RBC partners with BlackRock's FutureAdvisor for robo-adviser pilot program

Half a dozen markets will test the new platform before potential approval nationwide

Feb 2, 2016 @ 1:21 pm

By Alessandra Malito

RBC Wealth Management has rolled out a robo-adviser for its top advisers in a half dozen teams within the United States as part of a pilot program, said John Taft, chief executive of RBC's wealth management unit.

The brokerage has partnered with FutureAdvisor, the robo that BlackRock acquired last summer, which was integrated on RBC's adviser dashboard and will be tested for the next six months. It is strictly a business-to-business platform, and not direct to consumers, Mr. Taft said.

"What we are trying to do with this FutureAdvisor pilot is to digitally augment the advice we have traditionally delivered through financial advisers," Mr. Taft said. "It is not a brave new world, but we are still pioneering here."

The program is in response to RBC advisers who have asked for this technology. He said advisers are interested to see if this platform can reach prospective clients and cater to smaller accounts without enough assets for full service. It may also prove to be a strategic move if the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule is passed.

"We believe our joint venture with FutureAdvisor might provide a very interesting solution for smaller accounts to be managed pursuant to fiduciary requirements in the DOL rule," he said.

If the firm and its advisers approve of the robo, Mr. Taft, who is retiring at the end of May, said it will be rolled out across the country in six months.

RBC, like other firms, are starting to catch on to the fact that robo-adviser platforms can serve as an additional tool for their advisers. Mr. Taft and Bo Lu, chief executive of FutureAdvisor, said this announcement has been a long time in the making.

Mr. Lu added that his robo is pushing the business-to-business model out to the rest of the industry. Last month the robo teamed up with bank BBVA Compass.

"It has been the robo-adviser versus human adviser storyline for a little too long," Mr. Lu said.

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Most watched

Events

Finding innovation in your firm

Adam Holt of AssetMap explains how advisers understand they need to grow, but great innovation may be lurking right under your nose.

Events

Finding your edge from Tony Robbins

Guru Tony Robbins has helped a lot of people, but armed with his psychology Financial Advisor Josh Nelson has helped his practice soar.

Latest news & opinion

SEC sets June 5 date for vote on Regulation Best Interest

Commission adds new item to agenda: Interpretation of broker guidance that qualifies as advice

House passes SECURE retirement bill with massive bipartisan support

The measure allows small employers to band together to offer plans and raises the RMD age. Another provision eases use of annuities in 401(k)s, which critics say goes too far

10 IBDs with the most annuity revenue

Here are the independent broker-dealers that brought in the most annuity revenue last year.

DOL sets date to propose new fiduciary rule

The regulation, expected in December, likely will be contoured to the SEC's new advice standards.

LPL expanding platform to include employee brokers

The largest IBD in the country has agreed to buy a small broker-dealer in Florida to kick off the new effort.

X

Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting investmentnews.com? It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist investmentnews.com

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print