Archive for May, 2015

Northstar Wealth helps Habitat for Humanity

News







Contributed photo

A group of 13 Northstar Wealth employees volunteered their time with Habitat for Humanity on a home in East Hartford.

View and purchase photos

WEST HARTFORD Northstar Wealth Partners (NSWP), a wealth management firm headquartered in West Hartford, Connecticut, announced today that thirteen of their employees joined with other volunteers in the community to share their time and expertise to assist Habitat for Humanity in completing a new home for a worthy family.

The Northstar team successfully completed various final installations inside the home, which was being readied for a May 2015 delivery. The group put their skills to work installing bathroom vanities, trim, window blinds, painting, installing door hardware, closet doors and shelving. All were thankful for the opportunity to give back to their community in this way.

On April 15, the East Hartford home was dedicated, and it will be delivered on or around Memorial Day fully outfitted. This home joins others that Habitat has recently completed in the area adding dignity and pride to deserving neighborhoods. It marked the culmination and hard work of many people, employers and activists from throughout the greater Hartford community, and Northstar was proud to be among them.

It’s the simple philosophy Habitat embodies that attracted Northstar and their employees, “A world where everyone has a decent place to live.” This specific and pointed mission is easy to relate to and act upon in a tangible way.

“Just as some businesses have a specific cause they rally behind, Northstar is a firm believer in actions speaking loudly. The opportunity that Habitat for Humanity provided our employees made an indelible impression on all who participated. We look forward to future opportunities to support their efforts and contribute to their builds,” said Robert Laraia, Founder and Wealth Advisor.

  • 1
  • See Full Story

WEST HARTFORD Northstar Wealth Partners (NSWP), a wealth management firm headquartered in West Hartford, Connecticut, announced today that thirteen of their employees joined with other volunteers in the community to share their time and expertise to assist Habitat for Humanity in completing a new home for a worthy family.

The Northstar team successfully completed various final installations inside the home, which was being readied for a May 2015 delivery. The group put their skills to work installing bathroom vanities, trim, window blinds, painting, installing door hardware, closet doors and shelving. All were thankful for the opportunity to give back to their community in this way.

On April 15, the East Hartford home was dedicated, and it will be delivered on or around Memorial Day fully outfitted. This home joins others that Habitat has recently completed in the area adding dignity and pride to deserving neighborhoods. It marked the culmination and hard work of many people, employers and activists from throughout the greater Hartford community, and Northstar was proud to be among them.

It’s the simple philosophy Habitat embodies that attracted Northstar and their employees, “A world where everyone has a decent place to live.” This specific and pointed mission is easy to relate to and act upon in a tangible way.

“Just as some businesses have a specific cause they rally behind, Northstar is a firm believer in actions speaking loudly. The opportunity that Habitat for Humanity provided our employees made an indelible impression on all who participated. We look forward to future opportunities to support their efforts and contribute to their builds,” said Robert Laraia, Founder and Wealth Advisor.

  • Return to Paging Mode










Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
comments powered by Disqus

Tags:

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 EN No Comments

FINRA CEO Criticizes DOL Fiduciary Proposal

‘)})()
//–






The head of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority criticized the Department of Labor’s fiduciary proposal on Wednesday, saying the industry would be better off moving forward under a  “best interest standard” for broker-dealers that would rely on disclosure and customer consent.

“Notwithstanding their good faith intentions, I believe the current Labor proposal is not the appropriate way to meet that goal,” Rick Ketchum, CEO of FINRA, told attendees of the regulator’s annual conference Wednesday.

Ketchum highlighted several areas of concern regarding the DOL’s re-proposed fiduciary rule. He called the agency’s enforcement mechanisms, which would open the door to class action lawsuits, “problematic.”

“In one sweeping step, this moves enforcement of these provisions to civil class action lawsuits or arbitration where the legal focus must be on a contractual interpretation,” he said. 

