SunGard announced today that it has released a new version of PlanningStation, a financial modeling and planning solution for financial advisors.
Among the new features of PlanningStation is a new Cash Flow Consultant module, which helps to provide experienced financial advisors with the flexibility and control of cash flow-driven planning. Other major features of the new release include enhancements to PlanningStation's workflow for client financial plan reviews, updates to its At Retirement module, and additional formatting options for client reports.
PlanningStation's Cash Flow Consultant positions cash flows at the core of the analysis to produce lifetime plans based on criteria and assumptions provided by the advisor. Rather than focusing on a specific client objective such as retirement or education funding, the module analyzes any aspect of a client' s financial future, taking into account life events that affect cash flows and assets. Cash Flow Consultant helps to give advisors control over the client's distributions and contributions, helping advisors to model asset behavior and projections to their liking. In addition, with integrated asset allocation at the center of its calculations, the cash flow module incorporates allocation-driven returns, periodic rebalancing, and applicable tax consequences into its asset projections.
John Catalano, manager of financial planning software at Raymond James, said, "I view the introduction of the Cash Flow Consultant within SunGard's PlanningStation as a significant enhancement to what already is a diverse and user-friendly software platform."
Calculation results in PlanningStation's Cash Flow Consultant have accompanying detail screens that illustrate how each value is calculated. This functionality helps advisors to determine the impact of each element of the financial plan—such as asset, liability and cash flow—in any year of the plan. It also helps advisors to illustrate the details of any particular year to their clients.
Blaine Maxfield, president of SunGard's PlanningStation business, said, "PlanningStation continues to gain momentum with financial services institutions. The cash flow module offers more complex planning for high net worth and other clients with more sophisticated needs, making PlanningStation a best-of-breed planning solution for brokers and investment advisors of different skill and experience levels."
Cash Flow Consultant can be used in conjunction with PlanningStation's integrated goal-based planning modules. Because the cash flow component shares a common database with the other modules in PlanningStation, advisors can elect to perform multiple types of analysis for their clients without re-keying data. Cash Flow Consultant is suited to advisors serving more sophisticated or ultra high net worth clients, business owners and others with complicated cash flow, asset and tax scenarios.
Other major new features and enhancements of PlanningStation include:
- An enhanced workflow process that helps financial institutions to streamline the process for reviewing, tracking and approving financial plans prior to distribution to the client. This helps facilitate a financial institution’s specific procedures
- Updates to the At Retirement module, which handles disbursements planning, provide a simplified process for entering and analyzing an unlimited number of liabilities, making PlanningStation's approach to debt consistent across modules
- Additional formatting options for printed client reports to meet a financial institution’s branding and customization requirements, such as header and footer selections, choice of report dates, report renaming, client-specific notes, company logos, and colors used with design elements of the printed report
In addition to providing a significant best-of-breed solution for financial planning, PlanningStation is also a component of SunGard's WealthStation, an integrated wealth management workstation for financial advisors serving high net worth individuals.
SunGard provides an integrated suite of services to help asset managers and advisors meet the financial needs of their clients and capitalize on growing opportunities in wealth management. SunGard helps organizations deliver on the promise of a more holistic and consultative client experience by providing an array of capabilities for client profiling and financial planning, asset allocation and portfolio management, securities processing and asset accounting, as well as consolidated client reporting and performance measurement.