Banks set to jump into robo

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12 July 2015
William Trout
In a post early last week, I talked about some of the robos who are providing automated investments services to advisors. Those robos are making inroads in the RIA world with their B2B vision, even if the blending of robo and real life remains largely untested in practice. While sales to independent advisors typically equal small change, matters are about to scale up. The launch of Schwab’s Institutional Intelligent Portfolios means the B2B model is becoming, well, institutionalized. While the platform may face some headwinds (centering mostly on resistance from Schwab advisors), it is massive and here to stay. Schwab has imprinted B2B automation on the advisory map. The banks, meanwhile, have been silent. They won’t be for long, as nearly every decent sized bank worth its wealth management salt is exploring its robo options. A passel of partnerships—and maybe even a buyout or two—is in the air, and next generation robos such as Trizic and Jemstep are egging banks into the fray. Whether these banks truly know what they are getting into is something I’ll discuss in my next post.

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