The Labor Department’s rule also provided insufficient guidance on how to manage the conflicts that exist in most b/ds current business models other than moving to pure asset-based, or fee-neutral, model. Ketchum also added that he believed it was “not optimal” to apply a different legal standard to investor’s assets held in IRAs and 401(k)s than to the rest of clients’ assets.

Ketchum also said he was disappointed in much of the rhetoric around the proposal. “This strident dialogue is a disservice to a wide range of investment firms truly working to serve their clients’ interests,” Ketchum said. 

“I continue to believe today that, for both investor protection and firm cultural reasons, a best interest standard for broker-dealers—under the securities laws—is the direction we must go,” he noted. 

With that in mind, Ketchum threw his support behind the Securities and Exchange Commission as the right agency to apply that standard to broker dealers. 

He said a best interest standard should make clear that customer interests come first and that any conflicts must be understood and consented to by the customer. 

A proposal also should also require firms to put policies in place to manage conflicts of interest and address the incentives brokers may receive. 

“Broker-dealers should be required to provide customers an ADV-like document annually that provides clear, plain English descriptions of the conflicts they may have and an explanation of all product and administrative fees,” Ketchum added. 

“It is time for us to reach agreement on a best interest solution that embraces three essential tenets: active identification and management of firms’ conflicts, dramatically improved disclosure of risks associated with the product and product-related fees, firm and third party incentives, and more effective management of the compensation incentives to registered persons,” Ketchum said. 

Please Log In or Register to post comments.





Webinars and White Papers



Wealth Management












Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×

Tags:

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 EN No Comments

Baird Adds Branch Manager From UBS, Advisor From Morgan Stanley

Baird added advisors in Maine and Ohio.Baird added advisors in Maine and Ohio.


Employee-owned Baird said Tuesday that it has recruited a branch manager and financial advisor from two wirehouse firms.

Eric Pronovost joined Baird in Portland, Maine, where he will both lead the branch and serve as an advisor. He worked for UBS (UBS) since 2007, after time with Prudential, McDonald Investments and Smith Barney. Pronovost started his career as an FA in 1991 with Lehman Brothers.

“We are very pleased to have Eric lead our Portland office,” said Bill Johnson, regional director of Baird’s Private Wealth Management group. “With more than 20 years of industry experience and a commitment to providing the best financial advice to clients, Eric is an excellent position to grow our presence in the market.”

In Columbus, Ohio, Baird added Robert Gorman as director and advisor from Morgan Stanley (MS); he has worked for the firm and its predecessor Citi-Smith Barney since 1990. Prior to that he was with Prudential-Bache, the firm he began working for in 1982, and Lehman.

Baird’s wealth management operations include 800-plus financial advisors who have more than $100 billion in client assets.

Last month, the firm added an advisor formerly affiliated with Charles Schwab (SCHW). In March, it recruited six FAs in Texas and Ohio, including an ex-UBS team and an advisor previously with Morgan Stanley.

— Check out 8 Best Financial Companies to Work For: Fortune on ThinkAdvisor.

Tags:

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 EN No Comments

UBS Group Spins Off Australian Wealth Management Unit

You are being directed to ZacksTrade, a division of Zacks Company and licensed broker-dealer. ZacksTrade and Zacks.com are separate but affiliated companies. The web link between the two companies is not a solicitation or offer to invest in a particular security or type of security. ZacksTrade does not endorse or adopt any particular investment strategy, any analyst opinion/rating/report or any approach to evaluating individual securities.

If you wish to go to ZacksTrade, click OK. If you do not, click Cancel.

OK
Cancel

Tags:

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 EN No Comments

Stock Brawl: A double take on utilities stocks

BREAKING:

Watch Funeral for Slain Omaha Cop

Tags:

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 EN No Comments

Average home price of BC’s wealthiest more than doubles Canada’s richest: BMO

The average home price for B.C.’s wealthiest residents is more than double that of Canada’s richest, according to a survey from BMO Wealth Management released Monday (May 25).

The bank polled Canadians with investible assets of $1 million and determined the average home price of the nation’s most deep-pocketed individuals sits at $1.5 million.

But B.C.’s richest residents leave the rest of the country in the dust.

