This week, I pause to reflect on the sales of (1) AdvisorEngine to Franklin Templeton and (2) the technology of Motif Investing to Schwab. Is all enterprise wealth tech destined to be acquired by financial incumbents? Has the roboadvisor innovation vector run dry? Not at all, I think. If anything, we are just getting started. Decentralized finance innovators like Zapper, Balancer, TokenSets, and PieDAO are re-imagining what wealth management looks like on Ethereum infrastructure. Their speed of iteration and deployment is both faster and cheaper, and I am more excited for the future of digital investing than ever before.
I examine the unbelievable transformation and restructuring happening in high finance. Global bank HSBC is planning to lay off over 10% of staff, looking at reductions of 35,000. E*TRADE is being acquired by Morgan Stanley, integrating its 5,000,000 accounts and $360 billion of assets into the Wall Street investment firm. Legg Mason and its $800 billion of assets are being folded into Franklin Templeton for $4.5 billion, less than what Visa had paid for fintech data aggregator Plaid and half of what Robinhood is likely valued privately. How do we make sense of these developments? How do we appeal to the heart?
Mike Cagney is the Co-Founder and CEO of Figure, a full stack financial services blockchain company with consumer offerings in market or on the way in lending, banking and more. In late-2019, Figure raised $103 million at a $1.2 billion valuation and continues to grow.
Prior to starting Figure, Mike co-founded and ran SoFi, one of the most successful consumer fintech companies ever.
In this conversation, we discuss Figure’s routes to asset origination and capital markets disruption, Figure’s previously unannounced consumer banking and payments offering, lessons learned building and scaling multiple billion dollar companies and more.