Hybrid robo Autopilot provides clients with a 24/7 asset management call service, while Market Movement Strategies connects advisors with top strategists.
Focus now has 34 partner firms nationally and three in the suburban Chicago market with the addition of Relative Value Partners.
Mergers and acquisitions can be critical for firm growth. Heres how to be sure theyre successful.
Advisors with older clients should watch for these signs that a client may be in trouble.
Steal these ideas: Here are some of smartest tips and tricks you may have missed.
"We want our planners to feel unsettled when their clients are unsettled," says Grant Rawdin, who has built a $2 billion firm on specialized, deep advice.
"Branding initiatives are critical today, and the CFP Board should be applauded for its effort, but it's really difficult to assess the effectiveness of a national campaign on a local level," says marketing expert April Rudin.
A Morgan Stanley exec and other industry experts urge financial planners to embrace this approach to making investments, popular with both millennials and women.
Advisors play a crucial role in keeping clients accountable to their retirement savings plans, according to experts at the Morningstar conference.
Business development and investment management are the most difficult positions to fill, a new Schwab study found.
"The industry is in a position of undeniable strength. I am confident that you'll be able to win," Schwab EVP Bernie Clark will advisors at the EXPLORE conference.
Three industry veterans left the wirehouse space to join U.S. Capital Advisors, a small dually-registered broker-dealer and RIA.
Schwab must convince the 7,000 advisors who custody with the firm that its new Institutional Intelligent Portfolios automated investment management service is worth implementing.
Compliance experts Brian Hamburger and Robert Molinari offer up best practices for preparing for SEC and FINRA audits.
The fiduciary rule proposed by the Labor Department this spring is taking up most of the spotlight.
The new digital platform will cost 10 basis points for advisors who have less than $100 million in AUM under custody with Schwab, but advisors who have more under custody won't be charged a fee.
Brian Ourand, former president of SFX Financial Advisory, stole $670,000 from clients, the SEC alleges; his former CCO and SFX agree to pay fines to the SEC.
Robo startups are expected to reach $452 billion in AUM in five years, but incumbent firms will possess over $1 trillion in assets in the digital automated advice space.
Pershing CIO Ram Nagappan offers a framework to help advisors think about how to transform their businesses to digital.
Betterment CEO Jon Stein says his firm is adding 1,000 accounts a week to the tune of about 94,000 with a total of $2.3 billion AUM. Over 30% of assets come from clients age 50 and up, he adds.
RIAs Barry Ritholtz, CIO of Ritholz Wealth Management and David Lyon, CEO of Main Street Financial and Oranj say they've incorporated digital tools into their business models -- partly at the behest of their clients.
More than two-thirds of brokerage and RIA executives say there aren't enough young advisors to go around, according to a Fidelity survey.
The Constellation deal underscores the importance of banks continuing to be major players in RIA mergers and acquisitions.
Firms seeking to cut a deal, whether buying or selling, need to understand these key considerations.
An advisor who oversaw $75 million in client assets left the wirehouse to join the super regional's independent channel.
Two brothers are behind Webo, which is designed to be a robo that emulates WordPress -- free for any advisor to use and simple to customize.
Wealthfront CEO Adam Nash says Silicon Valley optimism will help reimagine and redefine financial services.
Power has shifted to the advisor, who is acting as the portfolio manager, ignoring intermediaries and going directly to the fund managers or assets they want in their portfolio models.
The robo wave is forcing flesh and blood advisors to improve their digital presence and that has fintech companies like Oranj rushing to fill the void.
Roll-up firm adds six advisors from the insurer and one more from Hutchinson Financial.
A group of independent financial advisors has moved to LPLs corporate RIA custodial platform.
Pershing will give advisors digital tools; Capitol One gets in the game with a hybrid robo plan.
As robo advisor firms rush to offer customers rock bottom fees, some fintech players say this business model is unsustainable unless companies scale up, acquire massive AUM or offer premium features.
