Wealthsimple Launches Automated Platform to Financial Advisors

Toronto’s Wealthsimple, an online investment service, has a launched an automated platform for financial advisors to manage their clients’ investment portfolios.

Wealthsimple for Advisors is a new, digital way for Canadian advisors to maintain their clients’ portfolios, while letting Wealthsimple help them with the investment management. The robo-advisor handles the entire signup, from KYC to assessing suitability – freeing up the advisor’s time to provide holistic financial planning advice to their clients.

RELATED: Wealthsimple Launches Portfolio Review to Give Investors Second Opinion

“It is crucial for the investment industry to innovate, and present advisors with the tools to help their clients become informed investors,” says CEO Michael Katchen. “We want to work with the industry to provide smart technology and support the advisor’s ability to deliver outstanding client experiences.”

Wealthsimple will take the first 0.35% of an advisors’ assets on the platform, but advisors are free to add their management fee.

Founded by a team of financial experts and technology entrepreneurs, Wealthsimple is currently registered and operating in every Canadian province and territory. Since launch, Wealthsimple has brought in more than $400M in assets under management with over 10,000 clients on the platform. Last month they were named to PayPal’s FinTech Five.

Online investment manager Wealthsimple has launched a free second opinion product for investors.

Called Portfolio Review, the new product will allow users to submit their investment portfolio to be reviewed by Wealthsimple’s team of registered Portfolio Managers.

WealthSimple says there is no obligation to sign up for Wealthsimple, and you’ll receive actionable, non-biased advice on how to improve your portfolio.

“We believe investing should be simple, smarter, and low-cost for all Canadians,” says CEO and Founder Michael Katchen. “Our new portfolio review feature will help Canadian investors make sure their money is in the right places, using key investment principles we advise our clients to follow.”

The review is an objective evaluation of your portfolio across key dimensions that impact future performance, such as diversification, fees, taxes and past investment behaviours.

“We’re able to provide you with practical advice on where your portfolio can improve, in order to help your long-term financial goals,” says Portfolio Manager David Nugent.

Since launch, Wealthsimple has brought in more than $400M in assets under management with over 10,000 clients on the platform. Last month they were named to PayPal’s FinTech Five.

Toronto’s Wealthsimple has won a Webby Award, an international award honouring excellence on the Internet.

The 20th Annual Webby Awards named Wealthsimple its Best Financial Services/Banking website. Competitors in this category included established players like Morgan Stanley and H&R Block.

Since launch, Wealthsimple has brought in more than $400M in assets under management with over 10,000 clients on the platform. Last month they were named to PayPal’s FinTech Five.

“We decided early on that we wanted to make investing more human,” says Michael Katchen, CEO of Wealthsimple. “Winning a Webby award solidifies that our brand exemplifies innovation and creativity in the finance industry. It’s the beginning of more to come.”

Judged by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, the Webby’s have been called the Internet’s highest honour by the New York Times.

The Webby Awards will honour Wealthsimple at its ceremony May 16 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.

Founded by a team of financial experts and technology entrepreneurs, Wealthsimple is currently registered and operating in every Canadian province and territory.

Wealthsimple also announced a partnership with Mint. Clients are now able to sync their Wealthsimple investment account to Mint’s budgeting software. The new integration will allow Wealthsimple users to access a high-level overview of their investments and track how they’re performing.

 

Wealthsimple Financial has acquired Canadian ShareOwner Investments, an automated investment manager.

Toronto’s Wealthsimple says the acquisition is another example of the growing Canadian financial technology sector continuing to encroach on incumbent players.

The combination will position Wealthsimple as the only automated investing service that controls the end-to-end investment experience for clients, from trade execution and custody to portfolio construction and advice.

“This deal accelerates our mission to make smart investing accessible to everybody,” said Wealthsimple CEO Michael Katchen. ”It means we can move faster to bring innovation to Canada’s financial industry, and we’re adding complementary technology, like fractional shares, that will help deliver a superior experience to our clients.”

ShareOwner has been providing independent investment education and low-cost investing services to retail investors since 1987.

ShareOwner CEO Bruce Seago said that ”the partnership with Wealthsimple means ShareOwner can continue to innovate with increased speed and confidence.”

