Toronto-based Bank of Montreal (BMO) is ramping up its financial planning services by launching BMO WealthPath, a digital platform designed to help advisors support their clients’ financial goals.
The interactive platform, developed in partnership with Austin, Texas-based Voyant Inc., will be rolled out in mid-November to BMO Nesbitt Burns investment advisors and financial planners in BMO Bank of Montreal branches across Canada.
WealthPath is available on both mobile and tablets, enabling advisors to potentially sit down and map out client goals in real time.
“We’ve heard a lot of feedback around the financial planning process and I would say it’s stuck in the past somewhat. It’s fairly time intensive. It’s overwhelming. A report often results in many pages that I think clients consult not more than once or twice,” says Caroline Dabu, head of BMO Wealth Planning Advisory Services.
“What we’re hoping to launch is a more interactive and collaborative way to engage clients in financial planning discussions,” she says.
Dabu predicts the goals-based tool will reduce the amount of time an advisor and client spend together on a financial plan by up to 50%. In part because the program is linked to BMO’s client system, which automatically imports relevant client data. The platform also encourages greater efficiency by allowing clients to generate new scenarios on the spot — for instance, retiring five years early — to see how that may impact their planning. Typically, it would have taken multiple meetings to test alternate planning scenarios, Dabu says.
What’s also unique about the platform is its heavy reliance on visual features, such as interactive charts and graphs, says David Kaufman, chief executive officer of Voyant.
“You can hop and jump and swipe through all of these visualizations to give clients an understanding of their finances,” Kaufman says. For instance, if a client looks prepared from a cash flow perspective, advisors can use the tool to focus on asset charts and tax efficiency.
“An advisor has the ability to analyze the client to really understand them and present them with solutions that are feasible and appropriate,” he says.
Furthermore, the platform allows clients to visually map out goals in a timeline, and map out multiple goals from various family members, Dabu adds.