Financial Engines

By George Foster, Sara Rosenthal
2012 | Case No. E399

The Financial Engines case chronicles the firm’s evolution from launch to IPO, highlighting the various decisions and events that impacted the company’s business model from 1997 through 2010. The concept for the company sprung from Nobel Prize winning economist Bill Sharpe’s desire to help the average consumer better understand and manage their retirement assets. With the original intent to provide educational software, the company, led by Jeff Maggioncalda (Financial Engine’s first and only CEO), quickly shifted to an online investment advice model based on feedback from the investment community. Financial Engines subsequently adapted or launched new business models three more times, including the introduction of a direct-to-consumer product, developing an advice platform for financial services firms and finally, a “managed accounts” model whereby they both provided advice and active account management to individuals via their employer-sponsored plans. Available for purchase from European Case Clearing House, and Harvard Business Publishing, link provided below.

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