Klaas Financial’s objective is to be the place where individuals, families, and employers can come to get unbiased and educated answers to their questions about retirement. As part of that service promise, Klaas adopts a “financial planning first and focused approach” to working with clients, according to Josh Stirling, Portfolio Manager for Klaas Financial.
“We lead with financial planning because that is where we can truly add value to our client relationships,” he said. At the same time, Klaas Financial also has a robust and growing asset business where they have recently made significant re-investment.
“About three years ago, we decided to bring investment management in-house to better focus on what we do for clients,” Stirling notes. “Originally, we were outsourcing these functions to a third-party TAMP but knew that we could provide a higher service level if we were more involved in the day-to-day management.”
Stirling and his team conducted a detailed analysis and due diligence on the various portfolio management and performance reporting platforms available in the industry that support financial planning-based businesses.
“We selected SS&C’s Black Diamond® Wealth Platform for several reasons, including that it had all of the features and functionality we would need, along with its ability to scale with our growth,” Stirling said. “Additionally, when comparing apples to apples with other industry platforms, Black Diamond provided much better economics and total value, so the choice was fairly easy.”
Stirling and his team also appreciates Black Diamond’s deep integrations with their primary custodian and CRM. Additionally, Black Diamond’s Rebalancer is critical to its success in rebalancing capabilities. “Black Diamond has significantly improved our rebalancing process compared to how we were doing it before. As a result, we are much better at preventing errors and uncovering them quickly when they do happen,” he notes.
When it comes to making a technology change, Stirling’s advice to other firms contemplating a move is that the time spent up front mapping out the process pays dividends down the road. “There is always a cost upfront when making a transition; however, you will quickly learn that it is well worth it to invest that time early on.”
For Stirling, it also all comes down to service. “Hands down, the Black Diamond service team is one of the best we work with across our technology partners,” he says. “We are constantly impressed with their ability to respond quickly and resolve any issues we come across, and they are always available. So many other platforms we work with put us on hold for lengthy periods or have an online portal where we can only hope someone will get back to us.
Moving forward, Stirling says that their future growth will be organic and driven by bringing on new advisors. “Black Diamond provides us with a foundation to quickly and easily onboard new advisors. We are looking forward to partnering with great people and this tool will be a key piece to our success.”