RetireUp – arming Advisors with Robots

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Company profile: RetireUp

Robo-advisers are coming but the Financial Advisers are going nowhere. There maybe a segment play with the technology but as we stand, the human angle is not going anywhere especially in the advisor market. Retirement planning is critical to wealth management and the advisor segment. RetireUp, a patent pending retirement planning software provides the ease of creating a retirement income plan within minutes. They are powering up the advisers with robots.

Founded in 2012 by Dan Santner, the company currently has a team of 15. The client profile is the financial advisor. They are based out of Chicago and can be found under

The Business

RetireUp is a software as a service platform that allows financial advisors the ability to create a retirement plan in minutes. The tool focuses on retirement income planning with the ability to model different products (financial instruments) with an interactive interface. The power of the tool enables advisors to balance and switch between basic calculations of  ‘what if’ scenario planning. RetireUp provides the tools to allow advisers to sit with their clients and provide necessary information to make informed decisions about retirement income.

The Engine

RetireUp is a patent pending retirement income modeling tool that gives the ease of creating a retirement plan in minutes.

The company acts as an enabler. They provide the critical ingredient in the armoury of the financial advisor for client collaboration. Their platform allows the user to input key parameters to ‘Tell the Retirement Income Story’. The platform navigates scenario planning whilst keeping an eye on risk and volatility. Retirement income is the motto of the tool and covers variable annuities, index annuities, pensions, REITs amongst other variables. Financial planning, retirement income distribution and enabling consultative, knowledgeable decisions are cornerstone of RetireUp’s solution.

Their main clients are enterprises, registered representatives, IFAs and RIAs engaged in Financial advice and retirement planning. They are a cloud based platform and carry financial instruments relevant to building the portfolios of advisors clients towards retirement planning. Their current operations are focused solely in the United States.

The revenue model is based on a flat charge per annum per user (advisor) with unlimited support, training, clients and plans. The more the users the more the revenue on this scalable platform.

The Intrinsic Value

The advisor scenario planning has (or used to have) two models – advisor and the client discussed strategies. The advisor would then give downside (and upside) scenarios using calculators or inputting approximate values in excel program to give some degree of mathematical analysis. Fast-forward to RetireUp, they are engaging the advisor segment by arming them with a robot enabled through any device and the ability to view in any household, even on a television.

This is not a technology play, it is the man-machine play. The competition is upcoming robo-adviser model and the old-fashioned method of calculator and excel. RetireUp tools are positioned to optimally tap into the traditional model and disrupt using technology and displace inefficiency.

The Profitability Conundrum

RetireUp is a profitable venture. They are bootstrapped and fully employee owned. They have about fifteen hundred paying users of their tool. Their current product development plan is set in stone for 2016 and have an ever-growing client base. The scalability factor and the tipping point towards acceleration of client acquisition will likely reap more rewards for RetireUp.

The Verdict

Robo or no-robo the element of human interaction will not retire from the advisor segment. Considering the rate of client acquisition and the meticulousness of the team to ensure that only the ‘true-need’ of a client is delivered as a product makes it an automatic choice. The true value is the platform and the fact that the clients value it and find it as an aide to their process – makes the platform and clients sticky to RetireUp.

Their identification of an inefficient process is a right starting point to disrupt. Will they expand the platform for other adviser segments once they start gaining momentum? Will they test the mettle of different industry segments by pushing the boundaries and look ahead? RetireUp has cleverly and carefully displaced one process. As they build on those foundations and propel towards growth, they may just have the model to tap into other advisor segments and that too globally.

Founder comments

It’s an exciting time for financial technology.  When we started this venture three years ago we just wanted to help advisors have better and more productive meetings with their clients.  In that time, we’ve worked directly with thousands of advisors to help them get their clients to a better place so we feel very good about the impact we’ve had!  We’ve analysed all of that experience internally and have some truly disruptive and ground-breaking enhancements coming very soon!

Disclaimer: This material is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as research or as investment advice, nor should it be considered information sufficient upon which to base an investment decision.  Further, this communication should not be deemed as a recommendation to invest or not to invest.

The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but is not necessarily complete in its accuracy and cannot be guaranteed.

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