Topic: The Practice

Technology

SEC Chair Urges Crypto Intermediaries to Register with the Commission

December 5, 2022No Comments

Meanwhile, a bipartisan effort is under way to push forward crypto regulation before year's end in the wake of the FTX collapse.

BlackRock CEO: Most Crypto Firms Will Fail in Wake of FTX Collapse

December 2, 2022No Comments

BlackRock invested some $24 million in the cryptocurrency exchange, Larry Fink said, adding that he still believes in crypto’s underlying technology.

UBS Refocuses on the Very Wealthy But Prioritizes Digital Build-out

December 2, 2022No Comments

Chair Colm Kelleher says a desire to focus on the ultra-wealthy was the reason the Wealthfront deal was scrapped.

FTX Ties to U.S. Banks Point to Regulatory Shortfall: Reports

December 1, 2022No Comments

Former regulator staff, banks and trade groups say there’s a lack of clarity from regulators on how traditional financial institutions should engage with digital assets.

Investor Advocate Slams Finra’s Proposed Rule on Residential Offices

November 30, 2022No Comments

The Public Investors Advocate Bar Association contends that a proposal to classify home offices as non-branch locations “leaves considerable opportunity for advisors working from home to skirt the rules.”

Fees and compensation

Morgan Stanley’s New Comp Grid Zeroes in on Pulling in New Assets, Loans

December 1, 2022No Comments

The wirehouse made minor changes to bonus payouts and other elements, including an incentive to get sub-$250,000 clients to move more money to the firm.

SEC Whistleblower Program Needs a Revamp, Tipsters Say

November 29, 2022No Comments

One repeat whistleblower who sent the SEC tips about several firms later sanctioned by the regulator tells Bloomberg she stopped because she never heard back from the commission.

UBS Holds Line on 2023 Advisor Compensation: Memo

November 17, 2022No Comments

“Most advisors prefer no changes whatsoever unless you’re going to introduce a new bonus,” a compensation consultant said.

Hedge Fund Impactive Capital Readies for Proxy Fight at Envestnet

November 16, 2022No Comments

Activist investor Impactive Capital wants to improve Envestnet’s stock performance by slashing costs and pay, sources tell Reuters.

Merrill to Raise Grid Thresholds for Advisors: Reports

November 11, 2022No Comments

The higher thresholds determining core payout would increase for the first time since 2009, according to a source cited by Barron’s.

Staffing and recruiting

Sifma’s '23 Priorities: T+1 Implementation Date, Treasury Market Structure Reform

December 5, 2022No Comments

The industry group will also focus on digital asset regulation, according to president and chief executive officer Ken Bentsen.

Selling Your Firm? Here’s What M&A Suitors Want

December 5, 2022No Comments

Buyers want to gain talented advisors, expand to new markets and grow their assets, a Fidelity Institutional study shows, but advisors seeking to partner or sell tend to talk up the wrong things.

Wealthspire Advisors to Add $194M RIA

December 2, 2022No Comments

The latest addition is Nevada-based Sage Financial Advisors.

Wells Advisors Managing $180M Bolt for Prospera

December 2, 2022No Comments

Twin River Wealth Management, led by Thayer Potter, joins Prospera in Pennsylvania.

BlackRock CEO: Most Crypto Firms Will Fail in Wake of FTX Collapse

December 2, 2022No Comments

BlackRock invested some $24 million in the cryptocurrency exchange, Larry Fink said, adding that he still believes in crypto’s underlying technology.

Regulatory/legal issues

Sifma’s '23 Priorities: T+1 Implementation Date, Treasury Market Structure Reform

December 5, 2022No Comments

The industry group will also focus on digital asset regulation, according to president and chief executive officer Ken Bentsen.

Morgan Stanley to Pay $11.7M over Unauthorized Options Strategy

December 5, 2022No Comments

Finra arbitrators denied a request for sanctions against the wirehouse. They also rejected Morgan Stanley’s request for expungement of the matter from the records of a financial advisor who wasn’t named as a defendant in the claim.

SEC Chair Urges Crypto Intermediaries to Register with the Commission

December 5, 2022No Comments

Meanwhile, a bipartisan effort is under way to push forward crypto regulation before year's end in the wake of the FTX collapse.

BlackRock CEO: Most Crypto Firms Will Fail in Wake of FTX Collapse

December 2, 2022No Comments

BlackRock invested some $24 million in the cryptocurrency exchange, Larry Fink said, adding that he still believes in crypto’s underlying technology.

Finra Urges Firms to Address Red Flags in Opening of Options Accounts

December 2, 2022No Comments

The industry’s self-regulator says firms must address how they deal with red flags, such as inexperienced new investors applying for options trading.

Succession planning

Morgan Stanley to Make ‘Modest Cuts’ of Staff, CEO Says

December 2, 2022No Comments

James Gorman said the firm will let “some people” go “all over the globe,” without specifying numbers.

Acquisition-Happy Mercer Aiming to Be ‘Mayo Clinic’ of Wealth Management

November 23, 2022No Comments

CEO Dave Welling told the Denver Business Journal that half of the firm’s current employees joined via acquisitions.

RIA Space Seeing Plummeting M&A Activity in Q4, DeVoe Report Says

November 21, 2022No Comments

The last three weeks of October saw 81% fewer deals than the trailing 12-month average.

Lawsuit Reveals the Big Money, Competitive World of Life Insurance Agents

November 18, 2022No Comments

An agent said he lost $1.58 million after New York Life fired him over a case involving a replacement annuity. The abrupt termination aimed to prevent him from moving clients to Ameriprise, he claims.

UBS’ Risk Chief Steps Down from Finance to Focus on Photography

November 9, 2022No Comments

The wealth management division’s risk boss, Damian Vogel, will succeed Christian Bluhm in May.

Marketing

Morgan Stanley’s Top Strategist on Going Against the Consensus

November 30, 2022No Comments

Mike Wilson, who was among very few analysts to forecast a drop in the S&P 500 even before the war in Ukraine, tells Bloomberg that he believes in being a “market historian” — while thinking for himself.

FAs Weigh In: How Can Advisors Refresh Retirement Seminars?

November 23, 2022No Comments

“I think the general investing public is skeptical about the retirement ‘dinner seminar’ approach and the idiotic invitations they are carpet-bombed with,” one advisor says.

DOL Rolls Out ESG Rule to Undo ‘Chilling Effect’ of Trump-Era Regulation

November 23, 2022No Comments

The new rule merely allows — rather than requires — plan fiduciaries to consider investing in firms committed to climate change and ESG-related policies.

Fidelity’s Assets Under Administration Down, Despite Increase in Accounts

November 21, 2022No Comments

During the third quarter, meanwhile, nearly half of new retail accounts were opened by investors between the ages of 18 and 35, while new IRAs opened by the 18-to-25 age group soared 83% year-over-year, according to Fidelity.

JPMorgan to Sweeten Perks, Including Parental Leave, Bereavement, Sick Days

November 18, 2022No Comments

According to a memo seen by Bloomberg, the firm will also offer four weeks off to employees to care for a seriously ill family member or domestic partner starting January 1.