Speaker Interview

Toby Triebel, Chief Executive Officer, Europe, Wealthsimple

 

Clients are changing and so have their demands. What are the ways in which wealth managers and firms should be keeping up with generational trends?

People except to access financial services in the same way they’d order groceries or call a taxi from their mobile phones. Ease of accessibility and the ability to see all your accounts in real time continues to change the way wealth management firms are delivering services to their clients.

Transparency is also really important. People want to know what they are paying, who they are paying and how much. Big banks are typically trusted by older generations because they’ve been around for a long time, not because they have their best interests at heart. Younger generations are more discerning. They ask tougher questions and want services to be more aligned with their values, which is why we’ve seen growth in areas such as socially responsible investing over the last couple of years.

“People want to know what they are paying, who they are paying and how much.”

High touch, personal and human: will robo-advisor services ever be able to mirror these fundamental qualities of private banking and wealth management?

I would argue that robo-advisor services have a greater opportunity to be high-touch, personal and human because of their ability to use technology to automate and scale previously paper-based processes. This allows a company, or adviser, to focus solely on their relationship with their clients.

Access to human advice has been part of our offering since day one but clients can also sign-up and get started investing without ever having to speak with someone. This removes barriers of entry for people who want to get started with investing and makes the service more accessible to everyone.

“It’s about the combination of smart technology with access to human advice in addition to the humanity built into our branding and design.”

As one of multiple digital wealth players in the space, how is Wealthsimple differentiating itself from competitors and what are the plans moving forward?

A central theme to the company, and something we really believe in, is the concept of being human. How do you build the most financial services company? For us it’s always meant the combination of smart technology with access to human advice in addition to the humanity built into our branding and design.

Wealthsimple is mostly an investment company right now, but ultimately we see ourselves doing more than that. We hope to reshape the way people feel about their financial institutions and the relationship and expectations that they have with them. Disjointed, impersonal and expensive financial services shouldn’t be enough. We want to change that, and we’re doing it by focusing on what’s missing: trust, transparency and simplicity.

In Europe, we’re also pursuing some exciting opportunities on the B2B side where we’re helping financial institutions re-shape the way they deliver financial services and products to people, simplifying the overall experience. 

 

Toby leads European operations for Wealthsimple, a leading online investment management service that combines user-friendly digital tool and personal financial advice to make a smart investing available to everyone. Founded in Canada, Wealthsimple is backed by Power Financial Corporation, a global management and holding company. 

Prior to Wealthsimple, Toby co-founded Spotcap, an online lending platform to SMEs, in 2014. In his role as CEO, Toby grew the business to 80 employees operating in five countries, raised more than  €50 million, and continues to support Spotcap in an advisory role.

Toby began his career at Goldman Sachs in corporate finance holds and degrees from Cambridge University and the London School of Economics. 

Toby will be speaking at Investment Innovators: Wealth Summit taking place at Hilton Tower Bridge, London on 12 March 2020.