FintekNews is pleased to publish the fourth interview in our new series – #FintechSavvy. The series has a two-fold purpose: 1) To feature ADVISORS who are successfully using financial technology in their practices and profiting from it, and 2) To feature FINTECHS who are helping advisors grow their practices with their unique product offerings.
This week we’d like to introduce you to Christopher Giles of Chalice Wealth Partners, a technology driven financial services company formed to create a cloud-based, best in class advisor services platform delivering a fully integrated suite of products, services, and support critical to running, growing, and managing an advisors’ (member) wealth management business under software-as-a-service (SaaS) membership model through our FinTech platform.
NAME: Christopher Giles
COMPANY: Chalice Financial Technology
WEB ADDRESS: www.chalicewealthpartners.com
1) What services does your wealth management firm offer & what is your AUM (if you wish to share the latter)?
Chalice Wealth Partners provides a broad shared services platform to independent wealth advisors nationwide focused on streamlining and growing their businesses. The Chalice Financial Network, enabled through the Chalice Advisor Exchange fintech membership platform, offers access to an independent broker-dealer, a corporate RIA, enterprise services for wealth advisors (e.g. group medical insurance, digital marketing, and outsourced financial management), capital raises and alternative investments, and retirement plan services for small to medium sized businesses.
The Chalice Financial Network is committed to helping advisors with between $50M and $250M in AUM leverage the scale of the network to gain access to technology, programs, and services that drive their business forward and help them create an extraordinary client experience.
The firm’s AUM is $1.2B.
2) What was the personal motivation for you to join (or launch) your firm? Please share some details if you wish, such as the age of the firm, partner info, location/s, investing emphasis, etc.
I have led advisor technology at two very large broker-dealer/custodians over my career and delivered great technology to advisors. However, these technologies were focused on enabling only core investment/financial planning related processes and not the entirity of an advisor’s business.
The Chalice Financial Network offered me a real, tangible opportunity to tackle something I’d been interested in for years – building a complete fintech platform for wealth advisors. I saw the opportunity of joining Chalice as a way to broaden advisors’ services and truly enable their businesses.
Two concepts are of paramount importance to me: holistic business enablement and advisor adoption. The Chalice Financial Network embraces the breadth of an advisor’s small- to medium-sized business and understands the need for resources and consulting to help advisors derive real, quantified ROI.
In addition to myself, Chalice is headed by Keith Gregg, Anthony Nanula, Derek Bruton and Stephanie Holly. Gregg is Chalice’s chairman and CEO, he is a 30-year industry veteran who uses his experience at institutions like Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network (formally First Union/Wachovia Securities) to assist financial advisors in their process of becoming independent business owners. Nanula, Chalice’s President, has a rich history in leadership positions having served as a New York State Senator, he is also currently a member of a prominent family office in Buffalo, New York. Bruton is Chalice’s managing partner and COO and is also the president of Chalice Wealth Advisors (RIA) and Chalice Capital Partners (Broker/Dealer). Holly serves Chalice as the CFO and president of Chalice Enterprise Solutions, she brings over 12 years of corporate finance experience from LPL Financial as well as a middle-market private equity firm. Our executive suite brings a wealth of experience that is instrumental in serving our advisors and their clients.
3) What is the average age/gender/financial demos/social composition/geographical location of your client base?
Chalice’s advisors typically have between $50M and $250M in AUM; however, because we provide advisors with a wide breadth of opportunities and services, this advisor base is quite diverse. Advisors interested in using Chalice have the option to use our capabilities to expand their current RIA’s service offerings, launch a new RIA built out with Chalice’s technology, or join our RIA, Chalice Wealth Advisors. We specialize in serving independent advisors who are looking to tap into our full suite of technology capabilities. Many advisors that we serve are breakaways from traditional wirehouses who are looking to transition to a fee-based business model. Our advisors serve more than 30,000 clients covering a broad spectrum of age, gender, geographical, and financial/social demographical segments.
4) What financial technology tools/services do you currently use in your practice?
Chalice Advisor Exchange is the Amazon Prime for wealth advisors – we offer a broad set of technology programs that focus on CRM, financial planning, trading, rebalancing, performance reporting, fee billing, access to alternative investment platforms, managed accounts, succession planning, financial management, and digital marketing platforms. Additionally, we offer a full portfolio of human resources, payroll and benefits solutions. We work to provide advisors with a full suite of techology platforms so they can manage all of their business operations through a single sign-in platform.
5) Do you feel the fintech tools/services you use give you any sort of competitive advantage over other advisors and/or do they help you retain clients or win new business more easily? If so, how?
Chalice Advisor Exchange helps advisor members grow their businesses through the aforementioned scalable technology solutions in addition to turnkey digital marketing and social engagement. We help provide advisors with the tools they need to run their business efficiently and all in one place reducing their time spent naviagting between technology platforms.
6) How have your clients reacted to the fintech that your firm uses?
A true fintech platform enables not just the client’s experience with technology, but also the advisor’s use of technology to grow and scale their business. Both clients and advisors have reacted very favorably to the marriage of these two constituent’s technology needs; one without the other often creates a disjointed experience in one or the other’s experience.
7) Have your clients requested that you add any other financial technology offerings that you are not presently providing? Do you anticipate adding any new fintech offerings in the next year?
The world of technology for a wealth advisor is never static. The Chalice Financial Network will continually adapt and build/add beneficial technology offered to all member advisors. One key area of focus for 2019 is significantly enhancing the advisor/client meeting experience through the use of new technology.
8) Finally, how do you think fintech will impact advisors in general, and your practice specifically, in the future?
Fintech will continue to radically and positively change the way advisors run and grow their businesses as well as interact with clients. It’s imperative that advisors don’t chase every shiny object, but think about the goals for their practice, what their clients need to be successful, and perhaps most importantly how they will capture real return on investment for their technology spend.
Chalice Financial Network is focused on not only providing technology, but helping advisors make the best technology choices for their business.
Christopher brings experience and talents that range from technology strategy and development to operations to relationship management to Chalice Wealth Partners. Christopher has spent over 20 years at LPL Financial and Ameriprise in various technology and management roles. At LPL, he created a product management organization focused on conceptualization, construction, and commercialization of key advisor-facing technology capability domains with a particular focus on integrated business processes