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In the latest instalment of our interviews speaking to leaders throughout the world of tech, we’ve welcomed David Vaughan, Chief Technology Officer, Principal, Arnerich Massena.

Tell us a bit more about the business you represent.

Arnerich Massena is an independent, Portland-based investment advisory and wealth planning firm. The company is known for being an investment pioneer, particularly in the impact investing space, and for its expertise in alternative and private equity investing.

Managing about $3B in assets for clients across the United States, we are focused on providing top-tier service and helping individuals and non-profit organizations align their investments with their values. We just passed our 30-year anniversary, and recently transitioned from being founder-led to being 100% employee-owned and led by a small group of partners.

Being the CTO, what do your day-to-day responsibilities look like?

Because Arnerich Massena is a smaller firm, I wear a lot of hats:

With cybersecurity being top of mind — keeping our client’s data safe is paramount in our field — much of my time is focused on our security framework and keeping a keen eye on the latest tools and best practices, as well as monitoring the landscape of evolving threats. It is critical we provide our clients with the confidence they deserve with our commitment to their data security.

Additionally, I am looking to continually advance our digital transformation as we look for ways to boost efficiency and business agility. With that mindset, I can begin asking impactful questions. Are we using the right tools to unify our communication and collaboration? How can we provide better service to our clients through automation, data accessibility, and other meaningful touchpoints? What is our next priority as we continue to advance to a holistic cloud strategy?

Another aspect of my role is identifying impactful partnerships to advance our technology strategy. A great service partner to me is like family. Fostering these relationships is critical to the growth and success of the firm so taking my time during that evaluation process pays off.

Most importantly, I work with the rest of the firm’s executive leadership to execute a technology strategy that supports our long-term vision of being the go-to wealth planning and investment advisory firm in the Northwest!

Being able to communicate, deliver, and access data ― often from multiple platforms ― quickly and in a meaningful way to both clients and internal teams. Having the ability to use that intelligence to act and inform data-driven decisions is a game changer. We’re an industry built on service and relationships, so the technological part of that data consumption is critical. And clients expect seamless access to their portfolios, with constantly updated information and an easy-to-use interface, and our advisory team needs that platform to be able to support them operationally in making and reflecting investment trades. Simplifying your core approach and carefully choosing integrated systems ― ones that can talk to one another ― should be a key consideration during any evaluation process.

What can we hope to see from your business in the future?

Our firm’s mission is to build lasting legacies in service of a greater good. We have been helping our clients align their investments with their values through impact investing for more than a decade, but one of the biggest challenges is measuring and reporting on the impact of an investment as well as its financial return. We will be looking for ways we can leverage technology in service of that effort, so investors can expect to see improved impact reporting.

We are also always looking for ways to elevate the ways we deliver service and peace of mind to our clients, while making sure we are covering all their financial bases. We have built out strong financial planning services and will be developing more software solutions that can support those.

What accomplishments are you most proud of over the past year?

This year, I was named as a finalist for Chief Technology Officer of the Year in the Wealth Management Industry Awards, colloquially known as the “Wealthies.” These awards are highly prestigious in our industry, so this recognition is quite an honor. The final award winner will be announced later this fall – think good thoughts for me!

Also, this year, our firm moved to an amazing new location and welcoming employees back to the new office was energizing. As part of the team that was directly involved in building out the space, it was rewarding to use new technologies including brand-new state-of-the-art A/V in our conference rooms. It was a huge undertaking, and not without some hiccups, but our staff, clients, and community have been very pleased with the outcome. The new systems have upgraded and improved our ability to function smoothly in a hybrid work environment.

If you enjoyed this post and want to keep reading our articles then why not check out our guide covering componentdidupdate or compliance in business?

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