United Capital Opens Its Tech Tool Chest to Indie Advisors

new FinLife Partners platform integrates with Salesforce to facilitate client meetings

United Capital announced Wednesday the launch of FinLife Partners, a turnkey advice and planning platform that allows advisors to white label the tools on United Capital's Financial Life Management system to use in their own firms.

“We’re taking everything that we’ve built out for United Capital advisors and making it available through the independent channel,” Mike Capelle, chief strategy officer at United Capital, told ThinkAdvisor during a demonstration of the platform. 

Capelle said, “We’ve been around for 10 years and built a client experience and a technology platform to help advisors differentiate the experience their clients have with them versus traditional, more investment-focused relationships that advisors might have.”

He noted that United Capital’s net promoter score, a measure of how likely customers would be to recommend a business to a friend, has grown from 63% in 2012 to 72% in 2015, compared with 33% for the industry at large last year. “It’s very satisfying to know that clients are satisfied,” he said.

Capelle pointed to some of the issues advisors are currently facing. “Advisors are really challenged with the evolving marketplace: what’s happening with online advice, what’s happening with low-cost investments,” Capelle added. On top of that, they’re “looking at the entire technology landscape and struggling with, ‘How do I put together all these different solutions that are out there? What makes sense for me? How do I piece this all together?’”

The FinLife Partners platform gives advisors access to United Capital’s proprietary Honest Conversations, Money Mind and Investment Viewfinder online tools to help them develop personalized guidance for clients based on their inputs.

The platform pulls data from Salesforce to create a guidebook that is personalized for each client. The guidebook shows the results of the client’s Money Mind quiz; the Honest Conversations results, which prioritize the client’s individual goals, as well as family goals for client couples; an overall financial plan based on those results; and a prioritized action plan.

“I think we all understand that technology can play a role in helping a practice run more efficiently,” Capelle said. By integrating with Salesforce and other systems like LaserApp and Docusign, the platform “connects the dots from all the different systems that are part of the whole ecosystem.”

Advisors can share an electronic version of the guidebook with clients, or print a hard copy from Salesforce through United Capital’s integration with Mimeo. They can reorder the sections of the book or add their own documents.

“We’ve been creating tools that help advisors have a deeper discussion with clients and we wanted to take that same thinking and apply it within the investment framework,” Capelle said, which led to the Investment Viewfinder tool. He noted that investments can do “one of four things” for clients: reduce costs, focus on alpha or performance, focus on downside protection or minimize taxes. “More of one means less of another,” he said. “There’s tradeoffs to be made.” The Investment Viewfinder helps advisors walk clients through their priorities and explain what kinds of tradeoffs they might have to make. “They end up with an overall profile of what an optimal portfolio would look like for that client.”

Beyond technology, pricing for the platform is based on revenue growth realized through the Financial Life Management client experience system, according to a press release from United Capital. Implementation of the FinLife platform after advisors sign up could take two to four months, with advisors who are already using Salesforce in their firms on the shorter end of that time frame.

--- Read Highest Earning Advisors Are ‘Tech Obsessed’: Jefferson National on ThinkAdvisor.

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