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Wealthsimple launches to U.S. clients

first_imgU.S. proposed tax changes lead to interest in cross-border migration Building a global financial services platform has been a long-term goal of Michael Katchen, the robo-advisor’s CEO and founder, who felt that the time was right to open up shop in the U.S. “It became obvious to us that the product was at a place, the brand was at a place, and our partnership with Power [Financial Corp.] was at a place at which this made a lot of sense,” says Katchen, “and we wanted to live up to our ambition and bring Wealthsimple to as many different people as we possibly could, starting with North America.” To date, Montreal-based Power Financial has invested $50 million in Wealthsimple, which currently serves more than 20,000 clients and manages $750 million in assets under management (AUM). Initially, clients in the U.S. will have access to the Wealthsimple Basic and Wealthsimple Black direct-to-consumer platforms. In time, however, Katchen hopes to also offer the robo-advisor’s business-to-business platforms. Those services include Wealthsimple for Work, which manages group registered retirement savings plans (RRSP) and Wealthsimple for Advisors, which is a partnership between traditional financial advisors and the robo-advisor. Just as in Canada, U.S. clients will be able to open a Wealthsimple account via the company’s website or mobile app. As well, even though U.S. regulation does not require the same amount of human contact during the onboarding process as in Canada, Wealthsmple’s U.S. clients will still have access to a licensed advisor should they wish to discuss their investments in more depth. “We uniquely offer the combination of a really fantastic technology experience that’s award-winning and simplifies the entire experience for our clients and pairing that with real human advisors,” says Katchen. In fact, Wealthsimple currently has a New York office consisting of 10 employees. The start-up has a total staff of 75 people. Wealthsimple is also looking to stand out with its brand and advertising campaigns. For example, the financial technology (fintech) company is planning to once again advertise during the Super Bowl, only this time it will be advertising in certain regions in the U.S. as well as in Canada. “We’re not getting wrapped up in the boondoggle of it,” says Katchen. “We’re trying to be really smart about our approach to investing in key markets in which the economics make sense.” Photo copyright: daboost/123RF Wealthsimple sells U.S. biz to Betterment Wealthsimple raising $750 million in latest financing deal, valuation hits $5 billion Fiona Collie Related news BMO’s adviceDirect launches premium service Keywords Robo-advisorsCompanies Wealthsimple Inc. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Two years after Toronto-based Wealthsimple Financial Inc. launched its robo-advisor business, the firm is moving beyond Canada’s borders and offering its services to clients in the U.S. Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

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