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Irving Picard, the trustee given the task of liquidating Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, has requested another $1.5 billion be released to Madoff’s victims. According to Reuters, the request was made after the US Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from Madoff victims who wanted their compensation to be adjusted for inflation. If approved, payouts from the allotment would range between $1,286 to nearly $200.4 million, and would cause anyone with a claim of less than $1.16 million to be paid fully refunded, Reuters says. There would still be about $6.6 billion that would need to be repaid before all of the victims were made whole.
Yum Brands is spinning off its China operations (Business Insider)
Yum Brands is spinning off its China operations. Sales in China have taken a hit amid food-safety concerns, climbing only 2% compared with the 9.6% expected. Activist investor Keith Meister, who was recently added to Yum’s board of directors, believes a spin-off could be worth as much as $16 per share, or $7 billion.
Americans have many questions about retirement (Natixis Global Asset Management)
Natixis’ 2015 Retirement Survey of 1,000 investors found Americans still need help planning for retirement. 47% of those surveyed are unsure of how much money they will need in retirement with participants average guess coming in at $804,732. Interestingly, at 23, the average millennial has begun saving for retirement far sooner than Gen Xers (29) and baby boomers (33). Additionally, 22% of Millennials say they haven’t begun saving because retirement is too far away while 44% of Gen Xers have admitted to borrowing from their retirement plan. 54% of participants believe their savings won’t cover all of their retirement needs.
Finra is still expunging a ton of customer dispute settlements (Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association)
The Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association says Finra is hiding most of its customer dispute settlements with brokers. A PIABA survey of 833 cases from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2014 found that “expungement” was granted in 87.8% of the cases, little changed from the 2013 survey. According to PIABA, Finra should “make its national hearing officers impartial adjudicators of requests for expungement relief; “improve disclosure and raise the bar in expungement cases;” and “further improve education of arbitrators.”
Raymond James isn’t going robo (Investment News)
William Van Law, president of the Investment Advisors Division at Raymond James, says the company has no plans to launch a robo advisor platform. According to Van Law, Raymond James doesn’t want to create in-house competition for their fleet of approximately 6,500 financial advisors. Not everyone agrees with the decision. Matthew Fronczke, an analyst and engagement manager at research firm Kasina, told Investment News, “I understand what they’re saying about their business being through advisers and human relationships, but firms should always accept that their function in the marketplace is a function of where the technology is and where the market cycle is.” Fronczke added a move to a robo advisor platform could actually bring clients to their existing advisors.