01 August 2018

Transitioning to Black Diamond with 30+ years of data

By Timothy D. Welsh

Founded in 1984, Fure Financial is an independent financial planning firm dedicated to helping clients understand the complexities of retirement planning, investing, managing assets and debt, risk management and estate planning. Over the years, Fure Financial has upgraded their technology to take advantage of latest innovations for greater efficiencies, capabilities and to enhance the client service experience.

According to Grant Meyer, CFP®, wealth advisor at Fure Financial, the firm has transitioned business models a few times over the years. “We started out as one of the very first RIAs in the industry, then developed a relationship with a broker-dealer for 13 years, and recently returned to a fee-only model as an independent RIA.”

“Back in our early days, providing any sort of performance reporting for clients was a manual process. In fact, we spent most of our time manually entering positions from client statements and prices from The Wall Street Journal,” Meyer said. “So, when we were introduced to Advent Software, which was brand new at the time, it was transformational for us.”

The ability to track performance was important to Fure Financial, as it provided the firm with a distinct competitive advantage. “Being transparent in how we reported was a primary focus for us. Being able to automate reporting with Advent Axys was key to our heritage,” Meyer noted.

When it came time to work with a broker-dealer, Fure Financial made the relatively easy switch, as their broker-dealer was also using Advent software.  “We stored all of our client data, since our inception, with Advent. Therefore, it was an easy thing for us to make the switch to the broker-dealer. When we returned back to independence as an RIA, we had continuity.”

During this time, Meyer and his team saw tremendous advancements in reporting technology, particularly with modern cloud-based systems. Returning to its RIA roots created the need for Fure Financial to, “completely upgrade the technology stack,” Meyer said.

Meyer looked at the main providers in the industry and tested each of their platforms before ultimately choosing Black Diamond. “Being part of SS&C was a huge appeal,” Meyer said. “The other programs were fine; however, our data conversion challenge was completely underestimated by other vendors, while the team at SS&C Advent fully understood the issues and were a huge help.”

According to Meyer, “Data migration sounds easy, but with more than 30 years of data, some stuff will get messy. The folks at SS&C Advent truly understood that and were invaluable in our conversion as they spoke the Axys language and got what we were trying to do.”

Meyer added, “So much so, the Black Diamond implementation team even created a facility to convert our historical quarterly data to monthly so that it would easily sync with Black Diamond’s approach to data management.”

Meyer also pointed out the intuitive nature of the Black Diamond interface. “When we were exploring options, we ran all of the competitive systems side-by-side in our office. The staff overwhelmingly understood Black Diamond more quickly. The reports looked better and the cost was competitive.”

Going forward, Meyer is grateful of the client support he gets from Black Diamond.  “Technology is always changing and your core system needs to be able to integrate with your custodians and other systems.  Black Diamond has shown that it does more than any other platform out there. The data people are ‘A++,’ and the conversion to Black Diamond was easily the best decision I ever made.”

To learn more about how Black Diamond can support your business, email info@advent.com. To learn more about Fure Financial, visit their website at www.furefinancial.com.