Rockefeller Capital Management, led by former Morgan Stanley wealth executive Greg Fleming, has landed its first team since the firm was formed earlier this year through the acquisition of family office Rockefeller & Co. The firm has been building an operations and technology platform to attract advisors from major firms and The Bapis Group, a New York- and Salt Lake City-based team with $1.2 billion in assets, is the first recruit.

The Bapis Group is leaving HighTower Advisors after ten years with the RIA. 

The Bapis Group, a nine-person team led by Nick and Michael Bapis, has changed its name to Vios Advisors. The change had been in the works for a long time, according to Michael; vios is the ancient Greek word for “life.”

“Greg Fleming has a great reputation on the street,” he said, in an interview with “He’s been in the trenches. He’s done a lot of work there, and he’s been very successful at it. We’re super excited with the whole integration into the Rockefeller family office that has hundreds of years of history,” Michael added.

The team members are now employees of Rockefeller. The spokesperson would not comment on whether the team is taking an equity stake in the firm. 

Michael declined to comment on why the team left HighTower Advisors, which has gone through a number of leadership changes, including the recent news that CEO Elliot Weissbluth was stepping down, and a large investment stake taken by private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners late last year. The Bapis Group was the first wirehouse team to join HighTower in 2008.

“We thank The Bapis Group for being part of HighTower,” HighTower said, in a statement. “We respect Michael and Nick’s decision and wish them well in their next chapter.”

Fleming detailed his plans for the new Rockefeller earlier this year, including building out the firm’s strategic advisory services for high-end clients, business owners and entrepreneurs, as well as a wealth management division serving high-net-worth clients. Michael expects to take advantage of the opportunity to attract some of those clients to their advisory business, as well as the firm’s trust and estates, banking and lending services, as well as access to boutique investment managers, he said.

Vios advisors will hang their brokerage licenses at Axiom Capital Management, although Rockefeller is currently building out a full-service broker/dealer.

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The days of explosive growth in the blockchain industry have likely come and gone now the average person is aware of its existence, according to Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum.

“The blockchain space is getting to the point where there’s a ceiling in sight,” Buterin said in a September 8 interview with Bloomberg at the Ethereum Industry Summit conference in Hong Kong. “If you talk to the average educated person at this point, they probably have heard of blockchain at least once. There isn’t an opportunity for yet another 1 000-times growth in anything in the space anymore.”

Growth in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the blockchain community through its first six or seven years was dependent on marketing and trying to get wider adoption, Buterin said.

“That strategy is getting close to hitting a dead end,” he said.

The next step will be getting people who are already interested in cryptocurrencies to be involved in a more in-depth way, Buterin said. “Go from just people being interested to real applications of real economic activity,” he said.

Jehan Chu, managing partner at blockchain investment and advisory company Kenetic Capital, said there may be opportunity for further growth in 2019 as cryptocurrency tokens continue to advance.

“There are deep reservoirs of value just waiting for the right trigger,” he said in a text message.

Ether, the cryptocurrency that fuels the Ethereum blockchain, has slumped more than 85% from a January high this year and now trades at less than $200 after a fresh round of selling alongside rival coins including ripple and litecoin on Saturday, according to Bitstamp exchange pricing compiled by Bloomberg. Ether is used as “gas” to pay for transactions on decentralised applications running on the Ethereum network.

Losses in ether accelerated in August as some start-ups paid in the digital currency during their Initial Coin Offerings cashed out to cover expenses, and on concern about broader price declines among virtual currencies, according to industry watchers. Bitcoin is down more than 50% this year.

Last week, ether and bitcoin tumbled after a report said Goldman Sachs is suspending plans for a crypto trading desk. Goldman CFO Martin Chavez said the report was “ fake news,” saying the bank never had a timeline for its project.

“I honestly don’t think this stuff matters much. There’s honestly a part of me that would be happier if institutional trading of cryptocurrencies did not happen at all for another five years,” Buterin said. “Ultimately if all that cryptocurrency is, is this thing that millionaires keep buying and selling to each other, then what have we really accomplished?”

Ether may fall further to a support target of $155 as it faces increasing competition, market volatility and a maturing industry, according to a September 7 forecast from Bloomberg Intelligence commodity strategist Mike McGlone. That’s still about a 2 000% advance from the end of 2016.

© 2018 Bloomberg L.P

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The superintendent of Lucia Mar Unified School District in southern San Luis Obispo County announced Monday she is resigning to go on medical leave, then will retire.

