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Wealthfront takes on another Facebook vet -- a clue that going dark in Palo Alto doesn't mean going away

The last-standing pure B2C robo hopes to outwit, outlast, and outplay its competitors by out-hiring them

Thursday, December 3, 2015 – 6:15 PM by Kelly O'Mara
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Mike Schroepfer is the latest Facebook add to Wealthfront's squad.

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UBS bets its 'wealth' future on ex-Schwabbie Naureen Hassan, a corporate digital A-lister, who analysts give a fighting chance to transcend PaineWebber's ossified culture

Still a $2-billion cash-flow cow, the Swiss bank's 6,000-broker, US-based wirehouse is milking aging broker relationships with aging investors but needs a new kind of human presence, empathy, mindset and smarts to draw in Gen Z.

July 16, 2022 – 1:35 AM

Wealthfront cedes to four years of investors clamoring for crypto by taking on expensive third-party vendor that Betterment rules out

The Redwood City, Calif., robo-advisor turned a hard 'no' into a soft 'yes' by dealing with Grayscale and its 200 basis-point-plus fees, which its robo rival in NYC -- also without a crypto path -- finds ludicrous.

August 14, 2021 – 2:20 AM

Second Betterment exec departs as new CEO Sarah Levy orients to her first month on the job and is confronted by personnel matters

Chief operating officer Dustin Lucien is the latest to leave the New York City robo-advisor, one of at least eight positions open as it prepares a push across multiple business lines to ignite growth.

January 19, 2021 – 6:32 PM

Wealthfront's unlikely tapping of Sheila Bair and Tom Curry signals likely push to gain a bank charter, analysts say

The Redwood City robo-advisor's addition of two renowned former chief banking regulators brings legitimacy and guidance that could lead to a margin-fattening bank charter and help solve the robo-advisor's problem of high client acquisition costs.

December 31, 2020 – 4:37 AM

See more related moves

Mentioned in this article:

Wealthfront
Portfolio Management System
Top Executive: Andy Rachleff

Betterment, LLC
Financial Planning Software
Top Executive: Jon Stein




Stephen Winks

Stephen Winks

December 3, 2015 — 8:01 PM

In the final analysis, the heavy brokerage overhead can not be sustained in a robo model geared to 25 bps or less. Heavy product distribution and OSJ overhead add little value in advisory services, be prepared for leaner cost structures and far more robust advisor value proposition with three times the earnings multiple of brokerage. Thus, a publically traded robo can easily eclipse the high cost, low added value conventional brokerage model. WealthFront may not be in this space but if it only understood how to scale expert advisory services (principally entailing advanced technology, prudent process and statutory documentation, all at single bps in cost), it could become profound in terms of value added, cost and professional standing. It is not that the B to C model is invalid, it is the B to B model has not yet been fully fleshed out to achieve professional standing.

SCW
Stephen Winks

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