Wealthsimple Financial Inc. will soon launch Wealthsimple for Advisors, its platform for financial advisors that will allow them to retain non-core clients but leave the investment management to the Toronto-based robo-advisor.
Advisors should think of the service as a "farm team" that will likely work best for advisors who have clients that don't meet an account minimum or who are the offspring of important clients, said Jason Goldlist, head of marketing at Wealthsimple.
"Advisors can offer this solution to the [smaller] client, focus on the value-add services they provide to core clients and have none of the administrative burden of small accounts or accounts that don't make sense for them," he explained.
The platform consists of a dashboard through which advisors can send invites to clients they feel would benefit from the robo-advisor firm's services. The onboarding process and the development of that individual's portfolio would occur through Wealthsimple, which will be apparent to the client. However, the traditional advisor can access that client's account and track the success of the portfolio through the dashboard. The client would also have access to the advisor's contact information if he or she wanted to communicate with the advisor.
If the client reaches a level of assets that would be more appropriate for the advisor's practice, the advisor can bring that individual into the fold and develop a more typical client/advisor relationship.
Goldlist called the program a "game-changing" venture that will help the industry respond to a common dilemma advisors face: "Advisors come across these non-core clients all of the time and turn them away."
The program is currently in a pilot phase with 50 advisors across the country and will launch later in May. It will be available to any individual advisor or firm that is interested, although Goldlist notes the platform would be best for those that share Wealthsmiple's passive investing philosophy.
Wealthsimple's approach is one of collaboration with traditional advisors and very different from the environment in the U.S., in which online investment management services are trying to make the traditional advisor population obsolete, said Goldlist.
"We are trying to work with the industry," he added. "[Wealthsimple for Advisors] will help advisors with their business."
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