Tag Archives: Evolution

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19. CAIS’s Matt Brown on Connecting Advisors to Alternative Investment Managers



Traditional 60/40 portfolios are not delivering the returns clients are looking for, argues Matt Brown, a former financial advisor and now CEO of CAIS, an alternatives investment platform for wealth managers. In the current market, alternative investing has increased in demand, prompting advisors to look for more information on these investment options.  

In this episode, David Armstrong talks with Brown about how the CAIS platform works to connect financial advisors with alternative asset managers and strategies that are right for their clients. Matt talks about the role of alternative investments within the current market and the importance of education as investing continues to evolve.

David and Matt discusses:

  • How CAIS provides connections to facilitate investments in alternatives
  • Why alternative investments are increasing in popularity among advisors and clients
  • The importance of education when advisors implement alternative investing
  • The role for crypto and blockchain technology for CAIS. 

Connect With Matt Brown:

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About Our Guest:

Matt Brown is the Founder, CEO, and Chairman of CAIS. He has spent over 30 years at the intersection of wealth management, alternative investments, and platform design. He began his career as a financial advisor at Shearson Lehman Brothers and Smith Barney. In 2009, Matt founded CAIS, the first truly open marketplace for alternative investments, where financial advisors and asset managers can engage and transact directly on a massive scale. Financial advisors, the professionals we designate to oversee our economic futures, do not have the same access to alternative investments in comparison to large institutions. CAIS is changing that. Matt believes entrepreneurship is the major driver of economic and social change. He’s spent the better part of two decades working with Endeavor, the world’s leading organization for high impact entrepreneurs. During his tenure, he had the opportunity to mentor dozens of entrepreneurs from around the world, including Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Matt is honored to have been on Endeavor’s South African and Turkish Boards which ultimately led to a position on the Global Board of Directors. The experience deepened his belief that helping entrepreneurs build and scale their businesses promotes economic growth and prosperity. It’s Matt’s personal mission to ensure that anyone with a dream, and the drive to achieve it, have an equal opportunity to make it happen.


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18. Advisor Innovations: Mark Bruno on Billion-Dollar RIA



Ten years ago, the idea of a $1 billion AUM client-facing RIA was hard to fathom. Today, the $100 billion RIA is the new hurdle, and a few have already crossed it.

That speaks to the incredible growth and whirlwind of mergers and acquisitions in the independent advisory channel, and few have watched that transformation as close as Mark Bruno, Managing Director at Informa Wealth Management, the home of Wealthmanagement.com, Inside ETFs and Wealth/Stack.  In this episode, David Armstrong talks to Bruno about the past decade, what’s fueling the growth of the most aggressive RIAs in the market and what that means for RIAs who are poised to join in the frenzy. Mark also reveals the evaluation drivers behind determining a businesses value and discusses the question of what the flood of private equity money in the space means for the future of the industry.

David and Mark discuss:

  • His tenure leading media and industry research efforts at Investment News as associate publisher and at boutique investment bank Echelon Partners
  • The explosion of mergers and acquisitions over the past decade, and why the velocity of deals is increasing
  • What growth funding from “outside” investors means for the wealth management space 
  • What valuation drivers mean the most to acquirers and investors;
  • The potential timeline of private equity investors and what they bring to the table in terms of professional management and M&A experience;
  • His plans for RIAEdge, a new initiative to create a business community around professionally managed RIAs with research and small-scale events to examine and understand the valuation drivers and dynamics of the fast-changing industry.  

Connect With David Armstrong:

Connect With Mark Bruno:

About Our Guest:

Mark Bruno is Managing Director, Wealth Management at Informa Connect. In his role, Mr. Bruno focuses on the expansion and enhancement of the organization’s Wealth Management media and event properties, which currently consists of WealthManagement.com, Inside ETFs podcast and the WealthStack podcast. He is also charged with driving several innovative new community and advisor-based initiatives.  

In addition, Mr. Bruno is overseeing strategic partnerships and acquisitions to accelerate Informa’s growth within the financial advisor and wealth management communities. Mr. Bruno brings over 20 years of experience in the wealth management and asset management industries to Informa, including prominent leadership roles in industry media, research, and consulting organizations. 

 


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17. The Wealthtech Landscape with LPL’s Gary Carrai



In this episode, David Armstrong is joined by Gary Carrai, former financial advisor, co-founder of Fortigent with Steve Lockshin, and currently executive vice president of LPL Financial in charge of third-party technology partnerships. Gary discusses the evolving affiliation options LPL Financial has opened for financial advisors and how he views the fintech ecosystem around wealth management, where he thinks LPL will turn next for fintech partnerships and his views in Cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence as it relates to financial advice. 

Gary discusses:

  • His career in financial services, including his early days as an advisor and selling his technology firm to Fortigent to LPL.
  • His current role overseeing wealth technology partnerships for LPL
  • What many advisors get wrong about their technology stack
  • The great bundled, to unbundled, to bundled again pendulum in technology ecosystems for independent advisors
  • How COVID-19 impacted financial advisors’ decision-making
  • LPL’s approach to cryptocurrency

Connect With Gary Carrai:

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15. Ric Edelman Looks To the Future



In this episode, David Armstrong is joined by Ric Edelman, founder of Edelman Financial Services (now Edelman Financial Engines) and the Digital Assets Council of Financial Professionals. Edelman discusses how he founded his firm with a focus on middle class savers when every other advisory firm was only looking for HNW clients, and grew the business $22 billion in AUM before merging it with Financial Engines. Stepping away this year from the firm he founded, he is now focused on investments based around technologies that he says will transform our lives, including blockchain, genomics and artificial intelligence, and is on a mission to educate financial advisors about cryptocurrency.  

Ric discusses:

  • How his earlier career as a journalist helped set him up for success as an advisor and entrepreneur. 
  • His views on the “holier-than-thou” critics of advisory fees based on AUM. 
  • Why he thinks this is the right time to step away from Edelman Financial Engines, even as he remains the largest individual shareholder. 
  • Why he convinced Morningstar and Blackrock to partner with him in launching the iShares Exponential Technology ETF (ticker: XT), the first of the thematic ETFs focusing on transformative technologies. 
  • How most financial advisors are failing in their fiduciary duties by ignoring the rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a new asset class. 
  • Why he created the Digital Assets Council of Financial Professionals.

Connect With Ric Edelman:

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About Our Guest:

Ric Edelman co-founded Edelman Financial Services with his wife Jean in 1986. He sold a majority stake to Sanders Morris Harris Group in 2005 and merged the firm with Financial Engines, to become Edelman Financial Engines, in 2018. He helped Morningstar create the Morningstar Exponential Technologies Index from which iShares launched the Exponential Technology ETF (ticker: XT). He founded the Digital Assets Council of Financial Professionals to educate the financial services industry about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.