E-Wealth gives entrepreneur clients “aha” experiences with Vanilla

Brian Adamek has always had an entrepreneurial spirit, so it made sense that after he studied finance and worked as a financial advisor at an independent planning firm he would strike out to start his own advisory firm. But he didn’t just start his own business – three years ago he made the decision to focus his firm specifically on clients who were entrepreneurs like himself.

Today, Adamek helms E-Wealth Partners (formerly SBI Wealth), with an advisory team of four overseeing about one hundred client households. E-Wealth specializes in helping entrepreneurs and their businesses, and Vanilla has proven an important tool in not only allowing them to understand the total picture of their assets, but ultimately how those assets will impact their loved ones.

E-Wealth takes a 360-degree approach to planning, which is particularly important when strategizing around the complex dynamics of both business and family goals. In addition to certifications as a Certified Financial Planner and Certified Private Wealth Advisor, Brian is a Certified Valuation Analyst and Certified Exit Planner. For Brian and his firm, tax and estate planning are core components of their offering, not simply supplemental add-ons. That’s why Brian and team saw the promise in Vanilla

Strategic planning: Visualizing hypothetical scenarios

E-Wealth serves many high net worth clients who have estates that are, or will likely be, taxable at some point. Previously, it had been challenging to show clients not only the full scope of their finances, but the trajectory the assets might take in the future and the tax implications. Business owners often pass assets to heirs, but there may not be adequate liquidity to cover taxes in the event of a sudden death. Brian and team use Vanilla to help clients visualize hypothetical  scenarios. For example, what might happen if they left their business to the next generation at a lower valuation versus selling to a third party at a higher valuation? How will that impact taxation?

“I’ve got a lot of very smart clients who are good at what they do, but there’s still a lot of education to do when it comes to things like trusts. Vanilla helps me show them how their entire estate looks today, and where their opportunities are in a way that they can more easily understand,” said Adamek. It’s given clients that “aha” lightbulb moment, and in the process it’s demonstrated the enormous value E-Wealth provides.

Adamek says the visualizations in Vanilla can serve as an important wakeup call for clients. “I had one client who had most of his net worth in his business. It was around twenty million. And he had a trust structure, but had never seen it all laid out. I was the first advisor to do that for him, using Vanilla. And seeing the numbers was really eye opening.”

The visualizations in the Vanilla platform made it easier for the client to understand not only the extent of his wealth, but how his assets were currently structured. From there, Adamek worked with him to build a more solid strategy going forward, bolstered by the client’s foundational understanding of where he stood.

“We spend a lot of time with that estimated estate tax calculations, and what happens at first and second death. Vanilla helps us illustrate what that looks like and what trusts need to be put in place,”  said Adamek.

Vanilla as a prospecting tool

In addition to using Vanilla to help build smart estate strategies for HNW entrepreneurs, E-Wealth also uses Vanilla as a tool for both prospects and new clients who have not yet committed to the firm long-term. Vanilla’s ability to show complex flow charts with multiple LLC is particularly helpful to business owners. “It’s a strong tool for converting clients. It’s a way where we can show real value to those high net worth clients.”

Adamek and E-Wealth plan on using Vanilla as an important component of strategic planning in the future – and as a way to improve client conversations at every phase of the relationship.For more information about how your firm can use Vanilla to provide increased value to customers and grow in the process, schedule a demo today.

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