Betterment is sprinting ahead in the race for assets among independent robo-advisor firms. Assets under management at the largest independent robo-advisor now top $5 billion – five times what they were 18 months ago – and the firm has hired its first chief financial officer, Amy Shapero.
“This kind of growth is the reason why we’re attracting top talent like Amy,” said founder and CEO Jon Stein in a statement. “Amy’s deep financial and strategic experience will be valuable asset to the company.”
Shapero was previously CFO at Sailthru, an online marketing company, and before that senior vice president at DigitalGlobal, a big data analytics company. Prior to DigitalGlobal, she was CFO at fintech company Spot Trading and at Standard & Poor’s. Up until now Stein, together with Eli Broverman, co-founder and president of Betterment, have been functioning as the firm’s CFO.
Bloomberg reported that developing revenue streams will be one area she will focus on. When asked for more details about that report, Shapero emailed ThinkAdvisor that she “will be exploring areas of opportunity that will benefit our customers and deepen our relationships with them while staying true to our principles.”
Betterment currently has 175,000 clients, with an average account balance of $29,000; the largest single account balance is $10 million. It has three business lines: retail; Betterment for Business, its 401(k) service, serving more than 150 employers; and Betterment Institutional for independent financial advisors, whose numbers top 200, according to Broverman.
Retail continues to be Betterment’s largest and oldest business line, having started in 2010, but other business lines are catching up, said Broverman in a phone interview following today’s milestone announcement. Betterment Institutional for advisors started last year and its 401(k) offering earlier this year.
He said much of the growth story in the firm’s retail business comes from growth in existing client accounts, though new customers are signing up, often through referrals.