Triple Summit Advisors
Wealth management and financial planning firm
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Triple Summit Advisors, LLC is a financial services and investment advisory business founded and operated by Dan Kanivas and Wei Wang. The young firm has a variety of clients, ranging from millennials to baby boomer families, and provides a range of financial services and advising. We talked to Kanivas, a co-founder who focuses on client acquisition and client service.
20+
years of investment experience
Software used
Precise FP
Customer relationship management (CRM)
PreciseFP is a customer relationship management (CRM) software that Triple Summit use to manage all the information related to their clients. It serves as a central hub for everything from basic information, like names and contact details, to more specific financial items such as income and risk preferences. PreciseFP also allows Triple Summit to easily send forms to their users over email to simplify the onboarding process for new clients. In addition, Kanivas said that they enjoy the platform for its customizability.
HelloSign
Digital contracts
HelloSign is a platform for signing digital business contracts and maintaining contract history. It allows Triple Summit to more quickly and securely complete the necessary paperwork for them to manage clients' money. Kanivas said that he liked HelloSign most out of all the e-signature platforms because of its cost effectiveness and clear record of documents, which becomes handy in the case of an audit.
Smarsh
Archiving and compliance
Finance is a heavily regulated industry, and maintaining a real-time record of written client communications is required by law. Triple Summit uses Smarsh to archive their website, texts, and emails to clients. Smarsh indexes the Triple Summit website regularly, and also produces a digital record of all client / advisor communication, which allows the firm to stay compliant in the case of an audit. Kanivas said it is the software they spend the most money on, and also the one that has no effect on their regular revenue. The firm has looked for cheaper alternatives, but haven't found anything as good as Smarsh.
Google G Suite
Administration and operations
Kanivas says his firm relies heavily on G Suite products like Drive, Docs, and Sheets to manage many day-to-day operations, like communicating and staying organized. For example, he uses various documents and spreadsheets to track stock pick ideas and record research over what might or might not work.
Q&A
What are the main problems and challenges that the firm faces?

Fundraising and new client acquisition: Kanivas’s primary work is identifying potential clients and selling financial services. He spends most of his time meeting with people, offering tailored services to individual families, and nurturing trust and relationships with potential clients. Creating these relationships and convincing people to trust the firm with their livelihood is one of the biggest challenges of scaling the business.

Compliance: Because the finance industry is so heavily regulated, Kanivas and Wang spend significant resources to understand and abide by financial regulations. They are careful not to ignore legal requirements as it would be a major risk to the firm as it scales.

How does the firm discover new software to use?

Consultants: Triple Summit hires a compliance consultant to audit the firm’s operations and file regulatory paperwork. That consultant recommends software like Smarsh to reduce legal risk and informs the firm when there are major changes to the financial advisory laws. Many times, the firm will trust the judgement of the hired consultants when it comes to the best software to use.

Search and online resources: Kanivas said that he often searches Google for better alternatives to well-established SaaS offerings like SalesForce. He and his partner used online resources like Kitces to discover new financial resources when bootstrapping their business.

What factors into decisions over what software to choose?

Cost: Since the young firm is still growing their revenue stream, cost is an important factor when choosing software products. Kanivas says the company uses Google Drive for most of their data storage needs since the cost is so low. Another example are financial resource tools like Bloomberg. Kanivas said that many of these financial resource platforms can be too expensive to justify given the value they provide.

Compliance and security: In the highly-regulated financial services industry, it’s crucial that software products and practices are well-established with auditable history. “The banking industry is the exact opposite of move fast and break things,” Kanivas said. It was clear that the firm valued software that was well-vetted and trusted by industry professionals.

Takeaways
Money management is a technical field, but also a very personal one. Making good investments over time is only one part of the business of firms like Triple Summit. Creating relationships and building trust with their clients are crucial aspects to building a successful wealth management firm.

We found that good software exists for the organizational side of a financial business, such as organizing client information or staying legally compliant. However, the human side of a wealth management firm still has friction.

Could there be an easier way for firms like Triple Summit to source clients? Kanivas said that most of their clients come from referrals and offline channels. However, wealth management can be important and useful to a much wider section of the population - the hard part is reaching them.

We also felt that investment discovery could be a potential area for new startups. Researching and discovering new investments to make was largely a manual process for Triple Summit. They leveraged their 20+ years of combined experience to make good investments over time. However, there may be opportunity to create a platform that can aggregate research and preferences in a simple, low cost way to make investment discovery even better.