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.
The number of transactions jumps to 16 in the second quarter, up from 13 in the first, with the average size of acquired firms rising to $1.18 billion.
Scottrade is making a big bet that there is room in the booming RIA custodial market for another major player to compete against Charles Schwab, Fidelity, TD Ameritrade and Pershing.
Most of the nearly 13,000 pages produced in a lawsuit are duplicates, the board alleges in its ongoing court battle with Jeffrey and Kimberly Camarda.
From client interfaces to integration and digital signature, here's what's on tap at the four major RIA custodial firms.
If you're not focusing your time and attention on the people who add the most value to your firm, you're getting it wrong.
PageOne Financial denies SEC charges that the RIA aimed to fund its own sale with commissions from advisor clients.
Most advisors won't get the price they want from selling their practices -- and don't really want to sell anyway, one study finds.
David Lau, the longtime COO at Jefferson National Life Insurance -- which specializes in Monument Advisor, a flat-fee variable annuity sold to RIAs and fee-based advisors -- has left the company.
A paper that Hopewell published introduced stochastic modeling -- including the use of Monte Carlo simulations -- to the profession for the first time.
As his private equity owners start to look toward an exit, the founder seeks to bring in new management to position the firm for growth.
Michelle Smith explains the advantage of specializing in divorce planning.
LPL's ability to service a cluster of firms attracts hybrid Financial Advocacy Network from the D.C. area.
The FPAs new president-elect, Pamela Sandy, wants to help create a more diverse face of the advisory profession, raise the organizations profile among lawmakers and build a culture at the organization to attract a new generation of planners.
A set of mid-1990s recommendations aimed to reform Wall Street's culture. They didn't, however -- and the real losers were investors.
Are advisors doing clients a disservice when they prepare to hand over the reins?
The pitches are persuasive. Workers who leave jobs with the federal government transferred $10 billion last year out of the Thrift Savings Plan.
An FA Insight study finds that RIA firms' strategic plans lack accountability, smart metrics and proactivity.
The advocacy organization for personal financial planning announced on Wednesday that Seneca Financial Advisors CEO Joseph Votava Jr. has been elected to serve as its 2015 chair-elect.
Described by authorities as a con man, an advisor with a troubled past is ordered to repay $4.2 million in restitution; will serve sentence in a medium-security prison.
A former United Bank & Trust wealth management team with more than $350 million in client assets is going independent with the help of Dynasty Financial Partners.
After being forced to produce extensive records, the board hopes a judge will similarly order two planners to produce voluminous documentation.
Without outside help, many planners are falling short on their own financial goals. A few advisors have a solution.
Walk into any wealth management firm, and chances are there won't be any African-American advisors at all. What's causing the diversity gap - and how can the industry fix it?
Derek Bruton takes the top job at a firm with historical ties to an advisor that the SEC has barred from the industry.
Board pledges not to punish widely followed advisor while they try to resolve fee-only compensation issue; draws accusations of 'arbitrary' treatment.
Entrepreneurial advisors are leaving the wirehouses and constructing new business models the industry hasn't seen. But before joining these trailblazers, other advisors should think about what it is they want to change.
The financial powerhouse announced it has acquired the business of Capital Planning Advisory Group, a small Yardley, Pa.-based RIA. The team will bring $120 million in client assets.
After leaving LPL for NFP, Washington Wealth brings its breakaway advisor total to seven for the year thus far.
HighTower has expanded its West Coast market by picking up an independent team with $400 million in assets in Bellevue, Wash.
Increasingly, firms are seeking to move toward an ensemble model to improve flexibility and ease the burden on top advisors.
After being ordered to stop calling his firm fee-only, Rick Kahler claims retribution and threatens a lawsuit.
Optimism abounds in an increasingly crowded market for servicing breakaway advisors.
Securities America will acquire assets of a Missouri-based full-service broker-dealer with 368 advisors and $2.4 billion in client assets.
Fiduciary issues should supersede discussion of fee-only, says CFP Board's Ray Ferrara says.
Rep. Spencer Bachus (Ala.) is the first Republican in Congress to endorse the Investment Adviser Examination Improvement Act.
A Morgan Stanley team that managed over $650 million has gone independent using a new consultant.
Richard Gill's departure from Focus follows the exit last month of Michael Paley, who co-led the firm's mergers and acquisitions team.
Many firm founders are deciding that their legacies don't need to be enshrined in their firms' names.
The American College has redesigned its Chartered Financial Consultant designation coursework to add a focus on real-world client issues like divorce, LGBT families, retirement income and behavioral finance.
Comprehensive planning is catching on with advisors -- and their clients. But it can be labor intensive, requiring that a practice add more resources and staff.
Many independent advisors say they consider themselves fiduciaries, even if they arent legally obligated to adhere to that standard of care. So why are so many opposed to the DoL's expected proposal?
While equity market performance has helped, RIA firms are also demonstrating smarter company strategy, a recent Charles Schwab study finds.
Roughly three in four advisors said they were likely to seek out additional support, content or tools related to Social Security in the next year.
Morgan Stanley has lost a team that generated $3 million in annual revenue to Steward Partners Global Advisory, boosting the eight-month old independent firm's total recruited assets to more than $1 billion.