United Capital is the latest wealth management firm to enter the digital ring, but offering what it says is a unique twist on the advisor platform.
FinLife Partners is the white label version of its proprietary wealth management model that incorporates what United Capital chief executive Joe Duran calls financial life management.
"We’re not aware of anybody that has built a final mile to the consumer that incorporates their entire financial life," Duran says. "All of the other platforms in existence are singularly focused on investing and implementing scaled investment solutions. That is part of our platform, but by no means the singular purpose of FinLife Partners.”
Independent advisors licensing the platform will be able to incorporate United Capital's behavioral finance approach to investing. The platform will also provide a bundled tech solution for subscribers, including data aggregation integrated with major providers and financial planning software.
FinLife Partners is the latest entry into a market witnessing a number of advisor-focused platforms being launched and partnerships being inked to offer advisor networks technological tools.
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United Capital has aggressively grown through expansion, acquiring $25 million in revenue just in 2015. Duran says that FinLife Partners will act as an alternative avenue of growth for the firm.
"It will expand our reach without compromising our unique distribution platform," he says. "We can now offer advisors the choice of either partnering with us an employee and partner or licensing our system and technology. This will accelerate our goal of becoming the dominate financial life management company in the nation."
Duran estimates that United Capital can gain over $5 billion by the end of 2017 and over $10 billion by 2018.
"We know that this a market that is completely underserved and advisors are clamoring for a competitive advantage that helps them offer unique services to their clients and defend their business against the digital solutions."
In February, United Capital bolstered its platform with the acquisition of FlexScore, financial planning software that provides clients with a financial rating, seen through the lens of their daily lives. It then gamifies the advice process.
Previously, Duran challenged advisors to adapt their way of business. "If you continue to work the way you have been,” Duran told a standing-room-only group of advisors at TD Ameritrade Institutional’s annual conference, “you may not be in business in five years.”
Duran has championed the concept of financial life management which "is about the pursuit of their ideals, not money.”
"Arguably the time really has come for the next stage of advisor evolution," notes Michael Kitces, Financial Planning contributing writer and a partner and director of research at Pinnacle Advisory Group in Columbia, Md., in reviewing United Capital's concept. "And FinLife seems as good a label as any to capture the ever-more-holistic focus for the future of financial advice!"