Nationwide is offering fee-based advisors a hub to manage annuities the company sells.
The site, hosted by Nationwide Advisory Solutions, also offers registered investment advisors a glimpse of what future annuity platforms may look and feel like as insurers tap into the growing fee-based advisory channel.
“High consumer-value products are table stakes, but the advisory experience is very important,” said Craig Hawley, Head of Nationwide Advisory Solutions.
Hawley said tools and technologies on the site make it easy for the advisor to ask the fundamental question, "How does this fit for my customer?"
Most important, perhaps, is the site allows advisors to easily withdraw fees generated from managing the annuity and to consider different monthly, quarterly and annual billing scenarios, Hawley said.
Consumer giants like Apple and Amazon have honed the buyer experience and refined the ease-of-use in a cluttered digital world, and that realization is trickling down to fee-based advisors and annuities.
The site offers simplified navigation, one-click access, fund performance tools, a design to accommodate mobile hardware carried by advisors and even Disability Act compliance features like color contrast, the company said.
For advisors new to the site, website staples of drop-down menus under investment needs, products, tools, “working with us,” and about tabs should be familiar.
A Big Head Start with Jefferson National
Last year Nationwide bought Jefferson National, which made its name in the annuity world years ago by developing the first fee-based variable annuity, Monument Advisor.
Monument Advisor charges a flat fee of $20 a month.
Jefferson National was recently rebranded as Nationwide Advisory Solutions and ever since the acquisition has been working to build the website, taking into consideration the needs and feedback from thousands of RIAs and fee-based advisors, Hawley said.
The powerful analytics and comparison tools come not a moment too soon as the insurance industry competes with big mutual funds to supply millions of consumers worried that they won’t generate enough income to last in retirement.
“The industry has changed and as you see in the RIA and fee-based channel, these solutions are competing with other financial services products,” said Hawley.
For the moment, advisors can only model the Monument Advisor variable annuity and the hundreds of mutual fund selections in the subaccount.
More annuity products including income annuities are expected on the platform beginning later this year, he said.
Only products from Nationwide will be available on the site.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Writer Cyril Tuohy has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at [email protected]
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