Top 5 Robo Headlines of 2016

canstockphoto2164283Partnerships, funding rounds, startups, acquisitions – robos have had a busy year. More and more companies jumped on the robo-advising bandwagon this year, while independent companies grew exponentially and snatched big-name partners.

While the current technology allows for a fully automated portfolio management system, we saw a lot of the large FIs rolling out cyborg versions: a hybrid advisory system, which combines fully automated algorithm-driven advice and certified (human) professionals that are typically available 24/7.

By 2020, it’s estimated robos will manage (or in sci-fi terms, have taken over) about $2.2 trillion of assets, experts say, which will potentially transform wealth management as we know it. The transformation is already happening today, so let’s look back at Bank Innovation’s top 5 robo headlines in the past year.

1. Fidelity to Launches Robo Advising This Summer

Fidelity Investments joined the digital wealth management pipeline at the end of July, launching its Fidelity Go product.

2. SigFig Deal Shows Banks Love Robo Advisors

It was a hot time for Sigfig, which snatched $40 million in overall funding from companies like Santander InnoVentures, Comerica, Eaton Vance, New York Life, UBS and venture capital firms Bain Capital Ventures, DCM, Nyca Partners, and Union Square Capital Ventures.

3. Is Human-Robo ‘Hybrid’ Advisory the Best Way to Manage Finances?

Don’t trust robots to run your investments? Neither do big FIs. The post argues that a compromise – combining the ability of a “robo” to consolidate data from multiple accounts with the human skill to tailor that data to each customer’s unique needs – will win it all.

4. SigFig Scores a Robo Deal with UBS

The announcement was one of the firsts for SigFig (followed shortly by the overall $40 million deal mentioned above), which partnered with UBS Wealth Management to create and customize digital tools for WMA’s 7,000 advisors.

5. Robos and Credit Cards Coming to Ally Customers Soon

The announcement came shortly after Ally completed the acquisition of TradeKing. The bank said it believes the new digital product will particularly appeal to its younger demographic of customers.  

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