Wealth Podcast Post

Values Driven Advice with Santiago Burridge

George Grombacher October 27, 2022

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Values Driven Advice with Santiago Burridge

LifeBlood: We talked about values based advice, why the traditional model of financial planning is flawed, how and why to focus on a planning process based on the entire families input, and how to do it sustainably, with Santiago Burridge, CoFounder and CEO of Lumiant, entrepreneur and advisor. 

Listen to learn why starting with your values and goals can improve your financial life!

You can learn more about Santiago at Lumiant.IO and LinkedIn.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Santi Burridge

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:00
Hi this is George G and the time is right welcome today’s guest strong and powerful Santiago Burj Santee Are you ready to do this?

Unknown Speaker 0:22
I am nice to meet you, George.

george grombacher 0:24
Nice to meet you. Let’s go. Since he is the co founder and CEO of LUMION. They are a behavioral finance and client experience platform that’s uncoupled from financial products and benchmarks and anchored in what clients truly value and measured against their overall well being. Santi, tell us a little about your personal lives more about your work, why you do what you do.

Unknown Speaker 0:48
Okay. Son of a Spaniard and an Englishman who moved to Australia. I moved to Sydney in 2000, just after I joined the profession, actually, as an advisor in 1998. I fell in love, never left, three daughters, surf lifesaver, serial disrupter, and entrepreneur, and love you know, swimming, surfing. Skiing, anything that gets me outdoors and having fun.

george grombacher 1:22
Nice, I love it. So you started as a financial advisor, when

Unknown Speaker 1:27
not 898 as an advisor, I was advisor for 16 years, I started a business in 2010, which is kind of the, where I started thinking about this business really, which was this idea that it was kind of wrong, that advisors knew what we were selling clients, when they get in the door, we were kind of, we had our best product in our pocket. And that business I started in 2010 was a simple idea, one that’s still quite novel, that we should start with the client, not the product and understand what’s important to them and design a solution around their needs, not ours. And so I started that business, then and then sold that recently, and then 2020 started LUMION.

george grombacher 2:04
Nice. So the motivation was, it shouldn’t be my interaction with this prospective client, the customer should not be based on the product that I’m interested in selling them, it should be the opposite. It should be to figure out what it is that they’re interested in, or they need. And if a product is the solution, well, then we can move ahead with that. But if it’s not, then I don’t need to try and sell them this thing.

Unknown Speaker 2:31
Yeah, that’s a really good start that the second part to that is, is the industry has been trained. And I’m very careful with my words here, the industry has been trained to sell, you know, we have our best account, manage funds, SMA, whatever it may be in our pocket, you know, we get to know our clients, we understand what’s important to them, we empathize with them, and then we sold them what they were going to be sold pretty much regardless of what they said, you know, and I use the word industry, right? Because an industry does that it sells a profession serves it listens and understands what’s important to clients and designs a solution to meet their needs. And so we started with this simple idea that we should understand our clients values, what’s important to them, their ethical views, be it environmental or not, it might be that I want to own guns and weapons, cool, you know, that’s what rocks your boat will design something that meets your needs. But more often than not, it wasn’t it was people want to design their portfolios to their to their views, social governance, we wanted to take into account their taxation, God help us you make sure we manage their after tax return and design something that aligned to what was important to them or needs. And, and most advisors haven’t done that, because that’s really hard to do, right? How do I manage, you know, potentially hundreds of discrete portfolios one by one, and we realized, she’s What was it 14 years ago, it was technology that had to drive the experience, not people. And, you know, that was the birthplace of, you know, us just, you know, kind of we offended ourselves, let’s be honest. And if every advisor in the world sort of took that perspective, you know, started with the client, not the product, and I think we’d have a very different profession.

george grombacher 4:15
I feel like that’s probably what most advisors want. How has it been received?

