David Lau is the founder and CEO of DPL Financial Partners.
Over the past decade, as advisors in all channels have been driven by client demand to expand financial advice from investment management to holistic wealth planning, fee-only fiduciary advisors have been handicapped in their inability to deliver services in one very important area: insurance.
Insurance and annuities are extremely important financial planning and risk management tools that, because of their commission-driven (and resultingly expensive) nature, have been off-limits to fee-only advisors, creating a gap in the financial plan. Or worse, the need for a client to work with a competitor to get their insurance needs met. Until recently.
A few weeks ago, SS&C Advent and DPL Financial Partners announced a new partnership to integrate DPL’s market-leading turnkey insurance management platform to create the Advent Insurance Marketplace Powered by DPL. Through this marketplace, users of Advent’s Black Diamond, APX and Axys platforms will have integrated access to DPL’s wide range of Commission-Free insurance and annuity products, DPL’s proprietary technology tools to discover and evaluate these products, and support from agnostic insurance professionals to implement them for your clients.
Our goal for the Advent Insurance Marketplace is twofold: to provide the end user – your clients – better financial outcomes; and you the advisor, a powerful capability to grow your business and deliver a more holistic client experience with insurance and annuities integrated into your financial planning, portfolio management and accounting tools.
The marketplace marks an important turning point for advisors. Fiduciaries are now empowered to utilize low-cost, no-load insurance and annuities in the financial planning process to deliver secure retirement income, principal protection, risk mitigation, tax-deferred growth and other benefits clients want. And because the products are Commission-Free, you can manage and bill on these assets right from your advisor desktop for the first time.
Insurance and annuities are important planning tools for fiduciary advisors, but RIAs have long been unable to access these products for one primary reason—commissions. Commissions conflict with the fee-only advisor’s business model, and they drive up product pricing and reduce benefits. You’ll often hear advisors say they don’t like annuities, and with the expense and complexity of some traditional annuities, plus lack of familiarity with the products, it’s not a surprising point of view.
But remove the commission, and annuity pricing changes dramatically. Today, leading carriers are building products specifically for RIAs—without commissions, and with lower costs, enhanced benefits and greater transparency.
I started DPL Financial Partners in 2014 after realizing that clients need their fiduciary advisors to be able to use insurance and annuity products in the planning process. During a decade working with both carriers and RIAs, it became obvious to me that if annuities didn’t have commissions, RIAs would be power users. Not only for the benefits they bring to a financial plan, but because they give firms a competitive advantage to attract new clients and grow AUM.
And so DPL Financial Partners went to market in 2018 to provide a range of Commission-Free insurance and annuities for the fee-only advisor market. We launched with four carriers and a handful of products on the platform, which has grown to twenty carriers and over forty products, many of them designed specifically for the RIAs we serve. With innovation for RIAs and their clients as our core mission, we have introduced many industry-first, Commission-Free products: the first no-load disability insurance with Principal, a fixed index annuity designed to flexibly increase income based on personal care needs with Midland National, a rising income FIA with Security Benefit, and many more are in development.
In addition to products, we have developed tools to help you discover and evaluate Commission-Free annuities and demonstrate their impact on a financial plan. Our suite of proprietary calculators, available to you through the Advent Insurance Marketplace, enable you to discover which annuity products most efficiently meet a client’s income need or generate the most income from an investment amount. You can compare how an annuity performs versus a fixed income strategy to generate income over the course of a retirement horizon. And you can compare your clients’ existing annuities to Commission-Free alternatives to determine if you can save them money in fees and deliver other benefits over what they currently own. Our licensed insurance consultants can facilitate the application process, from your first client presentation to the final product funding.
Over the next several months, we will be working to integrate DPL’s technology with SS&C Advent's advisory portfolio management and accounting solutions to enable a seamless discovery, purchase, reporting and billing process. In the meantime, you have access to DPL’s complete line up of Commission-Free insurance and annuity products, our educational resources, and support from our team of dedicated insurance consultants.
We will keep you informed as we make progress and welcome your feedback. Please feel free to reach out to us at AIM@dplfp.com or 888- 680-0830.