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Two ways of reading Wealthfront's inscrutable hire of a power CFO -- one it may not really need anytime soon

The Palo Alto-based robo-advisor may have tapped Ashley Fieglein Johnson to raise more VC -- or just because it doesn't need to count every bit of cash it burns

Author Lisa Shidler
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Ashley Fieglein Johnson earned close to $1 million in total compensation last year but a $12 annoyance bank fee charged to her five-year-old son was a big reason she joined Wealthfront.

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Jon Stein ousts himself as Betterment CEO and taps Sarah Levy, who joins an exclusive club of top women executives, with a mission -- an IPO

The co-founder of the New York robo-advisor headhunted the ex-Viacom brass through Harvard professors on the down low to ostensibly scale operations.

December 8, 2020 at 5:27 PM

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 at 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 at 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 at 6:32 PM

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

August 19, 2015 — 7:23 PM

It is clear the advisory services business must change in the best interest of the investing public as now required by Dodd-Frank.. Harvard’s Clayton Christensen counsels the biggest mistake made by firms facing industry redefining innovation is looking at innovation in the context of its existing business model when a new business model is in order.
Will the necessary industry redefining innovation in the best interest of the investing public come from conventional broker/dealers or custodians? Not likely as it is politically inexpedient to champion the fiduciary standing (and associated fiduciary liability required for professional standing) of the broker. This is what makes Wealthfront so interesting, there are no inhibitors in its execution of fiduciary duty. Large scale institutionalized support for fiduciary standing which is in conflict with conventional brokerage may actually come from the Wealthfronts of the world at a far lower cost than expensive brokerage firms which by their own definition do not acknowledge or support the fiduciary responsibility of its brokers, in the client’s best interest. It has the advantage of not having massive product overhead that does not add value and can leverage through expert authenticated prudent process that delivers far more value than brokerage sales.

SCW
Stephen Winks

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