Note: An earlier version of this story used incorrect letter capitalizations in the business names for ProNvest and SIGNix and stated the incorrect year Jon Dickerson joined the company.
Jay Jumper left the former American National Bank (now Truist) more than two decades ago to start his own company based, in part, on the experience of his mother.
As a retiree from the Hamilton County school system with about $54,000 in her retirement account, Jumper's mom was unable to get the investment help that other investors or retirees with more money were getting.
"There was nobody there to help treat her with an institutional money manager solution," Jumper said. "They were there to sell a product."
Jumper launched ProNVest in Chattanooga in 2000 to provide an array of retirement and investment managed services for investors like his mom. Two years later he bought the digital signature company SIGNix which he has developed into one of the most popular digital signature services in the country.
ProNVest and SIGNix have grown to employ more than 40 workers housed in the fourth floor of Warehouse Row in downtown Chattanooga, but Jumper's newest venture is expected to at least double that staffing total this year.
The new product innovation, known as Future Capital, offers an investment solution that can connect with anyone's retirement account and automate important things like fund selection and rebalancing for a low monthly fee. Future Capital also offers a suite of free retirement planning tools and an IRA, all tied together in a dashboard where people can connect all of their long-term investments.
"We believe that every American, regardless of account balance, should have access to the necessary tools to help them prepare for their future," Jumper said. "401(k)s, which for many represent the largest investment account they own, have historically been underserved by advisors. Future Capital is changing that."
A recent survey by MetLife found that financial wellness is one of the top concerns of workers who are eager to get more help in saving and investing for retirement. With traditional defined benefit pensions on the decline, most workers are having to save and manage their own retirement accounts.
"A majority of Americans build the biggest part of their wealth through employer-sponsored retirement plans so we feel there is a critical need to do that in the best manner possible," said Jonathan Dickerson, a vice president of product at ProNVest who joined the company in 2019 to help develop the new financial technology to deliver the online services.
As workers are increasingly mobile and job tenure at any single employer is more limited than in the past, the Future Capital tools are also important in making and sticking to retirement investment plans with different employers through an individual's career.
Future Capital provides a financial wellness managed account solution for clients with 401(k) IRA, and other similar retirement accounts. In a series of online questions, Future Capital helps individuals define and plot a strategy for reaching their retirement goals. In addition to its online services, the Chattanooga company offers in-person help from a call center at its Chattanooga office.
Jumper said Future Capital charges a monthly fee for its services and the company is equipped to eventually grow to handle up to millions of users, if the business continues to grow.
Currently, less than 5% of the nearly $8.2 trillion invested in 401(k), 403(b) or other similar accounts are managed in a professional account with a money manager. More than 95% are directed by the individual saver.
"This is a huge market with very low penetration of professional money management services," Jumper said.
The new digital investment services like Future Capital are already attracting significant investment interest. Last year, Empower Retirement, the nation's second-largest retirement services provider, bought a Silicon Valley digital-first registered investment advisor known as Personal Capital for $1 billion.
In the past, the only way to access most retirement savings plans was through the record-keeping systems of employers or plan managers. But as such plans have shifted to new computer apps and online payment and selection processes, new access points have opened up to reach directly to plan participants.
With its 21-year record in financial technology programs and as an SEC-registered investment advisor firm and fiduciary, ProNVest developed software to allow individuals to choose its Future Capital services for help in developing and implementing retirement saving strategies.
"This is designed to provide everyone with access to retirement planning services previously only accessible to high-net-worth individuals," Jumper said. "We will continue to work to address the inequality in financial services, fulfilling our mission of equitable retirement for all."
Contact Dave Flessner at email@example.com or 423-757-6340.
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