Just like other robo-advice offerings, the new platform will let investors build portfolios based on answers to an investor’s questionnaire, which will then be automatically rebalanced, according to the press release. The online platform will also be accessible through a mobile application.
The move is Wells Fargo Advisors’ attempt to tap the next generation of investors and build “a long-term pipeline for our full-service business,” David Carroll, head of wealth and investment management at Wells Fargo says in a statement. The company also cites its own survey which found that 69% of investors under 50 use the internet and mobile tools to communicate with their primary investment services provider.
For SigFig, meanwhile, the move is in line with its strategy to partner with banks rather than go directly after younger investors like its digital advice competitors Betterment and Wealthfront, Reuters writes. But opening the platform directly to investors is different from SigFig’s partnership with UBS Group, which bought a stake in the tech provider in May. At UBS, SigFig’s platform is only accessible to UBS advisors, according to Reuters.
Wells Fargo Advisors has 15,086 full-service advisors who managed a combined $1.5 trillion in client assets as of the end of September, according to the company.
The unit may have suffered some fallout from the scandal that embroiled Wells Fargo’s retail banking unit in September. Revelations that thousands of the bank’s retail employees potentially opened up to two million deposit and credit accounts without the customers’ knowledge led to a fine of $185 million, lawsuits and persistent calls by lawmakers for further investigations.