We Gotta Get Out Of This Place


May 30, 2023


Cindy Grazer


May 30, 2023


Cindy Grazer


Everyone is on the move, and we’re not only talking about Memorial Day Weekend travel. Rather, 2022 was a year of major changes in the advisor industry, with 9% of US advisors – 26,000 in total – breaking away from their prior employers to switch firms or start their own.

While some upheaval was due to M&A and other structural changes throughout the industry, others cited a frustration with vast compliance oversight and payment schemes based on internal referrals. As smaller firms have been rolled up into larger organizations, many have chosen to chart their own paths rather than adapt to these new conditions.

Technology has no doubt been a major driver enabling this exodus. RIA teams no longer are bound to their firms at all costs, but instead now have a plethora of tech-enabled and outsourced back-office alternatives that can make independence an attractive reality.

Irrespective of affiliation, RIAs make up the backbone of the US wealth management ecosystem, managing $31t in total retail assets across 16k firms and 300k advisors. The jury is still out if these newly established free agents will lead as lucrative careers as some of those players in other industries, though.

newsletter image - 5/30/23

Portfolio News

Lido launches v2 and releases staked Ethereum for withdrawals - Following a successful on-chain vote, Lido V2 is officially live on Ethereum mainnet. As the most important upgrade to the Lido protocol to date, Lido V2 significantly improves the Ethereum staking experience whilst pushing the Lido protocol further down the road towards increased protocol decentralization. Read more

Octane introduces advertising on its Octane Media Properties, which include Cycle World and UTV Driver - The company announced this week that it is connecting advertisers, including OEMs, large dealer chains, and insurers, with millions of high-intent powersports buyers through Octane Media ™, a collection of the most influential and historic brands in motorcycling and powersports. Read more

We Gotta Get Out Of This Place

Exodus of US investment advisers sparked by mergers and bank turmoil - A fevered round of job-hopping is under way in the US investment adviser business, with teams switching firms or striking out on their own. Many are leaving advisory groups owned by banks for boutique operations or starting their own firms, and taking their books of clients with them. Read more

First Republic wealth advisors voted with their feet–and it wasn’t for JPMorgan - As a crisis of confidence enveloped regional and specialized U.S. banks, especially those with significant levels of uninsured deposits, First Republic’s wealth-management advisors also headed for the exits. Read more

Industry News

The fight over the future of global payments - Having transformed how people use money at home, the race to transform payments is now going global. Cross-border retail spending (including tourism) and remittances will hit $5t this year; business-to-business payments are worth eight times that. Read more

Fintech in MENAP: A solid foundation for growth - Growth in the fintech sector of the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan (MENAP) has been robust in recent years, with investor backing increasing by approximately 36% annually from 2017 to 2022 according to a recent McKinsey study. While 2022 has been challenging, many local fintech startups continue to broaden their footprint across the region and beyond. Read more

Cboe prepares for European stock market listings grab - The Cboe will try to lure companies to list on its markets in Europe, aiming to reverse a trend that has seen many companies desert the continent for the US. The group, which runs the largest pan-European share trading venue, is preparing to take on companies such as the London Stock Exchange, Euronext, Nasdaq, and Deutsche Börse. Read more

Anne Boden to step down as Starling chief to avoid potential conflict of interest - Boden, who owns 4.9% of the bank she founded in 2014, said she would step down at the end of June following discussions with the board about the risk of a conflict. She added that UK regulators had not raised her stake in the bank as an issue. Read more

‘I came to kill the banks’: meme-stock traders find a new passion - This is the year that bank stocks became meme stocks. A near-record number of shares in regional banks has changed hands this month, and the number of options bets against the sector has exploded. Big Wall Street institutions and at-home individual investors alike are taking part, feeding on each other’s selling and buying. Read more

Emails, chat logs, code and a notebook: the mountain of FTX evidence - Prosecutors investigating Sam Bankman-Fried have accumulated more than 6m pages of documents and other records, which include crypto transaction logs and encrypted group chats from FTX, as well as strikingly personal reflections recorded by a key witness in the case. Read more

Indian banks are set for a profit boost on bank notes withdrawal - A key metric of profitability for Indian banks, lending margins, is set to get a boost as the nation’s decision to withdraw its highest-value currency note bolsters bank deposits. The Reserve Bank of India’s move to withdraw the 2,000 rupees ($24) notes will lead to growth in deposits at banks and lower their cost of funds. Read more

