BOSTON — New Fidelity research finds that advisors who provide financial planning services to their clients have higher assets under management (AUM) and higher compensation vs. their peers: their AUM is almost four times greater ($150 million vs. $38 million) and their compensation is 40 percent higher ($200,000 per year vs. $140,000 per year).1 These findings suggest that advisors can grow their practices by offering more of the services that are less likely to be commoditized in the future: planning, guiding clients through market conditions, and helping them manage significant life events, or "Moments of Truth," such as marriage, having children, saving for college, divorce and retirement.
To help advisors who are considering adopting this new approach, Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions (FCCS), the division of Fidelity Investments® that provides clearing and custody to registered investment advisors (RIAs), retirement recordkeepers, broker-dealer firms, banks and insurance companies, today announced a collaboration with United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC (United Capital) which gives Fidelity clients access to FinLife Partners, a new offering from United Capital designed to assist firms considering innovative ways to help clients plan their financial lives, not just manage their investment returns. FCCS clients will receive preferred pricing for FinLife Partners, which delivers access to United Capital's proprietary Financial Life Management system, including advisor-branded client experience tools, digital workflow technology and coaching. The client experience tools, including the Money Mind® analyzer and Honest Conversations® exercise, provide a process to better understand what clients want their lives to be like. Through a collaborative approach with their advisors, clients can identify life goals, know if they have the resources to achieve those goals, and be prepared for life's surprises. Advisors can deepen their client relationships while delivering a measurable impact on their lives.
"We believe that firms need to consider moving to a planning-centric practice in order to demonstrate how their value goes beyond simply managing investments," said David Canter, executive vice president, practice management and consulting, Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions. "Yet, many advisors are more analytically minded and struggle with adding the 'EQ element' to their client experiences. By incorporating the emotional side of investing and considering clients' individual life goals, advisors are able to take a big step toward becoming the one-stop location for true financial guidance that investors are increasingly seeking."
"United Capital built their core service model on the premise of combining heart and mind. With FinLife Partners, they're now expanding their toolset to a broader group of advisors," Canter continued.
In addition to the tools themselves, firms using FinLife Partners receive coaching on how to approach these discussions with clients, and training on how best to collaborate with clients. According to United Capital, 40 percent of their clients' top planning priorities – such as spending more time with loved ones – are uncovered by the tools to reveal specific personal goals. The tools then document activities and measure success.
"We believe advisers should measure, track and benchmark people's entire financial lives like we do with their investments. We need to provide clarity about the consequences of their choices in a dynamic way that technology alone cannot accomplish," said Joe Duran, CEO and founding partner of United Capital. "Human advisors have a responsibility to harness their knowledge, discipline and empathy for clients in a manner that helps people make sound decisions in this uncertain world."
Based on United Capital's analysis, new offices that fully leveraged the Financial Life Management system saw top line revenue growth of nearly 30 percent and net new asset growth of 10 percent in the first 12 months.
"Our clients have indicated to us that our pricing model is misaligned with our value proposition. What they value most is planning and advice. The United Capital solution provides us with an opportunity to grow our business, enhance our planning and realign our pricing model," said John Lame, CFP, CEO and founder of Cincinnati-based Lenox Wealth Management.
Through 10 years of research and investment, United Capital has learned that individuals desire counsel on far more than just savings and retirement. They are looking for help making financial decisions that takes every aspect of their lives into consideration. Financial Life Management positions the advisor to individualize financial planning and help clients reach their personal goals. Built on a CRM platform, FinLife Partners integrates client experience with a core operating system, including portfolio reporting and open architecture financial planning. This is a single sign-on, digitized workflow that allows firms to eliminate paperwork and offer tools that clients can access on a mobile device if they choose.
For additional information on FinLife Partners, visit JoinUC.com.
About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity's goal is to make financial expertise broadly accessible and effective in helping people live the lives they want. With assets under administration of $5.3 trillion, including managed assets of $2.0 trillion as of April 30, 2016, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers: helping more than 25 million people invest their own life savings, nearly 20,000 businesses manage employee benefit programs, as well as providing nearly 10,000 advisory firms with investment and technology solutions to invest their own clients' money. Privately held for nearly 70 years, Fidelity employs 45,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit https://www.fidelity.com/about.
About United Capital
United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC ("United Capital") is an independent financial life management firm. United Capital is a Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) offering clients objective advice and an open architecture platform that enables a wide array of investment management solutions tailored specifically to client needs. Today, United Capital has approximately $15 billion in assets under management and 82 offices nationwide. For more information, please visit www.unitedcp.com or www.joinuc.com.