing is right.

Schwab spells out the details of its franchise plan

The San Francisco broker is making five-year deals with dozens of financial advisors from across advisory channels
The Bellagio encourages gambling but IMCA asks vendors to cool it on the overt recruiting.

IMCA delivers sobering content in high-rolling atmosphere of Las Vegas

Shiller's downer message was tempered by Ben Mezrich; the conference buzz was the Advent-Black Diamond deal
Commonwealth's Todd Estabrook: “This is one of the things that are really important. We believe it’s important to be part of an integrated marketing strategy.”

Cambridge, Commonwealth vault advisors into social media; the boost is mostly free, for now

Will partnerships with, respectively, Socialware and Erado, translate into elusive growth-via-networking?
Timothy Welsh: The latest mobile financial planning applications from Finance Logix and innovative email marketing tools from Boulevard R were among the coolest developments at the conference.

Eavesdropping on the FPA Business Solutions conference: Mobile apps, web-based marketing -- and how you can make the most of the connected world

At the conference-within-a-conference, advisors explored a tech ecosystem
Weston's a sleepy suburb but Miami bustles nearby

Eavesdropping on the T3 Pre-Conference Miami Vice-style

South Beach strolling and hustling for integration deals mix in balmy breezes
Benjamin Brigeman: We’re sure we have the capabilities, governors and guardrails.

Why Schwab is embracing a franchise-like strategy to fast-forward branch growth

'Entrepreurial' energy will help fuel a plan to increase retention of assets, say execs
Walt Bettinger: The Schwab brand is under-distributed.

Schwab eyes massive branch network expansion using independent operators

Leaner concept could become dominant retail channel for big San Francisco broker
Matthias Paul Kuhlmey: We’re in the beautiful position to buy best of class (products and services) nevertheless you need an in-house function to hold it together.

HighTower makes an executive out of a partner to fine-tune advisor access to investments

Former UBS advisor will simplify the bewildering investment-related choices afforded by open architecture
Suresh Kumar may be the quiet force behind his company's Citigroup win as he puts finishing touches on NetX360, Pershing's fee and transactional platform

Pershing wins Citigroup account and will support its RIA referral network

The win is 'huge' and affirming of NetX360 because the account is big, branded and exclusive, analysts say
Marty Durbin: We said, ‘Never again do we want our motives called into question, and here’s how we’re going to do that.’

First Command's Marty Durbin retires -- well after his scandalized IBD went RIA to rehab its image

A third of of the Texas-based firm's reps had to leave but it now has $18 billion of AUM
Surfer's Paradise: In a Gold Coast setting, FPA Australia embraces risky reforms.

Eavesdropping on FPA Australia: The group is booting big-companies and pushing advisors hard to earn their CFPs

A mirror on the other side of the planet doesn't always reflect well on the United States
Tim Welsh: As the sun sets and the temperature moves from comfortable to sublime, I start searching real estate listings and help wanted ads on the Blackberry.

What Tim Welsh had to do over Thanksgiving to break the FPA Australia story

Detours through the sunburned land of Oz
Kevin Keller: We do not want to be a regulator. Our role is setting standards, and our role is most appropriate as it is.

(Updated) What’s behind the CFP Board’s big fee increase

'Category-killer' is in the eviable position of controlling a mark that many advisors think is essential
Peter Ricchiuti: When you look at debt as a percent of GDP, while staggering nominal numbers, they are still far below the WW II era.

Looking in on IMCA's Advanced Wealth Management conference: Sold-out event shows how IMCA is growing, broadening membership

Custodians gather in target-rich environment: advisors that are well-equipped for independence
Ready to blog after uploading podcasts: Chris Hall (left) coaches students Kimberly Curtis, CFP, and Gary Klaben, ChFC, at FPA pre-conference Web 2.0 Boot Camp.

