Pat Spencer, Managing Director, Money Tree Software at Accutech Systems Corporation talks about the significance of financial technology for wealth management
Patrick Spencer is the Managing Director for Moneytree Software at Accutech Systems Corporation which has a rich history of delivering innovative and personal solutions within the wealth management industry.
1.Tell us about yourself and your role at Company?
I am managing director at Moneytree Software, a software development company with 40 years of experience in developing useful financial planning solutions. Moneytree works collaboratively with thousands of advisors across the country to help them confidently manage the financial journey of their clients. Moneytree was acquired by Accutech Systems Corp. (Muncie, Ind.) in 2019. Accutech has over 34 years of experience building innovative trust and wealth management solutions and provides exceptional personalized service to over 250 banks and wealth management companies nationwide.
I started my career in banking, where I spent over a decade in retail, commercial and private banking. With a passion for technology, I began selling technology to banks and credit unions and from there continued to grow my expertise with SaaS, IaaS and DRaaS solutions for the next 20 years. It was that combination of industry and technical expertise that led me to take the executive role at Moneytree. I have over 20 years of sales and business development experience. I have undergraduate degrees in both business entrepreneurship and psychology from Ball State University (Muncie, IN) and a master’s degree in business administration from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business (Bloomington, IN).
I live in Indianapolis, Indiana, with Debbie, my wife of 35 years. We have two daughters. The oldest is married and lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and their 18-month-old son. My other daughter lives in Indianapolis. I enjoy spending time with family, traveling, exercising and all things Disney.
2. Can you venture your journey into the market for our Audience?
My career began in banking in 1988, and over the next decade I would gain experience working in retail, commercial and private banking areas of Chase and KeyBank. My primary focus during that time was commercial lending, and it was in working with the business owners that I established my passion for selling and delivering a great client experience. I also grew a desire to transition to the world of technology. This was before “Y2K,” and I found myself working with a software company that sold commercial lending software to banks – a perfect fit. I stayed with this company for over a decade and then decided to broaden my skill set and delve into other areas of tech – digital marketing, infrastructure, security, DRaaS and datacenter technology.
I worked with only two companies during this time and learned quite a lot about tech ecosystems. However, there was a proactive desire on my part to get back to FinTech – it’s what I knew and had a passion for. As I was going through my own personal discernment, I was contacted by a friend and colleague about the executive role at Moneytree, and the more I learned about Moneytree and the new owners, the more I knew this opportunity was providential and couldn’t wait to get started.
3. What according to you are the top Fintech Trends ruling the Market?
One trend is that software solutions are expanding their utility or integrating other solutions, so rather than one solution for financial planning, one for risk analysis, one for portfolio monitoring, etc., one solution can provide multiple services. The goal is twofold: productivity gains for the advisor and an enhanced end-user client experience through technology, such as video chats and downloadable digital reports.
Another trend is software solutions that allow advisors to meet the educational demands of clients who are becoming more financially literate. Clients want to understand more about the planning behind their financial planning.
4. In which ways do you think the Fintech market is adapting technology in their day-to-day routine?
Fintech is providing more transparency in how the numbers in portfolio projections and outcomes are derived — an audit capability in which advisors can both show and tell. This helps advisors meet those expectations of an increasingly financially literate clientele.
Fintech also is always improving the user experience so that it is visually driven and easy to use, particularly for younger generations accustomed to a smartphone world.
5. What is one unique benefit that the Money Tree Software provides to its customers?
Our calculation engine is one of the originals and considered among the best. It is a key strength of our platform. Another unique benefit is the ability to add a client’s personal branding to the software interface and to customer reports.
6. How has the Money Tree’s financial planning technology helped in serving your clients better?
The ability to show (both in aggregate and in charts and the like) as well as tell improves client literacy.
Our “What if” modeling allows advisers to show clients likely outcomes based on a number of variables, such as income, investments, expenses, home ownership, vacation plans, educational costs, etc.
The different price points and features between Advise and Plan. Advisors can choose the right solution for them that best captures the information they want to provide to their clients.
7. How according to you, technology is bringing change for the Independent Planners?
Single solutions that offer multiple uses (financial planning, risk analysis, portfolio monitoring, etc.) can streamline technology needs, lower costs and provide additional productivity gains for advisors to grow their business without having to rely on a deep-pocketed national brokerage to provide such services. Software, including Moneytree, is bringing more power to smaller firms. Smaller firms have the same ability as the large firms to provide great information, reports and access to their clients.
8. As an Evolution Curve, can you take us through the journey of Change that Money Tree was able to bring to the Fintech Sector over the years?
Since Moneytree is 40 years old, it has seen quite the change through the past four decades. Moneytree was one of the first financial planning solutions that allowed advisors to manage the complexity of compiling data for client reports. These client reports were generated from one of the first and most accurate calculation engines in the industry. And, understanding that some advisors have complex requirements for their clients and others more simple, Moneytree developed two separate solutions to allow advisors to choose the best software version for their client portfolios.
In the beginning the software was desktop based, but in the past decade, the move to the cloud was inevitable, and now both versions, Advise and Plan, are hosted in AWS. Today, Moneytree enjoys a strong, secure and stable infrastructure in AWS and has the ability to continue to develop advisor-centric solutions that allow clients to better understand their financial journey.
9. How do you think Money Tree has contributed to the revolutionizing of the wealth management experience?
As one of the pioneers in the industry, Moneytree was one of the first companies to develop financial planning software – allowing advisors, in a fraction of the time, the ability to build financial plans for their clients. As part of the solution, one of the first financial planning calculation engines was built and one of the most well-known contributions, audit capability, was brought forth so that advisors could easily track how information was being calculated across the various reports generated for client consumption.
10. Can you share one story through which Money Tree was able to solve a complex problem with its customized approach for one of its clients?
One of our largest clients is a municipal retirement system for one of the largest cities in the country. This organization had a desire to ensure that all retirees had access to a financial planner to assist them prior to retirement. But in order to make this efficient, there needed to be some automation and an access portal for the retirees to use. Moneytree worked closely with this client and was able to use its Advise solution with a special client access portal that allowed the retirees the ability to input their information and work directly with a financial advisor. To date, this application has literally allowed thousands of retirees the ability to start
their retirement with the confidence of having an accurate financial plan for the next chapter of their life.
11. Which is the Movie that inspires you the most?
“Remember The Titans.” I love football. And the one thing I loved most about football is being part of a team focused on completing a mission. A mission that 22 people on the field were responsible for. Yes, some positions are highlighted more than others, but in the end, no one player can do it all. But it takes a coach, a leader that can inspire and transcend the daily life struggles and get the team to focus on not what is important to each of them individually but what is important for the team. You add to this one of the most divisive issues in our country, racism, and you have a challenge put on about 40 young men that would otherwise seem daunting and unimaginable. But, again, with the right leaders and focus on the “we” instead of “me,” great things can happen.
12. Would you like to share your all-time favorite Motivational Quote with us?
I love movies, have a ton of them, but this one is up there for me:
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”