Market demand is growing for financial planning that goes beyond money

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Equitable, a leading financial services company and subsidiary of Equitable Holdings (NYSE: EQH), has launched a unique partnership and curriculum with Columbia University. The program invites finance professionals to study a specific program focused on holistic financial planning and supporting clients in achieving their life goals and dreams. Upon completion of the program, finance professionals earn a qualification called the Columbia University Holistic Financial Coach Credential.

Coaching inspires positive financial behavior change, which is often the missing piece of financial education. Individuals increasingly need to understand and address the emotional and social components of their financial planning. By better understanding who and what is most important to clients, finance professionals can help them shape habits and strategies to pursue their best future.

This year, more than 1,500 finance professionals from Equitable Advisors have opted for a fundamental personal development program designed by Equitable which serves as a precursor to the coaching diploma. This initial program focuses on the personal growth of finance professionals and activating their unique gifts in serving clients. Finance professionals can then invest in the Advanced Coaching Diploma, an immersive training that involves one-on-one coaching and requires over 40 hours. More than 100 finance professionals have graduated from the program, with another 100 expected to be accredited by the end of 2022.

“This program was created in response to a growing demand in the financial planning market to go beyond numbers and data,” said Dave Karr, president of Equitable Advisors. “Holistic life planning is part of Equitable’s differentiated counseling model: meeting people where they are on their life journey to pursue their best future through finances that enable their purpose and style goals. of life. By combining a personal development program for finance professionals who can continue to follow the coaching program, we invest in our people and their future, which translates into stronger client relationships.

“Columbia’s Coaching Center of Excellence is thrilled to partner with Equitable to offer the first-of-its-kind title that integrates high-impact coaching capabilities with the art of the relationship in counseling to help clients achieve their financial goals and lifestyle needs,” said Dr. Terrence E. Maltbia Faculty Director, Columbia Coaching Center of Excellence, Columbia University.

The need for holistic life planning reflects a number of social and demographic trends. The first is that people increasingly want the advice and input of a trusted ally who knows and fully understands their situation. According to research by Equitable, the average person is unhappy with the financial advice they receive. Nearly three-quarters (72%) say it is “very or extremely beneficial for financial services companies to serve non-financial needs.”

Linked to these trends are the fact that people are living much longer, that the very definition of retirement is changing, and that each person’s definition is unique. Financial planning for life is not a one-size-fits-all or one-time solution: clients’ lives change, and so do their goals. Finance professionals need to understand the ever-changing long-term vision of their clients and this program teaches finance professionals and eventually coaches to lead with thoughtful and disinterested questions rather than outlining or prescribing preformed strategies, which often leads to a much more informed understanding of the client’s situation.

The program is also psychographically based and prepares finance professionals to support not only life stages but also the thinking style preferences of clients. For example, if a finance professional is more left-brained and focuses on financial analysis, this program teaches them to be more adaptable so they can work well with clients who have right-brained preferences, which can require more empathy and exploration of possibilities, as well as a broader understanding of the “why” behind the plan.

Samantha Curtin, an Equitable Advisors financial professional and graduate of the programme, said: “I have always seen myself as more than just a financial professional for my clients. They trust me and often come to me for advice in financial areas beyond traditional investments. This program gives me the tools to address the challenges and opportunities that are at the heart of my clients’ concerns, but also to be able to continue to help clients think bigger. In other words, I can have more meaningful conversations with my clients.

Sales Manager Jim Mellin explains, “Our customers trust us to help them build financial security for life. We don’t take this for granted and so we are committed to supporting our finance professionals with learning opportunities that keep them motivated, at the forefront of the industry and ready to meet clients where they are as they go. and as concerns arise and their goals change.

This program extends the relationship that Equitable and AllianceBerstein have established with Columbia University. AllianceBerstein has had a climate change collaboration with the Earth Institute and Columbia Climate School since 2019 that has provided climate change education and investments to over 300 AllianceBerstein investors and 1,000 global asset owners.

About Equitable

Equitable, a master franchise of Equitable Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: EQH), has been one of America’s premier providers of financial services since 1859. With a mission to help customers achieve financial well-being, Equitable provides advice, protection and retirement strategies. individuals, families and small businesses. Equitable has over 8,000 Equitable Advisors employees and finance professionals and serves 2.8 million clients across the country. Please visit for more information. Reference to the 1859 founding applies specifically and exclusively to Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company (Equitable Financial) (NY, NY).

Samantha Curtin is a Registered Representative of Equitable Advisors, LLC (NY, NY 212-314-4600), Member FINRA, SIPC (Equitable Financial Advisors in MI & TN), an Investment Advisor representing Equitable Advisors, LLC, a SEC registered investment adviser and agent (CA Insurance Lic. #: 0E88954) of Equitable Network Insurance Agency of California, LLC (Equitable Network, LLC outside of California). GE-4720836.1(05/22)(exp.05/24)