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Why did Sterne Agee fire its CEO?

June 8, 2014

Sterne Agee Group Inc., a private holding company with a number of broker-dealer subsidiaries, two weeks ago gave the heave-ho to its longtime chairman and chief executive, James Holbrook Jr., and replaced him with company veteran Eric Needleman....

Is AIG Advisor Group the next big fish Schorsch wants to land?

May 23, 2014

To build a network of 20,000 advisers, RCS Capital Corp. and Larry Roth, the newly anointed chief executive of its retail brokerage umbrella unit, Cetera Financial Group, are undoubtedly considering another big and bold move. Cetera will have...

In this Finra program, the eyes have it

May 11, 2014

The financial advice industry is becoming increasingly fascinated — some would say preoccupied — with robo-advisers. Hardly a week goes by when at least one story doesn't appear in InvestmentNews or other media serving the financial advice...

Nontraded REIT returns: Where to put cash now?

April 27, 2014

The independent broker-dealer industry fattened up last year on the sale of nontraded real estate investment trusts. The question hanging over IBDs now is whether advisers are prudently reallocating the money of clients who are invested in nontraded...

Envestnet gets a lot of love from advisers and the Street

March 16, 2014

Investment advisers are flocking to Envestnet Inc. and have turned the asset management and technology company into a market darling. The company's stock price has soared in the past year. Shares of Envestnet traded at $15.55 on March 13, 2013....

Finra arb panel sends reps a message

March 2, 2014

A Finra arbitration panel last month hit a former registered representative with a stinging order to pay a client $250,000 in punitive damages, an almost unheard-of award for a client. The steep punitive damages ordered by the Financial Industry...

Regulators have an uphill battle to bring transparency to illiquid investments

February 7, 2014

Securities regulators and the alternative investment industry are working together to bring more transparency to illiquid investments, including nontraded real estate investment trusts — a positive for financial advisers and their clients....

Schorsch's pickup of J.P. Turner: "Such a bargain!"

January 22, 2014

Nick Schorsch has been snapping up broker-dealers with the fervor of Carrie Bradshaw from “Sex and the City” chasing down her next pair of Manolo Blahniks. But last Friday, Mr. Schorsch's latest deal sounded an odd note to some, as if Carrie...

How many more wolves are left on Wall Street?

January 5, 2014

Stratton Oakmont, the notorious Long Island, N.Y., boiler room brokerage, was shut down by securities regulators at the end of 1996. Almost two decades later, “The Wolf of Wall Street” has brought the firm back to life, with drugs, sex and...

Is it time to rethink the price-earnings ratio?

December 12, 2013

Prudent financial advisers shudder when stock market pundits chatter about discovering new paradigms for measuring stocks, particularly during the heady days of a bull market — for good reason. Such prattle about “paradigm shifts” in the...

The ghost of private placements past

December 1, 2013

As the year comes to a close, it is evident that independent broker-dealers are racking up a bonanza from the sale of alternative investment products, namely nontraded real estate investment trusts. As noted in this column two weeks ago, independent...

As nontraded REIT sales sizzle, have firms learned from past mistakes?

November 30, 2013

As the year comes to a close, it is evident that independent broker-dealers are racking up a bonanza of commission dollars and marketing cash from the sale of alternative investment products, namely nontraded real estate investment trusts. As...

Mountain of money in nontraded REITs continues to hold Wall Street's attention

November 15, 2013

Wall Street continues to intensify its loving gaze on the once homely and overlooked domain of independent broker-dealers and the hot alternative investments those firms are selling, this time nontraded real estate investment trusts. And why...

Seinfeld star's adviser Bambi Holzer sued by Finra over Provident deals

October 24, 2013

Bambi Holzer is infamous in the securities industry as a Beverly Hills, Calif.-based broker who aggressively courted Hollywood stars as clients, along with the less glamorous rich, before and after the tech bubble burst in 2000. She wrote books,...

Soaking the rich is institutionalized

October 13, 2013

The very rich are different from you and me, F. Scott Fitzgerald once observed. He obviously never talked to financial advisers about the sleight of hand that investment banks and wirehouses play when charging fees to the very rich for investment...

Face it: Americans resent how well industry is paid

September 29, 2013

Talking about big-time bonuses for bankers, traders and investment adviser reps has turned into a bedeviling matter for those in the financial services industry. Recent conversations about who gets paid what in the business have revealed two...

A novel idea

September 15, 2013

Many financial advisers spent the last week of August savoring the final days of summer vacation, hanging out with their families on the beach or by a lake. One veteran adviser and registered representative, Frank Congemi, chose to spend his...

Has the glass ceiling in financial services really been broken?

September 9, 2013

Talking about males and females in any situation is always loaded with concern, so I would like to start this piece by saying that none of the following is intended as a statement about any specific gender. I am talking in generalities to get...

Alts require due diligence

August 11, 2013

Financial advisers must demand first-class due diligence and analysis on the bevy of alternative investments flooding the independent-broker-dealer and registered investment adviser marketplaces. Indeed, last week's news of fraud allegations...

LPL right to eliminate 'self-supervision'

July 28, 2013

Over the past decade, chief executive Mark Casady has built LPL Financial LLC into a 13,000-rep behemoth through two tactics: buying broker-dealers and aggressively recruiting registered representatives and financial advisers, many of whom were...

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