Fearing the repercussions of an oncoming crypto winter or worse, fintechs across the industry have been battening down the hatches to prepare for the worst. Firms like Curve and Klarna have scaled back planned expansions and laid off large numbers of their employees.
Anyone hoping for a sign that this downturn would be limited in scope had better think again: in a post on Medium, Michael Katchen, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Toronto-based digital wealth manager Wealthsimple, announced that his company would be shedding 159 staff members, nearly 13% of their total team.
“If you’ve been with us over the past two years, you know it’s been a time of immense volatility,” Katchen wrote in the post. “Our first priority has always been to take care of our clients and make sure they’re in the best position for the future, and that’s more vital than ever. It also means we need to concentrate our resources on what’s most important in today’s environment.” According to Katchen, that means Wealthsimple will be pivoting away from peer-to-peer payments and tax services, attempting to keep the company “laser focused” on investing, banking, and crypto.
The contraction in workforce is not the first setback for the Canadian digital wealth management firm. After four years of building its business into the U.K. market, Wealthsimple left that nation entirely at the end of 2021 to focus exclusively on its home market.