As Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Envestnet, Bill Crager drives the ongoing expansion of the firm’s innovative financial wellness network, which supports over 4,700 financial enterprises and 103,000 financial advisors who collectively manage more than $3.8 trillion in assets. Envestnet, is fully vested in its financial wellness ecosystem for enabling people to live an intelligently connected financial life.
Prince: Tell me about Envestnet’s ecosystem. You’ve recently added trust and Medicare capabilities. Why are these important to achieving financial wellness?
Crager: Envestnet is the financial wellness ecosystem enabling an Intelligent Financial Life™. Our mission is to empower advisors and financial service providers with innovative technology, solutions, and intelligence to make financial wellness a reality for everyone.
Our ecosystem is ever-adaptive and ever-improving to meet the evolving needs of consumers and financial providers. Two of the new capabilities we added this year are the Envestnet Trust Services Exchange and an integration with Healthpilot.
Often advisors recommend family members as trustees and miss the opportunity to add value of their own, which inspired us to build/incorporate an independent advisor-focused corporate trustee network into our ecosystem. The Envestnet Trust Services Exchange is the only advisor-centric solution supporting the entire wealth transfer process using trust accounts. This Exchange’s network provides advisors with trustees whose expertise facilitates the seamless creation and management of trusts in all US jurisdictions including tax-friendly jurisdictions such as Alaska, Nevada, and South Dakota.
Furthermore, our integration with Healthpilot connects the worlds of health and wealth creating a high-value digital destination where clients can easily understand and maximize their health insurance coverage throughout their retirement. This integration not only simplifies Medicare plan selection, enrollment, and management for clients, but also merges health insurance coverage and healthcare expense estimates—a key area of focus for clients nearing or in retirement—into the hyper-personalized, holistic digital experience enabled by Envestnet.
Envestnet’s ongoing enhancements, including the launch of the Envestnet Trust Services Exchange and Healthpilot, help advisors expand the definition of advice they provide to clients—and enable us to make financial wellness a reality for more people across the country.
Prince: Tell me about your idea around creating an intelligently connected financial life. Why is this so important for the future of advice?
Crager: Today, consumers are living a disjointed financial life with many struggling to find a way to fit all the pieces together—credit cards, loans, mortgages, businesses, tuition, healthcare, etc. It can be extremely daunting to manage all of these disparate areas of finance simultaneously.
When consumers can see the connection between all of these disparate elements, they can make smarter financial decisions every single day, which improves their long-term financial outcomes. We set out to create a financial wellness and personal finance ecosystem, which creates a seamless flow between consumers’ distinct financial lives, powered by expertise and digital engagement, so consumers can understand how seemingly mundane, daily transactions like buying groceries or paying mobile phone bills affect their long-term financial goals, like managing a mortgage or buying a second home. By providing this holistic, 360-degree view of a consumer’s entire financial life, advisors can significantly differentiate themselves and lay the foundation for scalable growth.
This industry-changing idea was the genesis of my whitepaper “The Intelligent Financial Life,” which has now grown into a transformational component of the Envestnet brand. The Intelligent Financial Life is a hyper-personalized, intelligently connected, and frictionless digital experience, which is always on and connects every aspect of a consumer’s financial life from today’s spending to tomorrow’s planning.
At Envestnet we believe the intelligent, connected financial life is the future of our industry. While no machine can ever replace a financial advisor or financial providers, modern technology can enable consumers to better understand, measure, and optimize the various accounts, expenses, savings, and transactions that comprise their financial lives. Through an ecosystem with a broad spectrum of data, tools, and providers, an advisor can create a unified digital experience, which puts the consumer in charge of living their intelligently connected financial life.
Prince: What is Envestnet doing to innovate and be a disruptor within the fintech space?
Crager: Envestnet is transforming the way financial advice and wellness are delivered by empowering advisors and financial service providers with an ecosystem of innovative technology, solutions, and intelligence making financial wellness a reality for everyone. Through a series of partnerships and integrations with top industry providers over the past year, Envestnet continues to develop its financial wellness ecosystem to enable advisors to provide a unified digital experience that meets clients’ evolving needs.
We will continue to develop innovative technology and tools and forge strategic partnerships with more providers to expand the solutions and intelligence available across our ecosystem. Our financial wellness and personal finance ecosystem allows advisors to connect and view a wide range of client accounts on a single dashboard. This design allows advisors to see all facets of a client’s financial life incorporated with elements like short- and long-term financial goals, investments, risk, estate planning, and more empowering advisors with recommendations to help clients improve outcomes and maintain financial wellness.
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