Week’s Best: Wells Fargo Wins Raiding Dispute

In 2018, a Mountain Home, Ark., wealth management team left Wells Fargo Advisors to start a practice with Raymond James’ independent broker-dealer. The team’s departure left Wells without enough staff at his Mountain Home branch, which then closed the Wire House. Now Wells has won a $19 million Finra arbitration award after accusing its rival of a “coordinated crackdown” on the industry.

Thematic funds shine. After a difficult 2020, many thematic growth funds are performing well so far this year. Stocks associated with areas such as artificial intelligence, automation and clean energy were particularly strong. Bloomberg data shows that 258 thematic ETFs returned an average of 10.4% through Jan. 30, compared to the S&P 500’s 5.6% gain and the Russell 1000 Growth’s 7.7% gain.

ChatGPT is hyped. The AI ​​speech generation tool developed by OpenAI has garnered a lot of buzz, some of it well-deserved. For this week’s Barron’s Advisor Big Q, we asked financial advisors what practical uses they found for ChatGPT. It turns out there are quite a few.

New chapter for founders of United Capital. Joe Duran grew United Capital into a $25 billion registered investment advisor before selling it to Goldman Sachs in 2019. He has since served as an executive at the investment bank, most recently as co-head of the Workplace and Personal Wealth practice. Now, Duran is stepping down as a partner at Goldman and taking on a new role as an advisor.

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Custody Options. Research firm Cerulli Associates notes that about a quarter of RIAs want to add a custodian, but their options may be limited given the market dominance of the four biggest players in the space: Charles Schwab

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Fidelity, Pershing by BNY Mellon and LPL Financial. Custodians play a crucial role in an advisor’s business, so they change few RIAs. However, they can add a second supervisor if they feel their existing supervisor is missing an area.

Ex-Wells Fargo adviser alleges molestation and rape A former Wells Fargo consultant is suing the bank, accusing it of a hostile work environment and not responding to a complaint alleging that a male colleague sexually assaulted and raped her at an outside work event. A Wells spokesman said the company is reviewing the lawsuit. Other defendants named in the lawsuit did not respond to requests for comment.

Elsewhere, we caught up with Rockefeller Capital’s Cheryl Young for our weekly Barron’s Advisor Q&A. The Silicon Valley consultant has many clients who are business owners or entrepreneurs. She explains how she manages the risk of clients with concentrated equity positions, why she’s become more optimistic about her investment prospects for this year, and reveals the hair-raising activities that help her relax and re-energize.

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Have a nice weekend.

Write to Ross Snel at [email protected] and Amey Stone at [email protected]

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