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BlackRock acquires robo-advice firm


Asset manager BlackRock has acquired US digital advice firm FutureAdvisor as it targets expanding into robo-advice.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, will allow BlackRock to offer corporate clients personalised advice, portfolio management and web and mobile apps to clients.

BlackRock says the acquisition will allow it to help financial institutions grow their own advice businesses, particularly in the mass market.

A spokeswoman says the US market will be the initial focus but the investment manager plans to expand the service globally, including the UK, over time.

BlackRock head of retail technology Tom Fortin says: “As demand for digital wealth management grows, we believe that our combined offering will accelerate our partner firms’ abilities to serve the mass affluent in a convenient, scalable way.”

FutureAdvisor chief executive and co-founder Bo Lu says: “BlackRock has dedicated enormous effort over the years to improving financial outcomes through its leading active and passive investment offerings as well as innovative retirement planning tools.”

As part of Project Innovate, the FCA is to expand initiatives to encourage innovation across financial services through a series of themed weeks, beginning with sessions on robo-advice.

In May, Money Marketing revealed LV= was planning to launch an online retirement advice service.

In August, the mutual announced it had taken a majority stake within robo-advice firm Wealth Wizards.



Robert Reid: Robo-advice is a backwards step

The continuing discussion around embracing robo-advice solutions seems to ignore the fact that a large portion of the (disengaged) UK public would need to see financial preparation as a must do in their busy lives for it to really take off. I remain unconvinced. Perhaps more importantly, however, with such an obvious focus on product […]


Platforum: The human face of robo-advice

There has been much debate about the role of robo-advisers and whether they will displace the traditional financial adviser, fill the advice gap or perhaps do both. Our view is that they will be used mostly by financial advisers rather than the mass market of investors. What is more, we envisage robo-advice helping to fill the advice […]


LV= acquires majority stake in robo-advice firm

LV= has invested in a majority stake in automated advice firm Wealth Wizards. The insurer has not disclosed the size of its holding or how much it would inject into the business. But it does say the deal will enable the technology firm to develop a white-labelled platform. LV= and Wealth Wizards were already collaborating […]

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FCA to spotlight ‘robo-advice’ in Project Innovate

The FCA is to expand initiatives to encourage innovation across financial services through a series of themed weeks, beginning with sessions on robo-advice. Beginning in September, the FCA will seek to learn about problems with the regulatory system as well as dispelling myths and uncertainties, with robo-advice first to be targeted. The final programme has […]

Identifying best-in-class UK stocks — Mark Martin, Neptune UK Opportunities Fund

FE Alpha Manager Mark Martin assumed management of the multi-cap UK Opportunities Fund at the beginning of February. As manager of the highly regarded UK Mid Cap Fund, Martin has begun restructuring the new portfolio to focus on our very best UK stock ideas from across the FTSE All-Share Index. In this video, update Martin addresses:

– Themes informing the UK Opportunities Fund
– The multi-cap structure of the fund
– UK equity valuations


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