Richard Napolitano – Many of you know that Advisor360° is an independent company building software for wealth management, but you may not know how our company started. We were born inside the technology division of an independent broker-dealer called Commonwealth Financial Network, then spun out of Commonwealth to form an independent company. We have several investors including the parent company of Commonwealth, and while we proudly hail Commonwealth as our first client, they are not an investor in Advisor360°. Our charter as an independent company is to build an amazing WealthTech company for our shareholders, clients, and employees.
We have built out a comprehensive and modular suite of wealth management software, driving productivity, profits, and compliance for broker-dealers and their advisors. In other words, Advisor360° enables digital transformation for your wealth management business.
So, as we think about forward momentum and building this SaaS company, we ask the question: what are the keys to getting there?
The 3 Principles.
Anyone who has worked with me before knows these three principles have served me well as the essence of how I think about my work every day in an early stage company.
This all comes down to Capital, Product, and Sales:
Capital is energy.
The first investor in my first company was a seasoned entrepreneur named Haim, a tremendous businessman and friend; tough as nails Israeli fighter pilot. One time he said to me, “Rich, you are running out of capital—you’re running out of energy.” I never forgot that.
Product. It's always about the product.
Why is it so important? The product supports the company’s value proposition to our clients. It is the thing or service that takes away the client’s pain or enables the aspirations of the client’s business or service.
Now to the last and often the most overlooked principle, monetizing what you built. Remember we are in a commercial business. We are a .com, not a .edu or a .org, business…
The fine art of selling.
Understanding what you have built and what it brings to the market is fundamental to any business. Depending on the nature of your business, the way you sell and reach clients might be very different.
For decades now I have been building products and technology that targets the largest and mid-sized enterprises in the world. It’s especially important to understand that enterprise sales engagements are actually not about selling, which brings me to this next key principle.
We must remember (especially as founders or technologists) that because we have been entrusted with investors’ capital and employees’ life energy, we need to create value for all. This boils down not to ideas or being right but monetizing what we have built. This is called “Product Market Fit.”
The Big Questions.
So, in the context of these three principles—Capital, Product, and Sales—here are the questions we ask every day to advance the ball for each principle:
We understand these three principles here at Advisor360°. The wonderful, prolific mixture of capital and people's ideas can be incredibly valuable. As we build Advisor360° as an independent WealthTech company, we are applying and refining these principles to create value for our clients, our shareholders, and our company.
Richard Napolitano is Advisor360°’s Chief Executive Officer, ensuring every team in the company is focused on a simple strategic vision: create outstanding WealthTech products for our clients’ success.
Suzanne Bohs – Registered principals of financial institutions hold a very important job in the financial industry: oversee the two processes of account opening and trade approval.
Broker-dealers open hundreds of accounts each day, processing thousands of trades. The manual approval of account openings and trades can lead to increased risk of missing key issues as well as the practice’s inefficiency. As representatives of their firms, registered principals are legally liable for any oversight problems that occur. And events like bringing on a new large office or quarterly/year-end trading can lead to backups which firms could never recover from without engaging additional resources.
What’s the solution to this operational challenge?
When you have the ability to automate the principal approval of both of these workflows, allowing for straight-through processing, this not only reduces risk but also optimizes your processes and practices so your team can focus on the outlier tasks that matter. At Advisor360°, we have an experienced team which focuses on the tools dedicated to scaling and improving the efficiency of home office functions like automating routine workflows. This means employees can focus on more critical functions like working with their advisors to help them grow and scale their business.
So how does the Advisor360° platform not only reduce compliance risk but also make principal approvals more efficient?
For principal approval of accounts:
For principal approval of trades:
Automation is centered around efficiency and productivity, so we give our clients total control of the automated processes. They can configure our platform with specific rules to fit both the firm’s needs and the needs of advisors. The foundational key to this is our Unified Data Fabric™ which integrates all the compliance data required to achieve your principal approvals seamlessly in one holistic user experience.
With Advisor360°, your firm can improve the efficiency of current workflows by reducing costs from the time employees spend on routine tasks, creating more straight-through processing, and enabling employees to focus on the riskier items—so they can dedicate more time to helping their advisors.
Suzanne Bohs is a Director of Product Strategy at Advisor360°, overseeing the Home Office Experience teams, a dedicated group of people that help our enterprise clients become even more efficient, productive, and compliant.