NaviPlan financial planning desktop products to be discontinued

Extended and standard versions to be sunsetted, catching at least one user off guard

Dec 2, 2013 @ 3:37 pm

By Joyce Hanson

NaviPlan financial planning products for desktop computers will be discontinued as the owner develops its NaviPro products for dual online/offline use.

In a “product sunset notification” to advisers who use the desktop platform, Zywave's Financial Solutions Division, now known as Advicent Solutions, is offering the NaviPro group of financial planning products as a substitute for the discontinued NaviPlan Extended Desktop and NaviPlan Standard Desktop.

The change affects less than 1 percent of their clients, Advicent officials said. They added that the company will continue to work with advisers on an individual basis as their contracts allow, transferring them onto the latest technology. Advicent said it had created a data migration tool and has trained partner support staff to assist clients with data migration.

The Navipro suite supports both offline and online planning modes and includes the Profiles financial planning tool in addition to NaviPlan.

Zywave's Financial Solutions Division — which includes NaviPlan and NaviPro — will remain with its current private-equity owner, Vista Equity Partners. But as of Monday the division changed its name to Advicent Solutions.

The discontinuation notice, which points to “an ever-changing marketplace,” came as a surprise to at least one adviser who uses NaviPlan.

“This caught me off guard this morning,” said Carolyn McClanahan, founder of Life Planning Partners Inc.

“I'm not pleased with how fast they decided to do it,” Ms. McClanahan said. “The desktop version is beautiful because it's easy to move to things quickly rather than move from screen to screen.”

Ms. McClanahan said she had just hired a new planner who uses the eMoney Advisor financial planning platform, and she now plans to review all the available platforms to see which one best suits her firm's needs.

In October, Zywave's financial solutions division announced a host of new features on NaviPlan that it said would help advisers be more efficient and create more opportunities to interact with clients.

In early November, Zywave announced that it was selling both its name and its Insurance Solutions Division to Aurora Capital Group, a private-equity firm. That firm is keeping the Zywave name.

Joel Bruckenstein, co-founder of the T3 financial-services technology conferences, said the move to online, from desktop, didn't surprise him.

“It wasn't a matter of if, it was a matter of when,” he said. “NaviPlan was desktop. It was expensive. It goes along with the whole split between Zywave and Advicent. They've got to be profitable, obviously, and I don't know how many users there are left.”

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