Member Spotlight: Omniplan

23 Dec Member Spotlight: Omniplan

Amsterdam based Omniplan develops financial planning tools for corporate clients which serve retail customers. When you have applied for a mortgage or a life insurance at one of the Netherlands’ mayor banks or a financial advisor, your needs might have been calculated by the planning tools of Omniplan. Starting over 20 years ago as a tool builder for financial advisors which spoke in person with their customers about financial matters, the company has long provided the backbone for personal finance companies to conduct their business.

The financial planning tools created by Omniplan focus on the needs of the individual or household and include everything from life and income insurances to pensions and mortgages. Their business revolves around answering the simple question: What does a person need over the span of 50 years or more? Answering this question is what a financial planner does. Financial planning is a complicated business where individuals have to make many decisions based on the abundant information they have, but do not always fully comprehend in a fiscal sense. During major financial events, like buying a house, financial advisors aided customers to assess their whole financial situation and compliantly advise the right services. But who helps the advisor to optimize the time-consuming work of thouroughly understanding the individual’s financial situation? Using personal data about an individual revolving around income, wealth, risks and retirement planning, Omniplan can create a holistic view of the financial needs of a customer. Once the customers financial position is securely structured in a plan to optimize the persue of financial goals, the financial advisor will use this plan to assist their customers in the selection of the right financial services and products to set the plan in motion.

Financial advice however has changed in the last decade, as small advisory practices are slowly being replaced by web-driven comparison websites and the digital formulas of large product providers, like banks. Omniplan organically grew to serve this updated demand for financial planning tools. This shift has seen them move their headquarters to the Piet Hein Buildings in Amsterdam in 2016, located in the heart of the Dutch fintech business. They also made René Frankena the Director for Innovation in 2015, to assure that Omniplan would constantly develop itself and its digital capabilities, underlying their new strategy. Omniplans’ main offering is the utilization of the  Personal Finance Platform, which can answer all the personal finance questions an organisation might have to answer to satisfy their customers’ demands. Omniplan can help tackle these cases piecemeal or as a part of a total total solution, to the organisations preference. Working together with their customers, Omniplan can offer a readily build planning tool, the “Omniplan Adviesplanner”, deliver the building blocks unto which the client can construct its own specific configurations, much alike an application programming interface (API), or build a sustainable partnership with the client, consulting them along the way on both Customer Journey Design and the specification of functional requirements. Today, all financial advisors of Rabobank use a suite of financial advice tools developed by Omniplan, each one developed to address a specific customer financial need. Another major bank, ING, offers all their mortgage advice via the tooling developed by Omniplan.

As financial advice goes digital, new options become available to those who provide it in the future. No longer do you need an expensive professional reviewing your personal financial matters over the course of several hours, but a digital advisor should constantly track your financial position based on personal data and machine learning. Leveraging this computational power on our private finances will probably be a major solution to the problem of giving adequate, timely and frequent advice at an affordable cost. The  final decisions are evidently still being taken by the consumer, possibly with the guidance of a human advisor, assuring the client remains in clear control. In the end, a hybrid form of financial advice can be established, where man and machine offer the best of both worlds.

An important hurdle for this development to get more traction revolve around the complexities of data handling, as personal financial data is not often shared, and accessing is difficult. Mr. Frankena sees an opportunity for an ambitious government and supervisory body to deliver a secure platform as a public service, through which financial data can be safely shared, delivering the benefits of this accessibility to the end consumer and supporting the further digitalization of our financial services from adolescence to adulthood. Nonetheless, market forces like Omniplan are never idle, and will look for ways to strengthen the digital framework from which personal finance can be further advanced into the twenty-first century.