Earlier in July, Nationwide and eMoney Advisor established a new partnership aimed at empowering advisors with greater ability to deliver personalized customer experiences and develop personalized holistic financial plans.
eMoney brings more than two decades of fintech experience to the partnership and provides financial planning solutions that are both goal-based and cash-flow based. Adopting new technology tools is imperative for advisors doing business in 2022, and the new partnership should help them do just that, according to Rona Guymon, senior vice president of Nationwide’s annuity distribution team.
As summarized in the following Q&A, Guymon says the company’s new alliance with eMoney also gives advisors and financial professionals the tools they need to demonstrate the value of lifetime income and seamlessly integrate a guaranteed income solution into a client’s overall financial plan.
Through this partnership, eMoney also provides advisors with access to digital marketing technology designed to grow client relationships. This includes automated campaigns, social media sharing, marketing analytics, email scheduling and eMoney marketing materials. In a press release about the partnership, Leslie Knotts, head of customer engagement and adoption at eMoney, said the collaboration “reflects the trend toward holistic, full-spectrum, planning-focused advice and is a testament to the fundamental role that insurance and annuities can play in a comprehensive approach”. financial planning.”
PLANADVISER: Generally speaking, can you please provide some additional perspective on how technology can help increase the productivity of a consulting firm? Is it simply to make it possible to serve more customers efficiently by reducing the need for staff and management to deal with repetitive manual tasks, such as portfolio reviews or financial wellness assessments?
Guymon: Technology is driving the productivity of financial professionals, whether registered investment advisors or traditional commission-based brokers, by enabling them to efficiently deliver a personalized experience to clients. The ability to work with clients throughout the planning, execution and management phases of their financial planning process in an digestible and user-friendly manner is paramount.
For example, eMoney has an amazing customer portal that is great for marketing, prospecting, and keeping in touch with customers. Clients also appreciate the ability to create personalized financial plans that can be adjusted as goals or needs change, allowing annuities to be incorporated into these plans so they can visually illustrate more predictable results. and reliable.
PLANADVISER: Hhhhdsaow Is it important for a consulting professional to be able to generate “objective-based” and “cash-flow-based” financial analyzes and projections for clients effectively?
Guymon: These capabilities are essential to the financial planning and wealth management process. We know clients are more confident and satisfied when they have a written and documented plan with their finance professional. We also know that written plans generally allow finance professionals to capture more of the client’s overall assets. But creating these plans can be time-consuming and confusing if they’ve never used annuities in their planning software before.
The partnership with eMoney enhances the advisor’s ability to identify, analyze and illustrate the potential benefits provided by annuity solutions on a client’s existing portfolio on a repeatable basis. These include the benefits of tax deferral, guaranteed income and asset protection.
Advisors can integrate these solutions into their preferred planning software, saving them time and giving them the ability to access solution levers for every client scenario. That’s why we’ve created a support team that can help finance professionals incorporate annuities into the financial plans they prepare.
PLANADVISER: Can you talk about the burden of record keeping and documentation and how the new collaboration can support compliance efforts?
Guymon: When thinking about fiduciary standard or best interest regulation, it is important to document the needs and recommendations for each client. By using a financial plan to capture the client’s needs and your recommendations, you create a solid regulatory foundation for both the financial professional and the client.
We are currently working with our own suitability/new business team to enable approval of the release of the client’s financial plan by our FinTech partners to be submitted with the application, in order to streamline the process and serve as necessary documentation for the adequacy examination.
PLANADVISER: From Nationwide’s perspective, what are the most important trends in the pension industry today? Clearly, the issue of income is key, but what else should practitioners in the retirement industry learn?
Guymon: We believe Nationwide leads the industry in off-the-shelf warranty, having launched a full suite of solutions over the past year and a half. This is an area where we expect significant growth in the years to come as plan sponsors and members seek to address decumulation challenges and ensure that they do not outlive their income.
Some of the broader trends impacting the pension plan industry today include margin compression leading to industry consolidation and regulatory changes allowing for more capacity within plans, including in terms of retirement income in the plan. Another important issue is to provide access to the plan to a greater number of employees of small businesses through multi-employer plans and grouped employer plans. This is especially important in light of the growing gig economy.
There is a need for plan sponsors and other industry players to continue educating about financial literacy, so plan members are more confident to make good long-term financial decisions regarding retirement. Along the same lines, it is essential to help plan members more broadly from a financial well-being perspective, rather than just focusing on retirement.
Finally, there is an increased need, overall, to help participants understand the payout phase of retirement. The industry has focused on accumulation over the years. We need to do better to help plan members adopt a payout mindset as they approach retirement.
PLANADVISER: Recalling that the Nationwide Advisor Authority study highlighted the perceived importance of M&A activity to the future of the adviser business, has this view changed at all with the turn we’ve seen in the markets and the more turbulent economy?
Guymon: I recently read a study by Ameriprise that looked at how advisors nearing retirement are accelerating their own retirement plans due to the current market and economic environment. I think this could lead to more M&A activity in the coming year.
Plus, you still have private equity involved in and supporting these big M&A activities. With lower account valuations due to market volatility, they may be able to find more opportunities at a lower valuation.
There are still companies that are ready to double down and strengthen their practice. The need for scale, the impact of fee compression, the price of technology, and the cost of compliance hits every business hard, so scaling is important for efficiency and cost-effectiveness.