The transaction is subject to standard regulatory approvals.

After launching in September 2014, Wealthsimple now manages 10,000 clients and $400 million in client assets.

Opening an investment account sucks.

The mountain of paperwork you sign without reading. The complicated language and choices to pick your portfolio. The visits to the branch to speak with commissioned sales people.

It can be intimidating and it’s holding Canadians back from confidently managing their personal investments: 50% of Canadians still don’t have a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA), for example, and 80% of TFSAs are held in cash or Guaranteed Investment Certificates, which are very low-return investments.

Toronto’s Wealthsimple believes it’s time for a change.

Starting today, with Wealthsimple Canadians can open an investment account from their mobile phones—a first for Canada.

It’s as easy as downloading the Wealthsimple app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

RELATED: Wealthsimple Wants to Make Investing Simple for Canadians

Making it easy to open an account is part of Wealthsimple’s mission to make quality, low-fee investing available to everyone. If you already have a TFSA, RRSP, or other investment account, it’s also easy to transfer them to Wealthsimple. There are no government penalties, and Wealthsimple will cover any fees charged by your old financial institution.

Every Wealthsimple client has access to an on-demand advice service. Email, text, call, or video chat with a confidential Wealth Concierge.

Toronto’s Wealthsimple today announced it has entered into a partnership with Power Financial Corporation, through a wholly owned subsidiary.

Under the agreement, Power Financial will, subject to regulatory approval, invest $10 million, and can invest up to $20 million into Wealthsimple over the next 12 months, with the option to make further investments over the next three years.

“The financial services industry is changing as many millennials desire smart, transparent, and low-fee services,” said Michael Katchen, Founder and CEO, Wealthsimple. “We are excited to be at the forefront of this change in Canada and Power Financial’s investment demonstrates a huge vote of confidence in our team and business.”

RELATED: Wealthsimple Wants to Make Investing Simple for Canadians

Since launching in September 2014, Wealthsimple’s technology-driven investment management platform has secured over 1,000 clients.

Power Financial’s investment will enable Wealthsimple to expand its offering of low-fee investing solutions to a larger pool of Canadian investors looking for a different way to invest. This includes building its team with more technology and financial experts, enhancing its marketing efforts and providing Wealthsimple with access to an even larger roster of experienced investment professionals to continue to enhance its current service.

“Wealthsimple offers an innovative solution that complements the demographics serviced by our other financial services brands,” said Power Financial Corporation Vice President Stéphane Lemay. “We believe in the value of financial advice for everyone and see the Wealthsimple model as a way to appeal to under-served segments of the Canadian population like millennials and those with more modest assets. Wealthsimple has been able to reach this market.”

Wealthsimple was named a Techvibes 20 company in October 2014 after named to CIX’s20 Most Innovative Companies list and raising $1.9 million from Dan Debow, David Ossip, and Impression Ventures.

Wealthsimple CEO Michael Katchen recently penned a guest article for Techvibes about the tendency for Canadian startups to limit their own potential by dreaming small.

Online investment management platforms are exploding in the US and have already secured more than $3 billion in assets under management.

Now these services are starting to launch in Canada and Toronto’s Wealthsimple and Nest Wealth as well as Vancouver’s WealthBar are leading the pack.

Wealthsimple is poised to disrupt the financial services sector as it targets an underserved segment of the market: millennials and mobile users.

Wealthsimple was founded by technology entrepreneurs and financial industry experts. Their team includes Y Combinator alumni and founders of 1000memories, DayForce, and Workbrain, Michael Katchen (founder of Wealthsimple) and Brett Huneycutt (an American Rhodes Scholar) and financial thought leaders like Eric Kirzner, professor at Rotman School of Management.

Wealthsimple’s original goal was to raise a $500,000 seed round but within six weeks they raised $1.9 million from industry icons including Joe Canavan, Roger Martin, David Ossip, Dan Debow, and Impression Ventures – a new Canadian Venture Capital firm.

Wealthsimple’s mission is to create a smart, simple, low-fee way for everyone to invest. One of the ways they have achieved this is by building each part of the business themselves. They say this has allowed them to deliver a better product and keep costs down.

Wealthsimple is currently registered and operating in Ontario and British Columbia.