|Industry||Financial services, online investment management|
|Founder||Michael Katchen, (CEO)|
|Services||Robo-advisor, stockbroker, electronic trading platform|
|AUM||C$8.4 billion (February 19, 2021)|
|Owner||Power Corporation of Canada (70.1%)|
Number of employees
Wealthsimple Inc. is a Canadian online investment management service focused on millennials. The firm was founded in September 2014 by Michael Katchen and is based in Toronto. As of February 19, 2021, the firm holds over C$8.4 billion in assets under management. It is primarily owned by Power Corporation indirectly at 70.1% through investments made through their holdings in Power Financial, IGM Financial and Portag3.
Prior to founding Wealthsimple, Michael Katchen worked for 1000Memories, a Silicon Valley-based startup. After Ancestry.com bought 1000Memories in 2012, Katchen developed a spreadsheet with tips to help his colleagues set up investment portfolios. Interest in the spreadsheet helped inspire the idea for Wealthsimple. In 2014, he returned to Toronto to launch the company.
In December 2015, Wealthsimple merged with Canadian ShareOwner Investments Inc., a Canadian order-execution only broker-dealer. Through the acquisition Wealthsimple became an owner of one of Canada's 14 discount brokerages (2015) alongside other owners of discount brokerages including Bank of Montreal and Royal Bank of Canada. The acquisition of Canadian ShareOwner Investment Inc. resulted in the assets under management comprising CAD $400,000,000 across 10,000 customer accounts.
2016 – present: focus on product offerings
Also in May 2016, Wealthsimple launched Wealthsimple for Advisors, an automated platform for financial advisors. The service is intended for advisors who wish to maintain clients with accounts below their minimum requirements.
In January 2020, Wealthsimple launched Wealthsimple Cash for Canadian customers, a hybrid savings/chequing account offering high interest on balances. Spending features such as a visa debit card, e-transfers, bill payments and paycheque/cheque deposits are planned to be rolled out through 2020.
As of March 2020, Wealthsimple trade became unable to handle the volume of trades their customers were placing and began capping the number of users and putting some investors onto wait lists.
In November 2020, Wealthsimple Cash transitioned from a savings account to a peer-to-peer cash transfer app. Having first launched in beta the peer-to-peer cash transfer app was made widely available in March 2021.
On Thursday, July 8, 2021, Wealthsimple Trade announced they would launch fractional shares in the platform, starting the next day on Friday, July 9, 2021.
Products and services
Wealthsimple combines a robo-advisor platform with access to live advisors. Each client is provided an investment advisor who helps match investments to the client's long-term goals and risk tolerance. The firm does not occupy retail space; instead its advisors are available via phone, text message, email or video chat. There is no account minimum required and no charge per transaction. An annual fee is charged ranging from 0.4% to 0.5% based on account size. Portfolios are monitored daily and automatically rebalanced if they move beyond certain thresholds.
In September 2018, the company started offering a micro-investing service called Roundup, which automatically rounds up purchases and invests the extra change into your Wealthsimple investment account.
Wealthsimple offers their platform for advisors via Wealthsimple for Advisors and also for firms via Wealthsimple for Work.
Wealthsimple Cash offers a higher savings rate than Wealthsimple Save, with full service chequing account features planned to be in service by the end of 2020.
As of current Wealthsimple offers a crypto platform which allows users to trade cryptocurrency (BTC and ETH). This service is offered through the same web portal as the Trade service. Much like Trade, this service has no fees.
Wealthsimple has come under criticism because the private keys to any cryptocurrencies are held by Wealthsimple itself. This means that users can't transact outside of Wealthsimple with their cryptocurrency.
In September 2019, Wealthsimple acquired SimpleTax, a Canadian tax software company. The acquisition of SimpleTax adds online tax-return preparation and filing service to Wealthsimple's suite of financial products.
|Year||# of Clients|
|15 August 2019||175,000|
|22 May 2019||150,000|
|10 October 2018||100,000|
|21 February 2018||65,000|
|11 May 2017||30,000|
|2015||1,000 (April)-10,000 (December)|
In April 2015, the firm received CAD $10 million from Power Financial Corporation in an agreement structured to allow for a future investment of CAD $20 million within 12 months. In total Power Financial Corporation has invested $30 million in Series A funding. It is now primarily owned by Power Corporation indirectly at 77.4% (the investments were through their holdings in Power Financial, IGM Financial and Portag3).
In October 2020, Wealthsimple raised CAD$114 million (US$87 million) in funding from an investor group led by Technology Crossover Ventures, in addition to Greylock Partners, Meritech Capital Partners, Two Sigma Ventures and Allianz X.
An annual fee is charged ranging from 0.4% to 0.5% based on account size.
Wealthsimple clients whose accounts have in excess of C$100,000 whereby their management fee is 0.4%.
- Assets under management
|5 February 2021||8.4 billion|
|15 August 2019||5 billion|
|22 May 2019||4.5 billion|
|14 May 2019||4.3 billion|
|10 October 2018||3 billion|
|21 February 2018||1.9 billion|
In 2015, Product Hunt Toronto honored Wealthsimple with its first-ever Product of the Year Award. In 2016, the 20th Annual Webby Awards named Wealthsimple its Best Financial Services/Banking website.
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