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Personal Capital eyes new marketing strategy after $50M raise

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With a fresh injection of $50 million this month, hybrid digital wealth manager Personal Capital aims to expand and retool its overall brand strategy. To that end, the firm is adding to its marketing department in an attempt to outpace its competitors.

The firm, which has raised over $265.3 million in funding and opened new offices in Atlanta, has tapped Porter Gale as its new chief marketing officer. In the newly created role, Gale will find and develop new marketing technologies, channels and partners, the firm says. Eric Weiss, who formerly held the job, is now senior vice president of growth and performance marketing.

“Porter has incredible experience building brands into household names, and that type of marketing approach is right for us at this stage in our growth,” Jay Shah, CEO of Personal Capital, wrote in an email. “We're more focused than ever on brand strategy.”

Before joining the Redwood City, California-based firm, Gale worked as marketing general manager and interim CMO at Globality, an enterprise technology company. Prior to that, she was vice president of marketing at Virgin America, according to a statement.

Last week, the firm partnered with iCapital Network in order to give its high-net-worth clients access to private equity investments at lower costs.

“This year we're working on creating new ways for people to engage with Personal Capital in order to achieve their financial goals,” Shah says. “The announcement last week about our new ability to access the private equity market on behalf of our clients is only the beginning of what we've got planned for the year.”

The goal is to continue attracting new clients, at a time when other automated investment advisors, like Betterment and Wealthfront, continue to grow. Betterment, for example, opened a new office in Philadelphia in January. The leading independent robo has raised $275 million in funding and now manages $15 billion for about 400,000 clients.

Much larger competitors like Charles Schwab and Vanguard have recently claimed real estate in the hybrid digital advice space, with $30 billion and $100 billion in client assets respectively, according to a Morningstar report.

Even with competition from these and other giants, Shah says he isn’t worried.

“Our growth and performance marketing engine is like a well-oiled machine,” he says in the email. “One of the reasons we're able to refocus our efforts on brand strategy is because our client acquisition program has been so steady.”

Personal Capital, which currently employs 140 advisors, manages over $8.5 billion in AUM. The firm also claims to have approximately two million registered users of its online financial planning tool.

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