Raynee J. Daley, who has served as superintendent of the county’s largest school district since 2015, announced her resignation in an email to parents.

“I will be on medical leave until the date of retirement, which will be no later than Jan. 1, 2019,” Daley wrote. “My current health situation demands my full attention, and I look forward to regaining my health and embracing this next chapter of my life.”

In a separate statement, Chad Robertson, president of the Lucia Mar Unified School District Board of Education, said Daley’s resignation was effective immediately and he had called a special board meeting for 4 p.m. Tuesday to accept her resignation and decide on the next steps to replace her.

Robertson called Daley “an exceptional superintendent and leader” and expressed regret she is leaving.

“Dr. Daley has consistently demonstrated the highest standards of character, vision and decision-making on behalf of Lucia Mar students, employees and community,” he said. “We also understand and support her choice to step down and focus on her health, and eventual retirement.”

Daley was serving as the district’s chief business officer when she was chosen to replace Jim Hogeboom, who left after seven years to become superintendent of the Novato Unified School District.

One of five finalists for the position, Daley served four years as deputy superintendent for business before being named superintendent.

She began her career as a reading teacher and served as assistant superintendent of human relations and chief business officer during her 24 years with the Merced Union High School District.

She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from UC Davis and a doctorate in organizational leadership from the University of La Verne.

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BEIJING (Reuters) – Jack Ma, the charismatic co-founder of China's largest e-commerce firm Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, will step down as chairman in one year to concentrate on philanthropy and education, passing on the reins to trusted lieutenant Daniel …

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By Norihiko Shirouzu and Laurence Frost

BEIJING/PARIS (Reuters) – Volvo Cars and its Chinese owner Geely have postponed plans to float shares in the Swedish carmaker, blaming trade tensions and a downturn in automotive stocks.

But while Volvo’s plans for a Stockholm listing were delayed indefinitely, Britain’s Aston Martin vowed to push ahead with its own initial public offering.

“We’ve come to the conclusion that the timing is not optimal for an IPO right now,” Volvo Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson told Reuters by telephone on Monday, confirming a decision which was first reported by the Financial Times.

Volvo and its Chinese parent had been discussing an IPO to value the carmaker at between $16 billion and $30 billion, sources have previously said. The company said a listing was still possible in the future.

But Samuelsson said IPO prospects had dimmed with the business cycle, amid a broad-based decline in automotive shares that has dragged the Stoxx 600 Autos & Parts index <.sxap> 15 percent lower so far this year.

Even before the recent sell-off, however, some observers doubted the $30 billion upper end of Volvo’s target valuation.

“We had expressed our reservations concerning lofty valuation ambitions before,” Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said on Monday. “Trade wars are just one red flag.”

Washington’s escalating trade spat with Beijing and tensions with Europe have rattled automotive investors, adding volatility to market outlooks.

Volvo is less exposed than its German premium rivals to U.S.-China tariffs, however, and has said it will juggle production of its XC60 SUV to reduce their impact.

It delivered 61,480 cars in China in the first half, a fraction of BMW’s or Audi’s sales.

Geely, which paid Ford Motor Co (NYSE: F) $1.8 billion for Volvo in 2010, also has stakes in Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler , truckmaker AB Volvo and Lotus.


Geely and its boss Li Shufu had concluded that Volvo should make deeper inroads into the Chinese market before listing, a person familiar with the group’s thinking told Reuters.

And Volvo, which is developing Polestar as an electrified performance brand and owns a stake in Geely stablemate Lynk&Co, has “other alternatives” to raise finance, Samuelsson said.

The IPO postponement reflects bigger concerns about “price development after a potential IPO” rather than about the initial valuation, the CEO added, citing sensitivities over the prevalence of public pension funds among Swedish investors.

“What made me nervous especially was leaving headroom for investors” amid growing market uncertainties, he said.

Swedish telecoms operator Telia drew public wrath after its shares sank from their 2000 debut. For a domestic car brand, such a setback could dent both image and sales.

Samuelsson also said that Aston Martin, as a pure luxury play, was “more like Ferrari” – whose widely envied listing came close to late boss Sergio Marchionne’s 10-billion-euro target valuation. Like Volvo, Aston Martin was once owned by Ford.

“I wish them luck with their IPO,” Samuelsson said.

