Running a Financial Advisory Practice in the Age of the Robo-Advisor October 22nd, 2014 by Charles Lewis Sizemore, CFA

By Linda Chiem

Law360, New York (October 10, 2014, 2:10 PM ET) -- The Blackstone Group LP said Friday that it will spin off its financial advisory business, as well as its restructuring and reorganization advisory unit, and merge them with Paul J. Taubmans PJT Partners in a deal guided by Simpson Thacher Bartlett LLP.

New York-based Blackstone said that in addition to the tax-free spinoff of the financial advisory business and the restructuring and reorganization advisory unit, it will split off a third unit, its Park Hill fund placement business, and also combine that with independent financial...

Detroit -- The citys path out of bankruptcy took another step forward Friday as officials discussed details for a new financial oversight board.

The nine-member Financial Review Commission is a requirement of a financial aid package approved by the state Legislature to defray cuts to Detroit retiree pensions.

Its makeup and duties were presented Friday at what could be the final meeting of the Financial Advisory Board, installed in 2012 under the citys consent agreement with the state. The board is expected to be dissolved and the review commission to replace it, upon confirmation of Detroits debt-cutting plan.

The commissions function will be broad and ensure Detroits plan of adjustment is implemented as approved, said Ashley Gelisse, a representative with the state treasury department.

The board, to be seated upon the citys exit from bankruptcy, will be chaired by the state treasurer and include the director of the Department of Technology, Management and Budget, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, City Council President Brenda Jones and five appointees of the governor.

Members will be responsible for approving the citys four-year financial plan, ensuring compliance with the bankruptcy plan and potentially modifying Detroits operational budget, Gelisse said.

The advisory board convened a day after Duggan and City Council members approved an agreement that transfers power over the citys operations and finances back to Detroits elected leaders and retains the emergency manager to handle the bankruptcy.

The deal was finalized during marathon closed-door talks that spanned about 16 hours over three days.

Kevyn Orr on Friday provided the Financial Advisory Board with a brief overview of the deal that keeps him in charge of the bankruptcy proceeding, implementation of the plan and various settlement agreements, including a deal struck with the citys most aggressive creditor, Syncora Guarantee Inc.

Mr. Orr will maintain control of the bankruptcy process, including the ability to continue to negotiate with creditors, manage the litigation and the like, said David Massaron, Detroits chief assistant corporation counsel and director of transformational projects.

Orrs official removal will be effective once the citys debt-cutting bankruptcy plan is confirmed.

Testimony in Detroits bankruptcy trial is set to resume on Monday. Orr has said he anticipates the trial will span another week or two.

US Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes will ultimately decide if the citys plan is fair and feasible. If it is approved, Rhodes will set an effective date for it to begin and that would mark the date of Orrs removal.

All told, the next 30 to 60 days should hopefully get us to the point where the bankruptcy case comes to a conclusion in one fashion or another, Orr said.

Duggan also appeared before the advisory board Friday to present the plan for a new regional water authority and stress the dire infrastructure needs of the citys water department.

Under the plan, the city will lease infrastructure to suburban communities in exchange for a 40-year, $50 million annual fee dedicated toward system upgrades.

It is getting worse and worse, and we cannot as elected officials, ignore this situation anymore, Duggan told the board, adding water mains are failing in every corner of the city. This is a crisis that is the result of neglect.

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Sept 18 (Reuters) - LPL Financial, the largest US independent broker-dealer by sales force, said it added an independent financial advisory group to its network.

StreamSong Advisors, which managed more than $1.2 billion in assets as of December, is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with another office in Detroit.

StreamSong targets a clientele with at least $500,000 in investable assets. The six-member team, including two advisers, plans to offer advisory services for private clients and ultra-high-net-worth households.

The team has experience in mergers and acquisitions, and in taxes and estate planning.

Boston-based LPL Financial is a subsidiary of LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (Reporting by Amrutha Gayathri in Bangalore; Editing by Savio DSouza)