Moola partners with BlackRock to launch online investment service

Dec 13th, 2016 | By | Category: ETF and Index News

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Moola is set to make its debut in the UK in early 2017 after receiving authorization from the Financial Conduct Authority. The online investment services company will launch its platform in January, becoming the latest player in the increasingly competitive digital wealth management, or “robo-advisor”, space.

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Gemma Godfrey, Founder and CEO of Moola.

Gemma Godfrey, Founder and CEO of Moola said: “Today‘s authorization is an important milestone for us and our world-class partners as we work towards our shared goal: to help people grow their money. Collaboration really is key – we each provide a piece of the puzzle, bringing company employees and customers what they need, in the way they need it.”

Moola’s mission, like most of its contemporaries, is to make investing accessible, regardless of expertise or wealth. To achieve this it will provide independent financial advisors (IFAs) and private retail investors with a low cost automated portfolio management service.

Clients will be assigned one of several portfolios, constructed solely from ETFs, depending on their risk tolerance as determined through a rigorous questionnaire.

The firm has partnered with investment giant BlackRock, whose iShares “Core” suite of ETFs will form the building blocks of the model portfolios. The suite, which consists of 14 physically backed ETFs, provides low cost access to some of the most essential portfolio exposures favoured by investors across. Of the 11 Irish-domiciled ETFs, nine offer exposure to equities, including global, US, UK, Eurozone, Japan, Asia Pacific ex-Japan and emerging markets exposures, and four in fixed income, including UK and European government and corporate bond exposures.

ETFs are being favoured by online wealth managers as they provide, in a single transaction, the ability to invest in a whole region or asset class, thereby easily enhancing diversification. They are also typically highly liquid and cost-efficient compared to other investment vehicles.

Joe Parkin, Head of iShares UK retail and wealth at BlackRock, commented: “Digital investment services need to be simple, intuitive, and have a key eye on cost, which has meant that ETFs are often the unseen investment engine used to achieve people’s financial goals. These are exciting times for both aspiring and experienced investors.”

In addition to BlackRock, Moola will operate in partnership with fintech provider eValue, which will power the firm’s financial planning capabilities, and market maker Winterflood.

Andrew Storey, Sales Director of eValue said: “We are excited to announce this partnership with Moola. It is a crucial step forward in the mass delivery of accurate, trustworthy and financially accessible consumer advice. The face of the investment industry is changing fast with increasing demand for clarity and transparency. We are committed to ensuring that people have access to all the information they need to make the right financial decision for them.”

Moola’s full service can be accessed with as little as £200 and is complemented by live customer services. Its launch will be supported by the Octopus Labs accelerator programme – benefitting from Octopus’s network of 3,500 IFAs and 60,000 customers.

Moola is yet to disclose the level of fees applicable to clients but has suggested it will announce a simplified, all-in pricing structure, free from hidden costs and fees such as entry or exit charges.

It will compete with a growing number of digital wealth managers operating in the UK, including, among others, ETFmaticMoneyFarm, Netwealth, Nutmeg, Scalable Capital, and Wealthify.

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