REP.: A year after Advent Software bought your company, your founder and CEO Reed Colley has moved to Advent’s HQ in San Francisco. Will the rest of the company join him?
Dave Welling: We’re 100 percent committed to Jacksonville. It’s not the technology epicenter of the San Francisco Bay area, where you’re competing for talent against Facebook and Zynga. In Jacksonville, we attract extremely talented development folks from the whole Southeast, from Raleigh-Durham south. A good number of the current staff came from a software and services cloud company called Vurv, which was purchased by Taleo. We picked up eight or nine developers from that group. And they love the beach.
REP.: Why did you leave Schwab Advisor Services to sign up in 2009?
DW: After all those years of working with entrepreneurs, I felt like I wanted to do something more entrepreneurial. In 2008, 2009, advisors were just beginning to think about how they could use technology more. We started to see the market shift coming out of that market correction. When I joined, we had 45 people; it’s 100 people now. There were under 100 clients, now it’s over 330 clients. About 80-85 percent of them are RIAs.
REP.: You’re running Jacksonville while Colley’s in California. How are you two different?
DW: We complement each other’s strengths well. Reed taught himself how to code. He has a background as an engineer. I brought a deep background in the RIA space, a lot of relationships with the major custodians. Reed’s a visionary, the kind of guy who’ll say, ‘I want to put a man on the moon.’ My role at Black Diamond is to be NASA, figure out how to put a man on the moon and get him back safely.