Unknown Speaker 4:24
Yeah, well, you know, there’s a huge inertia. So I’m obviously Australian. We are until three or four years ago had 90% control by banks who saw advisors as salespeople, and they use them as salespeople, they conflicted, they made sure that that you know, the clients are gonna get, and that’s changed rapidly over the last three or four years in Australia, which is really exciting. And so what you’re seeing is really the birth of entrepreneurialism, you’re seeing your advisors now start to challenge their business models and go you know, what’s the best thing I could possibly do? And that, you know, from that how has created a really exciting environment where we’re all starting to go well, you know, clearly technology’s got to drive my solution, it cannot be people pan, no pad dependent, has to be process driven. It has to be systemized double got to be repeatable, but it has to start with a client. And I’ve taken the view for some time that everything that’s three months of the customer journey, you know, we’ve, we have these cool tools that we show clients now Really, wow, you know, we wow them with these amazing things, right? And they say, Yeah, we got to work with you, because there’s a beautiful graph or a beautiful score, or whatever it may be. And then we give them a login to see how they go into something we have no control over, like, you know, it’s quite insanely nuts. However we got, yeah, whoever, whoever we convinced ourselves that that was a proposition, what we’re seeing is, is that rapidly change as people understand or advisors understand that technology, and actually draw a solution to that capture that extraordinary human engagement, you know, that, that connection we create with our clients at that first meeting? That is extraordinary right now, I think about the advice profession as the number one profession in the world, it’s not anyone’s stats, you look at something like 15, or 20, who aren’t, should be number one, and definitely should be number one, because we know our clients better than anyone else, and we know them better than our doctors. So we just got to play to that strength. You know, we got to bring that to life, that extraordinary human connection that we create with our clients and anchor our journey in their needs, not ours.

george grombacher 6:34
Makes sense? And certainly, I have had the experience that you’re talking about many, many, many times and had the frustration of of needing to just cram some kind of a solution, which isn’t necessarily bad for client, but it may be it’s not optimal. So to be able to, to, to, to remedy that, I think is really exciting. So how would you realize we’re going to need technology, we’re going to need systems processes a way to make this repeatable, otherwise, it’s not going to, people aren’t going to use it. So here we are. Now today, you’ve you’ve the things been out there, you’ve been kicking it around making changes, tweaking it. How does how does it actually work? I? Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 7:24
Yeah, I’m guilty as charged to George, I’m gonna form a sword there, too. So we know, we’re both, you know, guilty of having to do that, really, because we didn’t know a better way. You know, sort of halfway through that last business’s journey, I realized I fixed the wrong problem, right. So the idea was, we wanted to be able to mass customize advise investments, you know, to take into account the client’s needs, not ours, what I started to realize is that their real value advice is advice. It’s nothing to do with investments. And we wanted to work out how we could mess personalized advice. So how can I treat potentially 1000s of clients individually, about what’s important to them in their life and delivered by technology? So that was the start of LUMION. It kind of etched in my head for years, until the GFC stuff, sorry, the Witch crisis, and I think about COVID 2020. And I approached my chairman and said, You know, I’m out I gotta, this is just eating at me, I got to do this. And, and it was a really simple idea that how do we hero advice, not product? And how do we bring all that to life? So we started with, well, a sort of human centered design approach to trying to understand what the world’s best customer experience would look like. That was six months at a million dollars, rightly or wrongly, to try and understand that experience tested in the market. You know, I think, again, I come back to that point that everything was built that I’d seen for the first three months, the customer relationship, we wanted to build a for the 30 years of the clients relationship and use another word they very carefully, we will talk about the households we care for, you know, I’ve got 300 households I care for morality in those 300 households is probably 1000 clients. And we’re only speaking to 300 of them, maybe at best, you know, there’s another 700 there. We want to have a conversation that’s very different from the current one. They want to be talking about life, then we talked about their values, gonna be talking about their goals, and we’ll be talking about the best life looks like. And that’s where we started to realize that there is a, you know, I call it the greatest opportunity of a lifetime. That there is an entire niche of people who have been intentionally disengaged by numbers industry, solid numbers, people, and predominantly, it’s been females. The stats are quite extraordinary. You know, we’ve all probably read them. 70% of females are going to find their advisor spouse on their death. 50% of women feel completely disengaged from the advice industry 36% believe they’re patronized by their advisor. I mean, that’s that is all awful. And it gets worse 16 to 20% of the industry is females. Now more than 51% are in accounting now blind Friday, I don’t know if that’s a global state word or Australian phrase, but blind Friday, you know, anybody could tell you if there’s 16% in an industry and as 51% of females are in accounting, there’s something going on. And it’s very subtle. But her industry again serves sales, its sales and a professional service. So when I go see my accountant, they don’t know what to sell me. They’re gonna listen to me and understand what’s what I’ve got to fix and fix my problem. Come back with me with the solution. And I go, Yeah, okay, I’ll pay for that. So when I go to a lawyer, when I go to see my advisor, that’s actually not what’s occurring. I’m getting someone who’s highly empathetic. But I’m getting sold something that I was probably going to be sold, regardless of what I said. And that’s not attracting women to our profession, not attracting diverse talent to our profession. So in building LUMION, we kind of started with a pretty boil the ocean idea, which was, how could we fix this? How could we create a desk to create a piece of technology that was a destination, that would create a destination place for the young, diverse female talent, attract more to our profession, and then engage that disengaged parties. And I want to be a bit careful here. If I think about the couple that walk into an advice, business, you know, being a husband and wife or husband, husband, wife, wife, there’s dead tends to be one financial spouse. But in reality, both of them are non financial spouses. The reason why they’re walking into see the advisor is because they don’t know the answer, and they want to help. So I look at it and go, probably 80 to 90% of people who walk into advisors office want to be having a conversation with their advisor about life, not money. And the thing that we uncovered is that and this is, you know, deep in psychology these days, is that people want to live their life closer, if we can help people live their life closer to their values, they’re going to be happier. I mean, I could argue that this should be taught in school, you know, don’t start a career that’s not aligned to your values, because you just won’t be happy.

