More acquisitions are expected in the digital wealth management space as firms look to quickly add tech platforms and services.
During the planning process for a digital platform strategy, Fidelity says its partners and brokers asked why it couldn't just go buy eMoney Advisor instead.
To better police the advisory industry, the SEC chief seeks additional funding for advisor examinations and to bolster enforcement.
Vanguard says assets in its Personal Advisor Services start up, still in the pilot phase with no paid advertising support, rose from $755 million in 2013 to $10.1 billion at the end of last year.
Only a third of advisors surveyed by IMCA feel safe enough to say that robos pose "no threat" to their
business. A skills upgrade is one line of defense, the group advises.
CFPs cite real estate downturn, outside business failures as triggers for financial troubles.
The standard practice of beta testing in the software industry clashes hard against banking culture, says one PFM software development veteran, where executives fear that a wonky app could mean customer attrition.
The "freemium" model that transformed Rovio from a game developer into a $200 million entertainment company is what firms like FutureAdvisor are relying on to disrupt the traditional fee-driven model of wealth management.
CEO Jon Stein remembers when nobody listened to his message that automated investing was going to catch on with investors. He's not hurting for money anymore -- and he wants to take your business.
We were worried [advisors] would be at a competitive disadvantage," says Bernie Clark, Schwab Advisor Services' executive vice president.
If regulators can't tell the cultural differences between wirehouses and independent RIAs, Bob Veres has put together a few survey questions they can use.
Investigators will remain focused on RIAs, the commission's enforcement chief told lawmakers in his appeal for funds to add staffers.
For several years regional banks have been furiously trying to boost fee income by beefing up in wealth management. But the cost of acquiring talent has made it hard for them to gain traction in this all-but saturated market.
As fiduciary debate heats up, Garrett takes advantage of presidential spotlight to tell advisors to sign a fiduciary pledge.
Online competitors like Wealthfront and Betterment are taking issue with Schwab's characterization of its automated investment service as cheaper, better and not just skewed to millennial investors.
Yes and no, experts say. But it's a thorny issue given that many IBD advisors consider themselves fiduciaries and do most of their business through RIAs.
The review is likely to start with broker-dealers and their platforms; It will coincide with a second, more targeted phase of the commission's cybersecurity sweep.
The SEC acknowledges that cybersecurity requirements vary from one practice to the next, but insists that the tone from the top is critical.
Getting to intimately know the business and culture of CapGroup Advisors was key to this week's merger, says Michael Nathanson, chairman and chief executive of Colony Group.
"I live in fear, quite honestly, of FINRA assuming the responsibility of examining investment advisors," a former SEC attorney told advisors at the Investment Adviser Association regulatory and compliance conference.
Advisors who can bring in and work with clients, wealth strategists with tax and accounting expertise and successor CEOs are in greatest demand.
Also, Raymond James added two $2.6 million producers advisors who last worked at RBC. However, Raymond James wasnt the only winner. See these and all the latest advisor moves in our latest recruiting roundup.
Raymond James & Associates tapped a former Morgan Stanley exec and RIA co-founder as regional director.
Veris Wealth Partners, an RIA specializing in sustainable investing, recruited the advisor, who was managing $500 million as a portfolio manager.
The Institute for the Fiduciary Standard is asking for input from the industry in its effort to help consumers distinguish between fiduciary advisors and "product sellers."
Did you read the most recent SEC funding memo to Congress? Bob Veres did -- and if he had the ear of Mary Jo White, here's what he'd say to her.
'Adviser' vs. 'advisor': A conversation with one regulatory expert raises questions about the ways that RIAs brand themselves to clients.
No matter how clean your paperwork is, a regulatory audit can still be nerve-racking. Here's how ours felt.
As their interest income dwindles, banks are looking to bulk up their wealth management businesses in a bid to boost their fee-based revenue.
President Barack Obama throws his support behind the Department of Labor's fiduciary proposal; advisors take to Twitter to voice their reply.
After the company combines its custodian and clearing businesses and launches a new tech division, advisors should be alert to any service changes.
The liabilities your broker-dealer faces when supervisors oversee wealth managers both inside and outside your practice.
The former wirehouse group is larger than Dynasty's biggest recruiting grab in 2014.
While regulatory costs pulled-down full-year profits, the giant IBD seemed to turn a page at year end with a 9.8% spike in fourth-quarter earnings.
The robo advisor plans to add 90 to 120 new employees and add resources to Betterment Institutional, which already works with 90 advisory firms.
At Halbert Hargrove, Russ Hill has brought the firm through one transition after another. Now he's creating his own exit strategy.
Ellsworth Private Wealth Management hooks up with Stratos Wealth Partners, citing the use of LPL's RIA and broker-dealer platform.