The average home price for the West Coast’s wealthiest was $3.9 million — or 162% higher than the national average.

The average home price for the richest in Ontario — the province that comes closest to B.C. — was $1.8 million, while the worth of the primary residence of Alberta’s most affluent was about $700,000, according to the survey.

Meanwhile, 44% of B.C.’s richest residents own secondary properties, tying Alberta for the largest proportion across Canada. The national average is 36%.

B.C.’s reputation for emphasizing a laid-back lifestyle was bolstered by the fact 67% of its richest residents who own secondary residences use those properties for vacationing.

That’s the highest proportion across Canada, with the national average running at 47%. Just 33% of the richest people in Alberta use their secondary residences for vacationing.

torton@biv.com

@reporton

Tags:

Monday, May 25th, 2015 EN No Comments

STA WEALTH MANAGEMENT Just Filed 13F Stock Holdings for Q1 2015

Sta Wealth Management Llc 13F Analysis

Sta Wealth Management Llc just filed its Q1 2015 13F. Dated 25/05/2015, the 13f report shows the active investment manager has a portfolio value of $236.24 million, representing a decrease of $6.63 million from the previous quarter when it was $242.87 million. Note: This filling reprents about 41.42% of Sta Wealth Management Llc’s assets, which which are listed in the US.

Based on $570.34 million in assets under management, Sta Wealth Management Llc’s equity exposure is 41.42% of assets.

New Holdings

In this quarter, Sta Wealth Management Llc opened new positions in Market Vectors Etf Tr (SMH) for $3.83 million, Select Sector Spdr Tr (XLU) for $3.59 million, Rydex Etf Trust (RPV) for $3.29 million, Powershares Global Etf Trust (PCY) for $1.40 million and Spdr Series Trust (CWB) for $1.20 million. These were the 5 biggest new positions. In total the active investment manager bought 13 new stocks.

Portfolio New Buys

Increased Positions

As shown in this 13f report the active investment manager raised its stakes in Select Sector Spdr Tr (XLY) by 7% to $24.74 million, Select Sector Spdr Tr (XLE) by 25% to $16.40 million, Rydex Etf Trust (RSP) by 40% to $14.58 million, Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM) by 22% to $4.58 million and Vertex Energy Inc (VTNR) by 94% to $2.96 million. Sta Wealth Management Llc also acquired smaller stakes in Proshares Tr (SSO) by 417.95% to $5.22 million, Pepsico Inc (PEP) by 88.20% to $653,000 and Bp Plc (BP) by 6.32% to $317,000. Building positions gradually is normal investment practice for many funds.

Sold Positions

This fund got rid of its stakes in Spdr Index Shs Fds (DWX), Ishares (IDV), Spdr Series Trust (XOP), Plains All Amern Pipeline L (PAA) and Jpmorgan Chase Co (JPM). These stocks constituted 8.37%, 1.22%, 0.63%, 0.17% and 0.15% of the manager’s portfolio, respectively. We can only speculate about the reasons for the dumping but we believe it has to do with either value, momentum or a better place for Sta Wealth Management Llc’s capital.

Portfolio Sold All

Reduced Positions

The fund also slashed its postitons in Spdr Series Trust (SDY) by -19.84%, Select Sector Spdr Tr (XLK) by -1.27%, Select Sector Spdr Tr (XLI) by -1.84%, Select Sector Spdr Tr (XLP) by -1.01% and Select Sector Spdr Tr (XLB) by -1.78%.

Top 3 Positions

Spdr Series Trust (SDY), Select Sector Spdr Tr (XLK) and Select Sector Spdr Tr (XLY) made up the majority of Sta Wealth Management Llc’s total US long portfolio in Q1 2015. These positions were top 3 and constitute 41.93% of Sta Wealth Management Llc’s US-listed securities. The top 10 positions make about 85.3% of the fund’s portfolio.

Portfolio Top Holdings

The picture above provides a snapshot of Sta Wealth Management Llc’s top 10 US-listed equities in Q1 2015.

