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Guide Financial Acquired by John Hancock Financial

GuideFinancial_homepage_May2015

The convergence between incumbent financial institutions and innovative startups continues as John Hancock Financial announces its acquisition of financial technology startup, Guide Financial. Terms of the deal were not immediately available.

The acquisition combines John Hancock Financial’s long history of working with financial advisory professionals with technology from Guide Financial designed to make it easier to analyze personal finances. Guide Financial’s platform reviews customer accounts with an eye toward both spotting potential savings and providing customers with a guide to realizing those savings. The company notes that customers using the platform saved an average of $7,000 in the first year with the technology.

Introduced as a B2C solution during its FinovateFall 2013 demonstration, Guide Financial’s platform has since taken on a more B2B2C patina, and that is how the technology will be deployed by John Hancock. Tim Ramza, SVP of wealth business development and strategy for John Hancock, talked about how the technology would fuel the “ongoing innovation for advisers” his company is committed to. Guide Financial CEO Uri Pomerantz added, “We look forward to enhancing our support of independent advisers across the country who have responded so favorably to our product.”

Guide Financial will remain intact and will continue to operate out of its San Francisco headquarters.

The acquisition of Guide Financial by John Hancock in some ways echoes the $250 million acquisition of LearnVest by Northwestern Mutual in March. Some were surprised at the “odd couple” of an exciting, female-founded and -led tech startup joining forces with a financial services company founded in 1857 that is known more for quotidian insurance products than financial innovation. But as news of the Guide Financial/John Hancock acquisition suggests, more synergies may emerge between old finance and new finance than meet the eye.