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.
The deal with newly launched Global Retirement Partners is a "great opportunity to add scale," says LPL exec Bill Morrissey.
The high-profile hiring of David Bach creates a revved-up marketing engine for Edelman Financial, which already has $13 billion in AUM. Can other firms use the same technique?
Triad believes it can attract advisors who are "more entrepreneurial" with its hybrid model.
After the first year of running his own RIA, an advisor reflects and offers some lessons learned.
Here are the smartest tips and tricks weve heard recently.
For clients, is one type of firm, business model or fee structure better than another?
Clarity in strategic vision and compensation boosts advisor satisfaction, according to a new J.D. Power & Associates study.
The group stands to lose at least one prominent member, and possibly dozens more, over the next 12 months.
On first Capitol Hill advocacy day, FPA advisors are meeting with policymakers to push for greater fiduciary oversight and regulation.
Some efforts at innovation just dont pay off. But if you learn from them, you can make future initiatives more successful.
The SECs enforcement division has tightened oversight of advisors by focusing on some specific, often-times arcane practice areas.
If you intend to grow, commit to a sales-centered grind with upfront costs -- but expect a payoff down the line.
More planners say they are doing better than ever, according to Pershing's second annual study of advisory success. Here's what they are doing right.
A fee-based practice is worth more when larger firms are looking to make an acquisition.
There's a discrepancy between the technology clients expect and where "typical" advisory firms are, technology expert Joel Bruckenstein told advisors. Youre moving too slowly and you have to be more aggressive.
By snapping up a series of independent B-Ds in quick succession. the RCS Capital executive chairman has instantly made himself an industry player. He talks to Financial Planning about his plans.
Elliot Weissbluth tells HighTower conference attendees that he anticipates headwinds for firms that provide both products and advice and sees no future for small, unsophisticated advisors.
'We were not as proactive as we should have been,' the CFP Board says, rolling out two initiatives aimed at resolving advisors' incorrect fee-only disclosures on its website.
Every firm needs to determine the unique compensation plan that will work best for executives, staff and clients. These guidelines should help you get started.
FINRA CEO Richard Ketchum praised one SEC commissioner for floating a new proposal to beef up examinations of the RIA industry independently of Congress.
The contentious issue of harmonizing fiduciary responsibilities remains high on the agency's to-do list, though a timeframe for when a proposal might materialize is far from certain.
The board offered individual counsel to NAPFA members in violation of board rules, an ongoing conflict without imminent resolution.
When financial planners launch a firm, success hinges on knowing how to run a business.
In cases heard by an SEC administrative law judge or a FINRA hearing panel, a study finds, 46.7% of broker-dealers, advisors and registered reps succeeded in getting charges dismissed or lowering the sanctions imposed.
Whether you're selling right now or next decade, there are many ways to make any solo practice appeal to buyers.
'The robo-advisors worry us,' said Rush Benton of CapTrust Financial Advisors at a panel on firm valuations.
A new RIA in North Carolina formed by three recently departed wirehouse advisors has chosen to affiliate with Raymond James' custodian group.
Succession planning was the driving force behind the merger, according to principals for both firms.
Despite a commitment by Schorsch to keep top executives, Roth, the former Advisor Group CEO, will head the new management team.
Merrill Lynch led the pack at the beginning of May, recruiting a team with $3 billion in AUM. But it wasn't the only winner in the recruiting wars. See all the latest moves and promotions across the industry.
Dynasty began to "unwind" its service agreement with Further Lane following SEC actions against the firm in late October 2013.
A former Morgan Stanley advisor team that managed $600 million in assets has left the wirehouse to join forces with HighTower.
Former wirehouse complex manager Tony Sirianni launches Sirianni Strategy Group, a consulting and marketing firm, to help independent firms attract wirehouse advisors.
Douglas Cowgill, the firm's president and chief compliance officer, attempted to disguise the shortfall from SEC examiners by entering a fake trade in the firm's account records, according to the SEC complaint.
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.
Ex-commanders take new jobs as load-pushing 'advisors.' No wonder service members get victimized.
Among many troops who take their own lives, financial stress is a major contributing factor.
'The single most important driver of value by far is growth,' says Dan Seivert, CEO of Echelon Partners.
The value of advisory firms is now being driven by growth, cash flow and risks, says investment banker and consultant David DeVoe.
The Cypress Group, a former Morgan Stanley team that managed about $740 million in assets, has left the wirehouse to join Integrated Wealth Management.
With nearly $400 million in assets, the trio will bring their new firm's assets to roughly $1.3 billion.
In a court filing, the CFP Board says it has logged more than 2,000 hours of legal work in a lawsuit by two Florida planners.
Independent planners can not win a battle against Wall Street unless they find a way to defeat well-funded lobbyists in the industry.
'Mariner is a well-organized and well capitalized growth company,' says John Furey, principal of Advisor Growth Strategies. 'The pace of growth is best in class and I expect it to continue.'
RIAs are gaining market share of assets, although wirehouses will still control nearly $6 trillion by 2016, the research firm predicts.
Three advisors for San Diego-based Total Wealth Management -- including one who apparently once worked for the FBI -- now face SEC charges for allegedly paying themselves concealed revenue-sharing fees from investments they recommended to clients.
Washington Wealth Management has recruited two advisors from UBS and Wells Fargo, where they collectively managed approximately $150 million in assets.
NAPFA has named a fee-only RIA who has served in the U.S. Navy to serve as its next national chair.
