The Financial Planning Vendor Landscape 2011

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15 April 2011


Financial planning vendors continue to improve functionality and expand their service offerings. Celent expects increased focus on developing interactive/dynamic tools, such as slider bars, interactive graphs, drill-down charts, and other easy-to-use tools.

In a new report, The Financial Planning Vendor Landscape 2011, Celent examines the market for financial planning solutions in North America and profiles and benchmarks the offerings of 12 vendors.

The providers covered in this report are: Advisor Software, CGI, EISI, Fiserv, Finantix, Money Tree, NorthStar, PIEtech, PlanPlus, Scivantage, SunGard, and Thomson Reuters. The profiles include differentiators and disadvantages of each solution. The study utilizes the Celent ABCD Vendor View, which shows at a glance the relative position of vendors in four overarching categories: Advanced technology, Breadth of functionality, Customer base (number of clients), and Depth of client services.

“Financial planning vendors have begun increasing the scope of their solutions. They have transitioned from focusing almost exclusively on the accumulation phase of individuals’ and their households’ life span to providing tools that aid customers as they approach retirement and as they retire,” says Isabella Fonseca, Research Director at Celent and coauthor of the report. “Many vendors are now offering cash flow-based and goal-based planning around retirement income, giving advisors the ability to compare scenarios by modifying life expectancy, retirement age, Social Security start date, incomes/expense, and other assumptions.”

“Financial planning vendors see an opportunity to capture more of the market by supporting more of the advisory process and delivering to new channels,” says Alexander Camargo, Celent Analyst and coauthor of the report. “Firms can now differentiate by delivering improved functionality across multiple channels and multiple planning levels.”

The report begins with a preview of the financial planning vendors and the criteria for consideration in the report. A detailed profile of each financial planning vendor follows, identifying their strengths and weaknesses. Also included in the study is a vendor comparison, which evaluates each solution's features and functionalities and further compares vendors by various functionalities. The last sections include a ranking of financial planning technology vendors through the ABCD dimensions and Celent’s considerations of where financial planning is headed.

This 88-page report contains 17 figures and 39 tables.