By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
It’s been a busy seven days for Knoxville start-up SmartRIA.
In that period of time, the company that makes software that simplifies compliance for the wealth management industry has made two major acquisition announcements. The first came September 3 when SmartRIA acquired Greytwist Data Governance, a solution for vendor due diligence and management, personally identifiable information data governance and cybersecurity policy and procedures management and oversight. The second came seven days later with the announcement that the local start-up had acquired ComplianceHero’s solution for archiving, retention, and surveillance of email, social media, and websites.
“SmartRIA has been laying the groundwork for rapid growth for the last three years of operations,” said Mac Bartine, Chief Executive Officer (CEO). “In practical terms, what that means for us is we have a big customer base with a nearly $1 billion annual budget for software, but we didn’t have a good way to further engage with them about making fuller use of our platform.”
He explained that these acquisitions and another new module that SmartRIA is beta testing with a few customers will provide three new offerings to bring to the company’s existing customers into an integrated, simple to use and understand compliance platform.
“Efficiency and eliminating duplication of effort is incredibly important to our customers, and these acquisitions brought into our platform comprise an incredibly robust, efficient, one-stop solution that we expect to be a game changer in our industry,” Bartine added.
In its first announcement. SmartRIA noted that the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), coupled with recent statements from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and escalating number of data breaches, spurred the acquisition of Greytwist.
“Greytwist Data Governance has taken a bold step forward in standardizing a deeply complex problem,” Bartine said in a news release. “We believe their unique approach to solving the troubling issues around data governance and vendor management, combined with SmartRIA’s Compliance Management Platform and our continuing passion for simplifying compliance, is a very powerful combination.”
In the case of ComplianceHero, Bartine said the product’s functionality and unique approach to simplifying an important aspect of regulatory compliance for financial advisors compliments SmartRIA’s existing platform and stated mission to become the best company in the world at simplifying compliance.
“ComplianceHero’s fresh approach simplifies archiving and surveillance of digital communication, which is an area of compliance that still has a lot of dissatisfaction in the market,” he explained. “We believe we can leverage their great work to create a truly transformative experience for our existing customers and for the market at large. This is a big leap forward toward achieving our vision to provide the wealth management industries’ most comprehensive and easiest-to-use compliance platform.”
As noted in previous articles on teknovation.biz, SmartRIA was founded in 2011 by Roger Kiger, and Bartine came on board in 2015 as CEO. The Founder had packaged 10 years of experience into a software product to automate compliance requirements faced by small, independent investment firms or even individual advisors.
SmartRIA is one of six local companies that will be pitching at this year’s “Startup Day” Knoxville set for September 24 at The Mill & Mine, 227 West Depot Avenue. Click here to register.