TIAA, a financial services firm focused on the educational sector, has acquired business-to-business robo-adviser MyVest.
The purchase is aimed at helping TIAA, which has $861 billion in assets under management, to reach clients who prefer to manage their money online. The two have worked together since 2009 to provide clients with investment and tax management services.
TIAA and MyVest plan to develop advice and planning technology offerings for all of TIAA's financial products, including banking and retirement plans. MyVest will continue to serve its current client base, and act as a subsidiary of TIAA. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"Our customers deserve choices and should be able to interact with us on their terms — when, where and how they want," Kathie Andrade, chief executive of retail financial services at TIAA, said in a press release. "This move will improve our ability to personalize financial services offerings and better meet customer needs, including those who prefer to interact with us online."
TIAA declined to comment beyond the press release and MyVest could not immediately be reached.
Customers of all ages and asset levels want access to digital advice, numerous studies and industry experts have said. Financial services firms across the board are acquiring or partnering with these online platforms to stay in the loop with their competitors and clients.
Some firms are choosing business-to-business robos, such as BlackRock, which acquired FutureAdvisor in August, and Invesco, which acquired Jemstep at the beginning of this year. Others are partnering, including LPL with FutureAdvisor and UBS with SigFig. A slew of other firms have expressed interest in digital advice, including Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo and Merrill Lynch.
By 2020, robo-advice platforms are expected to reach $489 billion in AUM, a 2,500% increase from the amount they managed as of November.