Gerry Murphy is the CEO and Partner of Arcus Partners; a forward-thinking, fintech, and service-focused company. Arcus Partners empowers wealth management companies and their clients by digitizing how they work. With over 30 years of leadership experience in the financial services industry, Gerry is an expert in global financial markets and IT. Before starting Arcus Partners, he was the President of International Operations for Fiserv and CEO of several divisions at SunGuard (now FIS).
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
How does Arcus Partners help its clients?
Why Gerry Murphy decided to be an entrepreneur
Gerry talks about Finity 360 and how it leverages AWS
How Arcus Partners won customers
The effect of running a company and how it changed Gerry’s perspective
How artificial intelligence impacts customer experience
Gerry’s advice for business leaders
In this episode…
As a wealth management firm, are you struggling to do things manually? How can you innovate and digitize your process to accelerate your growth?
The financial industry is changing and growing over time in terms of technology. By leveraging it, processes become easier, minimizing the time to deliver to clients. Most companies in the industry have invested in technology but are wondering how they could get value out of their investments. Arcus Partners introduced the idea of Salesforce-as-a-hub, which enables companies' other applications to work within their Salesforce environment without requiring them to navigate away from the platform.
In this episode of The Customer Wins, Richard Walker sits down with Gerry Murphy, CEO and Partner of Arcus Partners, to discuss how wealth management can leverage technology to win more customers. Gerry explains how Arcus Partners helps their clients, how they win customers, how artificial intelligence impacts customer experience, and shares advice for business leaders.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Gerry Murphy’s Email: email@example.com
Sponsor for this episode...
This is brought to you by Quik!
At Quik!, we provide forms automation and management solutions for companies seeking to maximize their potential productivity.
Our vision is to become the leading forms automation company by making paperwork the easiest part of every transaction.
Meanwhile, our mission is to help the top firms in the financial industry raise their bottom line by streamlining the customer experience with automated, convenient solutions.
Welcome to The Customer Wins podcast where business leaders discuss their secrets and techniques for helping their customers succeed and in turn grow their business.
Richard Walker 0:16
Hi, I'm Rich Walker, the host of The Customer Wins where I talk to business leaders about how they help their customers win and how their focus on customer experience leads to growth. Our past guests include Pem Guerry, the executive vice president SIGNiX. Today I'm speaking with Gerry Murphy CEO at Arcus Partners. And today's episode is brought to you by Quik!, the leader in enterprise forms automation. If your sales process depends on filling out forms, especially within a business product like Arcus Finity 360, then you should be using Quik!, we make filling out forms the easiest part of your transaction, visit quikforms.com to get started. Now before I introduce today's guest, I want to give a big thank you to Villy Fixsen at Madison Avenue Securities for introducing me to Gerry and Arcus Partners a few years ago. And now let me introduce Gerry Murphy, the CEO and partner of Arcus Partners Arcus Partners and powers wealth management companies and their clients by digitizing how they work. Their products include Finity 360, which is a complete digital office built on the Salesforce platform. Prior to starting Arcus Partners five years ago, Gerry was the president of International Operations for Fiserv and CEO of several divisions at SunGuard. Gerry, welcome to The Customer Wins.
Gerry Murphy 1:29
Good morning. Thanks, Rich, I appreciate the opportunity to be here and speak with you today.
Richard Walker 1:34
Yeah, I'm excited to talk to you. Now, if you or people listening to this haven't heard this podcast before. I talked with business leaders about what they're doing to help their customers win, how they build and deliver a great customer experience and the challenges to growing their own company. Gerry, I know that what you're building and what you've done is doing exactly that you are helping your customers with but I want to understand your business a little better. How exactly does your company help people.
Gerry Murphy 1:59
So Rich, I think at its most basic level, what we are doing is we're helping our clients to become and stay relevant with their technology. There's a lot of choices out there. And most companies are running on multiple platforms these days. And what we're doing is showing companies how they can get to a single platform, and have the best and latest technology tools available to them. Leveling the playing field, which in past wasn't possible only the big players had the technology and the dollars to do that. We level the playing field for our clients with technology that's available, providing apps for them to have a complete middle office.
Richard Walker 2:39
And that's important because this industry has been so fragmented when it comes to technology. I know from the beginning, everybody says oh, I've got this CRM, I've got this data system. I've got account opening systems. And you guys are bringing all that together?
Gerry Murphy 2:53
Yeah. I think the interesting part for me has been how I've seen the industry change and grow over time in terms of technology. We went from, when I started flipping through green bar, paper came off printer in the morning, to where we are today with artificial intelligence and the tools that are just what they can do is just staggering. So I've seen it change. And I've seen how quickly it's changed. And that's what we've been able to take advantage of we recognize the tools that are available to developers these days. And we brought them together in a united suite of applications for wealth management and RIA firms.
