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The “Complexity” Sweet Spot In Robo Advice

A new take on Wealthfront’s risk-parity fund, Hans Olsen joins Fiduciary Trust Company as CIO and RBC recruits a West Palm Beach team from Wells Fargo.

Many in the advice industry lambasted Wealthfront when it announced it would place some of its larger clients’ taxable assets into a risk-parity fund, the technique of adjusting stock/bond exposures in response to movements in the financial markets. But John Rekenthaler had a good take on the company’s decision, and automated advice in general, in his column on Wednesday. “Robo-advisors, as with all companies, require revenues. In achieving that goal, simplicity is not always a virtue,” Rekenthaler wrote, “which means that robo-advice must achieve a certain level of complexity—or ‘sophistication,’ as the providers would state the matter. Robo-advisors can avoid adding complex funds, but they cannot avoid elaborating their asset allocations."

Fiduciary Trust Hires Stifel Nicolaus CIO

Hans Olsen

Fiduciary Trust Company hired Hans Olsen to be its new chief investment officer, the wealth manager said Wednesday. Olsen was most recently the Global Head of Investment Strategy at Stifel Nicolaus and the CIO of the firm’s Delware Trust Company. He joined Stifel by way of the broker/dealer’s acquisition of Barclay’s wealth management business in the U.S. and was also previously the CIO of J.P. Morgan’s Private Wealth Management Business in the U.S. Olsen fills the position left open by Peter Andersen, who left Fiduciary Trust in December last year to start his own asset management firm.

RBC Recruits Team Managing $600 Million

RBC Wealth Management recently recruited the Weissman and Dion Wealth Management Group to its West Palm Beach office, the broker/dealer said Tuesday. The group, led by Managing Director Gary Weissman, joined from Wells Fargo, where it managed $600 million in client assets. In a statement, the group said the availability of “products and offerings of a large, global institution” and “a small-firm culture” were parts of its decision to join RBC.

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