Eric Poirier is CEO of Addepar, a wealth management platform for investment advisors specializing in data aggregation, analytics, and portfolio reporting.
What fintech trend are you most excited about?
The category of fintechs that set a higher bar for client outcomes and prioritize that above all else are the ones who increasingly stand out relative to traditional financial services players. Fintechs who are able to actively partner with larger financial services firms who recognize the need to accelerate their pace of innovation will earn a lasting scale advantage.
What trend are you most worried about?
Self-directed investing has become pervasive, and retail investors now have access to a much wider range of investment opportunities than ever before. These trends are positive in general, but they can come at a high cost if the risks inherent in some investment categories are misunderstood or overlooked. Some reasonable safeguards include practical education and best practices to reduce the chance that history repeats itself yet again by having retail investors getting hurt.
What needs to be fixed sooner than later in fintech?
Fintech is becoming a dominant way to deliver financial services to clients. That said, the fintech “category” is vast and lumps together companies with radically different business models and solutions. Some fintechs have novel and differentiated technology foundations, while others are essentially traditional financial services companies with a thin technology veneer. As fintech continues to grow, I anticipate that subcategories will become even more well-defined.
What was your biggest professional blunder and what did you learn from it?
It’s essential to make big yet measured bets at growth-stage companies like Addepar. That said, I made multiple big bets simultaneously that ultimately overlapped and intersected in ways that I underestimated. We ultimately delivered, but at a high cost to the team. I took away a life-long lesson.