Up against robo advice platforms, advisers need to tap into tools from the investment banking world, says one ex-Goldman Sachs executive.

Launching her own white labeled platform for RIAs, Jacqueline Ko Matthews says that multi-strategy management allows advisers to distinguish themselves from automated passive, buy-and-hold offerings.

"We are digitizing the multistrategy approach," says Ko, CEO and founder of the newly launched InvestmentPOD. "We're taking what I used to do for UHNW clients. Wealthy people have always known you have to diversify across strategies."

It's the latest in a line of services traditionally done for HNW clients being scaled for a digital offering. Other examples include Wealthfront's release of a stock selling feature and securities-based lending, or Hedgeable's AI-powered tax management engine.

The platform will offer 10 different strategies for advisers, with the option to create custom strategies, Ko says. The platform is ideal for advisers with $100 million in AUM, she says, though they can work with quick-growing practices too.

InvestmentPOD is backed by the SixThirty FinTech accelerator, UMB Bank and Prosper.

"We are digitizing the multistrategy approach," says Jacqueline Ko Matthews, CEO and founder of the newly launched InvestmentPOD.
"We are digitizing the multistrategy approach," says Jacqueline Ko Matthews, CEO and founder of the newly launched InvestmentPOD.

Ko acknowledges scaling the work that goes into the multistrategy approach — traditionally involving sourcing single strategy managers, due diligence and a variety of fees and asset lock-up periods — wouldn't be even available without the advent of ETFs, which have been draining assets every month from active managers.

(According to Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs research shows passive investors represent 14% of the S&P 500, up from 9% in 2013.)

"We're not trying to argue against passive," Ko says. "No one strategy works all of the time. When it's not working, what are you going to tell clients, 'Just hold on, it'll come back in a couple of years?'

Advisers reluctant to change need to come to terms with advances in technology, she adds.

"Ten years ago, we wouldn't have been able to do this," she says. "People are becoming more comfortable managing their money online. Markets are becoming more global and cost efficient. We disrupted ourselves. This is the only way to evolve and improve."

Emerging platforms like hers, Ko says, are just more tools for the adviser to do their job better. "More than the standard buffet," she says.

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Suleman Din

Suleman Din

Suleman Din is technology editor of American Banker and Financial Planning. Follow him on Twitter at @sulemandn.