The SEC barred an RIA from the industry after the firm was charged with misleading investors -- including falsely claiming that its fund was "SEC approved."
"[W]e made a carefully thought-through decision to remain a private company and to retain our independence," said Eric Clarke, CEO of Orion Advisor Services, one of NorthStar's subsidiaries.
John Carroll affiliates with hybrid RIA Independent Financial Partners and partners with retirement division Pensionmark.
Conrad Siegel Investment Advisors's parent company serves defined benefit and 401(K) plans. Executives at those client firms became the clients for the advisory spinoff.
The industry regulator says increasing oversight of RIAs is a "top priority" as it appeals to Congress for a funding increase to hire more examiners.
Matt Lynch, a former B-D CEO, says his new boutique consulting startup will work alongside client firms through their most risky transitions.
Wells Fargo enticed away a $700 million team from Morgan Stanley. But Wells Fargo wasn't the only winner in the battle for top talent. See these and all the latest recruiting moves in our latest recruiting roundup.
Aiming at a new professional certification, the Institute for the Fiduciary Standard published a draft of best practices for fiduciaries, seeking to help investors distinguish between "product sellers and advice givers."
Some RIAs who claim to be for sale "have no intention of selling," said United Capital's Matt Brinker. "They like the dance."
A pair of sessions at the FSI OneVoice conference focused on recruiting and retention challenges facing IBDs, many of which center on hybrid or dually registered RIAs who are edging toward greater independence.
One of the San Francisco Bay Areas most prominent independent wealth management firms is selling a majority equity interest.
"The prospects for organic growth for RIAs and IBDs have never been greater. We expect to see more lift-out and advisors turning independent activity in 2015," says Liz Nesvold, managing partner of New York-based investment banker Silver Lane.
Two Merrill Lynch advisors left the wirehouse for independent firm Snowden Lane Partners.
Royal Bank of Canada sold its U.S. retail bank a few years ago to PNC. The company is back with a targeted play: City National, a Los Angeles bank that has built its business targeting the rich and working with Hollywood.
The advisor community is misinformed in thinking this generation doesn't have wealth yet, says TD Ameritrade's George Tamer.
Royal Bank of Canada is ready to take another shot at U.S. banking, agreeing to buy City National in Los Angeles.
'Let's put this behind us,' a group of Cetera planners told the RCS Capital home office in the wake of allegations against founder Schorsch.
Jones' football prospects are certainly bright. But what about his hoped-for career as a financial advisor?
The deal to buy the accounting firm was directly influenced by the increasing commoditization of investment management.
In laying out exam priorities for 2015, regulators cite mounting complexity of products and services in the retirement space.
Judge has yet to rule on board's request for summary judgment; if granted, the parties would avert trial.
Southern California firm buys Moore Financial Group of Colorado.
The new aggregator offering a succession plan is drawing from experience: "I fit the category, I've been in their shoes," says 60-year old Joe Heider, founder of Cirrus Wealth Management.
The author and media personality merges her practice with Buckingham to spend more time on speaking and writing.
U.S. Capital Advisors recruited a veteran Wells Fargo advisor who previously managed $550 million in assets as part of a three-person team.
Mariner looks at around 200 local firms each year, and ends up in serious conversations with around 10, according to CEO Marty Bicknell.
A former BNY Mellon advisor that managed $850 million in client assets has formed an RIA affiliated with Raymond James' independent RIA channel.
Independence has a growing value both to clients and to would-be acquirers. See how the top firms are standing their ground. Plus: Top 100 rankings and 50 fastest-growing firms.
This is a critical time for the industry, with demographic and technological shifts creating tectonic pressures. Here are a few trends all advisors should follow.
Changes to the RIA Leaders rankings illustrate a hard truth about the industry.
Cerulli predicts that market share gains in the RIA and dually registered channels will likely come at the expense of wirehouses and independent broker-dealers.
"He called for the male clients, I called for the females," says ex-assistant, who says she knew phone calls to liquidate client assets after a B-D change were wrong.
For buyers, the cost of funds is low now. For sellers, valuations are rich. Cashing out now is an easy case to make," says AssetMark EVP Michael Abelson. "Or they can keep riding the wave."
Board quietly hires former SEC official; critics call for CEO Keller's departure as well.
Advisor, beware: Funds that use complex, hedge style methods may not be appropriate for client retirement accounts.
An attorney for Jorge Posada and Jose Contreras says ballplayers were "victims of fraud, taken advantage of at every turn."
High-performing firms are almost twice as likely to effectively describe target client profiles to clients and centers of influence.
Raymond James' independent broker dealer lured away two advisors producing $1.85 million from Morgan Stanley.
