Q&A with Rob Mallernee of Eton Solutions
CEO and Founder
Eton Solutions is a software and services company that was founded to handle the complexities associated with servicing ultra-high net worth clients. Our vision is bolstered by a belief that a holistic, integrated platform and support from a team of skilled experts can enable single family offices, multifamily offices and professional services firms to completely reimagine the value they can provide to their clients. Our priority is giving family offices the tools they need to be more accurate, more efficient, and more effective at delivering premium services to their valued clients.
Our solution to the challenges family offices face is our integrated platform, AtlasFive. It acts as an operational platform and one source of truth for all data, which improves accuracy, optimizes efficiency, and reduces risk. As the future of the family office evolves, we are proud to lead the way to reimagining what a family office can achieve. With less time spent on recurring tasks, data entry, and spreadsheets, employees can focus on the office’s priority: achieving the goals of the family it serves.
Join us for a private Family Office Insights Webinar featuring Robert Mallernee founder and CEO of Eton Solutions, a family office software built by a family office. Rob built his career as a family office professional. He empathizes with your challenges and understands your goals because he experienced your day-to-day operations.
June 08, 2023 at 2:15pm-3:15pm EST
RSVP & Confirmation Required
Family Office Insights is a voluntary, “opt-in” collaborative peer-to-peer community of single family offices, qualified investors and institutional investors. Join the community here www.familyofficeinsights.com
How can family offices become more accurate and efficient for tax preparation time?
When it comes to tax time, it can be a painful process. Most ultra-high-net-worth families have complicated financial arrangements, incorporating numerous family members, trusts, LLCs, partnerships, and other entities. To properly track and report on these “multi-entity” family structures for tax purposes requires detailed record keeping and a comprehensive understanding of complex tax rules and regulations across many subject matter areas.
When offices get ready for tax season, it can be a bear to aggregate all the data from many disparate and siloed systems. Often tax work comes in large peaks and valleys such that it is difficult to meet deadlines during busy season and difficult to keep staff busy during the rest of the year.
A step in the right direction is to implement a unified system for the continuous tracking and reporting of the affairs of Ultra High Net Worth Individuals. The difficultly lies in tracking all activity in a multitude of ways. Investment reporting, financial reporting, trust accounting, partnership accounting and tax accounting all require distinct categorization methodologies. Adopting a platform that is designed to facilitate all of these classifications simultaneously allows the office to smooth the peaks and valleys of tax work and also more effectively delegate that work to the right organizational level.
Does MORE technology actually help Family Offices?
Most family offices today have multiple, discrete systems with little or no integration. These include separate GL, Investment Reporting, CRM, Document Management, Partnership Accounting, Trust Accounting and Transaction Processing applications all being used within a single office. The manual business processes used to integrate these disparate systems subject to significant risk of error. Each disparate technological application and process an office utilizes increases the likelihood of incorrect data impacting the office or family.
But for family offices, which can be seen as attractive targets for cybercriminals looking to defraud an account, the risk goes beyond potential staff error leading to inaccurate information.
Cybersecurity vulnerabilities caused by holes in family office technology infrastructures impact disaster recovery, business continuity, and the ability of an office to survive a focused cyber-attack. And the more disparate systems an office utilizes, the more opportunities a bad agent has to breach the system and wreak havoc.
What’s the harm in using more spreadsheets for a family office?
Simply put, spreadsheets are ‘separate-sheets’. They are typically siloed and do not connect to anything else in the family office. Spreadsheets are also extremely hard to audit and maintaining effective change management control is very difficult if not impossible. Spreadsheets are great for some calculations but not as the family office centralized book of record. Hard-working office staff are often forced to use Excel spreadsheets and high-cost manual labor to link these data and applications together, creating major inefficiencies and risks that are costly to the offices and the families they serve.
The alternative to spreadsheets is a fully integrated enterprise system with an integrated data model. This type of system can enforce access and maker checker controls to ensure the data in the system is accurate and up to date. Since each data item is stored once the significant task of keeping all systems in sync is eliminated. The use of an enterprise system also allows each office to benefit from the best practices developed by other family offices and incorporated into the system.
As the family office grows in complexity, number of entities, and new calculations required, spreadsheets become cumbersome, risking and unmanageable. Adopting enterprise level technology allows Family Office employees to spend time in analysis and decision making, not managing data.
Rob Mallernee of Eton Solutions
Eton Solutions provides a best-in-class integrated software platform. When paired with the white glove service team, Eton Solutions can provide an offering to single wealth owners, single family offices, multi family Offices, RIAs, etc. The flexibility of the modular platform enables clients to have their data at their fingertips while driving operations. As Chief Executive Officer of Eton Solutions, Rob leads a wealth management technology firm in developing and offering the most comprehensive, integrated platform for the family office, multi-family office and wealth manager market. The Eton Solutions platform is based upon Rob’s deep domain expertise in wealth management, supplemented by strong systems development and client service teams.
Prior to Eton Solutions, Rob co-founded a Multi-Family Office, Eton Advisors. This came after he served as head of the UBS Multi-Family Office Group. Earlier in his career, Rob served as a founding principal of the US Trust Multi-Family Office, and before that, as head of the Private Asset Management Group at NC Trust Company, which was sold to US Trust in 1999. He began his career at Arthur Andersen and Price Waterhouse in North Carolina and Chicago, where he was a Senior Tax Manager. His experience is particularly deep in estate and income tax planning, investment advisory services, and complex governance and succession issues.
Rob co-teaches a graduate-level course, Personal Investing & Wealth Management, at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst. Rob holds an MBA in International Business & Finance from the University of Chicago and a BS from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Rob also is an official member of the Forbes Finance Council. Members are selected based on their depth and diversity of experience and are involved in private forum discussions, partnerships and collaborations.
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