Congressman Emmer introduces ‘Securities Clarity Act’, seeking to provide clear guidelines for U.S. crypto industry - The bill aims to provide regulatory clarity for the web3 industry by differentiating assets that are not securities from investment contracts. The proposed legislation has received praise from industry experts and comes at a time when the SEC's heavy-handed approach has faced criticism. Read more

Regional bank Fifth Third Bancorp acquires embedded payments firm Rize Money - The deal is aimed at incorporating the Arlington-based fintech’s technology into the bank’s existing offering, and while financials were not disclosed, Fifth Third said that its embedded payments business was growing at double-digits and expected to reach over $130m this year. Read more

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to accept political campaign donations in Bitcoin - Kennedy Jr. expressed his admiration for the cryptocurrency, hailing it as a "symbol of democracy and freedom" during the event. This move marks a significant milestone in political fundraising and highlights Kennedy Jr.'s embrace of digital currencies in his campaign. Read more

Deutsche Digital Assets launches physically backed multi-asset crypto ETP on German exchange - Deutsche Digital Assets launched the new product with big-name participants, including names like Jane Street, Flow Traders, and DRW Europe. The DDA Crypto Select 10 ETP, trading by ticker symbol SLCT, will track MarketVector’s market cap-weighted crypto index that was released on May 15, 2023. Read more

Select Financings

Ballerine - Tel Aviv based open source KYC software company raised $5m in Seed funding led by Team8. Read more

Bloom Finance - Toronto based home equity solution for homeowners over age 55 raised C$7m in Series A funding led by SixThirty Ventures. Read more

Checkmate - Los Angeles based automated savings platform for online shopping raised $15m in Series A funding led by GV. Read more

Cormint Data Systems - Texas based bitcoin miner raised $30m in Series A funding led by Jamie McAvity. Read more

Episode Six - Texas based provider of payment processing and digital ledger infrastructure raised $48m in Series C funding led by Avenir. Read more

FlowX.AI - New York based app modernization platform for financial services organizations raised $35m in Series A funding led by Dawn Capital. Read more

Kapital - Mexico based business financial management software company raised $20m in Series A funding led by Niya Partners. Read more

Kigo - Minnesota based crypto loyalty and NFT discovery platform raised $6.5m in new funding led by Valor Siren Ventures. Read more

Kiwi - Puerto Rico based consumer credit-building company raised $4.5m in Series A funding led by Advent-Morro Equity Partners. Read more

Num Finance - Argentina based issuer of local stablecoins in Latin America raised $1.5m in Seed funding led by Reserve. Read more

Nymbus - Florida based banking infrastructure company raised $70m in Series D funding led by Insight Partners. Read more

Onyx Private - Miami based digital bank focused on affluent young professionals raised $4m in Seed funding led by Village Global. Read more

OpenFin - New York based enterprise OS for financial institutions raised $35m in Series D funding led by Bank of America. Read more

Paydock - UK based payment orchestration platform raised £25m in Series A funding led by Silverstripe Investment Management. Read more

Pesto - San Francisco based asset-backed consumer credit card startup raised $11m in Series A funding led by Activant Capital. Read more

Plenty - San Francisco based millennial couples-focused wealth management company raised $2.8m in pre-Seed funding led by Phenomenal Ventures. Read more

Restaurant365 - California based restaurant management software raised $135m in growth funding led by KKR. Read more

Sastrify - Germany based SaaS subscription management platform raised $32m in Series B funding led by Endeit Capital. Read more

Sixfold - New York based startup using generative AI to facilitate insurance underwriting raised $6.5m in Seed funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Read more

Skorlife - Indonesia based credit score transparency company raised $4m in Seed funding led by Hummingbird Ventures. Read more

Strike Graph - Seattle based compliance automation company raised $7m in new funding led by Bamcap. Read more

Tools for Humanity - San Francisco based lead developer of Worldcoin raised $115m in growth capital led by Blockchain Capital. Read more

Tyme - South Africa based digital bank raised $78m in Series C funding led by Norrsken22. Read more

Unlimited - New York based alternative investing platform raised $8m in Series A funding led by FirstMark. Read more


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