Raymond James recruited advisors with about $2 billion in combined assets, including a Merrill Lynch team with $535 million in AUM. Meanwhile, UBS hired a $2.5 million producer and Wells Fargo grabbed a team managing more than $400 million in assets.
With nearly 16,000 firms managing $2.4 trillion in assets, Cerulli predicts the RIA industry will capture 28% of retail investor assets by 2018.
Big producers continued to strike out on their own in 2014. See the year's biggest breakaways.
Former Convergent Chairman Steve Lockshin offers his take on events and issues surrounding the suicide of his friend, ex-Convergent CEO David Zier.
Two advisors have been hit with fraud charges for allegedly misleading clients about a hedge fund managed by an investment novice and debt collector.
A trio of top custodial executives discussing big trends for the RIA sector downplayed the term -- at least as a marketing advantage -- during a panel this week at the MarketCounsel summit in Las Vegas.
Lebenthal picked up an RIA that oversees $250 million in assets, as well as a team of two advisors in New York.
Mega teams spend months, sometimes years, in the effort to find a new home and transition their oversized books.
The three founders of Concord Equity Group Advisors, a firm LPL bought in 2011 after the RIA allegedly hid commissions from its institutional clients, settled with the SEC.
This year saw a number of mega teams with outsized AUMs switching firms. Here are the biggest recruiting moves of 2014.
HighTower recruited a Merrill Lynch advisor to join a group that broke away from the wirehouse earlier this year.
Members of the Financial Planning Coalition fire back at lawmakers' call for the SEC to shuffle existing resources and tap a third party to increase examinations of advisors.
When Debra Wetherby started her investment advisory firm in 1990, she was 32, just married and had less than $50,000 of capital.
As the rate of change accelerates, advisors face big shifts in automated tools, portfolio management and rebalancing. Our annual report shows where the action is.
CPA/advisory firm BKD Wealth Management adds Wolf Financial Management, after a deal between the two parent companies.
New tech-driven startups have upended the financial advice market. Now they just have to get through the coming shake-out.
Want a better way to help staff improve? Here's how to turn the end-of-the-year ritual into an experience that's productive for you and your employees.
The Atlanta-based IBD, which offers advisory firms both a broker-dealer and a fee-based RIA multi-custodial platform, is closing in on a record $20 million in new revenues this year.
Advisors need to face a hard truth: Independent RIAs have lost this round. Fortunately, there are other, better ways to set yourself apart.
J.P. Morgan has lost advisors to its rivals, including a team with nearly $1 billion in AUM. Meanwhile, RBC Wealth Management has recruited several advisor teams managing more than $350 million in assets.
FINRA arbitration panel sides with a former Commonwealth Financial Network client who claims he lost his retirement savings due to bad retirement planning advice.
A deal with Strategic Wealth Partners, outside Chicago, was Focus's sixth of the year, bringing in $1.4 billion.
Frank Campanale, CEO of Lebenthal Wealth Advisors and a former executive at Smith Barney, spells out the key elements in firm's growth plans and recruiting strategy: brand, equity stakes and passion.
Washington Wealth Management lured away an advisor managing $100 million in assets and who had been at the wirehouse for three decades.
Record crowd focuses on the future of financial advice.
Competitors are 'welcome to call' clients, says new CEO Douglas Wolford, who replaced David Zier after the latter's suicide -- but none have left, he says.
"We have to continue to grow and we'll be looking at acquisitions, mergers, tuck-ins and roll-ups, all of the above," says Mark Allen, president of Nebraska-based Allen Capital Group.
Convergent CEO David Zier's death followed inquiries into his management of an outside fund, according to Chairman Steve Lockshin.
The independent broker-dealer has added former LPL affiliate Nelson & Nelson Wealth Management of Camarillo, Calif.
But the asset allocation and rebalancing service will launch first for retail before rolling out to Schwab advisors.
The reverse churning comes in when the client is in a wrap program, despite being a low-volume trader.
When it's time to give up control of your firm, will you know what to do?
What questions are advisors not asking when buying a firm?
The SEC is cracking down on advisors. Here are a few things advisors must know how to answer when examiners come calling.
Independent firm Snowden Lane Partners recruited another wirehouse advisor team, this time from Merrill Lynch.
A Wells Fargo advisor team that managed $200 million in assets has left to join Steward Partners, an independent firm founded a year ago by former wirehouse managers.
Do the instruments make sense in an low-rate environment? And if so, should you build them in-house? Get tips from fixed-income experts.
Caleb Brown and Michael Kitces, founders of New Planner Recruiting, have launched of a new website that focuses exclusively on job opportunities with independent financial planning firms.
