Wells Fargo teams with SigFig to offer robo-adviser

Wirehouse, whose platform will be available next year, joins other big firms jumping into digital advice

Nov 15, 2016 @ 1:26 pm

By Liz Skinner

Wells Fargo Advisors is teaming with digital advice platform SigFig to give its customers direct access to an online system on which to build investment portfolios.

The robo-platform, which it will begin piloting next year, will offer Wells Fargo a place to send its banking customers who are small investors and can't be profitably served by live advisers, and those who seek an all-digital experience. It will also be available for advisers with Wells Fargo Advisors to use with their clients, spokeswoman Emily Acquisto said.

Wells Fargo joins other wirehouses including Merrill Lynch that are making automated financial advice available to some clients, while still providing more expensive and comprehensive planning to others.

“This offering will mark an important step forward in delivering financial advice to the next generation of investors, while building a long-term pipeline for our full-service business,” said David Carroll, Wells Fargo head of wealth and investment management.

Investors will respond to a questionnaire to help align their goals and portfolios, he said.

Working with Wells Fargo Advisors, which has $1.5 trillion in assets, will help San Francisco-based SigFig expand, said Mike Sha, chief executive of the nine-year-old digital-advice firm. It has $114 million in assets under management as of its latest Form ADV. The terms of the partnership were not released.

(More: SigFig raises $40 million in funding led by Eaton Vance)

SigFig also has industry deals with UBS Wealth Management Americas, whose 7,000 advisers will gain access to the robo-platform next year, and Pershing Advisor Solutions.

Also, Cambridge Savings Bank in Boston is using SigFig to open, fund and manage goals-based portfolios on the bank's dashboard.

The cost of the robo adviser has not yet been set, Ms. Acquisto said.

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