Addepar, the technology platform primarily associated with family offices and registered investment advisors, is intent on working with the largest wealth managers and has hired several new executives in recent weeks to help make that happen.
David Lessing, Addepar’s new chief revenue officer, told WealthManagement.com that the company is already working with First Republic Bank, Morgan Stanley and a “large independent broker/dealer” but sees opportunity to work with others. There is also demand from the target market—large wealth managers have also approached Addepar about working together, he said.
“Where we’ve needed to build up the skillset is on deployments at large companies and navigate some of the large companies on the business side,” said Lessing, who was previously the chief operating officer for Morgan Stanley’s U.S. Field Management Group and head of Merrill Lynch’s Global Private Client Direct Division.
The newly hired executives, including Lessing, were brought on board largely because of their experience with larger institutions, rather than who they know at them, he said.
In addition to Lessing, Addepar has hired Stephen Snyder as chief financial officer, Daniel Bayer as senior vice president of Services, Sally Buchanan as vice president of People and Operations, and Natalie Sunderland as vice president of Marketing.
After stints at Adobe and HP, Snyder was the CFO of the publicly traded Rocket Fuel Inc. and Trilliant, a late-stage venture, capital-backed company. He’s replacing Nancy Hilker who is retiring from Addepar, the company said. Bayer and Buchanan both have experience working for software companies including Apttus and Twitch, respectively. Sunderland was previously the vice president of marketing at the artificial intelligence company Qventus, as well as at Castlight.
Addepar also added to its board Laurence Tosi, the former CFO of Airbnb and Blackstone Group.
Lessing also said that Addepar plans to hire more employees in 2019 across its business, including engineering, services and marketing as it grows.
“Sophisticated financial advisors today, in any form, whether they are in an RIA, wirehouse or independent broker/dealer … the demand for transparency and the aggregation of information is paramount,” said Michael Spellacy, the senior managing director for Capital Markets at Accenture.
Addepar is on a short list of technology companies that has proven its platform can deliver aggregated data and reporting in a secure and effective way, even to the largest and most sophisticated wealth managers, Spellacy said. Unlike many of the technology companies in the market that will come and go, Addepar is part of a club that has staying power, especially as it engages bigger companies, he said. Although, Spellacy was skeptical about the prospect of Addepar converting asset data flowing through its platform into insights for clients—something Lessing said wealth managers are inquiring about and that Addepar is considering.
“The promise is there, the possibly exists, the reality and the conversion remains to be seen,” Spellacy said.
Since April, assets on Addepar’s platform grew 30 percent to $1.3 trillion, the company said. In April, the company said it was working with more than 300 financial services firms and has 280 employees who work out of its headquarters and offices in Salt Lake City, Chicago and New York.