The Daily Brief
Rick Ketchum

Ketchum Joins Board of Bond Trading Platform

Rick Ketchum joins the MarketAxess Holdings board, RiXtrema finds retirement savings and a New Jersey financial advisor pleads guilty to bilking seniors.

Rick Ketchum retired from his position as chairman and CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority last year. Now, after more than three decades as an industry regulator, he’s joining the board of MarketAxess Holdings, an electronic trading platform for fixed income, April 1. The publicly traded company serves some 1,100 institutional investor firms and broker/dealers, which Ketchum regulated at FINRA. MarketAxess also provides a number of trading-related products and services, such as market data, connectivity solutions for straight-through processing, technology services, and execution services for ETF managers and other clients. “It's an exciting time for the fixed income industry as new sources of liquidity and transparency emerge to create a stronger foundation for secondary trading,” Ketchum said.

Algorithm Identifies Potential Retirement Savings

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Based on an analysis of 7,472 retirement plans, participants could save an average of 0.44 percent per year by switching to lower-cost investments that are quantitatively similar to ones they already hold. According to RiXtrema, the risk management technology and analytics firm that ran the test, this could lead to potential savings of $12.3 billion across the estimated total of $2.8 trillion in 401(k) assets. RiXtrema said the algorithms behind the research powers its new 401kFiduciaryOptimizer tool, which looks for low-fee replacements to high-fee funds, but only if it doesn’t materially change the risk/return profile. “With the new DOL fiduciary rule, this pressure is being applied to the financial advice industry as a whole,” said RiXtrema President Daniel Satchkov. “We undertook this research because we recognize the need for rigorous quantitative evidence to show how much retirees are overpaying in 401(k) plans.”

NJ Financial Advisor Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Seniors

A financial advisor from Wall Township, N.J., has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $500,000 from senior citizens. Peter Martorana, 62, allegedly stole money from the elderly starting December 2006 through August 2013 while running a firm called Retirement Benefit Specialists, The Press of Atlantic City is reporting. He would get them to write checks to him and his business, claiming he would invest the money for them. Instead, Martorana used the money for his own gain, according to prosecutors. Sentencing is scheduled for July 7. He faces up to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison.

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