Sure, online investment platform Betterment has managed to grow its assets under management to roughly $4 billion since coming into existence in 2008, and yeah, it's now touting a valuation in the neighborhood of $700 million after raising $100 million Series E round last month. But if you're a Fintech startup really looking to prove that you're a serious adult investment company, there's really only one thing to do:
Less than one month after an investment round that doubled its private valuation to around $700 million, the robo-adviser Betterment is adding a former top executive from Charles Schwab, John S. Clendening, to its board.
Mr. Clendening was executive vice president and co-head of Schwab’s retail brokerage operation when he stepped down at the end of 2014 during a reorganization.
Because nothing says, "We're ready to starch our collars and buy a Volvo" more than hiring a Schwab executive. And it appears that Betterment isn't alone in the hot new trend of hiring a Schwab exec to take your startup from "disruptive" to "normcore."
In an interview, Mr. Clendening said that he had been talking to Betterment and other so-called fintech companies for much of the last year.
“I took the opportunity to scan the entire landscape,” he said. Betterment, he said, “is disrupting not just the business model, but creating a brand that has unique appeal.”
If you needed more proof that Fintech is going mainstream, look no further than the notion that startups are vying to talk to Chuck.