As head of wealth planning at Janney Montgomery Scott, the regional broker-dealer with 800 advisors serving 135,000 households ranging from the super-high-net worth to clients of much more modest means, Martin Schamis has a big challenge. Those advisors each “serve their clients a bit differently,” he says, so Janney is careful to avoid a one-size-fits-all financial planning approach.
However, for the 80% of clients whose primary goal is to determine “When can I retire?” and “Can I stay retired?” the Janney approach to financial planning is to provide each advisor with core technology components that allows the advisor to “piece together the process” to answer those clients’ questions.
Philadelphia-based Janney’s first goal, said Schamis, was to make sure “we have a really capable financial planning engine that powers all of our technology and helps our clients give really good answers to the questions clients are asking.”
For Janney, NaviPlan serves as that engine, which Schamis calls “a very comprehensive cash-flow based system.”
But then Janney builds interfaces, or “experiences” as Schamis calls them, off that engine which allow advisors to deliver financial planning as an “almost modular experience.”
So for those 80% of clients who mostly want to know if they have enough money to retire, Janney built the Retirement Income Evaluator, an 8- or 9-page slideshow which walks the advisor and client through the retirement planning data gathering process, analyzes the plan and then presents recommended solutions, including alternative strategies to answer “What if?” questions about their retirement, Schamis explains.
Janney has also built additional modules for life insurance, education planning and savings.
The approach is to avoid providing one-size-fits-all solutions and instead give advisors the tools to follow an efficient process to flexibly meet individual client needs.