What strategies and technologies is Northwestern Mutual using to help advisors create a more innovative client experience?
Our approach leads with planning. It’s about helping clients build financial security using both investments and insurance. Everyone talks about holistic planning, but few firms are actually doing it. At Northwestern Mutual, we have a differentiated planning philosophy that is ongoing, actionable, understandable and comprehensive. It helps clients plan for a secure future and creates confidence that they will be able to enjoy the journey along the way.
We also believe that the future will be won by companies and trusted advisors who deliver great experiences. We have been investing in advanced digital and mobile capabilities to give our clients and advisors access to what they need anytime from wherever they are. Clients no longer view the product as the single source of value, but now look for value in the experience of how a product or service is delivered. And their expectations are constantly rising as they compare these experiences with how they use technology in other areas of their lives. To that end, we rolled out a robust proprietary planning tool that enables our advisors to bring a client’s financial plan to life in an easy-to-understand way. We are moving from a static, episodic and paper-based planning process to one that is dynamic, ongoing and digital.
As we move forward, we will be able to enhance this experience by using data insights to enable advisors to provide a more customized and personalized experience that will allow clients to identify opportunities and stay on track.
We also continue to evolve to ensure we have the right mix of products for our advisors who are increasingly serving high-net-worth clients. As an example, we’ve recently introduced several new alternative investment offerings, and we have a fast-growing Private Client Group made up of leading advisor teams that provide multi-generational planning to more affluent clients.
Forbes recently published a list of the best financial security professionals that included members of Northwestern Mutual. What unique qualities do top FSPs possess?
We believe that financial security must be rooted in a dual focus on protecting against risk while also growing wealth. Financial security professionals understand that planning is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. These professionals are deeply committed to understanding the needs of their clients and are disciplined, knowing that great results come from a long-term approach. They work to truly understand their clients’ hopes and dreams and tailor plans to support those aspirations. They are well-rounded professionals who understand that returns aren’t the real endgame–it’s about the client’s goals and outcomes for the things that matter most.
At the heart of everything, advisors are incredible at building trust. That trust is earned by always putting clients’ best interests first, listening deeply and being a source of support in good times and challenging times. I applaud our advisors who made the inaugural list and thank them for their incredible dedication to this important work.