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Laid bare: robo advisor Wealthsimple launches SRI portfolios, Scalable Capital goes for the full Monty

Canadian robo advisor Wealthsimple, which opened for business in the UK in September 2017 (more), has launched a range of socially responsible investing (SRI) portfolios, becoming the first to do so.

Wealthsimple has set a minimum investment of £5,000 for the new portfolios, which are available at a fee of between 0.5% and 0.7%, which includes access to on-demand advice by phone or email.

Designed for different risk levels – conservative, balanced and growth – the portfolios will invest in companies that make social responsibility a business priority; it will include funds that take into consideration environmental and societal factors, such as cleantech innovation, fair labour standards or low carbon emissions.

In announcing its initiativeToby Triebel, CEO of Wealthsimple Europe said: ‘We always look to our clients for feedback on which features they want to see next, and SRI has been requested from the first day we launched in the UK.

‘It’s reflective of what matters to investors today, and we’re really excited to be the first digital wealth manager to introduce an SRI offering, and to make it incredibly simple and accessible.’

 

Meanwhile, in a sector that has seen a whole raft of strategic partnerships and B2B deals, Scalable Capital, one of the leading automated wealth management platforms in the UK has announced that it will be offering full, traditional, financial advice.

Scalable Capital is one of the largest of the UK robo advisors, having just topped 20,000 clients and £600m in assets under management; operating in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well as the UK, the company will charge a fixed £200 fee if an investor decides to progress beyond an initial free session.

According to Scalable Capital’s website the advice session, conducted by qualified financial advisors, can either take place over the phone or in person, and investors will get a ‘comprehensive financial assessment of their situation’ plus a full suitability report; there are currently three London-based advisers working with Scalable Capital.

Co-founder and soon to become UK Chief Executive, Simon Miller, says there is demand from wealthier clients with more complex financial situations who have an appetite for an advice service: ‘at the same time, we wanted to make sure that our offer was priced such that clients without a high six-digit-investment would also find it attractive.’

Dr Ella Rabener, Scalable Capital’s Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Founder, added: ‘Our business is geared towards a lean digital setup, as this allows us to offer attractively low fees to our clients. Our success so far, with over 20,000 clients across three geographies, proves that our digital sign-up process via desktop or app is very well accepted.

‘Our new service is therefore meant to be an extension of our core model that will allow us to accelerate our growth by also accommodating investors that require more assistance as they make their investment decision.’

Co-founder Adam French will soon be assuming international responsibilities for the robo advisor, focusing on the firm’s collaborations with financial institutions and large corporates across Europe and beyond.

 

 

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