Banking

Ally’s wealth business adds humans to complement robo advisors

Ally Financial has launched a new wealth management offering, hiring a team of human advisors in an effort to complement its existing robo advisor service.

Customers will be able to get one-on-one wealth advice through the service, which is open to people with at least $100,000 in investable assets. The Detroit-based company says that cutoff is lower than the $250,000 threshold at most firms.

“Our new wealth management offering makes dedicated, holistic human advisory more accessible by lowering the barriers to entry,” Diane Morais, president of consumer and commercial banking at Ally, said in a press release Wednesday.

Ally Financial’s wealth management arm, which represents one prong in the company’s effort to grow beyond its auto-lending roots, emerged from its 2016 acquisition of TradeKing Group.

Bloomberg

Morais previewed the service in a recent interview with American Banker. It comes as other banks look to expand in the wealth management sector, and it marks another step in Ally’s efforts to grow beyond its auto-lending roots.

The company, which spun off from General Motors in 2009, offers checking and savings accounts as well as mortgage loans, and is in the process of rolling out credit cards after its acquisition of the card issuer Fair Square.

Ally’s wealth management arm, which offers self-directed investing, retirement investment options and a robo advisor, grew from its 2016 acquisition of TradeKing Group.

The new advisor service is already open to existing Ally customers, and the company plans a broader rollout to the public in the coming months. Customers will pay a blended advisory fee of at least 0.75% to 0.85%, the company said. 

Ally said that it is starting with a small group of less than 20 advisors, but that the team will grow along with its client base.

The advisors will be trained in behavioral finance and will give advice on customers’ entire financial portfolio, including any assets held outside of the bank, Ally said.

That approach will help Ally “better tailor investment advice and offer choices that will successfully advance them toward their goals,” Nicole Cope, senior director of Ally Invest Advisors, said in the press release.



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