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BlackRock and Invesco Move on Robo Market

January 13, 2016

BlackRock’s automated advice platform, FutureAdvisor, has signed up its first large bank as a customer, Reuters reports. At the same time, investment manager Invesco has acquired advisor-focused Jemstep, the company has revealed.

This year, Alabama-based BBVA Compass will start selling ETFs through the FutureAdvisor platform, which uses algorithms for portfolio selection of ETFs, according to the news service. The bank’s customers will also have access to customized plans for their entire portfolios, linking other investment accounts to FutureAdvisor, Reuters writes.

BBVA Compass clients at its 672 branches will also be able to manage their portfolios directly through the platform, letting them perform functions such as automatic rebalancing for tax-loss harvesting, the company – a subsidiary of Spanish banking giant BBVA – said in a press release.

Extending the FutureAdvisor platform to its clients is an attempt by BBVA Compass to open up investment guidance to customers who have so far shunned its investment services, according to the company.

According to Forbes, FutureAdvisor charges 50 basis points for investment-advice services, versus some 2% or more for personal advice.

Since its launch in 2013, FutureAdvisor — which was designed by Nobel laureates — has managed more than $700 million, the company said.

Meanwhile, asset manager Invesco has acquired Jemstep, a robo-advisor and financial-technology provider aimed at wealth-management providers.

The Jemstep platform is designed for advisors to deliver advice online to clients and for wealth-management home offices to integrate features such as advisor progress tracking, client-data aggregation and risk management into existing systems.

Invesco’s asset management sales team of more than 300 will be charged with selling the proposition to U.S. wealth managers.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Forbes article cited in this story, click here.
  • To read the Reuters article cited in this story, click here.