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What's In My Wealthstack
Rob Rickey Straightline Group What's in my Wealthstack
Rob Rickey

StraightLine Group: Customizing The Tech Stack For Clients In Retirement

Chief Growth Officer Rob Rickey discusses the modifications the $1.1 billion AUM firm has made to serve its clientele.

I’m a 32-year veteran of the financial services industry. I spent 25 years at TIAA, 22 of them building and managing their independent advisor distribution channel. I worked with firms like StraightLine Group.

In 2022, I left corporate America and started my own consulting business. One of the first firms I worked with was StraightLine. I was helping them with some strategic projects. That ultimately led them to offer me an opportunity to come on full-time as their chief growth officer and financial advisor a year ago. I continue to do some consulting work on the side.

what's in my wealthstackStraightLine Group was founded on the concept of providing education and advice to clients in their retirement. They had a traditional retail advisory business. They also worked with several record keepers, predominately in the tax-exempt business and 401(k)s. They worked directly with participants to help manage their retirement plans and assets.

CRM: Salesforce Classic / Salesforce Lightning Experience

The firm has used Salesforce for quite a while, long before I was here. We use the Salesforce Classic product. We also have access to their Salesforce Lightning Experience version, but it has been customized for our business.

We use it not only for tracking client interactions but also for marketing emails and mass communications to clients. That has been helpful. We have built a lot of functionality into Salesforce to help calculate our invoices and fees.

The customization is a big part of what we like about it. There are two sides to that, and other CRMs are better designed for independent advisor businesses. The way we have customized Salesforce, we are tied into it now for better or worse. But it does work for us, and we’re satisfied with it. We’re now looking at other ways to use it, including its AI capabilities for building marketing campaigns.

Reporting & Portfolio Management: Private Wealth Systems

We are in the early stages of changing from BridgeFT to Private Wealth Systems.  

When we originally signed on with BridgeFT, the firm's owners found the interface simple. They felt at the time that they didn’t need the cost and bells and whistles that come with more complex systems. BridgeFT had a fabulous billing interaction for creating our households and billing groups because we had multiple fee structures. That was helpful.

But we’re unique in that we have three custodians, two of whom are record keepers. That requires us to integrate our data aggregation system. And not necessarily your traditional data because it is predominately on the tax-exempt side of those firms’ business. It’s a different structure, different mapping. It requires a good understanding of how to map that data to get appropriate reporting and performance numbers for your clients.

Then, we started talking to Private Wealth Systems. They predominantly work in the family office space, which makes their capability more robust than BridgeFT’s. Private Wealth Systems was in the process of looking to expand its business and start serving the traditional RIA space. For lack of better terminology, they’re coming down-market to firms like ours. In the early stages, we felt comfortable talking to their leadership because of their understanding of data.

When advisors look at technology, you can do all the due diligence you want, but you don’t know what you’ll get until you get into bed with them. They all can say they can do a thousand things. Then you find you get into a relationship and find out it’s not quite as they had said. It’s the nature of the beast. I was comfortable with Private Wealth Systems because of the clientele they served. Family offices are certainly more complex than we are.

Trading & Rebalancing: In House

We do most of our trade development in-house and then process that directly through our custodial relationships in bulk.

Financial Planning: Envestnet | MoneyGuidePro

We’re about a year into our relationship with Envestnet | MoneyGuidePro. We like it because it’s from a goals-based instead of a comprehensive planning perspective. For many of our clients, comprehensive planning is excessive. It’s not that you can’t do comprehensive planning with MoneyGuidePro. You certainly can. It’s fabulous. Before I joined the firm, they had NaviPlan. I don’t have anything negative to say about NaviPlan. When we decided to go with Envestnet | MoneyGuidePro, we felt their software and interface were more user-friendly for the clients. It’s a much more collaborative, ongoing, iterative process. Twenty years ago, people used to do a financial plan and get a big book with 100 pages. It was a static financial plan. We don’t look at it that way. That data evolves and becomes more accurate and reflective of their ability to achieve their goals. Goals change.

Rob Rickey Straightline Group What's in my Wealthstack

Document Management: Salesforce Classic / Salesforce Lightning Experience (Customized) / Awecomm

For document management, we use Salesforce. We don’t use anything else for documents other than our cloud-based system through our technology support firm Awecomm.

The one challenge with Salesforce is that the more data you have in there, the more it costs. That’s led us to link Salesforce to our data storage functionality through our shared drives.

Compliance: RIA in a Box by COMPLY

We work with RIA in a Box by COMPLY, which is important for advisors today. This is not only for your compliance process and risk management. The RolloverAnalyzer is critical when we’re working with clients and helping them complete a rollover from a retirement plan to an IRA. We’re happy with that. We’ve recently received good feedback from some legal consultants on that.


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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