Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch has unveiled its new workstation for financial advisors, and it looks and feels a lot like something most people know how to use: a Chrome browser. One industry analyst says the technology is a leap forward because it quickly provides advisors the information and tools they need to serve clients without forcing them to jump through hoops—or in this case, from application to application.
In other wealth management news this week:
For sale? MassMutual reportedly is considering selling its retirement services unit because the insurer no longer considers it a core business. Another insurance company,
could be a logical suitor, given how its own retirement services business would mesh with MassMutual’s.
Succession stress. It’s no secret that succession planning remains a serious concern for owners of RIA firms as they approach retirement age. A new survey of RIAs from DeVoe & Company focuses on the issue and finds that 57% of respondents expect the transition to the next generation to be “bumpy”—or worse. Even with those concerns, RIA firms still aren’t doing everything they could to prepare and motivate younger advisors to take the reins, the survey finds.
Big money’s appetite for crypto grows. Digital coin proponents have long argued that adoption by institutional investors was crucial for the market to reach its full potential. According to a new Fidelity survey, adoption is increasing, with the percentage of U.S. institutional investors holding crypto rising to 27% from 22% a year ago. Adoption is even higher, however, among their counterparts across the pond.
Captrust expands, again. In its first deal since selling a minority stake in its business to private-equity shop GTCR, heavyweight RIA Captrust has acquired Lakeside Wealth Management, a Chesterton, Ind.-based firm with $1.6 billion in AUM and 27 employees. Raleigh-N.C.-based Captrust now provides advice on more than $390 billion in client assets and has AUM of about $45 billion.
Also, check out this week’s Q&A, with Ron Carson, the founder of $12 billion Carson Wealth. He sat down with my colleague Steve Garmhausen to explain why the next big threat to wealth managers may come from outside the financial-services industry. He also discussed how his company has been getting work done during the pandemic, and why buying a marketing boutique was a smart move for his firm.
Have a great weekend, everyone, and stay safe.