Broker-dealers have recently recruited several large teams, including the wealth unit at Deutsche Bank and Raymond James, which set a firm record landing a $2.4 billion group. But they weren't the only winners in the competition for top talent.
There are some regulatory red flags that all advisors must pay attention to. But RIAs and brokers also face hurdles specific to their businesses when it comes to staying out of hot water.
A federal court ordered an investment advisor to pay more than $1 million in fines regarding two fraud cases.
A team formerly with Lincoln Financial Advisors will join an LPL-affiliated hybrid RIA.
The human touch is still needed in the foreseeable future because advisors can approach complex situations with customized solutions, says one MIT professor.
New digital tools are paving the way for advisors to create hybrid services that will increase both reach and profitability. See a few of the newer options.
Guide Financial, which counted among its advisors Esther Stearns, former head of Nestwise -- a now-shuttered LPL venture aimed at middle-class clients -- is the latest technology provider to be acquired.
Richard Ketchum voices support for SEC to move on a uniform fiduciary standard for brokers and advisors, while warning of unintended consequences from DoL's proposal.
Several of Steve Janachowski's clients are wealthy professionals with high incomes, but a lot of retirement uncertainty.
Summit Financial, based in Westlake Village, Calif., is a primarily fee-based RIA offering clients investment management, insurance and retirement planning, says Triad, which offers advisory firms both a broker-dealer and a fee-based RIA multi-custodial platform.
New rules would bog down independent advisors in 'busywork' without producing enforcement gains, Brian Hamburger argues.
The wealth division has $700 million in assets under management, according to its latest Form ADV, and only 20 employees performing 'investment advisory functions.'
The former Southwest Securities team had overseen $225 million in assets at the time of their departure.
With a strategy to directly target institutional investors, Trizic, a digital wealth management technology startup, has attracted $3 million in seed funding.
King Financial Network president says the team went private for better accessibility and technology.
Planners learn strategies for guiding soldiers and veterans on unique financial challenges.
Whether they like it or not, RIAs must pay careful attention to their firms' compliance practices. Here are 23 important guidelines to follow.
Key to the hire was ex-Fortigent CIO Scott Welch's strong relationships with many of the country's top RIA wealth managers.
Independent advisors are bucking the broader trend and going to work for wirehouses and regional firms, ditching managerial tasks for simplicity and payoff.
Impressed by LPL's size and scale, Faubourg Private Wealth Advisors also liked the idea of working with super-OSJ Level Four for additional flexibility, the firms' investment models and multi-custodian platform.
It doesn't have to be long, but your annual business plan should be on paper. Here's why advisors should write out their plan each year -- and what they should include.
The aggregator says a total of 55 firms have signed contingency agreements with its partner firms.
By acquiring fintech companies Upside and Finance Logix, financial advisor platform and service provider Envestnet is betting that the best wealth management model combines human advisor-client relationships with the latest technology.
The National Adjudicatory Council, which provides guidance to FINRA adjudicators, goes after fraudulent conduct with heightened sanctions.
Chairwoman re-ups support for uniform fiduciary standard for advisors and brokers, but says it will only be effective if examinations increase.
There is an opportunity for the industry to learn from technology and get better, said Merrill Lynch Wealth Management head John Thiel.
Competitors from traditional and digital sectors of wealth management weighed in on the debate over industry disruption at the LinkedIn FinanceConnect conference in New York.
The regional broker-dealer landed a former business director from Lifetime Financial Growth, who also worked for Merrill Lynch and Lehman brothers.
Walter Bettinger argues robos might work for "a very small percentage of people," but not for the overwhelming majority of the investing community.
Envestnet's acquisition of Finance Logix marks the latest in a string of big firms snapping up advisor-focused technology providers.
Openfolio has quickly grown into a community of more than 25,000 investors, all drawn to the idea of seeing what various members are investing in and comparing portfolios to measure how they are doing.
M&A deals pit rapacious firm founders against undervalued junior associates, reducing planners to "idiots" and "pubescent teenagers," new report says.
As new state regulations loom, experts caution that examiners already expect advisors to have a business continuity and succession plan in place.
