Betterment, the digital advice platform that proudly calls itself the “largest independent robo-advisor,” has named Blucora CEO John Clendening to its board. Clendening spent 11 years as an executive at Schwab, including a stint as executive vice president and co-head of its retail brokerage and banking operations, the Investor Services Division. He also was previously CEO of Charles Schwab Bank.
Last April, Clendening joined Blucora (BCOR), the company formerly known as InfoSpace, an early internet search engine operator which eventually acquired and still publishes the TaxAct tax-preparation software. In October, Blucora acquired the CPA-focused independent BD HD Vest, which has 4,500 reps, for $580 million from its private equity owners.
Clendening was named president and CEO of Blucora, and a member of its board, only last month, replacing longtime CEO William Ruckelshaus. At the time of the HD Vest acquisition, Ruckelshaus called the deal “a transformative acquisition,” since “HD Vest and TaxACT operate in adjacent markets with complementary solutions.” HD Vest has about $38 billion in client assets, or about $8.4 million per advisor, many of whom are CPAs.
In the statement announcing that Clendening had joined its board, Betterment co-founder and CEO Jon Stein said the company “aims to be our customers’ central financial relationship, and we believe John’s experience and passion will help us fulfill that goal.” Clendening said in the same statement that “Betterment has clearly established itself as the leader of the space and is the best positioned to create a lasting, nationally recognized brand.”