Savant Wealth Management, an RIA headquartered in Rockford, Illinois with $13.5 billion in assets and about 8,000 clients, said Wednesday that it led a seed round of funding in Lumiant, a financial planning software company based in Sydney, Australia.
The RIA invested $3 million in the startup and now owns a minority stake in the company. Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed. Savant CEO and founder Brent Brodeski will also join Lumiant’s board, which already includes Gavin Spitzner, president of Wealth Consulting Partners, a technology consultant to wealth managers, and Matthew Brinker, managing partner at Merchant Investment Management, an investor in and service provider to RIAs.
Lumiant, which was founded in 2020 and debuted in the U.S. in May, declined to share if any other investors participated in the round or the valuation of the company. PitchBook, a data company focused on venture capital, private equity, and mergers and acquisitions, listed Lumiant’s valuation at $10.5 million prior to the seed round of funding.
Blake Wood, the chief executive of Lumiant’s U.S. business, stressed to RIA Intel the importance of the partnership with Savant. The RIA was Lumiant’s first investor and customer in the U.S. and it has helped the startup develop its platform for wealth managers in the states.
“We’ve been working with them, collaborating on the development of the platform, understanding the various advisory use cases, and having kind of that real-life implementation as we’ve been preparing the rollout,” Wood said about Savant. “They’re going to be hand in hand with us, helping us understand the marketplace and vice versa.”
Brodeski said in a statement that Lumiant will help Savant’s advisors deliver advice in a “more understandable, tangible, measurable and efficient manner, no matter the financial literacy of our clients.”
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“[We] are lucky to have the opportunity to invest in the company’s future. Its advice engagement platform is a perfect fit for Savant,” Brodeski said.
Lumiant plans to use the new capital to hire as many as five employees focused on product development, sales, and client services and to help it expand in the U.S., a market the startup always intended on expanding to eventually, according to Wood.
In May, when Lumiant made its U.S. debut, co-founder Santiago Burridge told RIA Intel that he was on the second flight out of Australia after the border reopened (it was closed to mitigate the spread of Covid-19). A handful of advisors in the U.S. have already started using Lumiant and some RIAs, in addition to Savant, have signed licensing agreements with the company, Wood said.
More than 150 advisors to over 4,000 households already use the software in Australia.
In the coming weeks, Lumiant plans to launch new features, including a governance tool that shows clients how their family’s asset and legacy structures are organized. It plans to announce integrations with other software this year (it is currently in talks with Envestnet about integrating with MoneyGuidePro).
Lumiant does not see other financial planning software as competitors. It was designed to augment existing planning processes with value- and goals-based objectives. Unlike other financial planning tools that track only a few goals, Lumiant tracks up to 15 objectives such as having children or attending a university. The platform also makes sure every family member is part of the financial planning process and has access to the plan.
“We think, and luckily Savant agrees, that there are different elements and key ways to engage clients to help them live a better life, which doesn’t always revolve around them having that large nest egg,” Wood said. “This is a different approach to engaging clients and making sure advisors are talking to all of their clients, not just one of the spouses and building a platform and a plan for that client and that family to live their best life.”
Holly Deaton (@HollyLDeaton) is a staff writer at RIA Intel and based in New York City.