Thawing Market: The Growth of Robo Advice in Canada

Create a vendor selection project & run comparison reports
Click to express your interest in this report
Indication of coverage against your requirements
A subscription is required to activate this feature. Contact us for more info.
Celent have reviewed this profile and believe it to be accurate.
19 May 2016
William Trout


Automated investment advice in Canada has come a long way since WealthSimple, Nest Wealth, and others launched in 2014, a point in time that might be defined as Zero Hour for the Canadian robo advisory business. The accelerating pace of change reflects the natural evolution of the robo learning curve as well as the unique economic, regulatory, and demographic characteristics of the Canadian market.

In the report Thawing Market: The Growth of Robo Advice in Canada, Celent explores the degree to which robo advice is disrupting the bank-dominated wealth management business in Canada.

Once skeptical, banks and other wealth management incumbents are waking up to the threat posed by online advisors offering low costs and fee transparency to investors. The entrance of BMO to the robo space is an initial response to this incursion, one that puts pressure on these startups to broaden their offers beyond the commoditized portfolio management function.

Other incumbents will follow the example of BMO and enter the business as well, as demographic and regulatory tailwinds have made robo advice an attractive proposition for banks, asset managers, and insurers alike. These incumbents have an opportunity to capture the market for automated advice, if they can overcome internal obstacles and reconcile the delivery of this advice with existing service channels.

The go slow approach taken by most banks and other large incumbents to date is rooted in their fat profit margins and dominant market positions. This dominance is by no means guaranteed.

“Canadian investors are tired of overpaying for investment advice, and robo advice speaks to the digital zeitgeist. The question is not whether a wealth management market frozen in time will thaw, but how quickly,” says William Trout, senior analyst and author of the report.

Subscription required

Access to this content requires a Celent research subscription.

Subscribers should sign in to access this research.

If you are not a subscriber, register now or contact us to find out more about our subscription options.

Insight details

Insight Format
Geographic Focus
North America