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Advice360º: Financial advisors can now see and report consolidated beneficiaries

Patrick Noonan, June 28, 2022

Patrick Noonan and beneficiaries screenshot.
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Advice360°™ is a series designed to help advisors increase their productivity using our digital wealth management software. Read what other wealth advisors are doing to benefit their practices.

Patrick Noonan, Advisor360°’s Product Manager for Wealth Management and Insurance, shows insurance and wealth management advisors how our new Beneficiaries capability can save them time and add value to their reports.

At Advisor360º, we are always looking to improve and simplify advisor workflows. That is why I am so pleased to announce that our new Beneficiaries capability is now available across all Advisor360° offerings. This is only our first step in streamlining the insurance asset management process for broker-dealers, with more enhancements coming later in 2022.

This new capability consolidates beneficiary information across investment and insurance products into our investor portal (Investor360°), making it easier for advisors and investors to view this information without multiple usernames and logins. Additionally, this consolidated view will allow advisors to quickly run beneficiary reports using 1-Click Review®.

Updated and accurate beneficiaries and estate plans are critically important to investors. If an investor’s estate plan is not in good order, it does not matter how their investments are doing because they will not be distributed correctly upon their passing.

Challenges of keeping beneficiaries and estate plans up to date

Regularly performing annual reviews to make sure that an investor’s beneficiaries are up to date and aligned with their estate plan is best practice.

But preparing for a beneficiary review can be time consuming for an advisor. It can be a challenge to account for all the beneficiaries a client may have because advisors might only be able to see the assets that they sold or the investment account they opened. Investors may create a new estate plan but not properly update their beneficiaries to reflect the new plan. Sometimes clients have a 401(k) at work that advisors cannot see. And the same goes for investors as they are preparing for an estate meeting with an attorney. The attorney might ask them to bring an inventory of all their assets and their current beneficiary designations, and then the investor has to turn to the advisor to ask how to find their beneficiaries.

A clearer view for advisors and investors

Last year, we created a new Insurance capability that displayed insurance policies and annuities with the ability to manually add in any policies or contracts that are not available on the data feed. We now enhance the data we display to provide a more complete view of the investor's protection products. Now, our platform is consuming the beneficiary data on insurance products and annuities typically held outside of the advisor’s view.

Filling the gaps and streamlining the insurance asset management process

Two things are happening with this new Beneficiaries capability.

  1. Advisors no longer have to call companies to get a client’s beneficiary information—all that information is stored in one application. Both the advisor and the investor can go online, access the household view, and see the beneficiaries of the investment accounts and insurance policies. It helps both the advisor prep for an annual review with a client and the investor prep for an estate planning meeting with their attorney. Investors can log in to Investor360° and see all this information without multiple usernames and logins.

  2. Advisors can create a beneficiary review report that combines all the beneficiaries and products that they can see on our platform. They can then add this report to their 1-Click Review, allowing them to quickly identify gaps in beneficiary information. For example, if an ex-spouse is still listed as the beneficiary of an account, advisors can ask if it is correct—maybe it is part of the divorce agreement or maybe it was an oversight. That is the value add that we want advisors to be able to provide for their clients: a fast, up-to-date picture of beneficiary information in a single report.

While our insurance and wealth management capabilities are already the most sophisticated on the market, there is still more work to be done. Our new Beneficiaries capability is only the first step; we plan to offer more features later in 2022 to further streamline the insurance asset management process for broker-dealers, advisors, and investors.

You might also be interested in watching a short video from Patrick on understanding the role of insurance in longevity planning.

Advice360° offers tips and guidance to advisors on increasing their productivity through the Advisor360° wealth management software. Learn what other wealth advisors are doing to benefit their practice.

Patrick Noonan is Product Manager for Wealth Management and Insurance. Backed by his years of experience as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Patrick defines and oversees product features that improve broker-dealer, advisor, and investor performance and efficiencies in the banking, investment, and insurance industries.