Voya has entered the robo-advisor arena.

The Windsor, Conn.-based company announced last week the launch of Voya Digital Advisor, an automated investment service that will operate as a hybrid of digital and human advice.

Unlike most robo-advisors, however, Voya’s model is not a direct-to-consumer product. Rather, it's an add-on for advisors to help them serve prospects down market from their typical clientele.

“We are pleased to offer our advisors and their clients an innovative yet easy-to-use digital advice solution that includes the advisor as part of the experience,” said Tom Halloran, president of Voya Financial Advisors, in the company’s announcement. “While the typical direct-to-consumer digital service removes the advisor from the equation, our new platform ensures that the advisor remains integral to the process. This enables a client to receive the best of both worlds—access to self-directed investment advice model portfolios, along with the value and expertise of a personal advisor relationship.”

As with most robo-advisors, new users are first required to answer a set of questions to identify their goals and risk tolerance. Voya Digital then constructs and manages a portfolio allocated in line with the user’s goals and risk profile. Clients will have around-the-clock access to their portfolios, meeting with their human advisor at least once a year.

The new service launches with a strategic and a tactical option. The strategic option costs 1% of the client’s assets annually and includes a passive portfolio with a minimum investment requirement of $5,000 to fund an account. The tactical option offers a more actively managed portfolio, carrying a 1.1% fee and requiring a minimum of $25,000 to fund an account.

Voya said in its announcement that by combining their services with a robo-advisor like Voya Digital, its advisors could grow their businesses by up to 10%. By creating a hybrid robo-human platform, the company also believes it will ease client transitions between Voya Digital and more traditional financial advice.

In its release, Voya also argued that a digital advice tool could help advisors reach younger and less affluent investors. While low minimums and low expense ratios allow investors with lower incomes and fewer assets to access financial markets, conventional wisdom has long held that the millennial generation’s comfort and affinity for digital products and interactions makes them a prime target for robo-advisors.

Yet in internal data shared by U.S. Bank earlier this year, baby boomers seemed more comfortable accessing digital financial and investment advice than younger investors. While 83% of millennials said they would prefer human assistance with automated investing over a digital solution, 73% of baby boomers said the same in U.S. Bank’s research.

Millennial clients’ interest in more human contact when receiving financial advice might tilt the competition between robo-advisors and humans in favor of a growing cohort of flat-fee advisors working on a subscription or retainer basis.

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