How do the services you offer compare to what clients of advisors across the industry are receiving? A new study of 4,000 advisors by Cerulli Associates tracks the planning services clients receive across all advisor channels.
Looking at the range of services received by clients in all advisory channels, traditional wirehouses take the lead in catering to high-end client needs, according to research from Cerulli Associates.
Agency secures $4 billion in penalties; expert says: make sure that you have a robust and dynamic compliance program.
Aequitas Capital is hoping to woo advisors with an unusual but potentially potent pitch: its expertise in alternative investments.
From stolen cell phones to email scammers and hackers, advisors face numerous threats to the security of sensitive client data. Here are a few simple ways advisors can avoid getting hacked.
CFP Board drops investigation into activist planner after he drops CFP certification.
The list includes 20 CFPs with bankruptcies dating back to March 2009; none are subject to disciplinary action.
Personal Capital's business model is rooted in technology -- but with live advisors and higher fees, the firm wants to duck the "robo" label.
As advisors look to mergers and acquisitions to fuel growth strategies and succession plans, firms need to look beyond the transaction itself and think strategically about how a combined firm will operate, experts said this week at the FSI's financial advisor summit.
Wealthfront can become the "leader in a new emerging market" if it focuses on millennials the way Charles Schwab zeroed in on Baby Boomers, says CEO Adam Nash.
The Foundation for Financial Planning and Give an Hour discuss partnership to deliver planning interventions for service members and veterans.
Only about 20% of the mass affluent market have a financial advisor, notes FutureAdvisor CEO Bo Lu, compared with around 60% of individuals with more than $1 million in investable assets.
A wirehouse advisor team managing about $400 million in assets has left UBS to join Snowden Lane Partners, an independent firm.
'This is a boom time for these markets,' says Adrian Flambard, deVere's area manager in San Francisco.
FSI sees the new insurance coverage as an added benefit the group hopes will help it increase membership and amplify its advocacy efforts.
Rather than fighting off digital competition, RIAs should bet on Betterment's "robo advisor" technology, says industry veteran Steve Lockshin.
The industry is losing about 3,000 to 4,000 advisors annually who arent being replaced, says Pershing CEO Mark Tibergien.
Theres a very low supply of advisory firms with more than $1 billion in assets under management, says Echelon CEO Dan Seivert.
Should small and midsize RIAs be required to have a succession plan in place for their firms? State securities regulators are asking for input from practitioners as they wrap up the rulemaking process.
Female executives from U.S. Trust and Goldman Sachs join New York-based Dynasty Financial Partners.
Morgan Stanley lures highly lucrative talent from Merrill Lynch while Washington Wealth Management grabs advisors from RBC and Wells Fargo plucks four from UBS. Here are the most recent moves among wirehouse advisors.
Brad Bueermann of FP Transitions says you should go with the right fit when buying or selling an advisory business.
"One thing we can tell you is our opposition was there before us," says FPA's director of advocacy. "We heard over and over again the argument that if a fiduciary standard were extended to broker-dealers the middle market would be hurt."
Want to know what matters most to the people who make your business run? Heres how to set up a panel to get better client feedback.
As competition for talent increases, the best way for RIA firms to hold onto top-tier employees is to make it worth their while. Schwab's 2014 RIA Benchmarking Study highlights three major steps toward building a good compensation plan.
"Any effort to put broker-dealers and advisors into the same box is probably not going to work," says a former deputy director of the SEC's Division of Investment Management.
Two former advisors from Fifth Third Private Bank are joining LPL's broker-dealer and custodial platforms as an independent hybrid firm, StreamSong Advisors.
Washington Wealth crests $1 billion in AUM by adding Martucci Adams Wealth Advisors of Salt Lake City.
TD Ameritrade's online hub will offer information and action alerts to advisors as lawmakers and regulators weigh hot-button issues.
The custodian giant announced Monday a redesign of its online Education Center that allows advisors to earn continuing-education credits while also boosting their own knowledge.
Supporters of a broader and more rigorously enforced fiduciary standard are rallying behind a set of best practices they would like to see advisors and brokers incorporate into their practices.
Independent Financial Partners, an LPL firm, tapped a financial services veteran to recruit advisors from the wirehouse channel.
The financial services sector as a whole is chasing short-term gains and in the process saddling investors with the costs of higher trading volumes and often not acting in their best interests, says Vanguard founder John Bogle.
Two Florida planners drop antitrust claims against CFP Board to shield clients; Board still wants client names
In a two-week period, Ameriprise has recruited five advisors managing more than $600 million.
One year later, Forbes' growth plans have been stymied by a difficult market for acquiring firms.
Advocates are calling on the head of the SEC to move forward with a uniform fiduciary proposal, even if that means pushing the rules through a divided commission split along party lines.