The Financial Planning Technology Landscape in Canada
Key research questions
- What market characteristics are defining the financial planning landscape in Canada?
- What is the role of retirement in the larger financial planning process?
- How has the role of APIs affected vendor development?
This report is a continuation of the three-month study of the North American financial planning technology market covered in Celent’s report The Financial Planning Technology Landscape: North America 2020 Edition. To complete the trio of reports, a separate report focused on retirement income will be released later this year. Vendors profiled for the Canadian market include Advicent, Conquest Planning, Equisoft, Morningstar, and Voyant. While some of the solutions profiled are available in the United States, Europe, Asia, and other markets, the primary audience for this report is the Canadian financial institution and advisor community.
With financial planning sitting at the center of the advisor-client relationship, wealth management firms continue to evolve planning functionality to improve the advisor-client experience. The acquisition spree on financial planning software (particularly in the US) exemplifies the value of planning within the broader wealth management technology ecosystem. The pandemic increases the digital expectations of Canadian investors. This effect carries over into financial planning, and advisors are moving to utilize digital interactions to provide advice in a post pandemic world.
For vendors, overall themes for development include aspects to improve interactive planning features. This includes the following:
• Help shortening the cycle for building a financial plan: Including AI to improve scenario testing, and pick and choose reporting to enhance efficiencies inside the advisor workflows.
• Building interactive, ongoing plans: Technology to build an action plan (e.g., road-mapping next steps, including direct linkage to CRM and portfolio management tools) while the financial plan is built.
• Open planning: A renewed focus on integration and availability of APIs to improve access to planning functions delivered by the lead vendor’s financial planning software
Some advisor needs as well as recent vendor development that closes in on them include:
Given these factors, what lies ahead for vendors, and how does the pandemic shift their approach to a modern financial planning software? And where will the investment in research and development go to attract more wallet share of the end client? As uncertainty remains in Canada, wealth managers are sprinting to build road maps and implement digital advisory services. This report reviews how planning software is changing to support these digital needs.