Executives at the leading independent robo advisers announced new roles for themselves.
The changes for two pioneers of the digital advice space come as the sector matures; major banks and wirehouses are ramping up their own digital advice offerings, and a preference for hybrid robo advice has emerged.
Betterment's co-founder Eli Broverman posted Monday on LinkedIn that he is stepping away from daily operations at the New York-based robo adviser.
In a post that features a group photo of Betterment's team, Broverman, 38, says he made the decision several weeks ago to relinquish the president's role at the firm in order to focus on other startups. He will remain on Betterment's board.
"It's time for me to get back to helping to build early-stage companies," he wrote. "[Jon Stein, Betterment CEO] and I have talked about this at length, and I can't thank him enough for his support."
From Betterment's earliest days, Stein, not Broverman, has acted as its most public face ― in front of the company's major announcements, appearing in national advertisements and television interviews and headlining industry events.
Still, it is an amicable departure, says Davis Janowski, senior industry analyst at research firm Forrester.
"In my experience working for and with fintech startups, this is a very neutral announcement," he says. "It really sounds like he wants to help build up another firm. After 10 years working, competing, and fighting the status quo in such a complex new arena who can blame him?"
Betterment spokesman Joe Ziemer says the robo adviser "wouldn't be where we are today without [Broverman's] significant contributions. He's leaving the company as the industry leader."
Separately, former Wealthfront CEO Adam Nash joined the board at micro-investing app Acorns, the firm announced on Tuesday.
"The opportunity to help the up-and-coming save is immense," Nash said in a statement. "And Acorns genuinely cares about looking after their financial best interests."
It's a perfect fit for Nash, says Janowski, a former colleague of Nash's at Wealthfront.
"He always was a personal finance nerd," Janowski says. "He's got a number of ideas on how to help people save and invest that he can pursue at Acorns."
Nash stepped down from the chief executive role at the end of October, but remains on its board. Wealthfront co-founder Andy Rachleff returned as CEO.
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