Sector Allocation

Information Technology Sector Sta Wealth Management Llc - Sta Wealth Management Llc raised the information technology sector from 11% to 13%. According to the 13f report, the investment manager also has securities for 10% in the energy sector. The industrials sector is 8% of Sta Wealth Management Llc’s 13f assets. The fund slashed the Finance sector stakes by 52%.

So these are Q1 2015 fund’s sector weights now: finance 52% for $122.84 million, information technology 13% for $30.71 million, energy 10% for $23.62 million, industrials 8% for $18.90 million, health care 7% for $16.54 million, consumer staples 6% for $14.17 million, materials 2% for $4.72 million and utilities telecommunications 2% for $4.72 million.

Important Position Changes

Top 10 Q1 2015 New Positions: Market Vectors Etf Tr (SMH), Select Sector Spdr Tr (XLU), Rydex Etf Trust (RPV), Powershares Global Etf Trust (PCY), Spdr Series Trust (CWB), Ishares Tr (IWR), Xenia Hotels Resorts Inc, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Apple Inc (AAPL) and Tesla Mtrs Inc (TSLA).

Top 10 Q1 2015 Sold Out Completely: Spdr Index Shs Fds (DWX), Ishares (IDV), Spdr Series Trust (XOP), Plains All Amern Pipeline L (PAA), Jpmorgan Chase Co (JPM), Ishares Tr (IYW), AtT Inc (T), Gastar Expl Inc New (GST) and Mckesson Corp (MCK).

Download the full 13F form in CSV: Q1-2015-Sta-Wealth-Management-Llc-13F-Portfolio-Stock-Holdings.csv

Research more Texas hedge funds in our free database. Read ‘What is a Hedge Fund’ at our Hedge Funds resource page.

Tags:

Monday, May 25th, 2015 EN No Comments

UBS spins off local wealth unit

The buyout follows months of speculation around whether UBS Wealth in Australia would be sold or staff would pursue their own transaction, particularly after the firm lifted its threshold for servicing clients to above $1 million. There was also talk that figure would increase again. 

UBS Wealth is also thought to have embarked on a redundancy program in the last few months for salaried staff including product support, marketing, and portfolio support in an attempt to slice costs. The division is thought to have annual revenues that range from $90 million to $110 million, but has struggled to be profitable due to higher compliance costs. 

UBS Wealth Management told its advisers – which are remunerated largely through a share of commission earned – in April the business was under review and could be sold before the end of the year. 

The strategy appears to run counter to UBS Wealth’s broader ambitions in Asia, where in April reaffirmed a target to grow wealth assets in the Asia-Pacific region to the tune of 15 per cent annually as it honed in on its presence in China.

Tags:

Monday, May 25th, 2015 EN No Comments

Manage your portfolio manager

If you believe you can exercise greater discipline over your emotions, go for a Portfolio Management Service

Does your demat statement run into several pages? Have you been left a bunch of shares, which you have no time to manage? Well, if you would like to reap the rewards of equity investing, but have no time or expertise, you could look to hire a portfolio manager.

Unlike a mutual fund which pools the investments of hundreds of investors and invests it in a single standard portfolio, a Portfolio Management Service (PMS) can tailor a portfolio to your specific needs. While the idea of having a fund manager at your beck and call may look appealing on paper, PMS in India has had a chequered history. In a mutual fund, the portfolios, exposures to individual stocks and sectors, return disclosures and fee structures are all dictated by SEBI rules and subject to public disclosures as well.

But, in the case of PMS, they are left wholly to negotiations between the client and the PMS provider. In the past, this has led to investors getting sold unsuitable products or earning poor returns. So, before you hire a PMS, here are the specific questions to ask.

Why do I need a PMS?

If you have no idea about portfolio strategies and it is just market-beating returns you seek, mutual funds will do. But if you want to improve the returns on your legacy portfolio, play on specific themes or invest more or stay clear of a few sectors, a PMS could be your answer.

