Advicent, which provides financial services technology, announced Monday that it's ready to bring Figlo, the Dutch financial planning software company it acquired in September, to advisors in the U.S.
The new Figlo tool is designed to replace the back-office calculations and report approach to financial planning with a collaborative and interactive process. Clients create a timeline of their life with major events like retirement, going to college, and large purchases, and input their assets, liabilities and risk tolerance. The timeline illustrates how the client’s plan is working towards those goals or falling short.
Major events like a death or disability can be added, and the timeline will automatically update to show how it impacts their financial situation. There are gauges to monitor the probability of meeting each goal on the lifeline, and they will automatically adjust when the advisor changes portfolio models.
After creating the plan, advisors can use Figlo to create customized client reports, or have clients access their information through a branded portal on their computer or mobile device.
Advicent’s chief technology officer, Matt Field, said Figlo’s user experience was created with consumer technology in mind, and that no tool in Figlo is intended for just the advisor.
“This is something that allows us to provide a consumerized [sic] experience,” Field said. “We expect an advisor to sit with their tablet or laptop to work through the financial plan with their clients… whether it’s saving for retirement or an insurance need.”
Figlo includes a lead generation tool that works within an advisor’s website to generate assessments of a prospect’s financial situation and show how the advisor can help them reach their goals.
“We’ve helped our European clients achieve a 50 percent shorter sales cycle, 30 percent increase in deal size and 33 percent reduction in operational cost,” said Paul Janssen, a product manager at Advicent.
Industry blogger and financial planner Michael Kitces said the U.S. launch of Figlo, along with the acquisitions of eMoney and Finance Logix, are the result of a steady rise in financial planning and a growing need for software solutions. Kitces said the industry has acknowledged that no client likes getting a lengthy paper report of their financial plan, but there haven’t been many alternatives.
“The challenge is that if it looks like a calculator, it’s not conducive to real time planning with clients,” Kitces said, adding that tools like Figlo can improve the client experience and increase engagement. Kitces has followed Figlo before the Advicent acquisition and said they have “unique and forward-looking visions of where financial planning is going.
“The evolution you’re going to see is this collaborative tool that you can use interactively with clients and make changes on the fly. If they have a question, they can double click on the number and see the underlying stuff, but you don’t show it up front.”
Figlo joins NaviPlan and Profiles as the third financial planning tool offered by Advicent. The company said it will continue to support its other products as tools for the high end of the market and focus on Figlo's abilities with retail investors and their advisors. It plans to integrate Figlo with NaviPlans abilities in the future.
Advicent said it now serves 120,000 advisors across nine countries, and that Figlo can easily be adjusted for advisors working outside the U.S.