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Northwestern Mutual Buys Majority Stake in Advisor Coaching Firm ClientWise

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Northwestern Mutual has become a majority investor in ClientWise, a business and executive coaching and consulting firm working exclusively with financial professionals.

ClientWise, led by founder and CEO Ray Sclafani, will continue to operate as an independent firm, while partnering closely with Northwestern Mutual to coach, develop and grow the businesses of Northwestern Mutual’s financial advisors.

(Sclafani is a former contributing columnist to ThinkAdvisor.)

According to Northwestern Mutual President Greg Oberland, Northwestern Mutual wanted to ensure its advisors have the strategic and operational resources they need to excel in serving their clients and running their businesses.

“Our investment in ClientWise, which has a strong track record of success in coaching advisors to grow and advance their practices, allows us to bring this expertise to more of our team, while also supporting ClientWise in growing its own industry presence,” Oberland said in a statement.

For ClientWise, Northwestern Mutual’s investment will allow the coaching and consulting firm to embark on “next-level strategic growth” itself — including continuing to innovate and develop practice management tools and resources — and allowing it to create scale to provide value to more leading financial professionals and their firms, and support best practices in the advice industry at large.

According to Sclafani, “The advice landscape presents clear opportunities and near-term challenges, including the need to optimize firm operations, build scale and instill best practices so that advisors can deliver advice across their client base. We are excited to partner with Northwestern Mutual to support their financial advisors as they tackle these challenges, help their clients make financial decisions with confidence, and build enterprise value for their firms.”

This announcement is a continuation of Northwestern Mutual’s efforts to invest in and partner with innovative firms to bring greater value to its financial advisors and clients. It follows the acquisition of LearnVest in 2015, and the subsequent launch of the Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures Fund for strategic investing.

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