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Wealthfront Hires MessageMe COO Ali Rosenthal to Run Partnerships

More firepower for an automated investment service aimed at millennials.

Eric Millette

Wealthfront has hired Ali Rosenthal to run its strategic partnerships. She was most recently at MessageMe as its COO.

Before joining the mobile messaging startup, Rosenthal was an executive in residence at Greylock Partners for a year and, previous to that, she headed Facebook’s mobile business development unit.

While the move to Wealthfront, an automated investment service, seems a shift for Rosenthal, she has been an analyst at Goldman Sachs and has also worked at General Atlantic Partners, where she focused on financial technology.

In an interview, Rosenthal said she would be focusing on bringing on more partners to help Wealthfront extend its offerings to clients. The Palo Alto, Calif., company, which launched in 2011, is now managing $1.4 billion in assets and has 50 employees.

“Financial literacy, accessibility and independence should be possible for everyone,” she said. “In my mind, that is a tremendously ambitious but wholly worthwhile goal.”

Wealthfront has garnered $65.5 million in funding so far, including from Index Ventures, Ribbit Capital, Social+Capital Partnership, DAG Ventures and Greylock. Using software to deliver lower-cost services and aimed at a younger demographic (which currently resides largely in Silicon Valley), accounts under $10,000 are managed for free and over that are charged an annual 0.25 percent management fee.

Rosenthal’s departure from MessageMe is interesting, too. At the mobile messaging startup, which she joined in July of 2013, Rosenthal reported to CEO Arjun Sethi and her departure comes at a time of change at the company as it seeks to pivot its product offering.

Yahoo has looked at buying the company, but the current state of those talks are unclear. MessageMe has raised about $12 million in funding from a range of venture and other investors, including True Ventures, First Round Capital, Google Ventures, SV Angel, Andreessen Horowitz and Social+Capital Partnership, as well as Greylock.

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