It’s been almost three months since wealth technology platform InvestCloud acquired financial planning software developer Advicent and its NaviPlan tool for an undisclosed amount. In an exclusive interview with WealthManagement.com, the Los Angeles-based wealthtech company announced that it would modularize NaviPlan’s capabilities, essentially place the tool alongside other InvestCloud apps, and make it easier for consultants to acquire access to the cash flow planning engine. At the same time, InvestCloud does not plan to end support for existing NaviPlan customers or change the management of Advicent.
Upon completion of the acquisition, InvestCloud is in the process of integrating the capabilities of NaviPlan into its InvestCloud Digital Warehouse, where it will become an app called “Np” that will be available on desktops and mobile devices. The Np app will “complement InvestCloud’s existing and flexible goal-based planning, holistic planning and total net worth apps,” said Mark Trousdale, the company’s chief marketing officer.
InvestCloud is marketing NaviPlan to its existing customers as a new solution, Trousdale added, but said that it also expects existing NaviPlan customers to find interesting technologies and products with the new launch of InvestCloud. NaviPlan is used by over 140,000 financial professionals in nearly 3,000 companies worldwide. In addition to being a household name in North America, it also owns Figlo, which has an industry cache in Europe.
According to Trousdale, NaviPlan’s planning technology will also be integrated into the InvestCloud asset management platform. As an integrated product, the NaviPlan app will coexist with more than 300 other apps to provide consultants with a variety of functions that they can combine and combine.
The new app will also be an important distribution point for InvestCloud’s wealth management and financial products. “By integrating NaviPlan with our digital warehouse, manufacturers – asset managers – who publish products in our financial supermarket can distribute them through a digital app,” said Trousdale. “Likewise, people on the asset side of the sales side will be able to reach and access more financial products than if they hadn’t bought InvestCloud Advicent.”
In this way, InvestCloud’s stated approach is similar, but not identical, to Envestnet after the latter bought MoneyGuidePro’s parent company, PIEtech, for about $ 500 million in 2019.
While Envestnet has chosen to deconstruct its financial planning acquisition and focus on “stealth planning” through a feature called MyBlocks and financial planning work items in the sale of insurance and credit products, InvestCloud keeps NaviPlan’s core functionality as a separate module, the Can be purchased alone or with other functions offered by InvestCloud. However, like Envestnet, InvestCloud sees the potential of financial planning as a product distribution mechanism rather than just a tool for planning a customer’s future.
But planning tools can only go so far in that direction, said William Trout, director of wealth management at Javelin Strategy & Research. “The product has always been the means to achieve the goals set in the plan. However, I don’t see financial planning software being repurposed for product delivery purposes in general. The associated integration effort tends to put a strain on the planning platforms that are staffed and relatively poor in resources. “
Although InvestCloud has the firepower to “increase distribution,” he noted, it is more likely that it is “built on advice.” [its] operational / digital and investment management functions that are already quite robust. ”Even before buying Advicent, InvestCloud had planning technology, namely RetireUp and AdviceAmerica, which it bought when purchasing Tegra118. The combination of this technology with NaviPlan gives InvestCloud “customer service functions that are really from cradle to grave”.
“[I’m] impressed to see how InvestCloud has struggled to the top of a consolidating platform stack, “he added.
InvestCloud is committed to eliminating “point solutions,” Trousdale said. Financial planning must cover “the full spectrum of wealth,” from business planning to retail clients to ultra-high net worth, he said.
With the company’s annual conference scheduled for October, InvestCloud will provide updates on its Np app and the status of its NaviPlans at that time, Trousdale said.