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Ex-Vanguard CEO McNabb, Ron Carson Invest in Altruist

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Former Vanguard Chairman and CEO William McNabb has made an investment in Altruist, a Los Angeles-based digital brokerage firm, and joined its board of directors.

McNabb was Vanguard CEO from 2008 to 2017 and board chairman from 2010 to 2018.

The investment he made in Altruist, which offers an integrated digital investment platform for financial advisors, was part of a new funding round for the firm that it said Monday “will accelerate its mission of disrupting the custodial offering for independent advisors.”

The funding round was led by venture firm Venrock and included what Altruist said was “significant participation” from personal investments by McNabb and Ron Carson, CEO and chairman of Carson Group, as well as a strategic third-party investor who was not identified.

Altruist did not specify how much it raised in the round or how much each of the investors provided, and did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

In addition to McNabb, Altruist’s board includes Nick Beim, partner at Venrock, and Jason Wenk, Altruist CEO and founder.

“While the additional capital will help us realize our mission of making financial advice more accessible to everyone, the people that are joining us in this effort is what’s most exciting,” Wenk said in a statement. “It’s an honor to have Bill join our board and the combined support from him and Ron Carson is really special.”

Altruist will use the new investment for “continued growth and continued innovation to provide a modernized investment experience for independent advisors and their clients — in an industry that’s struggled to keep pace with consumer technology,” it said.

Altruist also recently hired Nachiket Shiralkar as chief technology officer. He had worked at the fintech lending platform Tala since December 2019, most recently as its chief technology officer, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Altruist last year released a mobile app on the App Store and Google Play that allows advisors to to keep track of their portfolios and open accounts on their mobile phones.

The first 100 client accounts on the platform are free, and additional accounts cost $1 a month.

Altruist is looking to expand its RIA offering and mobile app with new capabilities, and also “further enhance the client experience,” it said Monday. To use Altruist, investors have to get access via their independent financial advisors.

— Check out Why Small Is the New Big for RIAs on ThinkAdvisor.