(Reporting by Norihiko Shirouzu and Laurence Frost; Additional reporting by Esha Vaish in Stockholm and Mekhla Raina in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely and Alexander Smith)

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September 10, 2018

WASHINGTON—Theresa Ridderhoff has been
appointed as Associate General Secretary for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Ms. Ridderhoff is
currently Executive Director of the USCCB Office of Human Resources. She has been appointed to the new role upon
the retirement of Ms. Linda Hunt, who has served the conference for the past 22
years and as the USCCB’s Associate General Secretary since 2011. Msgr. Brian Bransfield, USCCB General
Secretary, made the appointment which will take effect at the end of the
calendar year.

Ms. Ridderhoff will function as chief
operations officer for the ongoing management of Conference
administration. She will also join the USCCB
Executive Leadership team in conducting the regular business of the General
Secretariat and in collaboration with USCCB staff.

“I express my gratitude to Theresa for
accepting this major responsibility in service to the Conference. Theresa
brings many years of experience in both the for profit and not for profit
worlds. During her time with the Conference,
she also collaborated on major projects including in the General Secretariat and
has always been an invaluable and dedicated partner in the significant work of
the Conference staff,” said Msgr. Bransfield. 

After earning a Bachelor of Science in
Business Administration from Stonehill College, Theresa went on to receive a
Master of Arts in Education (in Instructional Technology) and a Certificate in
Human Resource Management, both from George Mason University. She holds the Senior Professional in Human
Resources certification from the HR Certification Institute and the SHRM-SCP
from the Society for Human Resources Management. Before joining the Conference, Theresa served
at Sallie Mae most recently as Senior Director of Human Resources.
Additionally, she has worked as a human resource consultant and in retail
training and management. Theresa joined
the Conference in 2011 and has served successfully since then in the important
position of Executive Director of the Office of Human Resources. She is a practicing Catholic, married for 18
years, and is the mother of two sons. 
She regularly volunteers at her parish in Petersville, Maryland, and in
local community organizations.    

“The successful and effective fulfillment of the
mission of the USCCB depends greatly on the high caliber of persons that serve
the Church and bishops through their work as Conference staff. I count among them as an esteemed colleague Ms.
Linda Hunt, Associate General Secretary, who informed me earlier this year of
her intention to retire at the end of this calendar year,” said Msgr.
Bransfield. “For more than two decades,
Linda has devoted countless hours of dedicated service to the work of the USCCB
and for this, we are deeply grateful.”

Ms. Hunt began her tenure with us the USCCB as
Associate Director of the Office of Human Resources followed by her subsequent
appointment as Director two years later. In 2010, Linda began service in the
General Secretariat as Associate General Secretary. Her love of the Church, her leadership in the
area of management and operations, and her professional and friendly
interaction with us all, will be sorely missed.


Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic
Bishops, USCCB, Monsignor Brian Bransfield; Theresa Ridderhoff, Linda Hunt,
Associate General Secretary, chief operations officer, Conference
administration, USCCB Executive Leadership, General Secretariat.


Media Contact:

Judy Keane


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A gold-laden rock estimated to be worth about C$4m (£2.3m; $3m)Image copyright

Image caption

More than 2,400 ounces of gold were found in the largest rock, RNC Minerals says

Miners in Western Australia say they have discovered two huge gold-encrusted rocks that are each estimated to be worth millions of dollars.

The largest specimen, weighing 95kg (210lb), was found to contain more than 2,400 ounces of gold, Canadian miner RNC Minerals said.

The company said it had extracted gold worth about C$15m (£9m; $11m) from a mine near Kalgoorlie last week.

One mining engineer described the finds as “exceedingly rare”.

“People do still record finding nuggets in the goldfields, but typically they are less than several ounces,” said Prof Sam Spearing, director of the Western Australia School of Mines at Curtin University.

The mining company valued the largest rock at about C$4m. It said the second-largest – a 63kg specimen with an estimated 1,600 ounces of gold – was worth C$2.6m.

The rocks were otherwise made of quartz, the company said.

Miners in Australia often extract as little as 2g of gold per tonne of rock, Prof Spearing told the BBC. RNC Minerals said it had extracted 2,200g per tonne.

Image copyright

Image caption

Concentrations of gold seen in the Beta Hunt mine

“Very, very seldom do we see results on that level. This is an exceedingly rare find and very exciting,” Prof Spearing said.

He said that gold particles were often too small to be visible to the human eye.

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The Beta Hunt mine had primarily been running as a nickel operation until last week’s discovery.

The company had targeted the gold vein, located 500m (1,600ft) underground, after finding traces of gold closer to the surface in June.

RNC Minerals chief executive Mark Selby said the largest rocks would go to auction as collector items.

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