Edmond Walters resigned as CEO of eMoney Advisor on Thursday, immediately ending his leadership role with the company he founded 15 years ago.
Michael Durbin, the president of Fidelity Wealth Technologies who became Walters’ boss when Fidelity purchased eMoney in February, will take over as the company's interim CEO. Fidelity said eMoney will continue to run as an independent firm with its own culture, and Durbin will work with eMoney’s senior management to identify a permanent successor.
“We remain committed to eMoney Advisor’s mission, which is to revolutionize the way trusted advisors serve the needs of their clients through highly innovative, intuitive and collaborative technology,” Durbin said in a statement. “That will mean ensuring the eMoney team continues to foster an independent spirit, fierce entrepreneurialism and unrelenting focus on clients. The team is incredibly strong and driven to transform the wealth management industry. That spirit will continue.”
A spokesperson for Fidelity said the decision to leave was a personal one made by Walters, who was unavailable for comment. Fidelity would not provide any details on the reasons behind the decision, but said eMoney's founder and CEO will not have any involvement in the company going forward.
At the T3 Conference in February, Walters introduced eMoney’s new emX Select platform with enthusiasm, saying it would “kick the crap” out of robo-advisors and be available by the end of September. David Lyon, the CEO of Oranj, said this passion was well known and thought Walters may have left due to differences with Fidelity.
"I don't think he would be leaving if he was still pursing that mission," Lyon said, adding that Walters was an inspiration when creating Oranj. "When you look at the growing universe of technology solutions in our industry, there's not too many of them that were born out of the need for an advisor, and I really respected that about him. From that standpoint, it's a big loss. Not just to eMoney, but I think he helped everyone else in the industry be better."
Lyons said the resignation may force Fidelity to reveal their plans for eMoney earlier than they previously wanted to.
Walters also promised eMoney would integrate with as many as 17 partners by the end of the third quarter. It is currently partnering with 10 firms, including Morningstar, Envestnet and Orion Financial Services.
Fidelity said eMoney’s roadmap and strategy would not change with Walters’ resignation.