“Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” –
Louis Brandeis, U.S. Supreme Court Justice
I have huge news to announce here and I’m very excited…
Mike Alfred is a trim, tanned entrepreneur from San Diego. He runs 50-mile races in the mountains in his spare time and probably has a resting heart rate of like 12 beats per minute. I hate him. Just kidding. Anyway, Mike is the CEO of Brightscope, a leading provider of information and analytics to the financial services space. Mike’s firm takes public data and slices and dices it into something usable for retirement plans, fund companies and investment management firms. They’ve been very successful and now they’re taking that expertise further into the $38 trillion wealth management industry with their AdvisorPages offering.
Mike is on a mission to liberate public data that’s been locked behind firewalls and buried across an unnavigable archipelago of different websites. What he’s presenting to the public is the most accurate, up-to-date intel possible on everyone who holds himself or herself out to the public as a financial advisor.
I believe that AdvisorPages will help to revolutionize my slumbering, stodgy industry and shepherd in a new age of transparency. The advisors who buy into this new reality will be rewarded – while those who continue to operate in the shadows and within walled gardens will see their clients and potential clients vote with their feet, in the other direction.
This site and all of my writings these past three years have been an exercise in how honest and raw I could be while still maintaining the credibility my career requires. I’ve said things that no one in a million years would ever have dreamed a “Wall Street Insider” would ever say. I know where all the bodies are buried on The Street and I’ve used this site as my shovel to dig ’em up in broad daylight. It’s been cathartic for me and I hope it’s been helpful for you.
In that spirit, I’ve accepted a role on the Advisory Board of Brightscope where I can work with Mike and his team to bring my chosen profession and my friends and colleagues out from behind the curtains and into the spotlight where we deserve to be. The vast majority of financial advisors are decent, hardworking people who deserve to get credit and exposure for what they do. This is my chance to help make that happen in a way that benefits the public trust simultaneously. I view these new responsibilities as an extension of the work I do each day as an FA at Fusion Analytics and I believe they will allow me to keep in-step with the best practices of the wealth management business.
And I could not be more fired up.
Thanks to Mike, Dylan, Ryan and the whole Brightscope team – let’s do this!
Full press release below:
BrightScope Adds “The Reformed Broker” Josh Brown to Advisory Board
Well-Known Financial Advisor and Author Joins a Leading Financial Information Company to Help Advance its Mission of Increasing the Retirement Security of America’s Workforce
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (March 13, 2012) – BrightScope (www.brightscope.com), the leading provider of independent retirement plan ratings and investment research, is proud to announce that Josh Brown, a prominent blogger, contributor, author and financial advisor has joined its Advisory Board and will serve in an ongoing capacity as an Advisor to the company and its executives. Josh will help BrightScope further extend its leadership position and support BrightScope’s mission of bringing unparalleled transparency to the financial services industry.
“Josh Brown’s extraordinary insight and impact on the financial services market has made him one of the most respected names in the space today,” said Mike Alfred, CEO and co‐founder of BrightScope. “His participation as a member of BrightScope’s Advisory Board will open new doors to help grow the company and solidify our leadership position in the industry. In addition, he believes that, as the most promising and comprehensive platform for advisors, BrightScope’s Advisor Pages product is well-positioned to take advantage of the accelerating migration of advisors to social media.”
Josh is one of the top financial bloggers in the world, creator and author of “The Reformed Broker,” weekly contributor to The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Forbes, Christian Science Monitor, Business Insider, StockTwits and a regular guest on CNBC. Josh is one of the most respected and influential figures in financial services today. He began his career at a regional broker-dealer and gradually worked his way up to branch office manager, the youngest supervisor in his firm’s history. During the financial crisis of 2008, Josh began to question the brokerage model and eventually broke away and converted to an entirely fee-based practice. Today, he is a New York City-based Investment Adviser Representative for Fusion Analytics Investment Partners, a boutique wealth management firm with offices in New York, Florida and Texas.
“I am excited to join the BrightScope Advisory Board and work closely with the team on bringing new information and transparency to the financial industry,” said Josh Brown. “BrightScope is quickly becoming the most important industry-specific social media platform for financial advisors. Mike, Ryan, and the BrightScope team have done a great job evolving and shaping this compelling product for the marketplace.”
In addition to joining the BrightScope Advisory Board, Josh will be launching his book, “Backstage Wall Street,” on March 30, 2012, which “reveals the inner workings of the world’s biggest money machine and explains how a relatively small confederation of brilliant, sometimes ill-intentioned people fuel it, operate it, and repair it when necessary—none of which is for the good of the average investor.”
BrightScope has built an unparalleled database of 401k plan analytics, and a robust suite of products and services to enhance transparency of plan performance and fees for sponsors, advisors, asset managers, and participants. The company has rated more than 46,000 401k plans and provided rating definitions, criteria and methodologies, and information on more than 500,000 financial advisors, spanning 30 million workers and $2 trillion in assets. BrightScope obtains its data directly, either from plan sponsors, or from publicly available sources ranging from The United States Department of Labor (DOL) to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
For more information please visit www.brightscope.com.
BrightScope is a financial information company that brings transparency to opaque markets through independent research and analysis. Delivered through web-based software, BrightScope data drives better decision-making for individual investors, corporate plan sponsors, asset managers, broker-dealers, and financial advisors. The BrightScope Rating™, developed in partnership with leading independent 401k fiduciaries, reviews more than 200 unique data inputs per plan and calculates a single numerical score which defines plan quality at the company level. In April 2011, the company launched BrightScope Advisor Pages™, the first comprehensive and publicly available directory of financial advisors designed to help consumers discover information and conduct due diligence on wealth management professionals. BrightScope also markets a suite of data analytics software products to Fortune 1000 companies, asset managers, broker-dealers, financial advisors, and other market participants. Public ratings for more than 46,000 retirement plans as well as rating definitions, criteria and methodologies, and information on more than 450,000 financial advisors are available for free at www.brightscope.com.