An in-person getaway offered substantial benefits to members of an online, geographically diverse mastermind group. The group had a few tips for other advisors.
"The bar of expectations among advisors has been raised by their experience with a best-in-class website," says the author of a new report in which advisors ranked fund managers.
A recent coaching seminar has me recalibrating my understanding of practice management. You may need to adjust yours, too.
The commission alleges that the advisor and his associates defrauded investors by concealing key information about unpaid debts in two rounds of securities offerings in farm loan ventures.
Three advisors were stripped of their CFP designations, 13 were suspended and seven were publicly admonished for technical infractions.
Financial advisors of all stripes have to adapt to evolving technology and increasing competition from online brokerages and other investment firms. Automation tools can help.
The association of state securities regulators has proposed a rule that would compel advisors to maintain formal business-continuity and succession plans.
Both wealth managers, who left UBS, also had a combined $289 million in client assets before making the move, RBC said.
After selling Cetera for a rich $1.15 billion, Donald Marron's Lightyear Capital picks up a $4.7 billion hybrid RIA.
Striking a balance between the emerging and traditional realms of investing is where Motif Investing sees its niche, says its co-founder and CEO Hardeep Walia.
Russell Investments' new app joins the growing crowd of firms offering financial advisors digital tools to explain investment concepts to their clients.
New Fidelity research zeroes in on the best practices of RIAs who the custodian identifies as 'marketing leaders.' See what sets them apart.
Lee D. Weiss of Family Endowment Partners put millions of client money into a quasi-Ponzi scheme, lawyer says.
Couples with nontraditional family relationships need planning that is anything but straightforward, says planner Pamela Sandy.
Federal authorities for the first time have directly included rollovers and IRAs in their latest fiduciary standard proposal, and that could have a huge impact on firms in a fast-growing and profitable segment of the retirement savings industry.
Multifamily office CEO Joe Votava cites work conflicts and family issues in his decision, while critic suggests the Camarda lawsuit is driving off leaders.
The wirehouse lost the team to HighTower, and a former Wedbush executive jumped to a $2.6 billion RIA. See these and other moves in our latest recruiting roundup.
The proposed consolidated database would bring together BrokerCheck and IAPD and include data on unregistered financial professionals across the industry.
Stifel's CEO says his firm is enlarging its footprint in the independent space because clients are migrating there.
New Hampshire wants LPL to pay $3.6 million in a fine, other costs and restitution, following millions LPL already has paid to FINRA and Massachusetts.
Andrew Bowden will return to the private sector after four years of working to streamline the SEC's advisor exam program.
Fidelity's custody unit is backing a deal in which a Mariner Holdings unit will pay 35 basis points for referrals of mass affluent customers.
Focus Financial expand into Southeast with family-owned firm that has $600 million in AUM but no succession solution.
The billions firms spend on technology are weighted too heavily toward infrastructure, Aite Group says, and not enough on client-facing upgrades instead.
"It's a perfect storm," says one recruiter and a "golden era" says another. Here are insights and tips from the industry's top recruiters.
Contrary to so much that has been written and said about the rise of the machines and the demise of human financial advice, the need and demand for personal, face-to-face, human advice will remain.
Advisors face a shifting landscape on both competitive and economic fronts. Many argue that it's time to scrap the AUM fee altogether.
Young HNW investors are very comfortable with digital wealth management tools, and many don't even have (or seem to need) an advisor.
The pace of RIA dealmaking has leveled off over the last few years, with no increase in the number of deals over the previous year and aggregate AUM acquired ticking up only slightly to $47.4B from $43.7B, according to new data from Schwab Advisor Services.
Long, who oversaw 400 advisors at Wedbush, parted ways with the firm earlier this month.
Revenue grew faster than assets for advisors, a PriceMetrix report finds -- but average client age is now nearly 62, and increasing at a rate of roughly 6-7 months per year.
Outlook for the planners -- who were recruited with a promise that they would "not [be] required to sell" -- seems to depend on whether you talk to Northwestern Mutual or LearnVest.
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.