Robo-adviser to hire human advisers

Robo-adviser to hire human advisers

Canadian robo-adviser Wealthsimple has said it is looking for advisers to service its clients.

The company launched its services in the UK earlier this month and already has $1bn (£750m) in assets under administration and 40,000 clients in Canada, the US and the UK.

Toby Triebel, Wealthsimple’s European chief executive, said the fact it offers advice from qualified investment advisers is one of the features which distinguishes it from other robo-advisers.

He said: “We very much believe in human advice and we have got investment advisers on stand-by.

“Having that available if and when you wish to speak to a qualified investment adviser is a core distinguishing feature for us.”

At the moment the UK arm of the company only has one adviser but it is currently recruiting more, and will expand this team as Wealthsimply grows.

George Rooke, Wealthsimple’s portfolio manager, said his role as an adviser was to give the company’s clients a “structure” to their savings.

He said: “People are surprised when they speak to an adviser because the level of expectations from financial services is sadly low.”

Mr Triebel said Wealthsimple currently only offers an Isa, Junior Isa and a personal investment account.

But he said the company is currently looking at moving into the self-invested personal pension market.

He said the at-retirement advice market was “certainly” something Wealthsimple would look at.

Wealthsimple has no minimum investment and the first £5,000 is managed free for the first year.

After this it charges 0.7 per cent until £100,000, at which point clients are moved into another serviced called Wealthsimple Black, which only charges 0.5 per cent and offers a additional "goal-based" investment planning session with one of the company’s advisers.