Insurance industry must step up succession planning efforts

Toronto-based financial technology startup firm FindBob Ltd. has raised more than US$1.25 million in seed funding, which it plans to use to grow its offerings and expand into the U.S., the company announced on Friday.

FindBob specializes in succession planning tools for the financial services business. Its offerings include a searchable online marketplace in which financial advisors can create a profile for their practice and find other advisors looking to buy, sell or merge their practice.

The firm has partnered with financial services distribution firms such as Woodbridge, Ont.-based Hub Financial Inc. and Calgary-based PPI Solutions Inc. to help them develop internal succession planning and continuity platforms.

“We have an incredible opportunity to make a meaningful impact on one of the industry’s biggest threats which is the lack of continuity within financial services,” said Roland Chan, founder and CEO of FindBob, in a statement. “Insurance and financial advice matter, and by aligning the interests of advisors, agents, and their companies through the effective use of digital transition management platforms, we’re helping orchestrate growth and perpetuation like never before.”

The average independent advisor in North America is 59 years old, and 80% of advisors don’t have a succession plan in place, according to Chan.

Grinnell, Iowa-based Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company led the recent investment in FindBob. Other investors included MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund and Ames Seed Capital, LLC.

The capital will allow FindBob to grow its sales and marketing teams, expand into the U.S. market, and expand its product offerings.

“There is a large market for transition assistance in many personal services industries,” said Dave Wingert, executive vice president, chief operating officer, and acting president at Grinnell Mutual, in a statement. “Because of an impending generational shift of wealth coming — the largest ever — providing business and transition advice and networking opportunities to those personal service businesses will fill a critical need and help them stay viable.”

Photo copyright: jgroup/123RF