On today’s broadcast, Personal Capital raises a new round of $75 million, SigFig raises its own round of $40 million, FINRA fines a rep for changing his CRM notes, and more!
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Here are the links to this week’s top stories:
Personal Capital Raises $75 Million in Series E Funding from PRNewswire
[This week’s top story comes from Personal Capital, as the digital RIA firm recently raised 75 million dollars in Series E funding from one investor, IGM Financial, a Canadian-based financial services company. $50 million was invested immediately with the other $25 million to be invested next year, bringing Personal Capital’s total amount of money raised to $175 million.
What will the company do with the money? According to CEO Bill Harris, Personal Capital will double its advisor headcount from 100 to 200, and increase its development staff from 40 to 60. Funds will also be used to double the company’s marketing budget, as chief marketing officer Mark Goines was quoted as saying, “The sad truth is no one knows about Personal Capital,”
What I find most interesting about this round of fundraising is WHO made the investment. IGM Financial is an incumbent financial institution, not a venture capital firm, and I find it interesting that none of Personal Capital’s prior investors participated in this latest round. This begs the question: Why not?] Personal Capital, the leading digital wealth management firm, today announced IGM Financial Inc., a member of the Power Financial Corporation group of companies, has invested $50 million this week, with an agreement to invest another $25 million in the next year.
UBS Americas wealth unit partners with robo-adviser SigFig from Reuters, and
[Because in another related story this week, SigFig, a San Francisco-based online automated investment service, announced that the company raised $40 million dollars, which includes $7 million of debt funding, bringing its total raised just under $60 million.
Once again, who led SigFig’s latest round?
If you said an incumbent financial institution, give yourself a gold star, because Eaton Vance was the lead investor, and to the best of my knowledge, its participation marks the company’s first investment EVER in a startup company!
These incumbent players join a growing list of activity in this space, with BlackRock acquiring FutureAdvisor, Invesco acquiring Jemstep, John Hancock acquiring Guide Financial (remember them?). The list goes on!
So what does this all mean?
The throng of automated investment services who set out to change the way investors invest, make investing simple, et cetera, are now cozying up with the incumbent financial institutions many of the startups set out to disrupt in the first place! And I didn’t even mention the SigFig partnership with UBS, did i?
Oh, and this week Wells Fargo said it too will announce its own robo advisor partnership by the end of June!] SigFig, an independent San Francisco-based wealth management technology company, today announced the raising of $40 million in financing from a number of leading financial institutions, including Eaton Vance, Comerica Bank, New York Life, Santander InnoVentures, and UBS, as well as top-tier venture capital firms Bain Capital Ventures, DCM Ventures, Nyca Partners, and Union Square Ventures.
[Now on to news about the CRM software you use. This week, InvestmentNews reported about an Ameriprise Financial Services representative who was fined $50,000 and suspended for one year by FINRA for backdating and editing client notes in his CRM.
The CRM in this case was ACT!, and the rep made changes in his notes related to the sale of a variable annuities, which were discovered only after an arbitration panel mandated a forensic examination of the rep’s computer.
So whether you use Redtail, Junxure, Wealthbox CRM, Salesforce, or any other solution, it’s critical that your firm be aware how the integrity of client notes, and all records for that matter, is preserved. If you don’t know, now might be a good time to conduct a quick audit.] The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. levied a $50,000 fine against an Ameriprise general securities representative who altered his software notes to document his recommendations, for a 78-year-old client, to invest $2 million in Ameriprise variable annuities, the regulator’s decision shows.
Here are stories that didn’t make this week’s broadcast:
When using technology, we often focus optimistically on all the things it does for us. But I want you to show you where it might do the opposite. Where does technology exploit our minds’ weaknesses?
TradePMR Introduces EarnWise from PRNewswire
EarnWise promises to harness the best of traditional and robo-advisor business strategies in a single, easy-to-implement, online solution.
Dashlane, the New York startup that provides a platform for users to manage their passwords and online identities across multiple sites and apps, has raised a further $22.5 million in funding and picked up a key strategic investor and partner in the process.
MaxMyInterest Adds New Client-Onboarding Feature for Financial Advisors from maxmyinterest.com
MaxMyInterest today launched significant enhancements to client onboarding, making it easier for financial advisors to offer Max’s intelligent cash management solution to their clients.