| NEW YORK, April 4
NEW YORK, April 4 Adam Nash, the former chief
executive of digital financial advice company Wealthfront, has
joined the board of U.S. micro-investing app Acorns, the company
said on Tuesday.
Nash, who stepped down from his role at Wealthfront in
December, will advise the investment startup as it expands its
breadth of products aimed at helping younger investors save.
The company also said it had appointed Shlomo Benartzi,
professor and co-chair of the Behavioral Decision-Making Group
at the University of California, Los Angeles, to its board.
Benartzi will help the company understand what drives saving so
that it can design better products.
"We are working with a team of behavioral economists across
the country to help nudge our customers along in their financial
journey," said Noah Kerner, Acorns CEO.
Based in Newport Beach, California, Acorns rounds up
purchases from clients' card transactions to the nearest dollar
and automatically invests the change into portfolios of low-cost
Launched in 2014, the startup currently counts more than 1.6
million investment accounts, it said. Investor include payments
company PayPal Inc and Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten.
Acorns is one of a growing group of young fintech companies
that use automation to make investing easier and cheaper for a
segment of clients previously seen as too expensive to serve.
Wealthfront was one of the earliest and best-known companies
in the so-called robo-advice sector, alongside competitor
Betterment LLC. While startups pioneered the robo-advice model,
they have recently faced more competition from established
players, raising questions about their prospects.
Reuters reported last month that Goldman Sachs was planning
to launch a robo-adviser geared to mass affluent clients.
Nash, who had joined Wealthfront in 2013, was previously
vice president of product management at professional networking
site LinkedIn Corp and held senior roles at eBay Inc.
(Editing by Matthew Lewis)