PlanPlus Launches in Eastern Europe

Award-winning financial planning software, PlanPlus Planit has now been launched in Hungary and Russia, with Bulgarian and other variations in development.
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July 16, 2010 - PRLog -- Following the recent global financial crisis, many countries are enforcing new compliance standards and updated regulations to better protect the public. This has placed a greater focus on systemic and objective methods to deliver financial advice like financial planning. In Europe, MiFID, the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, is a European Union law that provides harmonised regulation for investment services across 30 member states.

The unique scalability of PlanPlus Planit to support multiple languages and counties has made it a natural choice for small European countries where financial planning is just emerging.

“A professional financial planning software is really needed to help individual financial advisors in Hungary”, said Zoltan Luttenberger, President of the Hungarian Association of Qualified Financial Planners (HAQFP). “We were able to translate the software and work with PlanPlus to ensure the asset allocation, taxes and other rules for Hungary were proper. No other tool would have been this flexible, and few companies other than PlanPlus would have considered this effort for a small market like Hungary.”

“Software is just a small aspect of this effort,” said Shawn Brayman, President of PlanPlus. “Training and support are critical, especially in countries like Hungary with its unique language requirements and regulations. PlanPlus could never have done this without working with the local association and great partners like Zoltan Luttenberger.”

Lubomir Christoff, Chairman, Institute of Certified Financial Consultants (ICFC) Bulgaria is also working with PlanPlus to localize the software for Bulgaria.“ At this time the software will primarily be used for educational purposes but with the national Financial Planning certification taking off in Bulgaria,” said Christoff, “the software will also be launched to professional advisors.”

The PlanPlus training in Budapest coincided with an inaugural meeting of a new “International Planning Community” sponsored by the Financial Planning Association, Denver, USA which brought representatives from over a dozen countries to Budapest.

“We recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of financial planning in the United States”, said Martin Kurtz, President-Elect of the Financial Planning Association in the US, “and today we expect to have representatives from 20 to 30 countries attending our annual conference in Denver in October. It is exciting for the FPA to be able to share what we have learned with new associations like we have here in Hungary. We expect that a strong local professional association, like HAQFP, which has access to world-class technology and experience, will be able to accelerate the adoption of financial planning with the fiduciary standards of care we promote at the FPA.”    

“Russia is currently lagging countries like Hungary as we do not yet have a certification program”, said Natalia Smirnova, Director of Personal Advisor ltd. and Head of the Research & Education Centre at the Institute of Financial Planning (IFP) in Russia. Smirnova was also attending the International Community gathering in Budapest. “One other financial planner and I are currently qualified to teach financial planning and involved in the development and education of future planners through the Institute. I feel the Russian market is now ready for a product like PlanPlus Planit. The software has been localized for Russia including Cyrillic language and local tax rules, making it an ideal fit for our country.”
PlanPlus and the IFP in Russia will work together to introduce PlanPlus Planit to Russian advisors in order to determine the demand for financial planning software among financial professionals. The concept of financial planning is still fairly new to Russia. The majority of banks, asset management companies, and brokerage companies still embrace a product driven approach while a small but growing number of advisors are introducing financial planning into their practices.  

“It is exciting to be working with the financial planners that are passionate about creating a profession of financial planning in their countries”, said Brayman. “PlanPlus hopes that by working with these pioneers in the early days we can help accelerate the process of making financial planning commercially viable and rewarding for consumers and planners alike.”

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PlanPlus Inc. is a privately owned corporation with its Head Office located northeast of Toronto, Canada. For the past 20 years, PlanPlus Inc. has developed software tools and training for use by financial institutions, professional advisors and the consuming public to perform "personal financial and investment planning". PlanPlus has become a world-recognized firm with its groundbreaking software PlanPlus Planit and industry-leading training and service offerings. PlanPlus currently has users in over a dozen countries and several languages including English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Hungarian, Russian, Dutch, Portuguese and more.
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