Eavesdropping on the FPA conference: a speech about scared investors resonates; and an embittered advisor speaks up

Plus, a top expert offers the next level of advice on social media
David Canter: One solution for broker-dealers looking to provide financial planning services in a fiduciary world: Fidelity's WealthCentral platform.

How the FPA's national conference is nudging large firms toward fiduciary care

Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, MetLife and others come as leopards looking to change their spots
Peter Hess: With 3300 users, Axys is here to stay...that said, the Axys clients I’ve spoken with at the Conference are really excited about APX.

Advent founder urges advisors to steer away from 'disruptive' course of switching systems

DiMarco cautions that a firm's ROI can be imperiled during the intense process
The RIABiz partners are very rarely in the same place at the same time; in fact, this is our first real team photo!

Notes from the RIABiz one-year anniversary party

The spirit of the RIA Business was strong at this backyard event
Steve Sanduski is overseeing an effort to quadruple the PEAK clientele by creating an affordable web-based product

The top LPL producer has a second RIA-related company that could eclipse the stature of the first one

Ron Carson started PEAK in 2001 and it's already grown to an impressive size
Susan Theder: The opportunity was exciting and unique enough to make me think that it wouldn’t come around again – not with a management team and board of directors this strong and an entrepreneurial environment this enticing.

Cetera lifts a high-end talent out of Pershing but can the IBD establish itself as a brand presence among advisors?

Susan Theder left a big job and she is moving cross-country; she'll try to make 'Cetera' stand for more than the old ING Advisor Network in a new wrapper, analyst says
Timothy Welsh: The competition between custodians means that even if advisors don’t invest in technology, their custodians will, providing advisors with the horsepower, efficiencies, productivity and the scalability to create leverage and value.

Counterpoint to Mark Hurley study: Wealth management firms are in rapid transition

Painting RIAs with a single no-value brush ignores vast technological strides and growth
Brian Stimpfl: It was the hardest decision of my career.

[Updated] Why Brian Stimpfl left TD Ameritrade and where he is headed

A right-hand man to Tom Bradley takes a mid-career leap
James Surowiecki: Paradoxically, ignoring these people has turned out to be a great way of getting lots of customers.

James Surowiecki has lessons for RIAs about marketing's mushy middle

New Yorker writer warns against the amorphous marketing blob that GM and Dell succumbed to
Julie Littlechild: There is so much in this industry about talking. This is about doing.

The FPA's practice management event boasts two hot speakers in its first day

California entrepreneur and NSA star are among the top draws
Joseph Vietri: Check-up calls on wire transfers will continue indefinitely and more safeguarding steps will be added to the program

Schwab won't stop at wire transfer check-up calls in its quest for airtight security of RIA client assets

Top service exec at big custodian says the tumult of the last 18 months led to the escalation of asset safeguards
Joel Bruckenstein says it was the final straw when his speech at a big industry conference got bumped into nighttime.

The T3 conference has a rebellious air and the makings of success

Bruckenstein and Drucker channeled their frustration about industry conferences into creating a tech mecca for RIAs
Tom Bradley: Says TD Ameritrade's conference, long second to Schwab's, now is the industry's  best-attended

Tom Bradley and Fred Tomczyk team up to give forward-looking state-of-the-TD Ameritrade speech

The Omaha-based parent of the RIA custodian is launching a four-year push on technology
Tom Bradley: The success of this program is the result of a powerful structure of goal-setting, follow-up and follow-through.

TD Ameritrade takes on Schwab with big consulting push

Smaller custodian will seek to democratize consulting advice on behalf of smaller advisors
Bob McCann is known not to overpromise

13 things to know about Bob McCann recruiting his old Merrill Lynch team to UBS

Move signals UBS executive's independence from his bosses back in Switzerland
Matt McGinness: Everyone is working harder for less

Industry consultants grow practices by taking on deadline projects

Industry stars like Inveen, Roame, McGinness and Welsh are increasing revenues by shifting gears

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