Research Outline

Investment Platform CPA/CAC


To determine the cost per acquisition (CPA) for a new customer at WealthSimple , Manulife , SunLife Financial , RobinHood , and Questtrade.

Early Findings

  • Cost per acquisition can be calculated by dividing the total marketing spend over a specific time period by the number of new customers over the same time frame. Determining those data points is key to the final determination of the CPA for each of these companies.
  • WealthSimple is an online investment company with over $4 billion of assets under management. 10.8% of WealthSimple is owned by Power Corporation du Canada. There are no public financial statements published for WealthSimple and the financial statements for Power Corporation are not detailed enough in order to disseminate the necessary marketing and new customer metrics to determine the CPA.
  • The 2019 Q1 financial statements for ManuLife does not segment marketing or new customer information. A metric for New Business Value (NBV) is listed which is described as "a change in embedded value as a result of sales in the reporting period. NBV is calculated as the present value of shareholders’ interests in expected future distributable earnings, after the cost of capital, on actual new business sold in the period using assumptions that are consistent with the assumptions used in the calculation of embedded value. NBV excludes businesses with immaterial insurance risks, such as Manulife’s wealth and asset management businesses and Manulife Bank. NBV is a useful metric to evaluate the value created by the Company’s new business franchise." The Q1 NBV was $62 million in Canada.
  • SunLife's 2018 annual report does not offer any details on marketing costs or new customer additions.