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What's the next act for Waddell & Reed's advisers?

May 17, 2018

The brokerage industry is frantically remaking itself. Wall Street brokers are leaving the big banks and wirehouses in droves. Independent contractor firms like LPL Financial are binging on acquisitions, while competitors like Securities America...

Sanctioned Ponzi scheme salesmen keep shilling planning, advice

May 3, 2018

Recent sanctions by state securities regulators against unlicensed brokers who sold pieces of an alleged billion-dollar real estate Ponzi scheme highlight a perennial problem the financial advice industry continues to ignore: insurance agents,...

What to make of Morgan Stanley's new robo

March 22, 2018

Morgan Stanley is testing how an old-school gang of brokers and advisers and a newfangled, algorithm-driven robo-adviser can work together. When Morgan Stanley said last May that it was cutting back on recruiting and would focus on building...

Latest Wells Fargo flap underscores need for fiduciary standard

March 8, 2018

The most recent scandal brewing at Wells Fargo Advisors, this one regarding questions from the Justice Department about potentially inappropriate recommendations on rollovers for 401(k) plan participants, underscores yet again why the financial...

Advisers bemoan LPL's technology platform change

February 22, 2018

After years of effort to move to a new platform for wealth management, LPL Financial is still fumbling around with the latest technology for its more than 15,200 advisers. LPL advisers on a private LinkedIn chat room this month were sounding...

As LPL buys broker-dealers, its rivals also benefit

February 8, 2018

The more broker-dealers LPL Financial buys, the better it is, not only for LPL itself, but also for the rest of the independent broker-dealer industry. An acquisition means disruption, and that turns into lots of advisers looking to move to...

Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley use contrary tactics to keep advisers

January 25, 2018

Wells Fargo Advisors and Morgan Stanley are using extremely different tactics in the battle to hang onto their financial advisers. Wells Fargo started the year by dangling a carrot at its 14,544 retail and wealth management advisers, while Morgan...

Massive investment fraud fueled by slick marketing, hot dinners

January 5, 2018

For almost five years, the SEC said the Woodbridge Group of Companies operated a billion-dollar Ponzi scheme, taking advantage of 8,400 investors, many of them elderly. What is striking about the alleged fraud is that it operated in plain sight....

Stripped of fat commissions, nontraded REIT sales tank

December 7, 2017

The Department of Labor's fiduciary standard, and new securities industry account statement rules for greater clarity in the prices of products, have forced nontraded real estate investment trusts to slice their commissions. Since then, sales...

Broker protocol for recruiting a boon for clients

November 20, 2017

Turns out the broker protocol for recruiting among securities firms not only helps advisers more easily relocate where they work, it also has unexpected benefits for clients. The protocol, first agreed to by a handful of large firms more than...

How confusing are the fees brokers charge?

November 9, 2017

Financial advisers get itchy when talking about fees they charge clients. They tend to sweat a bit, looking down at the ground like it was littered with hundred dollar bills. In other words, fee chat makes some advisers uncomfortable. It's no...

Wedbush Securities, once again, in trouble with regulators

October 25, 2017

From time to time, this column focuses on firms and individuals in the investment advice business who continue to screw up — those who seem destined to repeat the past and harm investors, damage their own reputations or both. It can be maddening....

Painful end for advisers who bought RCAP shares

October 5, 2017

For advisers and executives who owned shares of RCAP, the defunct, mammoth brokerage firm formerly controlled by Nicholas Schorsch, a painful financial chapter of their lives ended last month. A federal judge in New York approved the settlement...

Odd letter highlights fiduciary concerns in Puerto Rico

September 21, 2017

Even when a broker is a fiduciary, he can certainly fail to act like one. Take, for example, the case of Oriental Financial Services Corp. It is a small broker-dealer that is part of a larger financial services company based in San Juan, Puerto...

Dawn Bennett's alleged Ponzi a sign of dark times

September 7, 2017

"Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble," are lines recited famously by the Three Witches in Shakespeare's "Macbeth," but notorious financial adviser Dawn Bennett has allegedly been calling on similar dark forces to...

Plenty of advisers eager to scoop up 'orphaned' accounts

August 17, 2017

The financial services industry would like to kill the Department of Labor's fiduciary standard. It's expensive to put into place, and the industry's grave fear is that it leaves brokers open to substantial legal risk. As part of its effort...

LPL's new CEO intent on moving beyond problems

August 3, 2017

It's obvious that Dan Arnold, LPL Financial's new CEO, is trying to move beyond problems that have dogged the firm over the last several years, strike a positive tone and, as he emphasized repeatedly, delight the more than 14,000 advisers who...

DOL regulation translates into pay cut for some advisers

July 20, 2017

The Department of Labor's fiduciary rule has morphed into a pay cut for some advisers, who are left wondering whether a reduction in their compensation is being used to bolster the bottom lines of the broker-dealers with which they work. Sure,...

Nick Schorsch's presence at Brian Block's trial unseen, but keenly felt

June 25, 2017

Nicholas Schorsch has been physically absent from the courtroom of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for the securities fraud trial of his longtime business associate Brian Block, which started June 12. But for the...

Are brokers really ready to be fiduciaries?

June 1, 2017

The Department of Labor's fiduciary rule for retirement accounts will take effect Friday, and advisers and their broker-dealers better get ready for a new wave of risk: lawsuits and legal complaints by investors who believe they have been harmed...

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