3 Questions with Thomas Rozman of Sawtooth Solutions

FintekNews is pleased to offer our weekly feature column “3 Questions”. Each week, we feature a thought leader within a unique sector of fintech and ask them to answer just 3 questions for our audience in their vernacular. This week, we’d like to introduce you to Thomas Rozman,  Chief Investment Office of Sawtooth Solutionss, a leading provider of Unified Managed Account services for overseeing the entire wealth management processPrior to Sawtooth Solutions, Tom was Co-Founder & CEO of Investigo Corporation, a wealth management software firm in data aggregation, performance reporting and the delivery of holistic investment advice, that was later acquired by Broadridge Financial Solutions.

NAME:  Thomas J. Rozman, CFA
TITLE:  Chief Investment Officer
COMPANY:  Sawtooth Solutions, LLC
WEB ADDRESS: 
www.sawtootham.com

How did you personally become involved in fintech?

Technology and financial services have been interconnected since I began my career as an investmet professional almost 30 years ago.  At that time, an advisor’s desktop consisted of a Quotron machine that could deliver stock quotes, market commentary and intra-company product information.  Most advisors also had in their offices a small decorative speaker, better known as a “squawk box” that was a company-wide intercom used to communicate sales priorities, new stock issue updates and other timely deal-related items for the day.  The advice business was in it’s nascent period and consisted of “wrap fee” and separately managed accounts but technology to onboard new client relationships was rudimentary, with account information being keyed into wire room green screens.  Many brokerage investments for clients were also processed via “check and app”with the account held directly with the product sponsor. 

The disparate institutional custodians, transfer agents and accounting systems holding client investment accounts created a need within the industry for one source of accurate record and a consolidated client statement for the delivery of holistic advice.  As they say, necessity is the mother of invention and thus was born the data aggregation and performance reporting FinTech niche that I spearheaded with Investigo.  Fast forward to present day, and my involvement with FinTech is related to my role as Chief Investment Officer at Sawtooth Solutions, a leading provider of Unified Management Account (UMA) services that allows investment advisors at broker dealers, RIA’s and regional banks to leverage technology to create scalable operational processes. 

What does your firm do/offer within the fintech sector?

Sawtooth Solutions is a leading Turnkey Asset Management Platform (TAMP) that provides comprehensive, flexible technology for overseeing the entire wealth management process across all account types, delivered through a Unified Managed Account (UMA) program and managed within our extensive Salesforce.com integration. Our collaborative approach enables advisors to easily implement their wealth management offering while embedding the pillars of an institutional framework:  definable and repeatable investment, sales, and operational processes.

At a high-level, we work with two constituents:  investment strategy providers on the one hand, and investment advisors on the other.  Investment strategy providers can be categorized primarily into two categories:   Separate Account Managers (SMA) and Fund Strategists.  Both provide vehicles for investment portfolio construction and the deployment of capital.  Separate Account Managers choose securities within asset classes or traditional style boxes.  With Sawtooth’s UMA capability, an advisor can utilize multiple managers within one account to create a tailored solution unique to the client’s financial situation, a critical requirement for the impending Deparment of Labor (DOL) Fiduciary Rule.  Fund Strategists serve the same role, but deliver a preassigned asset allocation model that serves as a well-rounded solution for the investment portfolio.  Our other constituency, investment advisors, utilize the Sawtooth platform to leverage their time and to ensure that their focus is on the client’s needs and best interest, matching the client’s risk profile with the most appropriate investment strategy.

What fintech leader do you admire the most and why?

I am a big fan of Bob Curtis, CEO of PIEtech and the makers of MoneyGuidePro, a leading financial planning and advice platform.  Bob is a true visionary and was way ahead of the industry in understanding the need for goals-based planning that was approachable, interactive and time-efficient.  I’ve always been impressed by the mission of the company and the intent of the software:  Plan-Invest-Enjoy, thus the acronym “PIE”. Their focus on the financial planning process is admirable and the company salesmark says it all – everyone needs and deserves a quality financial plan.

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Mr. Thomas J. Rozman, CFA, serves as the Chief Investment Officer of Sawtooth Solutions, LLC.  The company provides a comprehensive, flexible platform for overseeing the entire wealth management process across all account types, delivered through a Unified Managed Account (UMA) program and managed with their Best-of-Breed Salesforce.com integration.