Richard Walker 3:31
Now, when I look back at your history, you have this great experience as an executive working at great companies. What made you say to yourself, I want to go start something new, I'm going to build my own thing and bring it to market?
Gerry Murphy 3:43
So that's a great question. And it wasn't just one moment in time, it was building, I had been working for, as you mentioned, some big companies, they were all technology-based portfolios, both one in payments and banking and the other primarily in the capital markets, Wealth Management, brokerage derivatives. And over the years, it became more and more frustrating, working with the same old technology. And to be fair, as I said, I had a chance to watch technology change and grow over time. And I think innovators did the best they could with what was available. But the technology that's available now is just amazing. And I got tired of trying to put a round peg into a square hole one more time. And that's what most of the platforms that are still running in financial services are. They're old. They're not flexible. They do an awful lot. And they've gotten the industry where it is today which is amazing. The change that they've brought to the industry is absolutely amazing. But unfortunately, they do too much. And so much as they can't change quickly. And consumer expectations have changed dramatically, and they want the work they do with their wealth management company to look and feel like the rest of the apps they have on their smartphone. And it hasn't been readily available. And so that's what, at some point, I just said I'd had enough. And the second part to that answer is the gentleman that I worked with Paul Stringer, who was the original founder of Arcus, had the courage to talk me into it. I had been traveling all around the globe, and on a weekly basis, and he caught me on a flight to Singapore for the second time in two weeks. And it was a Sunday afternoon, I was in Newark, and he called me and we were just chatting, and he said, I have this idea. And I got a proof of concept. And I think it's time we get together and start that business that we talked about so many times. And that was it. I got back from Singapore, I handed in my resignation did my time and went to work with Paul back almost five years ago now.
Richard Walker 6:13
Man, one of the things I noticed about entrepreneurs and I'm guilty of this, too, is you have this idea that makes you want to get out of bed, like you said, give your resignation immediately and go for it. But usually, that's not your best idea. It's not where you end up. It's just what got you started. So you didn't start with Finity 360, did you or did you?
Gerry Murphy 6:35
Not really. And it wasn't called Finity 360 at the time, it was a proof of concept. What we started with was, so in our days, working with the company that used to be SunGuard, it's now FIS, Paul and I ran a portfolio of businesses that was fairly large and extensive in terms of what it did. And so we spent a lot of time trying to figure out that client demand, how to integrate all these different systems. And it was a huge challenge. And so Paul was working for some private equity-owned business at the time in wealth management, and a client, a former client rang him up and said, hey, I've got this technical challenge, I'd like you to try and wrap your head around. And what he wound up doing was building a data warehouse, using AWS, with a front end to that being the Salesforce platform. And so the vision started there, he started to really dig into Salesforce and dig into AWS. And he said, these are the two tools at a very high level that we've been talking about being able to bring together to give people that integration to make change on the fly, and deliver to consumer expectations these days. And so that's where it started. So it started with a data warehouse that we today call Finity 360 Analytics. And we've been off and running ever since.
Richard Walker 8:03
Now, for those of the listeners who don't know, AWS, it's Amazon Web Services. And most people who don't know about them don't realize they run something like 25% of the web out there, I think. But I don't know if it's the same for you as it is for me, I feel like AWS is one of those catalysts for the major changes that have come in our industry. And you decided to focus on them to leverage some of their technologies, right? That's correct.
Gerry Murphy 8:29
Yeah. Their toolkit is extensive, the tools that they provide folks to architect solutions, it's just staggering. The other thing that has really changed, and I think has really helped companies like Amazon is, at least in the technology side of things, has been people's, five, six, seven, 10 years ago, there was a huge reluctance to move functionality in financial services to the cloud because it wasn't well understood. Well, Amazon has done away with that, because there's nobody out there, at least in my opinion, that has the wherewithal to have the best cybersecurity all the best security in place to give company's financial services companies the comfort that they put their data into a public cloud, that it's safe, it's as safe as anybody can make safe. So anyway, that's why we fell in love with what AWS provided, and how they provided and quite frankly, the cost-effectiveness of AWS there's nobody can imagine.
Richard Walker 9:38
Yeah, but I also think it's what helped you guys I'm guessing, but it certainly helps me it helps you guys meet customer demand for fast change, because there's so many tools in so many ways to create that change. Right?
Gerry Murphy 9:51
That's absolutely the truth between that and Salesforce. And what it really comes down to and this is something we still find ourselves talking about, in fact, have Quickstep back, when we started the business, we spent most of our time talking about what a Platform as a Service was, like AWS, and like Salesforce, because people still conceptually didn't get it. I think people were just starting to wrap their heads around SaaS, Software as a Service will now they're trying to wrap their heads around has, low code, no code platforms that allow you to make those changes and deliver product real fast, days and weeks, as opposed to months and years?
