A Message from Jay Shah, CEO of Personal Capital | Personal Capital
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A Message from Jay Shah, CEO of Personal Capital

This week, we announced some exciting news. Personal Capital plans to undergo a business combination with Empower Retirement, the second largest retirement plan provider in the U.S. This is a significant milestone for the future of our business, for all those who use our award-winning financial tools, for our clients, and for our employees. This new chapter for Personal Capital underscores the value of what we’ve built together over the past 10 years.

I want to take a moment to thank you. To our clients, our Daily Capital readers and the community of people who use our financial tools — we are here because of you. Your support and trust over the years has allowed us to become the company we are today. I want to personally share with all of you what this news means to us, to me on a personal level, and what’s next. I also want to address some of the great questions we’ve heard from you since the announcement.

Why Did We Decide to Undergo This Business Combination?

First, I want to rewind to 2009, when we started Personal Capital. At the time, we were a small team with a big vision. We wanted to give you, investors and people working towards their financial goals, a whole new level of control and transparency over your money. This continues to be our guiding principle, and as we built Personal Capital into what it is today, our core purpose remains to always do right by you and your money.

Over the years, many companies have expressed interest in Personal Capital. Until now, we weren’t presented with the right opportunity. But Empower shares our vision of transparency, and being your financial champion. So, with nearly identical visions and values, we are closely aligned with Empower and are jointly committed to providing personalized advice and solutions to help people find financial confidence. This business combination will allow us to provide you with more of what you’ve come to expect from us — great technology and personal service. Empower is investing in continued growth and innovation for Personal Capital, so there are big and exciting opportunities ahead for all of us.

What Does This Mean for You?

Combining forces with Empower will give us a high degree of certainty, in an uncertain world, on a clear and beneficial path forward for our company and our clients. It will ensure extra strength and resources to grow Personal Capital, and bring you more of the great technology and service you’ve come to expect from us. We will continue to operate the core technology you enjoy today, and this business combination will allow us to support ongoing investment in our dashboard features and service offerings. It will also allow us to continue to expand our team of registered investment advisors. For the 24,000 of you who are our wealth management clients, this pending ownership change will not affect your client/advisor relationship. It will not affect our investment approach for your assets, where your investments are held or access to your dashboard features. We will continue to act as a fiduciary on behalf of our clients and maintain our competitive fee structure.

Some of You Have Asked, What Does This Mean for Me as CEO?

Many of you may not be aware of my history with Personal Capital. I’ve been here since 2009 and am proud to be coming up on eleven years of service with the company. I stepped into the President & Chief Executive role in April 2017 and I want you to know I am not going anywhere. My heart and my passion are with this company. In fact, I’ve signed a multi-year contract to stay at the helm of Personal Capital, as has my executive leadership team. I will be the President of Personal Capital and will also sit on the Executive Team at Empower. I believe in our mission to help people transform their financial lives and have never felt more motivated than I do today. In a world of change and uncertainty, helping people find financial confidence is more important than ever.

I also want to say that Empower is a fantastic company filled with amazing, committed people, many of whom I’ve had the privilege of getting to know well. I strongly believe they will be a terrific partner for Personal Capital moving forward.

Will you Turn Into a Faceless Company or Morph Into the Advisory Firm I Just Left?

We will still be the Personal Capital you chose to work with. One of the reasons we decided to move forward with this business combination is because we’ll be able to maintain the same level of personal service that we’ve always provided to you and your family. In fact, we are confident that as part of this new chapter for Personal Capital, we will continue to find new ways to improve our technology and build upon our service offerings.

Another reason Empower is the right partner for us is this is a “people deal.” What that means is that our rockstar team of financial advisors, the super tech team who keep the dashboard running smoothly, and the dedicated operations folks who help handle your transactions will all still be here for you. The Personal Capital executive leadership team will also continue to serve here on a long-term basis, as will the investment committee and team of experts. And that means that our culture of personal service, of always doing the right thing by you, stays intact. I think it’s stronger than ever. I recognize that this announcement feels like a major change, but I also want to assure you that your day-to-day experience with Personal Capital will remain the same.

How Will You Maintain Our Values and Our Culture of Innovation?

Empower traditionally operates in a different marketplace than Personal Capital serving primarily business and enterprise clients, whereas our sole focus remains on you, individual investors and families. This partnership is beautifully synergistic — it’s a strategic fit that will allow us to complement each other, but also continue to operate standalone as Personal Capital.

So as we move under the Empower umbrella, we’ll continue to operate as the Personal Capital you know. This means that our core values will remain the same, and Empower aligns closely with these values in their space as well. Ten years ago we shook up the financial services landscape with a new way of bringing fiduciary advice to our clients, and as an Empower company, we’ll be committing to many more years of doing the same.

What Happens Next?

The business combination is expected to be completed as soon as required government approvals are obtained — most likely in the second half of 2020. After that time, we will be Personal Capital, an Empower Company.

I want to close by again saying “thank you.” You are the heartbeat of Personal Capital, and you are why we do what we do. I know I speak for the entire Personal Capital team when I say that we can’t wait to bring you more innovative technology and excellent service in the years to come.

Jay Shah

The content contained in this blog post is intended for general informational purposes only and is not meant to constitute legal, tax, accounting or investment advice. You should consult a qualified legal or tax professional regarding your specific situation. Keep in mind that investing involves risk. The value of your investment will fluctuate over time and you may gain or lose money.

Any reference to the advisory services refers to Personal Capital Advisors Corporation, a subsidiary of Personal Capital. Personal Capital Advisors Corporation is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training nor does it imply endorsement by the SEC.

Jay is CEO of Personal Capital. He has over 20 years of leadership experience at privately-held and public financial services and technology organizations, over half that time spent building & running consumer-direct FinTech companies like Personal Capital and E-LOAN.
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This year, my top financial priority is:

Building my emergency fund
Paying off high-interest debt
Budgeting better
Saving for a short-term goal, like a vacation or new car
Increasing my investment contributions
Maintaining status quo - I’ve got this under control

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