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October 29, 2020 | Tom Ballard

Mac Bartine is methodically and strategically growing SmartRIA

Mac Bartine is methodically and strategically growing SmartRIA, the company that he has led as Chief Executive Officer for five years this October.

Located in West Knoxville but serving a national market, the company that was founded in 2011 by Roger Kiger provides an advanced compliance software solution designed to address the needs of compliance consultants, compliance officers, operations teams, investment advisors, wealth and asset managers and the staff who support them.

When we recently talked with Bartine about the latest developments at the company, he outlined several, ranging from a new logo and color palate on the website to one he called “a really big deal” and a third that was still in the works. And, just for good measure. SmartRIA just released three new products during a year like no one has ever experienced in business.

The “really big deal” involves being approved for the Vendor Affinity Program operated by LPL Financial LLC, the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer. LPL provides proprietary technology, comprehensive clearing and compliance services, practice management programs and training, and independent research to more than 20,000 independent financial advisors and hundreds of banks and credit unions.

“We are the only compliance solution they have approved,” Bartine says. It came after two years of effort on his part and appropriate due diligence by LPL before SmartRIA was added to the highly exclusive listing.

Another big deal that is expected to be announced soon involved an agreement with a major financial industry software company that would sell SmartRIA’s solutions to its customer base which is composed of mostly bigger companies.

The company also updated several of its products. They include:

  • SmartRIA ProTM, described by Bartine as “our primary platform” that serves as an all-in-one compliance platform for registered investment advisors (RIAs). The platform streamlines compliance operations with flexible, automated workflows, risk alerts and transparent reporting.
  • A data and vendor security offering that is designed for firms of all sizes. Described as a “one-of-a-kind data governance platform,” it allows users to: (1) understand their data and who is accessing it; (2) enhance communication; (3) mitigate risks with education; and (4) automate vendor due diligence.
  • Cybersecurity services through a partnership with MTradeCraft, an experienced, leading cybersecurity auditing company that specializes in security audits for RIA’s and hedge funds. Through the arrangement, SmartRIA is able to offer a comprehensive program with actual ethical hacker testing and vendor due diligence in one low-cost package that ensures clients have all of the documentation they need in the event of an audit.

“These are leading to more ways to get in the door and more ways for clients to buy from us,” Bartine says. “The pandemic slowed us down, but we are back on track. The team is growing, the customer base is growing, and are products are growing.”

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