Richard Walker 10:34
Okay, so I think you told me just in passing your first customer was somebody that you guys custom built something for? And that turned into Finity 360. So let me ask you, who is your second customer? You don't have to name names, but how did you win the second customer onto the platform and say, we've got what you need, we're worth investing in?
Gerry Murphy 10:54
That's a good question. I thought I knew something about software sales and, and running a business. And I'm sure I do know quite a bit. But I've learned so much starting my own business that I just never expected. And one of those was how do you attract and get new clients? And I think it's almost a completely different answer for a startup business. And so it was an introduction. Our first client, referred us to somebody else. And we had started to develop more applications on Salesforce platform at the time, and we had something that we thought would fit. So our first customer referred us to our second customer. And they took a look at it, and they scratched their heads. And they definitely, I'm sure they were concerned about the size of our company, and the length of time we've been in business, but they took a chance, and it's worked out, it's still the client today.
Richard Walker 11:57
That's awesome. Yeah, I am so grateful for those early customers taking those chances. So let's fast forward, tell me one of your favorite customer success stories, like how did you help them win? What was their outcome by using your products or services?
Gerry Murphy 12:11
So I mentioned earlier that at the basic level, we help our clients to become and stay relevant with their technology. And it may take a little thought around that comment to see the value in it. But our tagline, if you will, is one vision, one platform, one experience. And the reason for that is people had and have a digital vision for their business, but it's about where does it stand in the priority pecking order. They're all running multiple platforms that are best of breed, which is kind of how the industry grew up in the last 15 years. But they all know that right now, advisor and client experience is an onboarding is key to every business. That experience, like I said earlier, people, the consumer wants to be able to jump on their smartphone, for their financial services company the same way they do for Venmo. They want to work, they want it fast, and they don't want to have to think about, how do I get the changes every month. So anyway, that's how we're helping people. Because as they look at their business, they see our vision. And they can overlay that right on to what they've been talking about and discussing. And when we show them the possibility, and what's out there and what we can do for them what our technology can do for them, and how quickly we can do it. That's how we gained our second, our third and our fourth and so on customers. So it's been a journey, no question about it. But it's been about our fallen, I want to make sure that our first and foremost our credibility, as a software company that can deliver and deliver to the expectations that we set. That's key to our business.
Richard Walker 14:04
Yeah. So it sounds like one of the things you're helping customers do is bring their technology into the modern day. An example for me is DocuSign and SIGNiX have been successful at getting signature out there. But I think one of the main catalysts to get people to adopt it, is the fact that we signed at the grocery store at the checkout line, you had all these tablets and suddenly became so common for everyday people that the expectation became you had to do it everywhere else you did business. And I saw that with the iPad two that came out and created this nice graphical little icons and user experience. So it sounds like that's what you're helping customers do as well.
Gerry Murphy 14:40
It's a small piece of what we're helping customers do. What we're helping them do is realize that from the moment they meet their client, to the moment that they need to revisit their clients data and documents and the whole experience. That's all time technology driven. And so what we've helped them envision is, there's a way to do that on one platform now. And it's a way to deliver it and integrate it to custodians, and the like, quickly, efficiently. And if you read our customer testimonials, every single one of them all of our press releases, they all say the same thing. We've helped people realize that vision through technology.
Richard Walker 15:30
So let's switch the play here a little bit. You've been doing this a long time, you've been in this business a long time, you've certainly seen a whole bunch of things happen. But running your own company, and helping your customers win and transform, how has that changed you and your perspective, or even your products?
Gerry Murphy 15:48
So that's a great question. And I'm trying to think of, I would say, at the heart of it all, it's made me want to make sure that our credibility as a service provider, and an app provider is there every single day. When you're working for or running a big company, especially publicly traded companies, you have all the monthly and quarterly and annual expectations of the markets. So it's all about deliver the financials, deliver the financials deliver the financials. And it's not always, sometimes not because they don't want to be that, but it's not always customer centric. And so we've spent the last four years making sure that our reputation and our products are customer-centric, and customer-focused, first and foremost. That's been a joy for me. Because everything we do is ours. Everything we touch is our reputation. Everything we deliver is our reputation. And that's what we want to remain intact.
Richard Walker 16:54
Yeah. I love that sense of ownership. Now, Gerry, I know in the past, I know that your systems leverage artificial intelligence, like AWS, but I'm just curious, overall, looking forward. How do you see artificial intelligence changing or impacting the customer experience? Maybe even how you deliver services? Or how customers experience services? What's your view on artificial intelligence?
