Merrill Edge Guided Investing is a unique hybrid robo-advisor that adds a human element to the asset management side of the equation. While asset allocation decisions are determined by an algorithm, the funds offered are actively managed by Merrill staff. As robo-advisors grow in popularity, an interesting trend to watch will be whether firms increasingly seek to own the entire investment management value chain, from distribution through to asset management, or disaggregate their operations as part of an ecosystem play.