Inside Canada’s robo-revolution

Partnerships between robo-advisors and investment firms are occurring with increased regularity as fintech’s impact continues to grow

Inside Canada’s robo-revolution
Partnerships between robo-advisors and investment firms are occurring with increased regularity as fintech’s impact on the advisory industry continues to grow.

Last week, WealthBar announced a partnership for a new advisor platform and then, yesterday, WP revealed that Mandeville had entered into a partnership with robo-advisor Smart Money Capital to launch a new online platform called WealthPort.

Wealthbar’s new platform, PPI Valet, will handle regulatory compliance, account monitoring and rebalancing functions, and will host a variety of marketing support. Mandeville’s foray into the robo-advice space was finally announced after a year of talks and planning with Smart Money, and gives its investors and advisors access to private and alternative investment opportunities online, as well as providing financial planning tools.

 “The market is evolving and clients want more options, and this type of platform does that,” says Tuula Jalasjaa, Smart Money Advisory Board Member. “This type of platform benefits all clients and is not just aimed at millennials. Clients like dealing with technology, it’s more efficient for them and they can access it whenever they want. They don’t necessarily want to be face-to-face with a portfolio manager.”

The aim of online platforms like WealthPort and PPI Valet is to enable advisors to present a wide range of investment and planning options to clients in a more efficient way. It can also save advisors a lot of time, explains Nauvzer Babul, CEO of Smart Money. Typically, onboarding a client in the traditional manner would take a couple of hours, but with WealthPort the process can be complete in 15 minutes.

“As well as saving a lot of time, the real benefit of WealthPort is the uniqueness of the solution,” Babul says. “It’s the only online investment advisor that is able to offer private investments into the mix; traditionally robo-advisors have been focused on plain vanilla ETFs.”

Jalasjaa has seen more advisors embrace fintech as they recognize the benefits of combining the human touch with technology as part of a hybrid approach. “You have to have the complete toolkit for whatever client you come across, at whatever stage of their life they are in,” Jalasjaa says. “I think that more advisors will see the value and this trend will continue. In the U.S., a lot of the robo-advisors are becoming more hybrid and a lot more investment firms are embracing these complementary partnerships.”

Jalasjaa describes WealthPort as being “complementary and not competition” for Mandeville’s advisors, who she believes will be excited to have access to the new platform. “Very few firms have this type of offering available to their advisors, especially one that includes private opportunities,” Jalasjaa says. “The advisors are going to be absolutely thrilled because this software will help them be more effective in how they run their businesses and how they attract and work with their client base.”

Related stories:
Canadian investment firm announces robo-advisor partnership
Why certain advisors are at risk