The wealthtech industry was shocked with the news late Thursday that Jud Bergman, Envestnet's co-founder and CEO, died in a car accident along with his wife, Mary Miller. Bergman, 62, was a well-respected and liked figured across the industry.
Immediately following news of his death, tributes poured in from many of those who worked with him and knew him well.
"Even though we were competitors, we had an instant friendship and I actually always looked forward to getting together with Jud," said Eric Clarke, CEO of Orion Advisor Services. "He always had a tremendous amount of respect for our industry and was a true visionary when it came to thinking about where the independent advice business could go. I don’t think Jud was always satisfied with the status quo and he really enjoyed pushing it to be better. It is a horrible tragedy and I just cannot express how badly I feel for his kids."
At the Riskalyze Fearless Investing Summit in Boston, CEO Aaron Klein opened Friday with a moment of silence to a shocked crowd. He announced that Riskalyze board member Lori Hardwick, a co-founder of Envestnet with Bergman, had left the conference to return home to her family upon hearing the news.
"Our community will always remember him as a warm and caring individual whose genius lives on in the company that he founded and the lives that he influenced," Klein said. "Looking back, I'm not sure that there's anybody who has made quite as many chess moves in the financial technology space as Jud has. And each move has driven the industry forward and elevated the profession of financial advice."
"Jud was an industry icon, fearless leader, genuine and caring human being," said Redtail Technology CEO Brian McLaughlin. "We lost a visionary innovator and his impact to our industry will continue to be felt for many years. God bless him and his family."
"He was awesome," added Craig Iskowitz, founder and CEO of fintech consultancy the Ezra Group. He said he only knew Bergman for three years and was initially intimidated by him. He said he was floored that Bergman knew who he was before they formally met.
McLaughlin also said he was initially scared and nervous to first meet Bergman. "Cause it was 'Jud,'" he said. "But minutes into our first meeting you just knew he wasn't someone to be afraid of, but rather someone to learn from. He was kind and thoughtful and brilliant."
Here are a few of the tributes posted on social media honoring Bergman and reacting to the news of his death.