RIA Valuation Insights

A weekly update on issues important to the Asset Management industry

Staffing for Value

With last week’s release of the 2018 InvestmentNews Compensation & Staffing Study, trends in pay and performance expectations are making the rounds in the RIA community.  Even though we are a valuation firm, we are often asked to weigh in on compensation matters, as officer pay and firm value are typically intertwined. 

Will Direct Indexing Become the Next ETF?

Since their launch in 1993, exchange traded funds (ETFs) have steadily attracted assets from mutual funds and active managers that have struggled to compete on the basis of performance and overall tax efficiency.  Now many industry observers believe that the same may very well happen to ETFs with the recent rise of direct index investing (DII).  For this week’s post, we look into the pros and cons of DII and the implications for the investment management industry.

Is Free the New Cheap? Fidelity Wins the Race to the Bottom

After watching the price of trading drop for decades, it wasn’t so surprising when J.P. Morgan announced that it would offer free online trading for certain investors last month, but when $2.5 trillion manager Fidelity Investments announced they were going to be offering two “free” index funds, the industry rocked on its heels. Is this the next leg down for pricing of investment management, a publicity stunt by Fidelity, or something else altogether?

Why Scale Doesn’t Always Resolve Succession Issues

Recent challenges at Och-Ziff and Hightower highlight the struggles RIAs face in transitioning the business to the next generation of management.  Size doesn’t alleviate this problem and may actually exacerbate it for some asset managers.  In this week’s post, we explore what went wrong in these instances and what you can do to avoid a similar fate.do to avoid a similar fate.

2Q18 Call Reports

As we do every quarter, we take a look at some of the earnings commentary of pacesetters in asset management to gain further insight into the challenges and opportunities developing in the industry.

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