Unknown Speaker 12:07
And so we started with a deep DNA process about trying to identify as people’s values bring that to life. They use, obviously, align the goals, bring that to life. And then here are all those extraordinary things and an advisor does the strategies, the tasks, the achievement of goals, they’re helping them live the life that they dreamt up? How do we hear that and a piece of technology? That was the challenge for us? And that’s what we built?

george grombacher 12:33
Nice. Well, all that makes a lot of sense. And and it’s ambitious and important. And like I said, it makes sense. Why wouldn’t people want to better align all of their money, the work they do, the way that they invest? conversations they have around their values, and the closer you can get to that, and if you’ve got 300 households, and 300 people are the people talking to you, but there’s the other 700 who are not engaged. And it’s not because they don’t want to be it’s maybe they just feel like they don’t have access, that leads to a bunch of problems, that that there’s parents who never talk to their kids about money. And we know that that’s true. And the more we can engage other people, the more empowered they’re going to be and probably more financially successful. So. So the process is it it’s guiding the client interaction from the first time that the advisor sits down with them and says, here’s, here’s sort of the data, the conversations we need to have, and then that’s taken and input and it helps me to the design different solutions.

Unknown Speaker 13:40
Yeah, so we reimagined everything from risk profiling, to fact finding. So in our platform, you know, an advisor can create their own fact find whatever it is, you know, traditional factfinding is, what do you have? We disagree, it’s a feel, and we want both parties to their financial relationship, go through that process without the adviser and present. And so one of the things that we were excited to see if we could achieve, because we know how most advisors work, you know, they send out stuff one by one, or they do a PDF attachment, or they send a link and then they get it back in their office. And then they’re having to put it into their wherever system there who’s, how could we could we create a system where everything was launched from hours completed by the client in it, and populated automatically. And so essentially, we’ve got the entire customer experience journey in one place. So anything that we built that with the advisor or using our processes, you know, it’s launched to the client, we start with their life’s priorities, and we help them identify their values. That’s a tremendous amount of fun. Helping people identify what drives them in life and then puts their family values together. If you want to see the value of extraordinary advice, watch a couple have a discussion about what’s most important to them in their lives. And listen, and here’s the thing, I’ve had so many advisors That being involved for that conversation? Answer, you don’t need to just listen, and a financial plan in the US, one of them being retirement. And we have, we’re getting sort of 10 to 15 goals per session. So the standard 15 goals we’re now working on for that client. And then we’re helping them link their strategies and the key advice areas we’re working on in a platform. So really, you know, if I really, you know, help your audience understand that, there’s a simple idea, how could we hero the advice that you give in one place, and anchor your customer experience, and suddenly you can control, which is helping your clients lead the lives that they dreamt off? Not the products they didn’t, the book isn’t not going to be written about the advisor who’s picked the winning fund. And if it is fictional ideas of a bedtime reading it the book will be written, and it should be written about this extraordinary profession, who has changed the lives of 10s of millions of people, and help them live better lives and better family relationships, better relationships with their children? Yeah, and, and even helped in the transition of wealth. So you know, one of the things we built on the platform was a really simple idea again, but you know, the hero, the the state plan and the platform. And so what happens in the legal profession, when someone passes away, we have a dispute, we have a dispute, because I’m trying to work out George’s intent by the written word, well, George Knapp record is attend a voice in the platform. So I can actually sit there and go, you know, kids, you’re listening to this, because I’m no longer here. I loved you. I had a great life with you. I’ve structured everything, George, my advisor is going to make sure we do everything right, we’ve set it up to make sure that you’re that your everything that we’ve set you up was going to protect the assets we built for you and make sure to have to tax men and maximize it. I hope you have a beautiful life. Love you. Enjoy life, it’s short, have a great time. Now I get emotional saying that, because I’m thinking of my kids listening. That’s the power of advice, right? That’s bless the hero, all that extraordinary stuff. That product now, you know, it’s nothing.

