The Case for Outsourcing Retirement Plan Building Tasks and Planning Software Solutions
In this time of uncertainty, new clients are approaching financial advisors for help, while current clients continue to demand, and deserve, high-quality services at an affordable price. For many firms, one solution to balance this influx of clients and retain their current base is to outsource the tasks around retirement plan building and software selection, integration and transition support.
Retirement plans are complex and time consuming to build. Data and assumptions must be gathered, organized and reviewed, targeted plans implemented, and reports created. All of this must be done while aligning your existing plans with your clients’ future needs. Outsourcing plan building tasks or simply accessing advisory support can help advisors produce plans more quickly and efficiently, allowing them to spend more time growing your business.
Planning Software Selection
As financial plans are updated over time most advisory firms accumulate a huge amount of client history in the planning software. The focus and philosophy of an advisory firm can also change over time, requiring the need for different tools. When a firm is faced with scalability and efficiency challenges or the focus and philosophy of the firm changes, it may be time to change or upgrade antiquated systems. Firms should periodically analyze the different options and cost of retirement planning applications, determine which are appropriate and make an informed decision to implement any changes.
Some firms will look at the planning software they have in place today and try to renegotiate their current deal or look around to see what prices and additional functionality they can get from competitors. If they do change, transitioning from one software to another can be a complicated process. Often, not everything can be imported or advisors must export it and then import it into the new software. Accuracy of information must be checked, such as ensuring that things like timing, underlying assumptions (e.g., inflation allocation, total returns) and Monte Carlo results are all similar to what was in the previous software. Firms must also plan to measure and gain adoption by the financial advisors so that they will utilize the new software and realize the benefits of the technology investment. Outsourcing the transition process can help firms save a lot of time and headaches, so they can spend more time with their clients and ensure their clients’ confidence in their retirement plan isn’t unnecessarily shaken by the change in software.
Oyster professionals have extensive expertise and can work closely with advisors to help them with the complexities that exist in advisor planning tools. We can help advisors better understand the concepts around tools within the software that support retirement planning, client engagement, risk identification and planning concepts. This helps advisors produce plans more quickly and efficiently, allowing them to spend more time growing their business.
Planning software is extremely complex and somewhat nuanced, and the learning curve is steep. Having a team that includes industry experts that have already helped advisors put together thousands of plans brings tremendous value to Oyster’s clients. Oyster’s deep backgrounds in Compliance and Risk, Operations & Technology implementations and change management can help advisory firms with building plans, managing the transition to new software, software selection and advisor mentoring. Oyster’s Advisory Planning Services services can help to save advisors valuable time that can be used to stay engaged with adding potential new clients as well as supporting existing clients.
About the Author: Bill Davis has extensive executive and management experience advising on brokerage platform and correspondent clearing business. He began his career 38 years ago in various supervisory and management positions at Wheat, First Securities and worked in all facets of brokerage operations. Ultimately, he was appointed Managing Director of Operations of First Clearing, the clearing arm and subsidiary of Wachovia Securities (now Wells Fargo Advisors). Bill expanded his career by consulting and working as a Vice President at Folio Investing, heading up Brokerage Operations, Relationship Management and Customer Service divisions for both Retail and Institutional clients.