UBS is expected to acquire Robo advisor Wealthfront for $1.4 billion, marking the Swiss bank’s first fintech acquisition under the stewardship of CEO Ralph Hamers. Today, Wealthfront oversees $27 billion for more than 470,000 clients in the United States with a customized offering for next-generation affluent investors.
Hamers was recruited for ING in 2021. He said:
“Adding Wealthfront’s capabilities and client base to our global investment ecosystem will significantly boost our ability to grow our business in the US. Wealthfront complements our core business in the US providing wealth management to high net worth and ultra-high net worth investors through trusted relationships with financial advisors, and will enhance our long-term ambition to deliver a scalable, digital-led wealth management solution to affluent investors.”
He said that Wealthfront’s capabilities will now become the foundation for UBS’ new digital offering that will feature considerable access to remote human advice. Moreover, Wealthfront will expand UBS’s existing offering via the company’s Wealth Advice Center that mainly focuses on serving the core affluent clients. Furthermore, the company’s Workplace Wealth Solutions business works with employees of corporate clients on financial education, equity plan participation, and retirement programs.
Wealthfront’s existing clients will continue to access the platform’s banking services, including different securities-backed loans, direct deposit, and instant transfers to investment accounts, transfer services, and bill pay. Transactions are expected to close in the second half of 2022.