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Private Equity Firms Eye Robo-Advisers; Wealthfront Takes a Less Passive Turn

Bloomberg is reporting that private equity firms are hoping to gain from the popularity of digital advice firms by buying them up. According to the report, the highly fragmented advice industry is attractive to private equity buyers because of the industry’s solid profits and potential for recurring fees. Bloomberg is also reporting that digital advice firm Wealthfront is offering some of its clients an option to invest in a risk parity fund, a diversification approach typically taken by hedge funds and institutional investors. The optional approach – which came with a higher expense ratio – resulted in investor backlash for the passive shop. Wealthfront has since lowered the risk parity fund’s expense ratio.