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Nick Kochanski What's in my wealthstack RIA
Nick Kochanski

Crescent Grove Advisors: Sifting The Data Looking For Trends

Nick Kochanski, CFO and senior client advisor at $4.5 billion AUM Crescent Grove Advisors, uses advances in technology to look at client and firm data in news ways to drive growth.

CRM: Redtail CRM

We’re not heavy users of CRM. Our Portfolio Advisory Services Line is $1 million to $10 million in liquid assets. Our Family Service Office line is loosely $10 million and up. We’re looking at expanding the use of Redtail CRM from Portfolio Advisory Services to other parts of the firm. We want to get marketing content, email lists and things like that out there.

Redtail CRM has been with us since two or three years ago when Portfolio Advisory Services launched. We didn’t have a CRM tool before then. We have not used CRM to a large degree in the Family Service Office group. Each advisor might only have 15 to 25 relationships. We keep those relationships limited on purpose. There isn’t much leverage we can get out of using a CRM tool when you’ve got a handful of relationships. Portfolio Advisory Services, on the other hand, may have up to 100 clients per advisor. We’ve been able to use Redtail CRM a lot more there.

what's in my wealthstackReporting & Portfolio Management: Addepar

Where we set ourselves apart is how we’ve leveraged Addepar across all our different business lines.  We’re heavy users of Addepar and we have been since the inception of the firm in April 2015. Having that much history, data and experience with that tool [Addepar], we’ve started using it in other ways outside of what we were using it for nine years ago when we started.

We’ve become so integrated with Addepar. Building out the portal view on the client side [Addepar Portal, the company’s client portal] through Addepar has limited our use of Redtail CRM in other areas of the business. A lot of these software vendors, in general, have done a good job of adding bells and whistles and upgrades along the way to make it more of a one-stop shop. That’s how we view Addepar.

As we’ve learned and developed our use of Addepar, it’s become less important for us to truly integrate a CRM like Salesforce or something of that magnitude. We’ve looked at it in the past, and quite honestly, given our limited needs and the way we’ve used other tools, it didn’t make economic sense for us to do it.

Integrations are a lot more streamlined than they were a few years ago. Syncing between custodians and Addepar is a piece of cake. We primarily have Fidelity as our custodian, but we do have other custodians we sync up with.

We have a huge amount of data and Addepar allows us to assign custom attributes and run reports. It opens the door to being able to use that for things outside of what we have done historically. That’s shifted us away from producing client-facing reports to starting to use the data that’s embedded within Addepar and the history there to track daily revenue across the firm versus plan and client growth versus market growth. We analyze the data to make sure the business is growing. Has it been driven by new client business or market movements? It measures correlations of our portfolio to the market and changes in total asset allocation trends over time. We continue to find new ways to use Addepar to come up with these analytics that are important to us.

Trading & Rebalancing: Fidelity Wealthscape

What's in my wealthstack Crescent Grove Advisors, Nick KochanskiWe’re not single stock pickers. We don’t have a managed portfolio of individual securities. When we’re rebalancing, oftentimes, all we’re doing is buying and selling mutual fund and ETF positions within a model structure. We have limited use of models at Crescent Grove to begin with. We have a lot of highly customized portfolios, so the trading activity is not around individual positions.

We recently started using the client-facing portal in Addepar to store, upload and securely download documents. We’ve been storing files in the Addepar client-facing portal, as well.

Financial Planning: MoneyGuidePro by Envestnet

We’ve used Envestnet | MoneyGuidePro for six or seven years for client retirement cashflow forecasts. That can extend to different planning objectives around Social Security and pensions and analytics.

Document Management: Internal

We are using an internally-designed file directory for document management. We don’t rely on a third-party document management application.

Cybersecurity: Venn

There are no internal servers at Crescent Grove. Everything is in the cloud through Venn [Venn Software,].


As told to reporter Rob Burgess and edited for length and clarity. The views and opinions are not representative of the views of

Want to tell us what's in your wealthstack? Contact Rob Burgess at [email protected].

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