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Stifel CEO Ron Kruszewski
Stifel CEO Ron Kruszewski

Stifel Giving Out $1,500 Bonuses

Stifel is giving its employees $1,500 bonuses in early 2018, Citi Private Bank warns against holding too much cash and the fight over an elderly hermit’s will goes to the courts.

St. Louis-based Stifel Financial announced that it will be giving $1,500 bonuses to most of its 7,000 salaried employees in early 2018, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Stifel CEO Ron Kruszewski wrote in an email to employees that the “additional $1,500 payment is in recognition of your hard work and efforts this year to make Stifel a success, as well as the positive environment that we anticipate the tax legislation passed this week by Congress will create for Stifel.” The $1,500 comes on top of individual bonuses the company paid last week.

Clients Need To Be Reminded “Cash Is Not King”


In Citi Private Bank’s 2018 outlook report, the bank said most conservative global asset allocations have a 6.2 percent strategic weighting in cash. But the bank frequently sees clients with higher risk levels holding cash allocations of 30 percent or more. Some clients insist on holding a high percentage of cash, despite its poorest returns in decades, the bank said, but those who do suffer a significant decline in wealth should be steered clear of that high allocation. That is especially the case heading into 2018, when the majority of outlook reports view the coming year positively, forecasting high single-digit or even double-digit equity growth.

Elderly “Hermit” Made Financial Advisor Sole Beneficiary; Family Calls Foul

A dispute in Milwaukee between the family of a recently deceased “hermit” worth some $1.6 million and his fee-based investment advisor and insurance representative, who has claimed the inheritance, has spilled over into the courts. In 2006, retired factory worker Leroy Ern went to Mequon, Wis.-based financial advisor Blanche Berenzweig for help with a “conservative investment.” Berenzweig, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, soon became Ern’s power of attorney and sold him two annuities that named herself as the beneficiary, according to court records. When Ern passed at age 92 from dementia, she arranged his cremation and funeral. Several family members have come forward to claim Berenzweig took advantage of Ern; state insurance regulators have called for her insurance license to be revoked, after which Berenzweig gave up the licenses voluntarily and said she was retiring. Berenzweig claims Ern, who lived alone, insisted she be the beneficiary of his estate, over her protests, but she relented because she was his only friend.

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