By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
“It’s a milestone for SmartRIA – having enough big customers for us to be able to pull-off even a small first conference,” says Mac Bartine, Chief Executive Officer of the company founded by Roger Kiger in 2011.
Later this week, August 2 to be exact, about two dozen customers of SmartRIA will be in Knoxville for the event set for the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center. All attendees will be compliance consultants in the wealth management industry who are using SmartRIA to modernize their business and to improve their clients’ compliance operations.
“It’s being held in Knoxville, which was important to us on a lot of fronts,” Bartine told us. “This is our home, and we think people will enjoy the visit. It’s a first-of-its-kind technology conference for Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) compliance consultants. There have been conferences that include them, but not one dedicated to them and to modernizing the industry.”
Bartine has been the top executive at SmartRIA for almost four years. As he explained in this September 2017 teknovation.biz article, Bartine was happily focused on Instartly, his latest Internet-based endeavor, when he saw a post from another local entrepreneur that caught his attention. That individual was John Morris, a member of SmartRIA’s Board of Directors.
A subsequent conversation with Kiger convinced Bartine to cancel his plans and take on the full-time role of growing the customer base for the firm that packaged 10 years of Kiger’s experience into a software product to automate compliance requirements faced by small, independent investment firms or even individual advisors.
Since his arrival, we have spotlighted several milestones at SmartRIA. It was a finalist in the “FinTech Venture Day 2017,” sponsored by Golden Angels Investors, and held in late 2017 in Milwaukee. Growth has been great with the most recent report showing more than 1,000 firms using the software and 22 strategic partners. One of those is SS&C.
Earlier this year, SmartRIA announced an integration with SS&Cs’ Black Diamond Wealth Platform to significantly streamline the surveillance of compliance activities for well-established RIAs.
As far as the August 2 event, Bartine describes it as “the first annual conference for us. We plan to have this once a year, in Knoxville, from here on out, and we expect it to be an event that grows in size.”