United Capital Financial Advisors has put its finger in another pie.
After growing by 25 percent in 2015 to become a $16 billion AUM mega-firm, the Newport Beach, Calif.-based hybrid RIA is looking to continue its meteoric growth by opening another channel of business — a turnkey financial planning solution for independent advisors.
With the launch of FinLife Partners, independent advisors can now access white label versions of United Capital's proprietary financial planning tools and processes.
“We wanted to take what we have now for our own advisors and open it up for other advisors to license,” says Mike Capelle, United Capital’s chief strategy officer. “We see a lot of advisors dealing with challenges to their investment management approach and struggling under fee compression; at the same time, we see the value that we’ve brought to the advisory practices that have joined United Capital. We wanted to deliver independent advisors something that would help differentiate themselves in the marketplace.”
In recent years, the firm's growth has been dominated by high-level acquisitions.
“It doesn’t always make sense to make an acquisition,” Capelle says. “Even if they’re great advisors with a great business and a client-centric cultural match, there are certain constraints where it might not be the right time for them to make that kind of shift. These advisors still want to improve how they operate, so we want to make our tools available to them.”
Through FinLife Partners, firms will be able to use United Capital’s onboarding, client management, digital workflow, coaching and client experience tools, branded as the Financial Life Management system for United Capital’s advisors.
United Capital credits its tools and processes for some of its organic growth: its advisors have reported 30 percent top-line revenue growth, 10 percent new asset growth and 40 percent pre-tax earnings increases in the first 12 months after fully implementing the system, according to the company.
Advisors who sign on with FinLife Partners will need to adopt United Capital’s custom-designed coaching process to successfully implement the firm’s tools and techniques, Capelle says.
Those tools include the MoneyMind analyzer, a behavioral finance questionnaire that uncovers biases clients have in their decision-making. Clients are scored on three behavioral influencers of financial behavior – fear, happiness and commitment — where a client’s tendency to be motivated by one of the influencers provides a foundation for financial discussions. Clients complete MoneyMind digitally using a multiple-choice online application.