Advicent to upgrade next week

New version of NaviPlan will integrate with TD’s Veo and Schwab OpenView

Mar 28, 2014 @ 12:01 am

By Joyce Hanson

Advicent chief Phil Cunningham
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Advicent chief Phil Cunningham (Bloomberg, iStock, Gerardo Tabones)

Advicent Solutions next week will release an upgraded version of its NaviPlan financial planning software that will support integrations with TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Veo and Schwab’s OpenView Gateway platforms.

The new release will offer expanded Ibbotson asset allocation modeling and new reporting features such as drag-and-drop report page reordering and inclusion of external PDFs in reports, Matt Field, Advicent’s senior vice president of product and development, said during a press briefing on Wednesday.

And whereas the company previously offered integrations with third-party vendors only to large enterprise customers that employ thousands of financial planners, integrations now will be available to advisory firms of any size, said Kirsten Porter, vice president of marketing for Advicent.

Advicent reports that its customer base includes 250,000 advisers, including 17 of the top 25 broker-dealers and 14 of the top 25 North American banks.

“We’re really focused on the retail user this year,” including independent registered investment advisers, Ms. Porter said, noting that the previous 14.0 NaviPlan release was in December 2013.

Mr. Field said that additional integrations for Advicent’s retail customers will be rolled out during 2014. The firm is now in talks with candidates including Fidelity Investments, Pershing, Redtail Technology Inc., Morningstar Inc., Junxure, Black Diamond Performance Reporting and ByAllAccounts, among others.

To be sure, rapid changes in the world of technology have created challenges for Advicent, and the firm is now quickly playing catch-up.

Known previously as Zywave Financial Solutions, the firm renamed itself Advicent Solutions in November after selling its name and insurance division to the private-equity firm Aurora Capital Group. In December, Advicent discontinued its NaviPlan financial planning products for desktop computers as it develops its NaviPro products for dual online/offline use.

And in January, Advicent announced the hiring of a new chief executive, Phil Cunningham, whose experience includes leadership roles at Fidelity Investments and Vista Equity Partners, which is Advicent's private-equity owner.

“The majority of my experience has been on the software side of things, especially with the customer experience. My continued focus is how to make the customer and adviser experience better,” Mr. Cunningham said on the Wednesday call.

Joel Bruckenstein, co-founder of the T3 Technology Tools for Today conferences for the financial services industry, said time will tell whether Advicent’s big integration plans pay off for the company.

“The integrations are overdue, but they’re coming,” Mr. Bruckenstein said. “There’s new management. They’re trying to do things differently. Let’s give them a chance to see what happens, and the market will tell them whether it’s working.”

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