'The Primary Engagement Mechanism With Your Clients': InvestCloud's Co-Founder Talks Digital Portability

Michael Smith, the co-founder and executive vice president of business development at the cloud-based digital platform InvestCloud, discussed the company's niche and its growth prospects in an interview with Benzinga. 

About InvestCloud

InvestCloud, initially a cloud platform for the financial services industry, was founded in 2010 under the premise that existing digital solutions were “unbelievably expensive and painful” to rollout, Smith told Benzinga. 

InvestCloud leverages powerful analytics and data mastery to deliver automation, client communication and management solutions.

About Michael Smith

Smith, a longtime executive at InvestCloud, previously worked at NASA. His role at InvestCloud recently shifted to further strengthening business development and client relations in the New York area.

What Makes InvestCloud Different

InvestCloud is essentially “more than 300 discrete Lego building blocks that can be assembled rapidly to accelerate the delivery of unique, cloud-based digital platforms,” Smith said. 

With its ease of customizability, large banks, asset managers and wealth managers can quickly go-to-market with a platform that looks nothing like the system made by the next client, he said. 

Typical software systems last five to seven years on average, Smith said, adding that a lot of energy is spent on writing code for a product that quickly enters obsolescence.

InvestCloud, unlike its competitors, adopted a platform strategy, the exec said.

"We don’t have to write the millions of lines of code that all of our competitors do in the space. We have a toolkit called PWP, which stands for Programs Writing Programs; it allows business analysts and designers [to] produce the actual end-in-production client configurations." 

InvestCloud has 40 programmers and more than 7,000 user interfaces and experiences that were generated with its toolkit, Smith said. 

Capitalizing On Growth Opportunities

InvestCloud was founded in Los Angeles, and its location gives the company access to talent and creativity, its co-founder said. 

As it grew, InvestCloud spread its executive presence nationwide, Smith said. 

"Rather than having to fly across the country, we can now meet with all of our clients and prospects at a much higher rate or frequency." 

Benzinga recently reported on the opening of an InvestCloud Innovation Center in New York. This location and others like it bring the firm close to Tier 1 customers and prospects, Smith said.

Thoughts On The Industry

“Among all of our clients we continue to push the boundaries of the roles we play in those organizations,” Smith said. 

InvestCloud has expanded into product areas like digital advice, portfolio construction, rebalancing and trading and performance management, he said. 

The conversation has shifted, Smith said: prospects no longer come to InvestCloud and ask for what works.

"Tell us how you want to operate as a business, and how you want to differentiate and we’ll tell you how we support you in that." 

Growth

InvestCloud sees an opportunity in global portability, Smith said. 

"Digital, in 2019, is not about being me too; digital is the primary engagement mechanism with your clients, and if you are differentiating that digital proposition and interacting in a way that delivers meaningful value, then you are going to survive as a business.”

Related Links: 

'The Heavy Lifting': How Blackboxstocks Built A Trading Platform With AI, Algorithms

'The Golden Age Of Financial Data Connectivity': What MX Technologies Does For Financial Institutions

Photo courtesy of InvestCloud. 

Posted In: InvestCloudMichael SmithFintechExclusivesInterview

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