Matt Abar, a rock star among portfolio management software geeks who made millions selling his first PMS company to Advent Software a decade ago, is back.
FinFolio, which I wrote
about three years ago, has now launched in 20 RIAs and it’s a serious contender. The slidecast tells the story in detail.
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Abar says he is targeting RIAs with $200 million to $2 billion in assets under management, “although we do have clients larger and smaller.”
Abar says the software starts at $11,000 a year for a single-seat license and goes up from there depending on the number of seats purchased.
“If RIAs want it cloud-hosted, we contract with RackSpace,” says Abar. “We will install the server for them and get them up and running and they manage their own data then. So that can have control of the database and yet have it in the cloud.”
Of the 20 or so RIAs using FinFolio, just one is using that configuration. The others are hosting in-house. Remote users can a VPN to access the program and run reports.
Abar says he has not created a service bureau that will download for RIAs and run a hosted version of the app because that market is too crowded with vendors. Instead, Abar is focused on larger investment advisory firms that want to “in-source,” those with IT departments and staff to manage their data.
“Firms that want to in-source tend to be medium to large RIAs with $200 million under management and up,” says Abar. "If you are below the $200 million level, outsourcing is better for you.”
Abar says RIAs with more than $200 million “should look at technology as a strategic differentiator between your firm and competitors.”
FinFolio mainly serves RIAs, Abar says, but works with some money managers and family offices. Since it does not offer integrated real-time trading, it is not a good fit for money managers.
How’s his new venture different from Techfi? “It’s better software than Techfi,” says Abar.
“Also, Techfi cranked out add-on apps like a CRM on top of our portfolio management system and, looking back on it now, we did not do a great job of it. Now, we will stick just with portfolio management.
“If I had the same mindset I did at Techfi, we would already have moved on to the next product,” says Abar. “But now we are refactoring and building the best software out there.”