Former Scottrade executives Jonathan Yao and Kristopher Wallace today announced the acquisition of MarketRiders, the first robo-advisor.
Since its inception in 2008, MarketRiders, the pioneering force behind the robo-advisory space, has helped over 15,000 investors (representing $5 billion in assets) create and manage their own investment portfolios. MarketRiders was acquired through its parent company -- Sogo Financial Group, Inc. -- which also owns leading discount broker SogoTrade.
Mr. Wallace left Scottrade in late 2015 to join the SogoTrade team with the specific intent of creating a robo-advisor offering. Shortly thereafter, he and Mr. Yao acquired MarketRiders, which has since been enhanced to offer its customers the complete robo-advisory experience. "For nearly 10 years, MarketRiders has provided its Do-It-Yourself clients with powerful portfolio building tools. MarketRiders is now introducing its new managed portfolio service -- where we help investors build portfolios and then manage and periodically rebalance the portfolios for them," said Mr. Wallace. This new robo-advisor solution will make it much easier for MarketRiders' clients to take advantage of the investment tools. MarketRiders will automatically buy and sell ETFs for their clients to rebalance their portfolios without the need for the client to manually enter the trades. Managed account clients will no longer pay subscription fees or trade commissions -- only one low annualized fee.
Jonathan Yao, SogoTrade's CEO since 2014, was previously the Director of Scottrade's Asia Pacific operations, where he built a $5 billion division within Scottrade. Yao stated, "With the addition of MarketRiders we can now provide SogoTrade customers with multiple ways to trade and invest. We offer great technology coupled with SogoTrade's outstanding customer service. We're very excited to offer our customers advanced trading and managed solutions to help them meet their financial goals -- both in the near term and for retirement."
For years, SogoTrade has provided investors in China with access to investing in U.S. stocks. Recent studies suggest that Chinese investors, who had preferred self-directed investment accounts, will by 2020 invest $1 trillion using robo-advisory platforms. "What MarketRiders started in the US it will continue in China," Yao promised.