Study finds short-term AUM and compensation growth, but long-term problems ahead for financial advisors.
AUM drops 31% as more top brass depart, with parent SunTrust filling executive ranks with veterans of the bank.
Head of LPL's Advisor Services' departure 'not related to company performance,' according to a company statement.
Integrating online and in-person advisor experiences to keep up with the competition will be a critical priority for wealth managers, according to the report.
Louisiana-based Summit Financial aims to expand establish itself as a regional power in the Southeast, leveraging its location between New Orleans and Houston.
For investment advisors with a small pool of clients, the threat of a cyber attack that could compromise investors' personal identifying information is especially acute, says one IT expert.
Kitces and Alan Moore are launching XY Planning Network, which will assist financial advisors working with Gen X and Gen Y clients.
'It's a landscape-changer for Lebenthal,' says one industry consultant. 'A team with a book like that can write their own ticket, and if they're successful at Lebenthal, they can attract other big teams.'
Firms in the self-serve channel that can "combine delivery mechanisms" will be a "smart bet" going forward," predicts Tiburon managing partner Chip Roame.
Almost two months after a court order, the CFP Board has failed to produce the required documents, Florida planners say.
The Washington, D.C., area firm hopes its six-member board will help it better understand and serve female clients.
Advisors are facing 'the most aggressive regulatory environment I have ever seen,' a securities lawyer tells RIAs at a Fidelity conference this week.
As more people live into their 100s -- and as families in which four or five generations overlap become commonplace -- some core elements of financial planning need to change, says one longevity specialist.
A sharply increasing number of plan sponsors want financial advisor guidance -- but many of the RIAs on Fidelity's platform are just dabbling in the area, the custodian says.
United Capital has started providing regular liquidity to advisors with some first stock sales proceeds exceeding $500,000.
Mark Spangler, who used NAPFA affiliation to attract clients before losing most of their assets, was taken immediately into custody at his sentencing.
CFP Board makes new push into academia with plans for a center at its headquarters and an academic journal
Family office execs report a rise in direct investments and so-called club deals as hedge funds fall out of favor. ''Families want to be in control," says one consultant.
Compliance experts are recommending that firms take a flexible, risk-based approach as they respond to the SEC's red flag rules, a new set of regulations for protecting clients against identity theft.
Advisors will be expected to keep records about the content they post on social sites just as they do with other materials on traditional channels, according to a senior commission attorney.
The once fast-growing firm leaves LPL after a year and a half, hoping NFP's deep pockets will help it attract other advisors.
Financial advisors who use active management may have a lower-cost option when considering actively managed ETFs but some advisors express doubts on the real value for clients.
SEC examiners frequently cite firms for insufficient disclosures, an SEC official says. Here are some of the most common conflicts that advisors fail to disclose adequately to their clients.
Cybersecurity is an area of growing SEC concern and examiners will increasingly be expecting RIAs of all sizes to have in place more robust policies and procedures to deal with the growing threats to their information systems.
Advisors and clients are gravitating toward the RIA model -- a trend that experts expect to continue.
The commission is committed to moving forward on a uniform fiduciary standard for advisors and broker-dealers and also expects to finalize money market reforms by the end of the year.
LPL Financial says the pace of new advisors affiliating with the firm has slowed from the levels of late 2013 "in part due to disruptive weather."
In particular, the commission is looking for cases when advisors trade on behalf of clients without written disclosure and consent, or fail to process a trade on the most favorable terms for their clients, says an enforcement division co-chief.
The advisor groups advocating for SEC vs. FINRA oversight of the RIA sector are turning their lobbying efforts away from the House.
The focus on dual registrants grows out of concern that the different compensation structures of the two business lines can create conflicts of interest and potentially harm investors, according to an SEC director.
'The average deal was a $1 billion or more RIA buying a mid- or smaller-size firm, a classic tuck-in,' says Jonathan Beatty of Schwab Advisor Services.
Bank executives expect to boost revenue from their wealth management practices 25% or more in the next five years, with some anticipating a 35% contribution to total bank revenue.
"We're seeing more inquiries like this," says Dynasty president and CEO Shirl Penney. "As the opportunity presents itself, we think more teams will see the advantage of joining to achieve scale, size and get more bang for their buck."
Lack of scale and the heavy investment wealth platforms require may have prompted the bank holding company to sell its RIA business, says one industry consultant.
Esther Stearns is working with financial software maker Guide Financial in its quest to "carry the NestWise torch."
As four officials begin terms as volunteer chairmen of CFP Board councils, a former panel chairman highlights the challenges they may face.
'There will be absolutely no pressure to sell any of our products,' says RCS chairman Nicholas Schorsch, who built a fortune on nontraded REITs but has recently been acquiring several big independent B-Ds.
A survey of 500 mass affluent investors by an industry association finds -- conveniently -- high awareness and use of nontraded REITs.
For RCS advisors and brokers, the sweet spot will be individuals and families with $300,000 to $3 million in investable assets, Schorsch says.
RCS Capital wants to buy an investment research firm, an RIA and a family office -- and hold a major industry event modeled on Charles Schwab's annual Impact conference.
Royal Securities to pay $175,000 in FINRA fines over non-traditional ETF sales, church bonds and other violations.
The husband-and-wife team is the eighth team to join HighTowers New York headquarters.
The agency plans a deeper focus on the role and duties of financial advisors this year, says chairwoman Mary Jo White.
Firm's partners say they wanted 'control of our destiny -- we wanted to own our own equity.'