Aaron Klein is stepping down as the CEO of Nitrogen (formerly Riskalyze), the company he founded 12 years ago as a risk tolerance documentation tool. Klein will be succeeded by Dan Zitting, the founder of Workpapers.com, which was acquired by Galvanize; he eventually became CEO of the company, which later rebranded as Diligent.
Galvanize is a SaaS company, serving one million users around the world, specializing in building software to help employees focused on security, risk management and compliance.
During his time at Galvanize, the company grew to more than 500 employees and more than $100 million in revenue, before ending his CEO tenure with a $1 billion acquisition by Diligent.
“The opportunity to serve advisors who deliver professional advice to Americans preparing for significant milestones in their lives is incredibly special to me,” Zitting said in a statement. “I am excited to accelerate the expansion of our platform, adding new ways for advisors to differentiate their services, engage the next generation, drive up client satisfaction and to grow their own firms.”
In a letter from Klein, he said he decided to step down after mulling his experience co-founding Riskalyze in 2011, and leading the firm through 42 quarters of growth to become “the largest company I’ve ever run in my career."
“After a lot of reflection, I came to the decision that it was time for a scaler—somebody who had seen the movie before, and grew a company to billion-dollar scale and beyond,” Klein wrote.
According to Nitrogen, the change in leadership had been planned for many months and should go seamlessly without changes in the firm’s support or services for wealth managers. Klein will continue to serve on the company’s board, as its largest individual shareholder, and said he had no immediate plans to take on a new job or start a new company.
“When one has been running a marathon for 12 1/2 years, the last question when you reach the finish line is 'where is the next marathon?'" he wrote.
This year, Riskalyze rebranded as Nitrogen because Klein said the name had become too connected with managing risk, despite growing its array of products and services for advisors.
Klein first announced the rebranding about a year ago at the company's annual summit before unveiling the new name in March. Since its formation in 2011, the firm expanded from its focus on risk (pouring more than $50 million into research and development) to other areas, including moving into trading, rebalancing and marketing automation in 2019, later tax-loss harvesting and home office management tools, among other offerings.
Zitting will take on the role Dec. 4, with Klein remaining on the job until then.