August 21, 2012

2012 Broker-Dealers of the Year; Top Wealth Managers: September Investment Advisor—Slideshow

September is our annual broker-dealer issue and includes the 22nd annual Broker-Dealers of the Year contest. Chosen by their own reps, the four winners met us in Chicago to talk about the issues they face in their businesses and the industry overall.

September also brings the 12th annual Top Wealth Managers survey. We uncover the changes and challenges the wealth management industry has experienced over the last year and look ahead to new ones.

Also in this issue, look for the 2012 Broker-Dealer Sales Oversight study, which examines the state of broker-dealer compliance and interaction with sales practice management. Olivia Mellan shares what she's learned about why boomers are divorcing and how their advisors can help them. And, Savita Iyer-Ahrestani explains the right way to invest in China.

To Serve and Protect: The 2012 Broker-Dealers of the YearTo Serve and Protect: The 2012 Broker-Dealers of the Year

Not to take anything away from previous Broker-Dealers of the Year winners, but the interaction between this year’s honorees at our roundtable discussion in Chicago was top-notch, once again showcasing the passion and dedication that earned each of them the award.

All of this year’s participants were owners or part-owners of their respective firms, and the entrepreneurial spirit was present throughout. Group Editor-in-Chief James J. Green and Editor-in-Chief John Sullivan sat down with the winners to get their thoughts on regulations, service, succession planning and budgetary priorities.

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A Changed Industry: Insights from the 2012 Top Wealth Managers Survey

2012 Top Wealth Managers

The wealth management industry is rapidly changing and has entered into the mature stages of its evolution. The average wealth management firm is not only much larger, but is also a more prominent competitor with a well-established brand, presence and reach into the very top levels of the high-net-worth market.

Many firms are owned by institutional investors, such as private equity and publicly owned firms. New structures of ownership and branding are emerging, providing new resources and capabilities while altering the competitive landscape. Finally, the patient efforts of organically grown firms have paid off in building large, competitive organizations. Philip Palaveev and Jonathan McQuade break down the results of the 12th annual Top Wealth Manager Survey.

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Forces for Good: Trends and Challenges for Broker-DealersForces for Good: Trends and Challenges for Broker-Dealers

In 2010, Albridge, an affiliate of Pershing, a BNY Mellon company, commissioned Beacon Strategies LLC, a strategy and tactical consulting firm that focuses on the broker-dealer market, to systematically examine the state of broker-dealer compliance and interaction with sales practice management. The results were published in November 2010 in a report entitled “Broker-Dealer Sales Practices Oversight: Secrets of Their Success.”

Albridge believes it is important for the broker-dealer community to have a continuous, updated perspective on this topic, and commissioned Beacon to update this study in January 2012. Chip Kispert and Marshall Levin of Beacon Strategies share the results of the study.

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The Baby Boomer Bust-UpThe Baby Boomer Bust-Up

An alarming fact has surfaced amid the media fascination with aging baby boomers, and it’s not about the number of knee replacements or sales of touring motorcycles (although both of these are up).

They’re getting divorced. Olivia Mellan discovers what’s behind boomers’ break-ups in the first of a two-part series.

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Life Partners: Grow Your Practice With an Insurance PartnerLife Partners: Grow Your Practice With an Insurance Partner

Between the ongoing market volatility and the rapid evolution in insurance products, it’s easy to see why many financial advisors aren’t talking to their clients about life insurance. They’re already stretched, and learning about complex products takes them away from their bread-and-butter business. What they may not be aware of, however, is that offering life insurance to clients can help them build their practices, increase client retention and satisfaction, and enhance their clients’ portfolios.

The good news for financial advisors is that they don’t need to become life insurance experts and reinvent themselves; they simply need to find the right partner. Kevin Kimbrough explains.

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New China: Investing in a Growing Global LeaderNew China: Investing in a Growing Global Leader

It goes without saying that today, investing in China is no great secret. But how one does it is what’s important. There are many IPOs coming out of China, and Mark Mobius, executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, believes that separating the good opportunities from the bad is one of the greatest challenges that investors today face. But he also believes that going the extra mile and researching them properly and thoroughly, and looking at China beyond its obvious, gigantic stature in the global economy, is what’s going to take investors forward to where the opportunities really lie.

Savita Iyer-Ahrestani talks to industry experts about what to look for in China.

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On a Tear: How Altegris Made Alternatives Pay OffOn a Tear: How Altegris Made Alternatives Pay Off

Maintaining the proper work/family balance ain’t easy, something Jon Sundt knows firsthand. While playing conference host to 400 top advisors and investors in early May (with such notable speakers as Mohamed El-Erian, Jeffrey Gundlach and John Mauldin), Sundt had to cut short an interview in order to race across town to his daughter’s play before racing back to introduce the next VIP.

It’s all in a day’s work for the president and CEO of Altegris, the “it” alternative investment provider he founded in 2002. The firm, with its $3.27 billion in client assets and clearing services for $997 million in institutional assets, is attracting buzz; so much so that it was able to effortlessly attract the stellar speaker lineup for its conference. Sundt explains how he’s been so successful to Editor-in-Chief John Sullivan.

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