RegentAtlantic is being recognized for its approach to technology.

     new software and other technology improvements are the types of steps that usually don't attract much attention-except for the value added that shows up in your bottom line.
    But RegentAtlantic Capital LLC of Chatham, N.J., a firm with a reputation and a strong track record of leveraging technology to support growth, received something a little extra. In November Regent Atlantic was named Schwab Institutional's first annual winner of its Best in Tech Impact Award at the Schwab Impact 2006 Conference in Washington, D.C.
    Rather than focusing on technology for technology's sake, RegentAtlantic looks for ways to apply technology in order to help their employees become more productive, says Christopher J. Cordaro, the firm's chief investment officer.  "What we have always tried to do is make it more about the people than about the technology. We want to save employees from doing labor intensive tasks over and over again," he says. "This frees them up to concentrate on serving our clients better."
    RegentAtlantic, with 30 employees managing more than $1.4 billion in assets for approximately 800 clients, has long been a leader in adapting new technologies and applying them to a financial practice. Cordaro says that his firm adapted document imaging in 1996, long before most firms. RegentAtlantic's document imaging and management system is not elaborate, but Cordaro says it works just fine.
    "We use HP scanners to scan just about everything," he says. Documents are scanned as Adobe portable document format (PDF) files, and they are stored using the native Windows directory structure. "Initially, we used a product called FileNet," says Cordaro, "but it was too complex and cumbersome." Now, a folder can be created for each client on a hard drive, with subfolders as needed. If a file cannot be located through the directory structure, Cordaro uses Google Desktop ( to locate what he needs. "It's simple, and it works for me," he says.
    The firm uses software to help manage client portfolios. When the firm was smaller, all portfolios were managed individually and manually, but with more than 800 portfolios to oversee, some automation is necessary. An SQL database product from SoftPak Financial Systems stores individual client information and preferences, which allows the investment team to manage portfolios in batches.
    "It a client works for Pfizer, the client is probably overexposed financially to Pfizer, so we may not want the client to own any more Pfizer stock," Cordaro  continues. "This information would be entered into the software. Another client may have zero cost basis stock that they refuse to sell. Other accounts may have tax loss carry forwards that impact portfolio decisions." SoftPak software helps RegentAtlantic automate the portfolio customization process.
    "Our experience with SoftPak got us thinking: If we can achieve automation with individual stock portfolios, why can't we do it with other things?" says Cordaro. That sort of thinking lead to RegentAtlantic's role as a co-founder of iRebal, the intelligent rebalancing software, first profiled in the January 2005 issue of Financial Advisor.
    According to Gobind Daryanani, who actually performed manual rebalancing for RegentAtlantic before developing the software: "iRebal allowed me to rebalance a household's account in one to two minutes that previously took 18 to 20 minutes."
    RegentAtlantic's current technology initiative is upgrading their CRM software. "We realized that what we needed was much better information on workflows," says Cordaro. "We have five service teams. We could not tell which ones had too much or too little to do at a given time. We want to be able to redirect resources to where they are needed. We also want to compare teams to see where their individual strengths and weaknesses lie. Perhaps we can direct workflows to a team's strength, or perhaps we can cross train so that best practices are shared among teams." Without good CRM, this type of analysis is not possible.
    RegentAtlantic chose Microsoft CRM because, while other firms offered software with similar attributes, it felt that Microsoft aggressively pursues that market segment it, would have the biggest impact on CRM software in the future.
    Looking forward, RegentAtlantic's next big challenge is database integration. When they surveyed the software landscape in the past, and as they survey it today, Cordaro and his firm do not see any integrated "killer app" capable of running all or most of their business on the horizon. That means that they need to use multiple applications, but they must have the ability to pull information from various sources and combine the output into in integrated reporting solution.
    "As we grow, our management and compliance reporting needs grow," Cordaro says. "I can no longer just walk around the office and know what is going on. I want exception reporting so I can see what accounts have not been reviewed last week. Then I can find out why. With exception reports, I can see who is performing at a high level and who isn't."
    As Cordaro sees it, the first step is scripted SQL reports that can pull from multiple SQL databases. Ideally, the firm would like to standardize (around one database structure, SQL), then centralize (have all the information in one location), and then customize.

Joel P. Bruckenstein, publisher of Virtual Office News ( and an expert in applied technology for financial services professionals, can be contacted at [email protected].