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Industry Consolidation and Our Independence

Over the last year or so, there have been a flurry of big transactions in the financial services world. It seems like every time we turn around, some big Wall Street firms are buying one another, investment banks are buying client service companies, massive brokerage firms are “merging”, and so on. Most of these deals have had little or nothing to do with us, but recently they’ve come a little closer to us and involve companies with which we do business. Most notably, last fall we learned of Schwab’s plans to purchase TD Ameritrade, and just yesterday we learned of the sale of Folio Financial; our clients hold assets at all three of these firms.

We haven’t been party to any of these transactions, of course. We are committed to remaining entirely independent, because our independence allows us to choose how and with whom we do business — setting our own criteria for which clients to serve, which portfolio managers we’ll work with, and which service providers we’ll use. We’re really excited to be celebrating seven years of complete independence this summer … virtually, probably, as we are still working from our home offices.

None of the recent changes have had a negative impact on our ability to serve our clients, and we don’t foresee any significant disruptions in the near future. If anything, it sounds like there are changes underway that will help us serve our clients even better than before. If you’re a current client, or are considering the possibility of working with us, and have questions — about these intra-industry transactions, or about the markets more generally, or about Sustainable Investment as a portfolio construction strategy — we hope you’ll give us a call.

And if you’re a financial professional, facing the possibility of having to make significant changes to your business because of these industry transactions, we hope you’ll contact us. We’re expanding our offerings, and may be able to help you continue to serve your clients with portfolios that prioritize environmental sustainability and social justice.


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