Briefing

Wealthsimple to launch mutual-fund investment firm with in-house advisers

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Independent advisers will operate under the robo-adviser’s brand, and build portfolios for clients that include both exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds. Advisers will now be able to use the company’s technology while still managing their clients’ funds themselves, which was not previously possible. Wealthsimple—which is controlled by insurance giant Power Corporation—also launched savings accounts last April, and has offered group retirement plans since 2016. (Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: This is a lateral move for Wealthsimple, the core product of which is a robo-adviser platform that lets retail investors buy combinations of ETFs online. The company’s diversification efforts come as traditional financial institutions aggressively move onto its turf—Royal Bank of Canada launched a robo-adviser service in November, while TD Bank and U.S. giant Vanguard will debut theirs in the coming months.