Former Allianz executive Robert DeChellis announced today that he is launching Bonsai LLC, offering a platform and other services for financial professionals to help clients manage their assets, liabilities and financial goals in a holistic manner. Bonsai’s goal is to offer individuals solutions relating to retirement income and other needs typically available in the past only to ultra-high-net-worth individuals.

DeChellis launched Bonsai before the Covid-19 pandemic and after serving as CEO and chief strategy officer of Allianz Exchange for several years. The thesis behind the new company is “predicated on the idea that to deliver [client] outcomes we need to manage people’s entire balance sheet,” he said in an interview.

Managing longevity is central to the company’s mission. It was named after the ornamental bonsai tree.

Bonsai has three key offerings. Bonsai Exchange offers financial professionals carefully vetted and selected risk management solutions that will include annuities, long-term care, disability and life insurance, according to the company's press release. Bonsai Advisors offers a digital infrastructure, innovative practice management models and the company’s proprietary philosophy permitting advisors to drive value to clients.

The third offering, Bonsai Consulting, is targeted to organizations across the financial services ecosystem, helping them rethink and differentiate themselves in an ever-changing market by leveraging technology and developing solutions while enhancing relationships with their clients. 

“Bonsai was created with the vision of recasting the future of financial advice,” DeChellis said in the release. “The foundation of this vision is based on managing the entirety of a client’s balance sheet with the same level of dedication and diligence it takes to bonsai a tree. At Bonsai, we are obsessed with empowering our clients and partners to achieve their determined outcomes.”

Bonsai already has a collection of strategic partners, including Allianz, Envestnet and Equis Capital (soon to be renamed Freedom Advisors). It is also planning to bring CPAs and fraternal organizations into its ecosystem.

A series of road shows starts on March 16 in Denver featuring retirement planning expert Wade Pfau.

Bonsai has recruited a number of high-profile financial professionals; its founding partners include Frank Porcelli, the former head of U.S. wealth advisory for BlackRock. “My partners and I recognize the definite need for managing a client’s financial life more holistically and firmly believe that Bonsai’s solutions fill this gap,” Porcelli said in the press release. “With the continued focus on financial professionals providing more comprehensive advice and solutions to their clients, the opportunity for this offering is significant. I am proud to serve as a founding partner alongside other industry veterans Jeff Miller, Dave Schrohe, Eric Hoerdemann, Peter Cieszko and Tom Corra.”