United Capital acquires digital planning tool FlexScore

Advisory firm United Capital has acquired FlexScore, an online platform that produces a single number to represent a consumer's financial health.

Feb 19, 2016 @ 3:30 pm

By Alessandra Malito

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Newport Beach, Calif.-based advisory firm United Capital has acquired FlexScore, an online platform that produces a single number to represent a consumer's financial health.

The digital planning software is an interactive tool that allows clients to view a financial plan they have created whenever they'd like while also giving them a score that changes based on the financial decisions they make. It will also be accessible to clients who do not have an adviser.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"We already have a very rich digital suite for clients and advisers and we had one piece we thought was missing," said Joe Duran, chief executive of United Capital, which has about $15 billion in assets under management.

FlexScore was the right match, he said, because it provides an interactive experience that advisers can use to engage clients. The FlexScore number is a result of the consumer's financial data, including income, debt and investments. The platform then provides action steps for the consumer to do better with his or her finances.

There is no additional fee to the adviser for using it, and is currently available for United Capital advisers.

"We will enhance the connection that our clients have with our advisers," Mr. Duran said. "The right intersection is not technology alone, or people alone, but when you have an interactive engaging experience that is powered by people."

The company previously had a relationship with FlexScore. It began licensing the software in April 2014, and later that year acquired the advisory firm, Valley Wealth, that had created FlexScore.

Mr. Duran said United Capital will also be using the tool for defined contribution plans, because it can transform the engagement within retirement accounts. He said the company was in discussions with potential partners to use the technology inside of 401(k) plans.

"Joe and I have spent time with the white board dreaming up version two and that is when you will see specific retirement tools aimed at the 401(k)," said Jason Gordo, chief executive of FlexScore and a managing director at United Capital.

Mr. Gordo said United Capital's Money Mind tool, which focuses on behavioral finance for clients, will pair well with FlexScore. With Money Mind, consumers can see and understand how they view money and their financial decisions and come away with a personality type, such as a fear investor, who saves more than necessary, a commitment investor, who tries to save money for caretaking of loved ones and a happy investor, who is just happy to have money and spend it out.

Client experience has already taken the spotlight this year as firms realize the best way to work with clients is through an engaging and interactive platform. Technology vendors are seeing this need, and responding to it with new or enhanced platforms.

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