Capital Advisors increases estate reviews by 300% with Vanilla

In 2021, Sean Hennessee joined Capital Advisors as part of the financial planning group to help build out the estate advisory services for the firm’s clients. Hennessee spent much of his time providing guidance to the firm’s clients on their estate plans to support their overall financial and legacy goals. Clients loved this holistic approach and during these planning conversations, gained a deeper understanding and appreciation as to how their wealth would transfer to their loved ones. Yet, as demand from clients increased, Hennessee and his team had a hard time offering bespoke estate planning advice at scale.

Estate planning as a core service offering

Capital Advisors is a mid-size RIA with over $6B AUM, serving clients across the wealth spectrum. Its advisor group offers high-touch, white-glove investment advisory services to its clients, along with estate planning guidance as a core service for a large portion of their clients, which is a key differentiator for prospects.

Hennessee believes the true value offered to clients during estate planning conversations is education on how their plan actually works and the eye-opening realizations that follow. For some clients this could mean a better understanding of how their assets are distributed and how to safeguard them. For others, it might be learning more about the impact of estate tax to set up the appropriate vehicles to ease their potential liability.

As a part of his advisory role, Hennessee partners with the wealth advisor to address each client’s unique financial goals and ensure the estate plan is designed to support them. During the estate review, Hennessee walks each client through an illustrative summary of their plan to demonstrate how their assets will flow to their loved ones.

“Offering estate advisory services is an integral part of growing Capital Advisors and deepening our existing client relationships”, says Hennessee.

Scaling estate reviews

With high demand from their clients for estate planning advice, the planning team experienced a painful bottleneck in manually generating reviews using existing tools, with turnaround sometimes stretching to 3-4 weeks. The Capital Advisors team turned to Vanilla to ensure all their clients received a comprehensive estate plan with dynamic diagrams and visualizations in a shorter time frame.

During the evaluation process, Hennessee realized that Vanilla would scale his team’s workflows while helping their clients better understand the impact of their planning. With Vanilla’s proprietary tool Estate Builder, it now takes Hennessee approximately ⅓ of the amount of time previously needed to input the information needed to conduct a thorough estate review for each client. Additionally, Vanilla’s dynamic visualizations and calculations go above and beyond what Hennessee was able to create by hand previously using spreadsheets and slide decks. Especially the estate tax projections and Waterfall summaries which are instrumental in walking a client through their plan and ensuring their asset distributions are set up to support their estate planning goals.

Leveraging Vanilla for prospecting

When it comes to winning new business, Capital Advisors uses its estate advisory offering as a key differentiator. The wealth management team often invites Hennessee to participate in initial conversations with prospects to discuss how their estate plan can support their wealth management goals. Hennessee utilizes the Vanilla sample client report and its detailed summaries and diagrams as a talking point that typically elicits immediate interest from the prospective client.

In just a few months, the Capital Advisors planning team has seen increased efficiency and scale in the production of estate reviews with Vanilla. With improved workflows and positive feedback from clients and prospects, the team can continue to expand its estate advisory offering across its portfolio of clients.

For more information on how Vanilla can help your firm scale estate planning and win more clients, schedule a demo today.

Ready to get started?

Deliver a whole new client conversation experience

Talk to our sales team today.