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The real reasons Northwestern Mutual paid a reported $250 million for LearnVest

With $2.7 billion in cash to burn after the Russell Investments spin-off, the Milwaukee-based company was simply an old-line insurer with desktop software in search of a planning pedigree

Author Lisa Shidler April 1, 2015 at 8:32 PM
no description available
Tim Schaefer: There are actionable 'to-dos' for the clients. The client can make progress on the plan.



Women of Wealth Management





April 2, 2015 — 12:45 PM

Was this proofread by a chimp and fact checked by a fourth grader? This is embarrassing for RIABiz.

Stephen Winks

Stephen Winks

April 2, 2015 — 7:03 PM

If Northwestern Mutual wishes to broaden its capabilities beyond insurance, annuities and disability insurance, the disciplines of financial planning and investments makes sense in empowering their agents, who are excellent salesmen.
Robo advice is the ideal application as it introduces technical competency in managing a broad range of investment and administrative values outside of the normal course of insurance brokerage. The simplification of advisory services without denigration of fiduciary duty, through expert authenticated (back to statute) prudent process and advanced technology is the route the entire industry will take. The new fiduciary standard advanced by Mary Jo white in the next few weeks will require a more modern approach to portfolio construction, heavily reliant on 'Robo Advice”,

Great move by Northwestern, but is it getting expert authenticated advice and professional standing? LearnVest and NaviPlan must demonstrate their technical competency which is now more geared toward a loose suitability standard and product sales. The difficult part is Northwestern and its insurance agents thinking of themself as an advisory firm, not a product firm.


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