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A coming of age story

Richard Napolitano, June 16, 2022

Rich Napolitano
Rich Napolitano

Learning to walk before we run

At this time last year, I blogged about the birth of a company. Now, a year later, we have grown into one of the biggest software companies serving broker-dealers, bank trusts, and rollup RIAs. Yet, there is a substantial difference between building software and delivering Software as a Service (SaaS).

When we went live for 17,000 new users at MassMutual—over the course of a weekend, which was insane—two things happened to us. One, we became profitable. And two, we did not just lift and shift our product from one client to another, we built a physical and digital infrastructure so that our software could be delivered as a service to multiple clients. We learned how to support multiple clients at scale while approaching nearly “four-nines” of availability (or 99.99% of software uptime). If you look at other solution providers in the broker-dealer industry, there is no one at our scale.

With MassMutual live on our platform, we were able to pivot from delivery to development. We soon developed our Digital Onboarding, improved model trading capabilities, a new advisor household management platform, a new financial planning engine, enhanced beneficiaries to our insurance capabilities, and many other updates. But most importantly, we expanded our ecosystem and integrated with the top names in CRM, like Salesforce™.

Embracing the best so that we can become the best

We learned that broker-dealers want to leverage the CRMs they already have in place, and they want them to co-exist with our wealth management software. So, we seamlessly integrated with some of the biggest names in CRM and expanded our ecosystem. Our CRM Integration Engine allows clients to leverage the investments they have already made to their fullest.

A pivot in our software development model

As we pivoted from delivery—simply making the product work—to building the product, we took a hard look at our software development life cycle (SDLC) to see what we could improve. We deployed a new development model and process and trained our team on it so that we could take new ideas and incorporate them into our software as effectively as possible. We are also building our automation and system testing, which we feel is critical to consistently executing updates. We are already seeing results from these activities with our frequent deployment of innovations, like our Digital Onboarding, enhanced trading models, the new Advisor Experience, Financial Planning, and Beneficiaries as mentioned above.

Continuing to invest in wealth management and enterprise software experts

Our increased revenue means that we can make a bigger investment in our R&D along with focusing on expanding the Advisor360º team. We have hired roughly 100 new people in the past year, some of whom have been recent graduates from schools right here in the Boston area, which we are really excited about. We have created subsidiaries in Belfast, Northern Ireland and Bangalore, India and will be ramping up hiring in these locations in the second half of the year. And finally, we have increased our investment in sales and marketing to advance our go-to-market strategy.

Our commitment to data security

We demonstrated our commitment to protecting our clients’ data by successfully completing our System Organization Control (SOC 2 Type 2) and third-party HIPAA audits. The SOC 2 audit examined our information security practices, policies, procedures, and operations while the HIPAA audit confirmed our data security requirements.

A best-of-breed partnership

In March, we announced a strategic partnership with Charles River Development, a State Street Company. Mutual clients of Charles River and Advisor360° will have access to innovative, cloud-based technology solutions that scale to support the different and varied user personas of any enterprise wealth management firm. This combination of best-of-breed technology introduces Charles River’s managed accounts offering to our clients, making us a compelling alternative to other wealth management platforms.

The past year has been quite the journey in Advisor360º's young life—from becoming profitable, engaging in strategic partnerships, developing new technology, integrating with big names in the CRM business, and achieving a hiring blitz to expand our workforce—and I am confident in saying these are just our first steps. As an independent software provider, we are rapidly building momentum in empowering wealth management firms to drive better outcomes and innovate more quickly, resulting in increased growth, greater efficiency, and deeper advisor/client relationships.

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.