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SEC hits Morgan Stanley with $13 million fine

January 13, 2017

The Securities and Exchange Commission said on Friday that Morgan Stanley agreed to pay a $13 million penalty to settle charges that it overbilled investment advisory clients due to coding and other billing system errors. The firm also violated...

Bank of America's Merrill Lynch reports a 1% increase in number of financial advisers

January 13, 2017

Merrill Lynch reported a 1% net increase in the number of financial advisers at the firm at the end of 2016, according to this morning's fourth-quarter earnings announcement from Merrill's parent, Bank of America Corp. With the additional 129...

American Funds gets SEC approval for clean shares

January 13, 2017

The Securities and Exchange Commission gave the green light Wednesday to the Capital Group to issue “clean shares” through its American Funds — a share class without any distribution costs, such as 12-b(1) fees. The no-action letter to...

Broker-dealers have different views on recruiting over next six months

January 12, 2017

Senior executives at leading independent broker-dealers are split in their assessment of recruiting over the first half of this year, with some expecting a strong start to 2017, while others are not as sanguine. Confusion in the recruiting market...

RIAs could be ultimate winners if DOL fiduciary rule is repealed or delayed

January 11, 2017

As potential delays and road blocks pile up in front the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, an irony is emerging in that the strongest supporters of the rule could benefit the most from the rule's demise. Independent registered investment...

Morgan Stanley teams up with data-aggregation company Addepar to get insight into clients' holdings

January 10, 2017

Morgan Stanley, among the world's biggest brokerages, is partnering with a Silicon Valley startup better known for helping rivals at independent advisory firms and family offices manage the assets of the ultra rich. Software from data-aggregation...

With DOL fiduciary looming, Advisor Group reduces fees on its brokerage and advisory platform

January 10, 2017

With the Department of Labor's new fiduciary rule for retirement accounts looming, the Advisor Group said on Tuesday it has made broad changes to its investment platform for its 5,000 advisers. The firm, which has four broker-dealers in its...

TruClarity targets midsize wirehouse breakaway reps to launch new RIA firms

January 6, 2017

A relative newcomer to the general concept of rollups and strategic acquirers, TruClarity is making a deliberate push for midsize wirehouse brokers looking to breakaway as registered investment advisers. Just 18 months old, TruClarity, based...

Tim Murphy, former head of a closed Cetera Financial Group broker-dealer, now with LPL affiliate

January 5, 2017

Tim Murphy, the one-time CEO of a closed Cetera Financial Group broker-dealer, is now registered with an LPL Financial affiliate, Integrated Financial Partners. Formerly the head of the now shuttered Investors Capital Corp., Mr. Murphy registered...

Wells Fargo Advisors to pony up $35.5M in race discrimination, class action settlement

January 4, 2017

Wells Fargo Advisors has reached a $35.5 million settlement with a group of African-American financial advisers who claimed the firm discriminated against them due to their race. The group of six brokers, with lead plaintiff Lance Slaughter,...

Raymond James recruits Oregon adviser from Morgan Stanley

January 4, 2017

Raymond James & Associates has recruited Portland, Ore.-based brokerage representative Katherine Fisher-Schultz from Morgan Stanley. Ms. Fisher-Schultz, who managed more than $170 million in client assets at Morgan Stanley, has joined Raymond...

Amy Webber to replace Eric Schwartz as CEO of Cambridge Investment Research

January 3, 2017

Eric Schwartz, the founder of independent broker-dealer Cambridge Investment Research Inc., has stepped down as the firm's CEO and has been replaced by longtime executive Amy Webber, who will also remain the firm's president. Mr. Schwartz, who...

Steward Partners nears $5B as it continues to recruit wirehouse reps

January 3, 2017

The first hurdle for any wirehouse rep hoping to join Steward Partners Global Advisory is the “no-jerk policy,” which company founders say is more important than experience or assets under management. “We want great people, first, who...

Cambridge's Eric Schwartz looks into the future of independent broker-dealer industry

December 29, 2016

Eric Schwartz, founder, chairman and CEO of Cambridge Investment Research Inc., is one of the brightest guys in the securities business. One of the most unassuming, too. He started a predecessor to Cambridge in the 1980s but struggled with it...

UBS fires top Connecticut broker Phil Fiore Jr. for multiple violations

December 28, 2016

UBS Financial Services Inc. late last month fired a top broker based in Stamford, Conn., for not keeping his employer informed of outside business activities, even while he was under heightened supervision. Phil Fiore Jr. was discharged at the...

Finra slaps 12 firms with $14.4 million fine for cybersecurity issues

December 21, 2016

Finra handed down $14.4 million in fines to a dozen firms on Wednesday for breaches related to the retention of broker-dealers' and customers' electronic records, which the brokerage industry watchdog claims made the firms vulnerable to cybersecurity...

Morgan Stanley fined more than $10 million for violating customer protection rule

December 20, 2016

Morgan Stanley was fined and penalized more than $10 million Tuesday for trading errors involving customer cash and margin securities. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that the firm had agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle charges...

Private equity's future in the independent retail financial advice industry

December 20, 2016

On the surface, the independent retail financial advice space hardly seems like fertile ground for private equity activity. Between escalating regulatory costs, combined with demographic and technology shifts redefining how consumers receive...

Finra slaps Allstate Financial with $1 million fine for array of fumbles

December 16, 2016

Citing a broad breakdown with the firm's failures to supervise client and adviser information, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. on Thursday slapped a $1 million fine on Allstate Financial Services, the broker-dealer arm of insurance...

Wells Fargo eliminates bonuses for advisers selling banking products

December 15, 2016

Months after its parent bank Wells Fargo & Co. was hit with a $185 million fine for opening checking and credit accounts that customers never knew about or approved, its retail brokerage, Wells Fargo Advisors, has eliminated bonus compensation...

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