The Financial Planning Market Overview

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7 April 2011


In this post-crisis environment, the financial planning industry continues to support greater communication with clients and play an important role in wealth management. Celent estimates that spending in financial planning will reach US$257 million in 2011, and to contribute 15–20% of overall wealth management IT spending by 2013.

In a new report, The Financial Planning Market Overview, Celent examines the financial planning market in North America. This report, the first of two reports to be released on financial planning, analyzes current market trends and looks at emerging trends for the following year.

“One lasting impact of the financial crisis has been client expectations of more frequent interaction with their advisors. Financial services firms are placing considerable emphasis on communication, with more frequent reviews of their financial situation. Furthermore, as large numbers of baby boomers reach retirement, planning for a post-retirement lifestyle, survivor needs, and estates have become increasingly relevant,” says Isabella Fonseca, Research Director at Celent and coauthor of the report. “This has created greater demand for financial planning solutions among wealth management firms. We expect this greater demand to continue into 2011 and 2012.”

“In an effort to increase the ability for financial services firms to attract prospects to their financial planning services, there has been continued development of presentation tools, portals, and other self-directed planning solutions,” says Alexander Camargo, Analyst and coauthor of the report. “Self-directed planning tools in particular act as lead generation tools and improve client stickiness by encouraging investor participation in the planning process.”

The report begins with a market overview of financial planning, including its evolution in the past 18–24 months, as well as trends and developments for both financial services firms and technology players. The report then looks at spending in the wealth management industry and financial planning spending for 2011. A detailed look as to how financial plans may differ follows, identifying major demands by financial services firms and how vendors can meet these demands. We provide a preview of the financial planning vendors that will be profiled and benchmarked in the second report of this series, and the report concludes with Celent’s considerations of where financial planning is headed.

This 30-page report contains seven figures and two tables.