Harness Wealth goes beyond the simple task of connecting prospects and RIAs
Most financial advisor-client matchmaking services have had low to moderate success in the past, but David Snider, CEO and founder of Harness Wealth, predicts his business will be the exception.
Harness, which Snider founded three years ago in New York City, goes beyond the simple task of connecting prospects with an RIA, he says. Harness also connects its clients, many of whom generate wealth through stock-based compensation, with other professionals in financial planning, investment management and tax.
This strategy helped the company land $ 15 million in funding led by Jackson Square Ventures, with participation from Bain Capital, Marc Benioff and Ori Allon.
Harness finds prospects through partner companies who bring it in to help employees when the company is about to be sold or accept a large investment, as well as through its advisors and direct channels to its audience. entrepreneurs. Harness then analyzes an investor’s income, assets, financial goals, and risk preferences, and matches them with an advisor using an algorithm.
There is no additional charge for consumers who use the platform, but Harness collects a portion of the advisory fees that advisers charge for their services.
“There really isn’t anyone who connects the dots of a relationship with multiple advisors or has a single source of truth for your personal financial data that makes it easy to interact with multiple advisors and get the right result.” Snider says.
Others have launched digital services in hopes of connecting advisors with prospects with mixed results. Investopedia’s Advisor Insights and NerdWallet’s Ask an Advisor were closed, while SmartAssets, FeeOnlyNetwork, and Zoe Financial had some success.
These matchmaking services help close a significant gap, further widened by the remote work setup, by matching prospects with a “tailored advisor” who matches their unique preferences, says Mike Zambon, senior consultant at Capco.
Where Harness stands out from the competition is its unique approach to targeting entrepreneurs, which has generated significant growth for the company, Snider says. Harness saw an 848% year-over-year increase in client and advisor meetings in the third quarter of 2020, and interest from individuals through liquidity events increased significantly in September and October compared to both previous months.
Venture capital firm Jackson Square Ventures was impressed with Snider and Katie English, Harness’s chief marketing officer, as well as the company’s integrated approach to reaching its target demographic.
âWhile this value is still on paper, these people need tax advice and guidance on structuring their business, so that they can maximize the value they have achieved,â says Greg Gretsch, co-founder and Managing Director of Jackson Square Ventures. “Harness [has] created a solution targeting only those kind of people who have equity in the startup world. “
The operational capabilities of tax planning – especially for investors facing stress and confusion after a large liquidity event or financial windfall – help it stand out from other matchmaking services, adds Zambon.
The company is doubling down on that offer, Snider says. Harness is developing a new offering called Harness Tax, which provides tax preparation and planning services.
The long-term goal is to create a single gateway that people use to manage their personal finances, track and analyze existing holdings, and view historical and future tax liabilities, Snider adds.
âThere’s one element that kind of helps people find the right services and the right advisors, but it’s in a much larger ecosystem, as part of our goal and our vision, to truly be the gateway for financial services and the benchmark financial system for our clients, âhe says.