War of words between Wealthfront and Schwab heats up

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11 March 2015
William Trout
Chalk up a win to Wealthfront CEO Adam Nash in his war of words with Charles Schwab. By cleverly baiting his rival, Nash has managed to put his firm on the same footing as the industry colossus. Careers are on the line at the larger firm, which has watched Wealthfront go from startup to upstart in two short years. Things are getting personal. Expect the peevishness expressed in Schwab’s response to surge as we approach the end of Automated Investing 1.0, and Nash goes directly after Schwab CEO Bettinger’s bacon. I’ve been watching this battle brew for a while, and in my view, what is interesting here is not Schwab’s testy rejoinder, but where Nash is taking the fight. He’s not just pulling the rug out from Schwab, but barely a year after taking over from Andy Rachleff, he’s putting his own stamp on Wealthfront. I’ll talk about what this means for the future of this innovative firm, and for its automated and real life competitors, in my next post.

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