george grombacher 17:13
Yeah. A lot. How much? How long does it take to I don’t want to call it homework. But it’s it’s independent work that that client needs to engage in. And from my perspective, I’m not interested as an advisor and working with somebody who’s not willing to take the time to go through that. And it’s so incredibly time saving, because to your point, you know, in the time that human beings, a husband, and a wife, or whatever can get together in and carve out that time, it’s very, very precious. So to maximize it, the more work we can independently do the better, because then we can have actual substantive conversations about actually making these things happen. Do you have a sense of how long it does take on the front end to get this work done?

Unknown Speaker 18:05
Yeah, great question. George. Look, firstly, most advisors are already doing all this stuff, right? They do it in their own special sauce. And, and I want to make the one of the key points about building Lehman, it was this idea that the I’d met 10s and 10s of miles. And actually, that’s probably exaggeration. I’ve met a 1000s of advisors right through my career. And they’re all really great. And I have the greatest respect for them. But it’s them. It’s people dependent. It’s their skill that they’ve learned over 30 years that they can deliver, and no one can do it as good as them. So one of the key parts was drop your ego at the door, you’re good, but you’re not that good. We’ve created a system that’s repeatable. And now anyone in your office can do it, right. So it could be the customer service persons delivering it, because remember, we’re not talking about advice here. We’re just talking about helping people live the lives that they dreamt up, there’s no product. That leads me to your question, which is, how could we streamline it? So how can we make it client driven or advisor driven, so there’s some advisors who will never let the client do this, and it’s too engaging for them. And I love being there for the emotional conversation and would never miss it, right? Maybe one of them are probably crying with the clients. The there’s other advisors, so this is actually this is hard work, I want to do it because our clients gonna love the experience, but I’m not that great at it. So send it out to the client. So the system has been really set up. So you can do it with the client on the client can do it independently of you. And we’ve tried to try to gamify the whole system, really, so the clients aren’t spending too much time. And one of the simple things we did, which is we built the whole tech stack on AWS, which obviously has Amazon’s Alexa there. So we have Amazon’s transcribe technology built into the tire tech stack. So the client doesn’t need to actually type of thing. All they need to do is record their voice and it brings it true to tech. So incredible time saving world class compliance because the client said and you’ve got their voice, right, that’s pretty hard. You know, ask an open question. You’re gonna get the right answer. Take care. You know, you’re never been challenged because you’ve got the clients voice saved. So, you know, if I do a hand to hand combat, you know, there’s a good hour and a half two hour session. As I said, most advisors probably doing it anyway and their own way for us is to take as as you wish, you know the cost, and I don’t think we

george grombacher 20:21
love it. Fascinating. I appreciate. I appreciate the work and time that it’s taken to create this. So exciting. Santi, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about it? Where can they engage with Lumia don’t give us everything.

Unknown Speaker 20:39
So yeah, WW Lumut, l u m, I A and t.io. We’ve got 16 in the US now still 14 in Sydney, growing rapidly are in New Zealand conversations elsewhere in the world. Exciting times, they’ve got a whole team that has reached out on the website and someone to take you through what we’ve done.

george grombacher 21:01
Excellent. If you enjoyed as much as I did, send to your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciate good ideas go to LUMION that IO, it’s L U M I A n t.io. Check out everything that he has been working on and find out if it’s a good fit for what you are trying to accomplish as well. Thanks again Santi. And until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

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