The Silicon Review
“Producing effective, actionable reporting is both art and science.”
Investment products are becoming more diverse so keeping track of the ultra-high net worth family’s assets and their value is becoming extremely difficult. This can make monitoring the family’s wealth, at best, more time consuming and, at worst, almost impossible for the family administrator or trustee. Risclarity has developed its own systems and procedures for monitoring the composition and performance of a family’s investments and other assets. Risclarity’s system will present the family or its advisers with comprehensive and timely reports, consolidating the family’s entire asset base. The asset and performance analyses within the reports are tailored to the individual family’s needs in a way that is believed to be unique in the marketplace.
In conversation with Rick Higgins CEO and Founder of Risclarity
Q. What was your motivation to start Risclarity?
I grew up in the family office environment, a “Family Office” is basically a company that serves a very wealthy family to help manage their financial assets. My parents were accountants, and they both worked and served very wealthy families. As was coming out of graduate school with a degree in Information Systems basic computer science degree, my mother tasked me with how best to serve these families. I decided to leverage technology instead of just throwing more people and hours at the problem. Back in the late 90’s we developed software that would pull information directly from financial institutions from the banks to produce a series of reports. They were web-based reports at that point, and it was very unique for that time frame. These reports allowed us to leverage how we would consolidate information from these very complex and wealthy families.
Q. What is that one thing you are proud of in your company?
I’m most proud of the team that we’ve assembled. I’ve had a relationship with my team for at least ten years, and it is really a stunning stellar group. I work with a very talented and intensely customer service-oriented group of people.
Q. Who are the other successful entrepreneurs you look-up to?
There are several people that I look up to, Steve Jobs is one of them. He was undoubtedly an innovator, somebody who’s very insightful and intuitive around user experience, user design, and built to solve everyday problems. Bill Gates is another person who is very innovative and always tries something new and seems to have the ability to see the future. Several people have been in my life that aren’t as well-known names, but they have been huge influences in my ability to lead into manage to and to find the right talent. A gentleman by the name of Frederick Mayer. He was the patriarch of the first family I served. He was a very genuine person, somebody who was authentic and lived in the moment. One thing that he always said was, “Just be yourself, be the best and be the best person you can be at any point in time, but don’t try to be somebody else.”
Q. What are the qualities required to be a successful CEO?
There are three qualities a successful CEO must have. First, a good financial sense, the ability to understand the numbers. Second, a good operational sense, the ability to understand the business and lastly, a successful CEO has the ability to inspire others!
Q. If you had not become a CEO, what else had you dreamt of being?
I had the dream of being close to the creative industry. I grew up wanting to be a cartoonist; I admired, George Shultz’s “Peanuts” and the Snoopy era, I really wanted to do something like that. I have in sense achieved that. I have created another business that is I’m producing and directing documentary films and a television series for our local PBS affiliate.
Q. What do you think was a striking factor that made you to choose this profession?
When I graduated in 1997 there were not a lot of opportunities available for people with my background in finance and computer science and I couldn’t find the job that I was looking for, so I just decided to create it! Ever since then, I’ve always tried to create jobs that I want.
Q. Are there any products that your company is planning to launch?
Quite a few, we serve advisers that serve very wealthy families, and we have developed a number of tools that will allow those advisors to help serve their families efficiently. We’re looking at adding risk modeling tools for our portfolio and investment reporting solutions. We’re currently launching a new solution which allows advisers to streamline and expedite client on boarding by automating the process of opening accounts with financial institutions. It takes quite a bit of time, and we are building automation with the ability to move money between accounts. When they need to place trades or move cash between banks, we can automate a lot of those steps and a lot of those processes.
Overall, we are creating a technology ecosystem for firms so they can support these very wealthy and sophisticated families. This ecosystem connects everything from their CRM and accounting systems to their financial planning tools and investment management platforms. We reduce redundancy and the areas where human error can occur as well produce new analytics and comprehensive reporting, not previously possible, by pulling data from all of the above technology solutions with in the ecosystem.
Rick Higgins, CEO and Founder of Risclarity
Creative engineer, entrepreneur, thought leader and financial software expert to the nation’s wealthiest families seeking to leverage leadership and entrepreneurial experience to increase the prosperity of individuals, families and organizations. Rick Higgins founded Risclarity in 2010. Previously, he co-founded Wealth Touch in 2001 and is credited with creating the groundbreaking technology that served as the foundation for the firm.
In the 1990’s, as Co-founder of Higgins-Knecht, a technology consulting firm, and Digital Partner, a financial technology firm. Higgins established himself as an innovator and leader in the field of family wealth management. In 1999, The sale of Digital Partner to My CFO Inc., a Silicon Valley-based online pioneer in the ultra-high-net-worth market, firmly placed Higgins at the heart of what became known as the technological renaissance in wealth management.
Today, Higgins is regularly invited to speak to family offices, insurance companies and financial planning groups all over the U.S. and abroad.