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Job Ad Says Goldman is Designing a Robo

March 21, 2017

Goldman Sachs is building a robo-advice platform to tap mass-affluent investors, Reuters reports.

The company is seeking employees with a technical background to build the platform, according to the newswire. The new hires will work within Goldman Sachs Asset Management's technology division in New York, according to the ad.

The platform, dubbed “Digital Advise Solutions” — yes, “Advise,” not “Advice” — will build upon current in-house products and integrate open-source software, according to the ad. It’s also aimed at capturing “mass affluent” consumers with less than $1 million in liquid assets, as Goldman tries to expand its reach beyond the ultra wealthy clients it’s known for serving, Reuter writes.

“Digital Advise Solutions (DAS) business cover [sic] mass affluent market by building an Automated Digital Advice Platform (Robo Advisor),” the ad says.

The new platform will be part of Goldman Sachs’ growing investment management unit that the firm is using to diversify its sources of income, according to Reuters.

Part of that effort has been reaching mass-affluent investors without losing the brand identity of its private wealth unit, where typical client accounts are around $50 million, people familiar with the matter tell the newswire. One way Goldman Sachs has already considered tapping the mass-affluent market was by expanding the wealth management firm Ayco, which Goldman bought in 2003, the people tell Reuters. Last May, the firm began hiring brokers to target potential borrowers among the mass-affluent.

And last March, Goldman bought Honest Dollar, an online platform offering retirement plans to the self-employed and workers in small to medium-sized firms that don’t provide their own plans.

Goldman is already playing catchup with traditional financial institutions who are themselves following in the footsteps of robo-advice pioneers Betterment and Wealthfront. Morgan Stanley is rolling out an automated platform later this year aimed at the children of existing clients, Reuters writes. Last week, mutual-fund giant T. Rowe Price was the latest to join in on the game, announcing an automated platform for retirees that would invest in actively managed mutual funds.

Last month, Wells Fargo said it plans to start testing a platform designed in collaboration with robo-advisor SigFig, who’s also partnering with UBS. And Merrill Lynch unveiled an automated platform earlier this year.

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