In less than one year, United Capital Financial Advisers’ FinLife Partners has reached $3 billion in assets under contract signed – tripling its initial one-year target of $1 billion.
FinLife Partners is a white label of United Capital’s advice, training, planning and investment management platform that allows independent advisors to access the firm’s proprietary Financial Life Management system.
“It’d be nice to say it’s strictly a function of what we built, but the opposing forces in the industry and demographically and whatnot, I think, are a bigger driving force to the demand of what we’re doing,” Matt Brinker, head of national partner development at United Capital, told ThinkAdvisor.
First and foremost, Brinker says there is a “consumer revolution and the desire to have digitized financial services.”
The opposing forces that have firms drawn to a platform like FinLife Partners are differentiation and fee compression.
Regarding differentiation, Brinker said, “you draw a 30-mile radius around any major metropolitan market and most of the RIA websites and offerings are essentially going to look the same: holistic, fiduciary, 130 years of experience, CFPs, all having your best interest at heart. The wirehouses … are more or less telling the same story.”
FinLife Partners is the nation’s first fully integrated wealth management operating system, according to United Capital.
“In the same way Amazon Web Services became the operating system for many companies, FinLife Partners makes the United Capital wealth management operating system available to select third-party firms,” according to United Capital.
Brinker had previously talked to ThinkAdvisor about how “disruptive” digital innovation was driving acquisitions both within United Capital and the industry. United Capital’s FinLife platform allowed United Capital a way to connect with firms it wasn’t acquiring.
“We’ve been operating [one of the fastest growing RIAs] for the last 11 years, and we’ve invested in an incredible amount of money in technology and proprietary, front-end, behavioral finance-driven client experiences,” Brinker told ThinkAdvisor by phone on Monday. “We woke up and we recognized that we actually have a way of doing business with other firms that isn’t predicated on a transaction.”