Robo-advice  

Robo-adviser Wealthsimple appoints new UK CEO

Robo-adviser Wealthsimple appoints new UK CEO

Robo-adviser Wealthsimple has appointed a new chief executive for the UK and Europe as Toby Triebel steps down from the helm.

Wealthsimple told FTAdviser that Caroline Murphree, who has led the company’s operations and growth over the past two years, has been appointed to the role.

She will lead the company’s strategy and operations for both the UK and European business.

Mr Triebel, who led the launch of the UK business, is leaving the company for a “new opportunity” but will remain on as an adviser to the business.

Weathsimple, which operates in Canada, the US and the UK, launched in September 2014 and manages more than £4bn globally with 1m people using its products.

It created a UK division in 2017 with big plans, and has since added a self-invested personal pension offering to its product range.

Other products include Roundups, which allows its clients to invest their spare change, Smart Savings, a high-interest savings account, and Wealthsimple Trade, a commission-free platform to trade stocks, which is still being piloted.

Ms Murphree said the firm had “big ambitions” as a company and the right team, strategy and growth to deliver on its goal of “helping people secure a stronger financial future”.

She added: “I look forward to leading the company as we remain focused on building out our core investment product and growing our business-to-business offering in the UK and Europe.”

Mr Triebel said: “I’m really proud of everything we’ve accomplished over the past four years in establishing our presence as a competitive digital investing option in the UK. 

“It’s exciting to see Wealthsimple move into the company’s next phase of growth under Caroline’s leadership and continue on its mission to make investing easy and accessible for everyone.” 

In May last year, it raised CAD$100m (£58.9m) from investors including the digital investment unit of Allianz Group.

Allianz X led the investment round saying the company was an "excellent" fit for its business.

It followed £37m in investment from Power Financial, which is the parent of a number of financial services companies, including Canada Life.

Wealthsimple claims it is the only digital pension adviser in the UK which also provides access to investment advice from a human adviser at no additional cost.

But not everyone is convinced of the viability of robo-advice business models.

Robo-advisers have come and gone in recent years, with Investec closing its Click and Invest robo-advice business in 2019 following two years of losses while Moola shut its doors in January this year.

Latest accounts filed on Companies House showed Wealthsimple’s UK business has seen two years of losses — £2.3bn in 2017 and £3.6bn in 2018.

imogen.tew@ft.com

What do you think about the issues raised by this story? Email us on fa.letters@ft.com to let us know.