The Daily Brief
EF Hutton

When EF Hutton Talks Crypto, People Listen?

It is hard to imagine what the brothers Hutton and Gerald Loeb might make of the latter-day firm and its latest plans.

EF Hutton’s parent company, HUTN, Inc., and some of its subsidiaries announced Sept. 11 they planned to enter the cryptocurrency business with “multiple instruments, coins and tokens,” according to a prepared statement.

Preliminary to the offerings themselves, the firm reported its plans to publish white papers that describe the case for each instrument—the aggregate estimated value by the firm of all the offerings is $60 million—the first offering of which is expected to close by January 2019.

In November 2017, EF Hutton subsidiary Megga Inc. announced the creation of a social media platform called Meggalife, which attempts to incentivize its users to establish 401(k)s and save for retirement by employing a revenue-sharing approach (in addition to the allure of accumulating points through their daily online activities).

One might wonder what, exactly, E.F. Hutton the human being might have thought of the roller coaster ride his namesake firm went on after he passed away in 1962. He surely would have been disgusted with the various scandals of the 1980s and probably disappointed in the acquisitions and mergers that followed leading, ultimately, to his name being subsumed and disappearing all together within Citigroup in 1998.

The brand was reincarnated, though in slightly different form (EF Hutton versus the E.F. Hutton of old) in 2012, led by Frank Campanale, who, in short order left to help with the comeback of another venerable brand, that of the Lebenthal name, with the launch of Lebenthal Wealth Advisors. Hutton went on to launch a lead generation service called Gateway for financial advisors in 2015 and followed that up with launch of an automated investing platform and trading service with a group of partners in the fall of 2016 (the firm lists no assets under management in its latest form ADV filing dated April 18 of this year).

Back in 2015, current CEO Christopher Daniels said the firm’s EF Hutton name brand had a 94 percent recognition level in consumer surveys among people with more than $250,000 in investable assets. An anecdotal Wealth Management survey finds that among millennials this level of recognition is far, far lower. 

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