The drive to deliver customized savings solutions to 401(k) plan participants is dependent on mining financial data from all components of savers’ lives.
Salary and deferral rates are simple intel to aggregate these days.
But in order to tailor customized strategies for participants, such as those offered in managed account programs, record keepers and advisors need access to participants’ financial lives outside their workplace plans.
An Orange County-based software company, vWise, is one of the companies helping record keepers build the next generation of participant platforms that hopes to mine data on assets and financial information outside of workplace plans, be it from an old 401(k), or IRA assets a spouse may have inherited.
“Think of us as the outside IT division for record keepers and third-party administrators,” says David Ferrigno, chief financial officer of vWise. “We can build what they need in far less time, and with a focus on participant experience that a lot of record keepers don’t have the internal talent to build.”
In a nutshell, the firm is building the tools that record keepers are so eagerly bringing to the advisor channel.
Those tools have become increasingly vital to the highly competitive recordkeeping market, which is depending on plan advisors to drive new business.
VWise has a line of about 10 software solutions that record keepers can acquire and white label.
Its proprietary VMax SmartPlan platform, which aggregates participant and plan analytics and provides fiduciary compliance tools alongside employee communication solutions, now boasts data on about $1.6 billion in participants’ assets held outside of qualified plans.
That extent of software capability is exclusive in the market—Ferrigno says he knows of no other software firm building such platforms for the B2B market.
“Our focus, and what our software has proven to be really good at, is engaging participants,” explained Ferrigno.
Specifically, user interface design is structured around increasing participant education and motivating higher enrollment levels.
Or as Ferrigno puts it: “We’re grabbing participants and dragging them over the goal line.”