Tom Burmeister – Vice President, Financial Planning, Advicent
As vice president of financial planning, Tom is an integral contributor to the strategic vision around our financial planning initiatives. Additionally, he is critically involved in all partner interactions, thought leadership contributions, and internal training programs. With a background in business law, compliance, and financial services technology, he has worked with some of the largest financial services firms in the world to increase success, exceed client expectations, and remain compliant with technology
1. As Vice President of Financial Planning at Advicent, what can you tell us about how the new changes to the NaviPlan will impact small business owners?
As the leading financial planning technology provider in Canada, it’s extremely important that NaviPlan is consistently evolving and improving to meet the needs of our users. The recent enhancements to NaviPlan empower advisors to more accurately model holding companies and operating companies for their business owner clients, as well as provide upto-date guidance to business owners that have established Canadian-controlled private corporations (“CCPCs”). The end result is a more comprehensive and precise financial plan, which should instill even more confidence for the advisors and clients that rely on the NaviPlan platform to make critical financial decisions every day.
2. What was the main deciding factor that inspired the changes in the recent tax and private corporation changes?
First and foremost, these enhancements are a demonstration of our continued commitment to innovation in the Canadian market. In general, the NaviPlan roadmap is formulated based on three main inputs: 1) feedback from our user base of over 140,000 advisors; 2) industry research (both internally and externally sourced); and 3) emerging FinTech trends.
3. In your expert opinion, how important is it for financial advisors to keep their technology updated so that they can stay current with new regulations?
Beyond the obvious compliance risk to providing clients with an analysis powered by outdated assumptions, it’s also important to consider how consumer expectations have evolved over the past decade or so.
Consumers expect relevant, up-to-date information from every company with which they do business, and financial advisors are no exception. It is critical for advisors to build their technology stack with this in mind.
4. What would you say is the most important aspect that small business owners should keep in mind when it comes to the new changes made to the NaviPlan?
While small business owners are not the ones buying NaviPlan, they can benefit greatly by working with a financial advisor who has incorporated our financial planning platform into their practice. At a time when the Tax Code and other regulations affecting their clients’ businesses continue to evolve, NaviPlan incorporates these changes to help ensure that advisors’ small-business-owner clients comply with new rules and optimize the tax benefits to which they are entitled.
5. How is Advicent helping entrepreneurs as they navigate through the challenges of entrepreneurship?
Our mission is to enable everyone to understand and impact their financial future, and we do that through our advisor- and client-facing technology. In this case we’ve given financial advisors some new and extremely powerful tools to more accurately educate and advise business owner clients to make better decisions today that will positively impact their long-term personal and professional goals.
6. What advice can you give to advisors when it comes to embracing technology so that they can face everyday challenges?
Financial planning is most effective when it’s holistic in nature, and the same principle applies to evaluating and adopting technology within an advisor’s practice. Technology should be harmonious with the documented processes and workflows that make up an advisor’s advice delivery model. If those processes are not already established, documented, and updated, then that’s the place to start. It’s also important to have clear objectives and outcomes in mind before evaluating a given piece of technology: where will data ultimately reside? How should data be shared between systems? How can this technology make my team more efficient and allow us to better serve our clients? The process may seem daunting, but the end result will be well worth the extra effort.
7. On a final note, how do you believe the new technology advancements will impact Advicent?
Initial reactions from the market have been very positive, and we’re all very proud of these latest enhancements. However, in this fastpaced FinTech environment, there’s never room for complacency. We’re already off and running on our next series of NaviPlan releases, and I’m extremely excited for some truly transformational enhancements to the NaviPlan platform in 2020 and beyond.