After arriving on the wealth management scene nearly a decade ago, the direct-to-client (D2C) robo-advice business has branched out from its roots, following a familiar yet distinct pattern across various developed markets. Many of the early entrants have left behind their origins as scrappy start-ups and have begun to focus on scaling-up as the established financial services guard—from banks to asset managers—also enter the mix. Despite having aggregate assets under administration measured in the hundreds of billions of dollars, the prevailing global themes still tell a tale of a business model that is evolving. Tackling customer acquisition challenges, finding a long-term sustainable economic and pricing model, moving up-market and down-market to appeal to a wider set of potential clientele and expanding the shelf to include other financial services products are some of the key considerations for firms that currently make up the space.

This global research whitepaper details the current state of the D2C robo-advice business across key developed markets including the U.S., U.K., Europe, Canada and Australia. The feature also provides a view of the principal narrative emerging from our analyses of the global landscape and key learnings for where the business may go in the years ahead.