Gerry Murphy 17:16
Well, I think people well, most customers are using some form of artificial intelligence today in their daily lives, again, back to the smartphone, and they don't even realize that it's artificial intelligence. But where we see it going for our business is really in the intuitive nature of it all. And so, what we're doing is mostly operational in nature, meaning we're making operations in world space, more efficient over time. And it's all technology related. And what artificial intelligence is doing is taking out more and more and more of the manual process, whether people realize it or not. And so what we're doing is looking for what's next for artificial intelligence with what we're doing today? How does artificial intelligence help us improve the processes that our software and services provide to our clients? And that's where we really see it coming on. Because you may not know that artificial intelligence is out there working for you, but it is. And it's really powerful. But I would say it's the intuitive nature of it. And as that you apply that to what you do, and the processes, that's where it really becomes powerful. And that's where we continue to look for opportunities to improve what we're providing.
Richard Walker 18:36
But isn't that the key to adoption, making it simple, intuitive, obvious?
Gerry Murphy 18:41
It is. Well, in wealth management, though, we're dealing with, in a lot of cases, we're dealing with generational differences. I'd split it up into a third, a third, a third, there's still a generation out there that in some cases likes paper, right? They want to touch it, you want to feel it, they want to sign it. But the newer generation, the younger generation, wants everything to be digital. So what artificial intelligence and our platform provides people is the ability to work and across all three of those generations. So recognize that you can't exclude the past while you're looking to the future. You just have to think how your software needs to change and adapt and how it can be everything to everyone.
Richard Walker 19:32
Yeah. And sometimes pull them ahead, even though they don't want to or realize that but you do it anyway. Because like you said, it's intuitive. Hey, you've shared a lot of really good information today. But I'm wondering if there's one secret or a key lesson that you've learned and all of your history that you would share with other business leaders to help them win more customers.
Gerry Murphy 19:52
I would say it's have the courage to try something different. And that's hard. I have to credit Paul Stringer for giving me the courage to jump out of the corporate world, if you will, into the world of entrepreneurship. But it was having the courage to take the tools that are out there and put a company and a product together, I would say, that's probably some of the best advice. The second advice component, without question is you have to have patience, because nothing happens as fast as you wanted it to when you're an entrepreneur. So to me, those were probably the two biggest things was, don't be afraid to try it. And you have to really pack on the patients because it's hard. It really is. It's harder than I thought it would be. But we've come into our own but those first couple of years, they were challenging every day.
Richard Walker 20:56
Oh, yeah. Yeah, and I give you kudos, and congrats for making that leap and jumping out. Gerry, as we get here to the end, I do have another question for you. But before I ask that question, I want to know, what's the best way for people to connect with you, a website? How should they find you?
Gerry Murphy 21:15
They can get our information on our website, arcuspartners.com. Or they can reach me directly through LinkedIn, or through my email, which is firstname.lastname@example.org. The best way to get a hold of our company and myself.
Richard Walker 21:34
Perfect. Yeah. And you are easy to reach. That's great. Okay, here's my last question. Who has helped you the most to succeed in your career? I know, that's hard. There's not just one person, but who stands out as somebody who really helped you thrive in your career?
Gerry Murphy 21:47
Well, that is an interesting question. Because there have been a couple of people. But it's probably more of a couple of interactions than it is specific people. But the first was a long time ago, when I was at SunGuard, we did an acquisition, and we acquired a company called Brass. And anybody who's been in brokerage knows that you were trading over-the-counter securities, Brass was the platform. And Bob Greifeld, who then went on to become the CEO of the NASDAQ stock market, was part of that acquisition. And the first meeting I had with him, I was running a sales team of 100 plus people at SunGuard at the time, and he went through a litany of opportunities that we never captured. And he was talking about the growth of our business. And he looked right at me, and he said, you should be professionally embarrassed by the performance of this team over the last couple of years. And it really was a defining moment. I went on to work for him for a number of years. And I'd like to think we had a good working relationship. But he expected not perfection, but he expected you were working at 150%. And you didn't make excuses. And so for me, that was probably the biggest defining moment in my career, and the next defining moment was a Paul Stringer, who founded Arcus at the get go, who gave me the courage and the optimism to step out and give it a try. So I would say those are the two people and instances in my life that my professional life that changed me the most.
Richard Walker 23:34
Yeah, so thankful for people like that. So I want to thank Gerry Murphy, CEO of Arcus Partners for being on this episode of The Customer Wins, go check out Gerry's website at arcuspartners.com. And don't forget to check out Quik! at quikforms.com where we take the work out of paperwork. I hope you've enjoyed this discussion, and will click the like button, share this with someone and subscribe to our channels for future episodes of The Customer Wins. Gerry, thank you so much for joining me today,
Gerry Murphy 24:00
Thank you. It's been great to be here and to share a bit of information.
Richard Walker 24:05
Best of luck to you.
Gerry Murphy 24:06
Thanks for listening to The Customer Wins podcast. We'll see you again next time and be sure to click Subscribe to get future episodes.