NYSSA's Private Wealth Management Committee presents

Robo Advisors: A Threat and Opportunity for Smart Wealth Managers

Monday June 15, 2015 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
NYSSA Conference Center
Available as: Live Session;
Categories: Conference, Private Wealth Management, Programs for Members

This program will explore how Robo Advisors are becoming increasingly relevant in the asset management industry, and the implications their growth has for traditional active managers. Robo Advisors are providing a more efficient, cost-effective portfolio management solution for many “no frills” investors seeking passive management and automatable investment processes at a fraction of the traditional manager’s cost. Active managers within the NYSSA community must fully understand the challenges and opportunities that Robo Investing represents to not only remain competitive, but continue to flourish in the industry. Speakers from various Robo and hybrid advisors will discuss the benefits and challenges of Robo Investing, as well as the opportunities for active managers to step-up and help achieve an equilibrium within the industry. Ultimately, there is space for both Robo and traditional investment managers to co-exist and thrive, so long as each effectively understands and addresses its targeted investors.

This program will discuss:

  • Robo Advisors are offering clients low-cost passive management (ETFs/index investing) and automatable investment processes.

  • Current Robo Advisors include: Wealthfront, Betterment (through agreement with Fidelity), and Schwab (Intelligent Portfolios). Vanguard Personal Advisor Services offers a hybrid approach.

  • Robo Advisors threaten active managers who do not adequately differentiate their offerings and provide value-added services beyond the automatable investment process. 

  • Robo Advisors are not without their own challenges, including investor distrust of technology, inability to deal with complicated investor needs, and lack of personalized investor coaching. 

  • Robo Advisors provide opportunities for active managers who specialize in niche products, anticipate the buy/sell behavior of Robo strategies, and provide outstanding behavioral/emotional coaching to clients.

  • Traditional managers may need to adapt to Robo Advisors by moving toward automation to reach equilibrium in the industry.

  • Traditional asset managers will learn to identify the challenges Robo Advisors pose to the industry and creatively respond to the opportunities they present.    

After this event you will be able to:

  • Define a “Robo Advisor” in the investment management industry .

  • Identify the key players in the Robo Advisory space.

  • Explain how Robo Advisors pose a challenge to certain traditional asset managers.

  • Identify the weaknesses of Robo investing.

  • Discuss the opportunities that Robo Advisors have created for resourceful active managers.

  • Describe how active managers may adapt to Robo Advisors.

Who should attend: 

CFA/CPA/CIMA professionals, including portfolio managers, financial advisors, and firm principals.


Eli Broverman is a Co-Founder of Betterment LLC and serves as its Chief Operating Officer. An expert in securities and financial institutions law, Mr. Broverman also serves as Betterment's General Counsel. He has designed a wide range of structuring and compliance initiatives for broker-dealers and investment advisors. Prior to forming Betterment, he practiced law at the international law firm Proskauer Rose LLP, where he advised Fortune 500 companies and their senior management on securities, tax, and compensation matters. Mr. Broverman is a graduate of Brown University and New York University School of Law.

Mike Kane is the Co-Founder, CEO, and Master Sensei of Hedgeable, a digital wealth manager that democratizes sophisticated investing. He formerly was an Analyst at Spruce Private Investors, a $3.5 Billion Wealth Management Firm and Fund of Funds. In Mike’s time there, Spruce was twice nominated by InvestHedge for Fund of Funds of the Year, and in 2011 Spruce was named the top Wealth Manager in the U.S. by Private Asset Management Magazine. At Spruce, Mike worked directly with wealthy families and endowments to allocate capital to public/private equities, fixed income, commodities, real estate, and alternatives. Prior to Spruce, Mike was an Associate at Bridgewater Associates, a $150 Billion Global Macro Fund considered to be one of the most successful alternative managers in history, with clients including foreign governments, major pension funds, charities, and large corporations. Mike is an avid writer, international traveler, adventurer, sports fanatic, and cooking enthusiast. Mike holds a B.S. in Finance, with Distinction, from The Pennsylvania State University. He is originally from Philadelphia, and resides in New York City.

Christopher Lengle is the Chief Strategy Officer of Invessence, which offers advisors a configurable digital platform for the management of client investments. Since 2002, Chris has worked with broker-dealers and investment advisors delivering a broad range of investment products and technology support solutions. He embraces the efficiencies of automated tools and has recognized the tremendous growth opportunities they offer advisors. Chris was a Regional Vice President at Advisors Asset Management, responsible for distribution of the firm’s recently launched separately managed account business and previously was a Vice President at Merrill Lynch, helping investment professionals better understand the risks and costs associated with complex investment products. He holds a B.A. in Economics and Psychology from Georgetown University.

Emmet Peppers started out in 2002 sorting bins of returned mail as a temp worker at a major global investment bank and worked his way up to mid-level trade support manager for the bank’s trading floor.  In 2006 he made a lateral move to Interactive Brokers (IB) before moving into an institutional sales role. Emmet has been at IB for the past 5 years, selling IB’s Clearing, Execution, and Prime Brokerage services and technology to hedge funds, advisors, introducing brokers, prop groups, and high net worth investors/traders. Interactive Brokers is the largest brokerage firm in the United States as measured by Daily Average Revenue Trades (DARTs) and trades on over 100 market centers and 24 countries worldwide.

Evan Rapoport founded HedgeCo and launched HedgeCo.Net, one of the world’s most trafficked databases for hedge fund information, in 2002. In 2008, Mr. Rapoport led HedgeCo through the strategic acquisitions of HedgeCo Securities and G&S Fund Services, forming HedgeCo Networks. His latest endeavor is the development of HedgeCoVest, an innovative new tool for investors to allocate to alternative investment providers. Prior to HedgeCo Networks, Mr. Rapoport was a Senior Vice President at Broadband Capital Management, a NASD member brokerage firm in New York. At Broadband, he managed assets for institutions and high net worth clients, and participated in many private placements and PIPE transactions. Before Broadband, Mr. Rapoport was the youngest Senior Vice President in history at NYSE member Oscar Gruss’ Private Client Group. He started his career in a Chairman’s Council member’s office at Paine Webber in New York. Mr. Rapoport currently holds Series 3, 7, 24, 55, 63, 66, 79 and 99 securities licenses. He has been featured and regularly appears on network news broadcasts and in leading publications. Mr. Rapoport holds a B.A. from the University of Florida. 

Program Details

Monday, June 15, 2015

6:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m. l Presentation
7:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m. l Networking

NYSSA Conference Center
1540 Broadway, Suite 1010
(45th Street Entrance)
New York, NY 10036

Member $20
Nonmember $40
Student Member $15
($10 surcharge for walk-ins)

Please Note: All Members pay the same rate to attend NYSSA programs. (“Member” includes Regular, Affiliate, Associate, Retired, and Unemployed members.)

Registration Deadline
Friday, June 12, 2015

CFA Institute Credits
1.5 CEs

Eli Broverman, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Betterment LLC
Mike Kane, Co-Founder, CEO, and Master Sensei, Hedgeable
Christopher Lengle, Chief Strategy Officer, Invessence    
Emmet Peppers, Institutional Sales, Interactive Brokers
Evan Rapoport, CEO and Founder, HedgeCoVest

Michael Livian, CFA
David Purich, CFA 
Janet Mangano

Additional Information

If you are unable to register for this event online, please call (212) 541-4530 for assistance.

Register via Mail/Fax
Policies and Procedures

Privacy Policy    |    Contact Us

 The New York Society of Security Analysts, Inc, © NYSSA
1540 Broadway, Suite 1010, (entrance on 45th Street), New York, NY 10036
(212) 541-4530