Portfolio management schemes are best suited to those investors who own a direct equity portfolio, says Aashish Somaiyaa, CEO of Motilal Oswal Asset Management Company. “Most retail investors in India don’t own quality portfolios. As you go down the market cap rankings, retail holdings tend to go up and the FII holdings tend to decline. There is a tendency on the part of individual investors to buy low-priced stocks which don’t create wealth over the long term. A PMS can help you generate better returns,” he explains. Motilal Oswal runs two popular PMS products – Value Portfolio and Midcap Portfolio.

Another area where a PMS scores over a mutual fund is that your returns are not influenced by the actions of others. In a mutual fund, many investors may put in new money at a market peak and pull out at the bottom, impacting returns. In a PMS, your portfolio is separately maintained from other investors. Thus, if you believe you can exercise greater discipline over your emotions than most investors, you can opt for PMS.

Raghav Iyengar, EVP-ICICI Prudential AMC, sees PMS as an opportunistic vehicle to play themes that may outperform in a market cycle. ICICI Pru has specialised in PMS’ focussed on contrarian themes, such as exports, infrastructure and wellness. It usually expects the themes to play out over three-five years, takes concentrated bets and returns the capital early if the theme plays out swiftly. ICICI Pru’s Exports Portfolio, for instance, was launched in June 2013, when the rupee was plunging, India’s trade balance was precarious and crude oil was hovering at over $100. “We invested in high conviction ideas across companies deriving revenues predominantly from exports. After a period of 18 months, the CAD fell from 6 to 2 per cent; crude oil from $120 to $60 per barrel and rupee was at 62 to a dollar.”

This led to stocks in this portfolio delivering strong returns. Finally, though most PMS managers only take care of the equity portion of your wealth, some may also offer multi-asset strategies that mutual funds don’t.

Anshu Kapoor, Head of Private Wealth Management at Edelweiss explains that the firm offers a PMS that delivers liquid fund-plus returns through an arbitrage strategy. PMS products could also be designed to offer exposure to real estate or swing between a zero to 100 per cent equity exposure.

What is the track record?

Though PMS portfolios are theoretically custom-made, most PMS managers offer a menu of model portfolios or strategies to choose from. Before signing up for any product, therefore, you can ask for the track record of the model portfolios.

There are two factors to watch for. One, be wary of the start and end dates for which returns are being evaluated. This can significantly influence performance.

Check for a track record across two or three market cycles. Two, do some comparison shopping by measuring PMS returns against the publicly available returns of diversified equity funds.

Customised offering

Often, the reason HNIs go to a PMS, is that they fancy the idea of a tailor-made portfolio. But discretionary PMS schemes, which dominate the space, do not allow you to micro-manage what stocks or sectors they buy or sell.

What they do allow are tweaks to the model portfolios or strategies that they offer at the outset, while entering into the agreement with the firm.

For instance, if you work for a listed IT firm, and have much of your wealth concentrated in the firm’s stock options, you may like to stay off the tech sector.

Or for ethical reasons, you may like to steer clear of an ITC or a United Spirits. PMS managers can set up your equity portfolio while adhering to such conditions. Some clients may even like more concentrated bets than others. “Customers may take our mid-cap portfolio and ask for 10 instead of 18 stocks. We do oblige them,” says Somaiyaa.

Given that SEBI caps each stock exposure in an equity mutual fund at 10 per cent, funds can be forced to sell winners on a rally. But a PMS can hold on if it believes the prospects to be sound.

Can I negotiate on fees?

PMS can also be quite flexible on the fees they charge, compared to mutual funds. All mutual funds are subject to the standard annual expense cap (2.5 -3 per cent of assets) specified by SEBI. But PMS do not carry any regulated fee structure and thus offer room to negotiate.

Typically, PMS offer both fixed and variable fees. Both of these could be lowered for larger ticket sizes. “Whether anyone does ₹5 lakh, ₹50 crore or ₹100 crore, the fee is the same for mutual funds. With a PMS, clients with very large portfolios can negotiate on the fee,” says Somaiyaa.

