Glen Eagle Investments, the holding company for registered investment advisor Glen Eagle Advisors of Kingston, N.J., which has $715 million in assets under management, has launched a new RIA that's focused on attracting young investors through education and advisory services.

The new advisor firm, called Alooola, is headed by Glen Eagle founder Susan Michel, who is serving as Alooola's CEO, and her children, Chief Investment Officer Robert Michel and Chief Financial Officer Carol Ann Fernandez, who joined Glen Eagle in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

The firm’s registration, filed February 26, was approved March 28 under an SEC rule that allows new advisor firms to start operations if they meet all requirements within four months. The firm, also located in Kingston, listed neither assets nor clients on its Form ADV.

The Alooola website, however, is already operating as an investor education platform. There, retail investors can peruse financial education videos, sign up for white papers and monthly market updates.

They can use the Alooola app to fill out a financial profile, create a financial plan and receive specific recommendations. They can also set up an investment account and, if needed, talk to a registered investment advisor. According to Alooola’s firm brochure, clients can fall into one of several fee categories, ranging from free to 0.50% of AUM per quarter.

Alooola, which calls itself a "wealth platform for the next generation," offers clients a subscription-based fee structure, according to the website.

“I think as a family and as a firm, we pride ourselves on being very entrepreneurial,” Robert Michel said. “And frankly, our goal is not to make a business, whether that’s Alooola or Glen Eagle, a success for us. Our goal is the make it successful for three, four, five generations, which is probably not your typical RIA.”

Alooola, he said, also represents an attempt to try to close the wealth gap in the U.S. by increasing the market participation of younger investors who increasingly feel like they can’t build wealth in the same way that their parents did.

Fernandez said she and her brother had often talked about how young professionals don’t have places to go to for advice unless their parents’ advisor “does them a favor.”

“I was working for Wilmington Trust in their capital markets group and just noticed that a lot of friends from college and grad school weren’t able to access financial advisors because of the place in life we were at as young professionals,” she said. “So Rob and I started talking about how Glen Eagle was built around servicing institutions, high-net-worth clients and businesses, but we could join and ultimately create a business that would be more focused on young professionals.”

Alooola, while affiliated with Glen Eagle, is such a different brand, they said, with different marketing and a different demographic, that it really needed its own company. That said, Glen Eagle Investments is the majority owner.

Unlike established websites that are focused on the same demographics, the brother and sister said Alooola will be putting education first and simplifying the investment process.

“A lot of attention for the innovative companies that are trying to service millennials, Gen Z and young professionals has really been around things like Robinhood, and we just have a different approach,” Michel said. “Our hypothesis is that young professionals really need support. We’re not giving them technology as saying, ‘Go day trade.’ This is something that says building wealth can be simple, even if you think it’s daunting.

“If you have the right technology combined with some support, you can really achieve incredible things here,” he said.

Glen Eagle was founded in 2002 as a broker-dealer, and the RIA launched in 2012. It’s $715 million in AUM comes from 2,826 individuals and 242 high-net-worth clients, and a few pensions plans and charities, according to its Form ADV. It employs 17 advisors and four support staff.

It’s growth over the decades has primarily been methodical and organic, Michel said, adding that Alooola’s has a different business model.

“One of the differences of this business model is the pace at which you can grow, because we’re not state specific and we’re open to people nationally,” he said. “I would be surprised if we’re not registered in several states where we’d hit the asset requirements there alone.”