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Jul 6, 2011

Broker ordered to repay Morgan Stanley $1 million

NEW YORK/BANGALORE (Reuters) – A FINRA securities industry arbitration panel ordered a former Morgan Stanley Smith Barney broker to pay the firm nearly $1 million for breaching the terms of a promissory note.

Morgan Stanley last October had accused former broker Jamie Dick of failing to pay $938,884 owed on a promissory note, which had been executed in December 2007, that became due upon his termination in February.

Jul 1, 2011

Wells sheds HD Vest brokerage, but will keep FiNet

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), while eager to get bigger in wealth management, agreed to sell its H.D. Vest Financial Services brokerage and tax-advisory unit to Parthenon Capital Partners.

Wells Fargo, the fourth-largest U.S. bank by assets, bought H.D. Vest for $128 million in 2001. The Irving, Texas, unit is the third-largest independent broker-dealer network with 4,800 tax professionals licensed to sell securities.

Jun 30, 2011

FINRA makes Ketchum the $2.6 million regulator

NEW YORK, June 30 (Reuters) – Leading brokerage industry
watchdog FINRA does not have the same global cachet as running
the Securities and Exchange Commission, but it generates a
much, much bigger paycheck.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority on Thursday
said it more than doubled the salary, bonus and other
compensation paid to Chief Executive Richard Ketchum last year
to $2.6 million. Ketchum received $1.01 million in total
compensation in 2009.

Jun 30, 2011

Retail investor summer slump may linger until 2014

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Slow small-investor trading activity may not speed up when summertime ends, and may linger until 2014, delaying a rebound by online brokerages, Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Brad Hintz said on Thursday.

Wall Street has always emptied out for summer vacations, but this year trading volumes at Charles Schwab Corp and TD Ameritrade began falling in May.

Jun 29, 2011

UBS Wealth Management hired 38 brokers in June

NEW YORK, June 29 (Reuters) – UBS Wealth Management
Americas (UBSN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which suffered more than a thousand broker
departures in 2008 and 2009, continues to rebuild its ranks.

The Swiss bank’s U.S. brokerage unit said it hired 38
financial advisers last month who collectively managed $2.8
billion in assets and generated $24.3 million in revenue in the
past year. Twenty-four of those hires took place in the past
two weeks, the firm said.

Jun 28, 2011

SEC on lookout for bubble-era IPO practices

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Some recent red-hot initial public offerings have the Securities and Exchange Commission concerned that Wall Street’s underwriters may be tempted to revive some troubling tech bubble practices.

“You can’t help but be concerned by IPO valuations,” Robert Khuzami, the SEC’s enforcement chief, told an audience of Wall Street lawyers and compliance officers in New York on Tuesday.

Jun 27, 2011

Mutual Fund Store in deal talks, CEO says

BOSTON/NEW YORK, June 27 (Reuters) – The Mutual Fund Store,
an investment advisory firm for retail investors, is engaged in
deal talks, Chief Executive Adam Bold told Reuters on Monday,
though he denied a trade publication’s report that his Kansas
company is on the block to be sold outright.

“I talk to the people all the time, as a prudent business
person, but I have not put the company up for sale,” Bold said
in a telephone interview.

Jun 24, 2011

Stifel incentive stock plan still opposed by ISS

NEW YORK, June 24 (Reuters) – Stifel Financial’s (SF.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz)
efforts to expand a stock bonus pool may be stymied for a
second time after an influential proxy adviser on Friday
recommended that the investment bank’s shareholders reject an
amended, reduced stock plan.

Stifel had a setback on June 1 when shareholders did not
approve a proposal to add 6 million shares to the company’s
incentive-stock program. Proxy advisory firms Institutional
Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis & Co had recommended
investors oppose the plan, citing their cost to shareholders.

Jun 23, 2011

Sieg gains expanded role in BofA wealth management

NEW YORK, June 23 (Reuters) – Andy Sieg lost a chance to
lead Merrill Lynch’s U.S. brokerage, but he gained a pretty
good consolation prize on Thursday — a global business
generating $7 billion to $8 billion a year in revenue.

Bank of America Corp (BAC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) wealth management president
Sallie Krawcheck said Sieg, who has run the bank’s fast-growing
retirement services for the past two years, will now also be
responsible for a its global investment solutions business.

Jun 22, 2011

Asia surpasses Europe in millionaires and wealth

NEW YORK, June 22 (Reuters) – The ranks of millionaires in Asia for the
first time surpassed Europe and in a few years are expected to overtake the
United States, according to the latest annual Merrill Lynch-Capgemini World
Wealth Report.

Powered by fast-growing China and India, the Asia-Pacific region’s
millionaire ranks rose 10 percent to 3.3 million, second only to the 3.4
million residing in North America and inching ahead of Europe, which had 3.1