Our Mission

To bring better advice beyond investing to more American families.

Via their caring financial advisor.

So that families thrive, and advisor practices grow.

What is Bento Engine? ​

​​Bento Engine is an integrated content and technology solution that helps client-centric Advisors deepen existing client relationships and convert more prospects faster by systematically leading with proactive advice during “Moments That Matter”™️.

We believe that impactful advice is still best delivered by humans to humans, supported by smart technology. Bento — making you more human more often.


Our team is committed to supporting advisors who want to scale impactful advice beyond investing to their clients during key moments on their financial journeys.

Mark Wellman

Director of Advice Engagement

Marcus Davis

Marcus Davis

Advice Evangelist

Laura Holt

Growth Partner

Gavin Hay

Chief Technology Officer

Gustavo Pereira

Gustavo Pereira

Lead Developer

Larissa Rios

Larissa Rios

Application Manager

Charlotte Ketelaar

Charlotte Ketelaar

Chief of Staff

Shirley Hay

Shirley Hay


Philipp Hecker


Jeff Wald


Petek Pekgoz

Chief Marketing Officer

Other Partners

Kristen Schmidt can help you make sense of RIA technology and optimize your financial services offerings to help grow your business more efficiently.
Learn More Here
Conneqtor gives financial advisors the master blueprint to start, build, and grow their business in months, not years. Conneqtor members can get 15% off Bento pricing.
Learn More Here
RIA in a Box® provides the leading compliance solution for investment advisers by delivering innovative software and expert advice. Learn more at RIAinabox.com
Learn More Here
Leading membership organization for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals and those engaged in the financial planning process. FPA members can get 15% off Bento pricing.
Learn More Here
Caribou is a healthcare cost planning and optimization solution for financial advisors.
Learn More Here
The preferred way to access high quality visuals of strategies and concepts related to the areas of education planning, estate planning, investment planning, retirement planning, and tax planning. VisiWealth clients can get 15% off Bento pricing.
Learn More Here

Advisory Council

Marty Bicknell

RIA Leader

Alex Chalekian

Alex Chalekian

RIA Leader

Dr. Preston D. Cherry


Carley Dillon

CX Leader

Shannon Eusey

RIA Leader

Jennifer Fox

Trust & Estate Leader

Rodrigo Franco

Tech Expert

Greg Friedman

CRM Expert and RIA Leader

Doug Fritz

Doug Fritz

Technology Maven

Jen Goldman

Jen Goldman

Business Transformer, CFP®

Anton Honikman

Enterprise Leader

Matthias Kuhlmey

RIA Veteran

Michael Nathanson

Industry Thought Leader

Andy Putterman

Industry Sage

Greg Soueid

Operation Expert

John Sweeney

Fintech Leader

In Memoriam

Greg Quental

Business Leader, Entrepreneur

Gavin Spitzner

Industry Sage

Our Origin Story

As with many startup ideas, the impetus behind the formation of Bento Engine is not one big single “aha moment”, but rather a combination of professional observations and personal experiences. Let’s take them in turn.

Personal Experiences
Given that I am a Procter & Gamble-trained Brand Manager and recovering BCG Consultant, it will not surprise you to hear that I love to mystery shop our industry. I like to taste my peers’ cooking, I want to experience first-hand what it feels like to be a client of firms X, Y, and Z. So for a long time, I have been working with multiple wealth management providers, across business models: Private Banks, RIAs, Wirehouse Brokers, Asset Managers, and Insurance Agents. When I listen to their elevator pitches or review their marketing materials, all of them promise some form of “holistic” or “comprehensive” advice as part of their value prop — even my Insurance Agents insist on doing fulsome financial plans with me! 

So yes, they all “talk the talk” … but how many “walk the walk”? What do you think:

  • When I turned 50, how many of them reached out not only with a congratulatory note but actionable advice on making Catch-up Contributions in my retirement accounts, thus increasing my tax-advantaged savings and investing rate?
  • When our twins turned 14, how many of them reached out on how to get them Working Papers so that they can legally start earning income? And then to put that legally earned income into Custodial IRA accounts under their name so that they get to experience and enjoy the power of tax-deferred compounding for decades to come?

If your hunch is “zero”, then you are unfortunately correct. Wow, what a missed opportunity to serve me and my family with personal, timely, actionable advice that creates real after-tax value. Yes, in their defense, my advisors are all very busy, and I am a small fish at the bottom of their book — but doesn’t my family deserve good advice as well? Why not use technology to scale the great work that great advisors are doing for their greatest of clients, and via efficient tech-enabled solutions bring that at scale to the middle and the bottom of the book, which is oftentimes woefully underserved, and represents a major built-in organic revenue growth opportunity.

Professional Observations
Our industry is shifting. Away from providing access to products … towards leading with advice. At the same time, technology is advancing fast — by now, CRM systems are broadly adopted, and the data housed in those systems is increasingly robust. We view the CRM as the hub of client-centric advisors going forward, and we proudly integrate into that hub via bi-directional APIs. Let’s mine all the great data in the CRM, and make that key system work even harder for advisors. So, value props are shifting, and technology has evolved. And last, but not least, more and more advisors and their firms are realizing that when they lead with advice, EVERYONE WINS — better client experiences and better client outcomes, plus organic revenue growth for the advisor via client deepening and prospect conversion.

There you have it, this is why we exist. And why we are excited about our Mission: 
To bring better advice beyond investing to more American families. Via their caring Financial Advisors. So that families thrive, and advisor practices grow. 

Thank you for your interest in Bento, we would love to serve you and your clients.
— Philipp Hecker, Co-Founder, and CEO

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