make estate planning simple

We’re dedicated to helping advisors deliver differentiated advice, expand their client relationships, win new business, and increase their ongoing value by offering simplified, scalable estate planning to every client.

Meet Vanilla

We make estate planning simple

We’re dedicated to helping advisors deliver differentiated advice, expand their client relationships, win new business, and increase their ongoing value by offering simplified, scalable estate planning to every client.

Our vision is to help everyone create a meaningful legacy

At Vanilla, we build tools that help financial advisors collaborate on the most intimate planning with their clients—and empower everyone to make the most of their life’s work.

Bringing together innovative technology, design, and industry-leading wealth transfer strategies, Vanilla simplifies and standardizes the estate planning process, enabling advisors to proactively partner with their clients to evaluate, optimize, and evolve their estate plan as clients’ needs change over time.

Estate planning is the next frontier of wealth management

Estate planning is a foundational piece of the wealth management picture, with more than $84 trillion set to be transferred to the next generation over the next quarter century. Advisors are facing increasing pressure to diversify their offerings as a new class of technology company offers investing services at a fraction of the cost of traditional advisory fees. Estate planning is a logical extension of the value advisors bring to their clients—but most advisors lack the resources to be effective in guiding their clients through the process.

So at Vanilla, we’re not just rebuilding estate planning—we’re redefining it. We envision a world where advisors are empowered to guide their clients through estate planning with confidence, and everyone is empowered to maximize the impact of their life’s work, and we believe in the power of technology and design to make it possible.

Built by advisors for advisors

Vanilla was born out of need. In his career as one of Barron’s top ranked independent advisors, Steve Lockshin had come to understand the importance of estate planning in helping his clients reach their financial goals and take care of the people and causes they care about.

As Lockshin helped his ultra-high net worth clients with strategies, it became apparent how broken the current system of estate planning was for people of all income levels. It was a costly, convoluted practice made up of a maze of obsolete tools and processes. And even when a wave of financial tech tools came onto the market, none properly addressed the complexities of estate planning for financial advisors.

In 2019, Lockshin founded Vanilla to solve the problem he encountered for years. He aimed to simplify and automate the process of estate planning, making it easier for financial advisors to give bespoke estate strategies at scale.

 

Venrock and Insight Partners provided Vanilla funding, enabling the estate planning startup to attract top tech talent including Gene Farrell, formerly of Amazon and Smartsheet, who joined as the company’s CEO in December, 2021.

Other investors of Vanilla include F. William McNabb III, former CEO of Vanguard Group, Michael Jordan, NBA legend and businessman, and Jason Wenk, advisor and founder and CEO of Altruist. Vanilla launched its beta product to a select number of advisors in 2021 and opened a more robust estate planning platform in the fall of 2022.

"The company has taken the wealth management industry by storm"

— AdvisorHub Magazine

Our values

customer obsession

Customer Obsession

We are customer obsessed

customer trust

Trust

We build and maintain trust

Collaboration

Collaboration

We work collaboratively as one team

Drive

Drive

We are proactive and have a bias for action

Pioneering

Pioneering

Building and growing strategically

Our team

Our team brings together diverse perspectives from wealth management, design, technology, and estate planning backgrounds.

Vanilla was modeled as a remote-friendly company from day one, allowing us to work with the best people as we grow an office in Salt Lake City.

As a fintech startup focused on simplifying a complex space, we have built our team around people that have a passion for building beautifully designed products that make the complex simple.

See Vanilla Careers

Our leadership team

Steve Lockshin

Chairman and Co-founder

LinkedIn
LinkedIn
Gene Farrell

Gene Farrell

President & Chief Executive Officer

LinkedIn
LinkedIn
Amjad Hussain

Amjad Hussain

Chief Technology Officer

LinkedIn
LinkedIn

Marc Dorfman

Chief Revenue Officer

LinkedIn
LinkedIn

Nikkole Shamsuddin

SVP Customer Experience

LinkedIn
LinkedIn
Jim Sinai

Jim Sinai

Chief Marketing Officer

LinkedIn
LinkedIn

Doug Rybacki

Chief Product Officer

LinkedIn
LinkedIn

Karen Nachbar

General Counsel

LinkedIn
LinkedIn

Nathan Hunt

Chief Financial Officer

LinkedIn
LinkedIn

Sam Trapkin

Head of Strategy

LinkedIn
LinkedIn

Christin Cole

Head of Human Resources

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LinkedIn

Our investors and board of directors

Venrock

Venrock

website
website
Insight Partners

Insight Partners

website
website
Vanguard

Vanguard

website
website
Board of Directors

Board of Directors

meet the board
meet the board

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