- The bank sees the alliance as a way to make sophisticated tools and guidance available to its digital-savvy clients who aren't currently taking advantage of its investment services
- FutureAdvisor has managed more than US$ 700 million in client investments since it launched its managed service in 2013
- FutureAdvisor was awarded the World Economic Forum's Technology Pioneer award in 2015, and Euromoney's Best American Wealth Management Innovator award in 2014
BBVA Compass and FutureAdvisor are forging an alliance to bring investment management services to a greater slice of the bank's clients through digital means, making the Sunbelt-based financial institution the first major bank to sign on with FutureAdvisor after the San Francisco firm's milestone year in which it combined forces with leading asset-management firm BlackRock.
BBVA Compass clients will be able to use the award-winning firm's automated investment services later in 2016. The bank sees the alliance as a way to make sophisticated tools and guidance available to its digital-savvy clients who aren't currently taking advantage of its investment services. The alliance demonstrates BBVA Compass' willingness to align with innovators regarded by some as industry disruptors.
"FutureAdvisor gives us a way to connect more of our clients with convenient, affordable and trusted advice," said BBVA Compass Chairman and CEO Manolo Sánchez. "The ultimate goal here is to help our clients take greater control of their finances so they can build bright futures."
The alliance follows a headline-generating year for FutureAdvisor, which was acquired in September by BlackRock Inc., the world's largest asset manager. FutureAdvisor has managed more than US$ 700 million in client investments since it launched its managed service in 2013.
Its innovative, always-on technology is guided by a proprietary algorithm, and its investment decisions are backed by theory developed by Nobel Prize-winning economists and continuously refined by a council of notable scholars and finance experts.
"We are very pleased to be deepening BlackRock's longstanding relationship with BBVA through FutureAdvisor's partnership with BBVA Compass," said Laurence D. Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock, whose firm has long helped BBVA serve clients in the U.S., Latin America, Spain and Portugal. "The role of technology in our industry continues to evolve as consumers increasingly look to engage with digital-advice platforms. FutureAdvisor powers an entirely new digital client experience for investors, which includes a diverse set of investment products, proprietary retirement technologies and risk analytics."
BBVA Compass clients will be able to link external investment accounts with FutureAdvisor and receive a customized plan for their portfolios. FutureAdvisor's investment management service will also be available for clients who want direct management of a portfolio, with the assets being held through the bank's broker-dealer affiliate BBVA Compass Investment Solutions, a division of BBVA Securities Inc., member FINRA and SIPC. The service will include auto-rebalancing based on market movement and tax loss harvesting to help improve after-tax, risk-adjusted rates of returns.
FutureAdvisor is the latest innovator to join forces with BBVA Compass in the bank's pursuit to lead the technology-driven transformation of the financial services industry. In 2014, its parent company, BBVA, acquired Simple, a Portland, Oregon-based company that has created a new standard in digital banking, through BBVA Compass. And through its alliance with the all-digital payments network Dwolla, the bank is helping account holders bypass conventional networks to send and receive funds instantly. It also is the latest in a series of BBVA Compass offerings designed to give clients greater control of their finances. In November, via the second release of BBVA Wallet, BBVA Compass became the first major U.S. bank to offer its credit card clients real-time redemption of rewards earned on qualified purchases made at any retailer. And in September, the bank introduced its ClearSpend prepaid card with a mobile budgeting app, a nod to the increasing use of prepaid debit cards across all ages and income levels.
FutureAdvisor was awarded the World Economic Forum's Technology Pioneer award in 2015, and American Wealth Management Innovator award in 2014.