A refrain heard in a number of sessions at the FPA Retreat in Palm Springs, Calif., in early May was the rise of online providers of financial advice. Does it present a competitive threat for advisors—especially those looking to increase their next-gen outreach efforts—or a competitive edge?
It usually fell to the latter, the consensus being that demand will always exist for the person-to-person relationship. But every advisor acknowledged the impact online providers will make on the industry.
Enter Savant Capital Management, a fee-only wealth management firm with nine offices in three states. The firm announced on May 6 that it is now offering its investment and planning advice to online investors through a new service: eSavant Advisor. It offers each client a dedicated team to assist in identifying their needs and “helping to craft their vision of an ideal financial future.”
eSavant Advisor “is the ideal solution for busy individuals, retirees who frequently travel, and those who are located outside of Savant's existing markets that desire access to one of the nation's top advisory firms.”
The genesis of the latest announcement came in 2012, when Savant acquired InvestSimply, a startup internet-based RIA. InvestSimply's founder, Steven Geri, also joined the firm, and added his online expertise to Savant's personal approach, which allowed investors to access an advisor regardless of their location.
"eSavant Advisor's goal is to enhance the quality of life for each of our clients, wherever they live," Brent Brodeski, CEO of Savant Capital Management, said in a statement. "We recognize that each client has specific financial and retirement goals and we want to help them make smart investment decisions that will ultimately make them feel good about their future. eSavant Advisor allows clients to enjoy the freedoms of today's technology to help them pursue their goals in an efficient, timely, and geographically independent environment. And, we remain committed to the belief that a personal relationship is still key for our clients."
Started in 1986, Savant Capital Management, a fiduciary advisor, has 3,000 clients in more than 40 states.
"We've been servicing clients remotely for years,” Brodeski added. “eSavant officially launches our targeted approach to provide that robust, personal relationship and quality advisory services to others in a more efficient and effective manner by leveraging the latest technology. It frees up individuals who are currently tied to a financial manager because of where they live."
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