A fixed fee may range from 1.5 to 2.5 per cent of the assets managed (market value). Investors sceptical about performance, may opt for variable fee, where they pay, say, 1 per cent as annual fee and share 10 or 15 per cent of returns with portfolio manager, as performance fees.

Kapoor says, “We advise options where the management fee is very low, but the hurdle rate is high. The manager makes the fee only on performance.”

Double-check the agreement

Finally, make sure that all the key terms governing your PMS are part of a written agreement. Don’t go by verbal assurances or presentations. Do remember to check for the terms on premature exit. Most mutual funds offer anytime liquidity, but PMS can specify an exit load for early pullouts.

SEBI rules assume that the investors in a PMS are far better informed than retail investors in mutual funds. Therefore, the principle of caveat emptor applies doubly to such services.

Tags:

Sunday, May 24th, 2015 EN No Comments

Deutsche’s Asia asset arm pitching for share of bank’s €1.5bn investment

Ravi Raju, the head of Deutsche Bank’s asset and wealth management arm in Asia, has just weeks to formulate a pitch for a chunk of the €1.5 billion (HK$12.9 billion) the bank plans to invest into several divisions of its global operations.

The investment, aimed at boosting digitisation and the headcount of managers who deal with the ultra-wealthy, is part of a revamp to areas of the bank announced late last month in a five-year strategic plan. The final iteration, including the amount of investment that divisions and geographies take home, will be finalised by late July.

Raju reckons the demand for investments in Europe by some of China’s state players, as well as upcoming breakthroughs in China’s capital markets, will help give his operations a claim to a healthy heap of the cash.

“MSCI is going to include China in its global weighting,” he noted as an example of how regulatory changes in China will drive opportunities for the bank.

Reports this month say China stocks could be included in the index, which aggregates top stocks from dozens of countries, as soon as June.

“Once that happens, anyone who runs money with institutional and private banking customers, or even retail customers, would like to have an exposure into China. That’s going to become pretty huge.”

Raju was on the right side of Europe’s biggest investment bank when it released a new strategy based largely on cost-cutting set to carry it through the next half decade to its 150th anniversary. The wrong side of the bank was its investment and retail banking divisions, which took massive cuts instead of a promised boost in cash.

The investment banking business will look to reduce its assets by between €130 billion and €150 billion as a cost-controlling measure. Retail banking plans to divest in Postbank, which has more than 1,000 branches. The bank posted a profit of €438 million for the last quarter of 2014 after notching up a €1.4 billion loss for the same period in 2013.

The new strategy will push Deutsche’s asset and wealth management division to grow in assets by 5 to 10 per cent a year with the help of 15 per cent year-on-year growth in ultra-high net-worth relationship managers.

In Asia, that job will fall to Raju, and the mainland China market will play a major role in hitting those targets.

International clients looking to buy into yuan-denominated bonds can, for example, tap the Chinese market via Harvest Fund Management, the mainland’s second-largest asset manager by assets, in which Deutsche holds a 30 per cent stake. For wealth management, partnerships such as the one with Harvest were only set to grow as China’s capital markets become increasingly connected to the global financial system.

The asset manager also wants a greater share of China’s government business from regulators such as the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), which holds trillions of US dollars, some of which Deutsche already manages.

“They are certainly looking at more international investments because the domestic market is not big enough compared to what is coming in, in terms of the pool of money, in the insurance sector or in pension funds,” Raju said of some of his state clients such as SAFE and China Investment Corp. “There’s a clear requirement for them to go international.”

Deutsche Bank’s asset management business in Asia may also take some cuts. The division sold off its asset management business in the Philippines early last year. Despite being profitable, consolidation in the country’s domestic market would have eventually pushed the business into irrelevancy, Raju said.

Staying relevant and maintaining a long-term dominant role in regional markets will be a deciding factor for whether more businesses are cut loose as others add staff.

“We are continuing to look at what’s happening in the market place,” Raju said. “If we think that we can’t be a scale player, a top five, in one of those businesses then we are going to start to look at selling them.”

Tags:

Sunday, May 24th, 2015 EN No Comments