By Lisa Walls-Hester on Monday 24 April 2017
The move is the first strategic investment in a robo-advisory from a major Canadian bank
One of Canada’s Big Six takes a strategic investment in a robo-adviser startup, Nest Wealth. The Bank will also license the financial technology company's digital wealth management platform.
The agreement consists of an investment of $6m by National Bank and a commercial agreement that will see National Bank employing Nest Wealth's cutting-edge investment technology to enhance the Bank's internal digital platforms for the ultimate benefit of its clients.
Analysts see this investment as a major step for the online investment industry.
“It’s the first time that any of the big six banks has made a strategic investment in a Canadian fintech company,” said Nest Wealth founder and CEO Randy Cass.
Nest Wealth launched in Canada in 2013 and is now one of the largest among more than a dozen robo-advisors. The fintech does not disclose its assets under management, but Cass said they have grown “like a weed” by 300 per cent in the last 12 months.
“With this agreement, National Bank is increasing its digital services to end clients while continuing to emphasise the importance and value of financial advising relationships,” said Martin Gagnon, co-president and co-chief executive officer of National Bank Financial and executive vice-president of wealth management.
Nest Wealth’s technology will be used to “augment and complement our present platforms, thereby equipping our advisors with an additional working tool that will take our investment offer to the next level,” Gagnon said in a statement.
“This is a huge vote of confidence in Nest Wealth’s vision by one of the oldest and largest financial institutions in Canada, and gives us additional resources to keep up with rapid growth,” added Cass.