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.
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.
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.
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.