Industry Changes Reflected in NFP Business Realignment

The firm says its personnel changes will help it meet clients “wherever they are” and address the needs of plan sponsors, family offices and high-net-worth individuals equally.

By DJ Shaw

This week, NFP announced the reorganization of its business segments to better meet the needs of its clients.

As the firm tells PLANADVISER, moving forward, there will be three “distinct yet integrated” business segments. These are property and casualty; benefits and life; and wealth and retirement. According to the firm, this new approach will allow the company to sharpen its focus on delivering holistic guidance to clients.

“This realignment better integrates our offerings,” says Doug Hammond, NFP’s chairman and CEO. “Our expertise and best-in-class consultants and advisers give plan sponsors, family offices and high-net-worth individuals a trusted partner they can rely on to successfully pursue their goals.”

Each business segment will continue to operate in the areas it knows best to service specific challenges in complex environments, and the segments will communicate and collaborate as needed.

The firm wants to be able to equally address the needs of plan sponsors, family offices and high-net-worth individuals, says Mike Goldman, NFP’s chief operating officer. They feel like they have well-rounded offerings for all the different types of companies they serve.

“The real goal is to be able to meet client’s needs wherever they are, whether that’s at the corporate level or the individual level,” Goldman says. “We strive to able to provide an incredibly effective set of services to those folks so that we can really be their trusted adviser across the board.”

As noted by Goldman and Hammond, the change also reflects the increased scale of NFP’s wealth management and retirement businesses, which has a combined total of approximately $445 billion in assets under management. Through the acquisition of financial advisory businesses and significant investments in people and technology, the company says it has expanded its capabilities across individual wealth management and institutional asset management services.

Within the NFP family of brands, Wealthspire Advisors provides financial planning and investment expertise for high-net-worth families, individuals and family offices. Fiducient Advisors provides advisory services for retirement plan sponsors, endowments and foundations, private clients and financial institutions.

Goldman says NFP has done a number of acquisitions over the past decade to increase its presence in the wealth management and retirement space, with the goal of increasing its geographic presence and rounding out its suite of services in each of the serviced regions.

The firm has seen many advantages as it continues to scale, Goldman says. Greater scale enables the firm to have the best people available and to make the best investments using the best services and technology, he says. Further, scaling geographically means NFP can “meet people where they are at.”

“You’re able to make sure that you have access to the to the most attractive investment options for your clients and an ability to demonstrate to them the type of service that you need to be able to provide, Goldman says. “[You] then also have the technology that allows them to very seamlessly see their data and access their data in any way that they want.”

The challenge is making sure that the firm is able to maintain its culture, Goldman says. He wants people to feel connected to the broader organization.

“I think you have to be you have to be very deliberate about making sure to both acquire the right firms with the right cultural fit, and then really spend the time to make sure that the people are highly engaged, in that they have a chance to spend time together, because I think that’s what ends up building the strongest culture,” Goldman says. “That’s the biggest challenge, and it’s one we’re very focused on.”

The reorganization will allow NFP’s clients, acquisitions, acquisition prospects and investors to have an open look into the size and quality of the retirement and wealth business, Goldman says. They wanted to make it easier for people to see. People may have associated the firm with the insurance brokerage side of the business, but he believes that they do retirement and wealth just as well.

“We’ve built something special in our wealth management and retirement businesses, and we believe we can go even further for our clients,” says Ed O’Malley, executive vice president, head of insurance brokerage and consulting. “The diversity within our platform is key. Whether it’s an employee planning for their future, a plan sponsor eager to retain their talent, a family office helping a client leave a legacy or a mission-based foundation, NFP has a portfolio of exceptional advisers and solutions to help them succeed.”