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Northwestern Mutual Drops LearnVest’s Financial Planning Services

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LearnVest is discontinuing its financial planning offering for consumers and businesses, according to a recent statement on Northwestern Mutual’s website.

LearnVest, which was acquired by Northwestern Mutual in 2015, told its clients that the site would close on June 5.

With LearnVest’s financial planning services, people paid a monthly fee to speak with a financial planner who helps them put together a plan based on their goals. However, LearnVest does not house any assets.

These clients are essentially without a financial planner starting June 5.

LearnVest’s financial planning clients “can make whatever decision is most appropriate for them,” Betsy Hoylman, spokesperson for Northwestern Mutual, told ThinkAdvisor.

LearnVest’s most recent Form ADV, filed March 28, shows the company has more than 8,000 clients.

According to the statement, the move was made because more consumers want an end-to-end experience — that is, working with an advisor to create a personalized financial plan and take action on it.

“LearnVest’s model didn’t go that route,” Hoylman said.

The statement also says that the move will allow Northwestern Mutual to focus “resources and leverage Northwestern Mutual’s established nationwide network of financial advisors, using the cutting-edge planning platform and digital tools that we’ve created together.”

According to Hoylman, all of LearnVest’s financial planners have been offered positions within Northwestern Mutual that take advantage of their skills.

Hoylman also said that the digital team of LearnVest has been integrated fully with the Northwestern Mutual digital team for quite a while, and she added that that will continue. According to the statement, LearnVest’s digital expertise helped accelerate Northwestern Mutual’s progress on transforming its client experience.

While LearnVest is losing its financial planning arm, Hoylman stressed that LearnVest will continue as a brand and as a website.

Northwestern Mutual’s statement said that it plans to relaunch later this year as a “fresh, digital resource focused on educating consumers on how to meet their financial goals.

“They’ll relaunch according to their original mission,” she said.

— Check out 1 in 3 Americans Have Less Than $5,000 in Retirement Savings on ThinkAdvisor.


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