Meet Matt Kocanda, CFP®, Wealth Manager & Financial Professional Practice Group Leader at Balasa Dinverno Foltz LLC (BDF)
When Dinverno & Foltz Financial Group merged with Balasa and Hoffman Inc. in 2001, BDF was born. Since then, BDF has matured to an independent private wealth management firm that manages approximately $4 billion in assets for business owners, individuals, families, and institutions. BDF’s team -- comprised of wealth managers, CPAs, tax specialists, lawyers, and insurance professionals -- ensures the company’s high-net worth, private equity, investment banking, and asset management clients receive holistic, personalized, and objective financial advice.
BDF runs a factor-based investing strategy in equities, utilizes both an active and passive approach in fixed income, and leverages mutual funds that focus on value momentum and profitability. With the strategy set by the firm’s investment committee and distributed across the company, BDF kept running into bottlenecks in their research process as they didn’t have a platform that could be utilized across teams internally.
As a member of the investment committee, Matt Kocanda, a wealth manager and practice group leader for the financial services team at BDF, was tasked with finding a customizable
resource to enhance the firm’s investment research process. It was particularly important for BDF that the whole wealth management team continuously remain on the same page about recommended investments, model portfolios, key performance statistics, and trends. Specifically, BDF needed enterprise-grade tools that allowed the team to quickly source, analyze and communicate detailed information on potential investments.
We instantly realized the flexibility of the platform and how it enabled us to create our own custom content to provide to our clients, and that was really important to us.
After learning about the platform, Matt began to evaluate YCharts Enterprise as a solution and dug deeper into the capabilities. He then looped in his colleague Jonathan Baker, a fellow wealth manager at BDF, to get started on a free trial and they immediately saw the benefits.
“We instantly realized the flexibility of the platform and how it enabled us to create our own custom content to provide to our clients, and that was really important to us,” said Matt. “We also learned about the Excel Add-in functionality and how it saved us time, as well as the Google-esque search capabilities on performance data for mutual funds and ETFs.”
Matt brought YCharts to the rest of BDF’s investment committee, and soon after, the entire team was onboarded to YCharts Enterprise.
No longer did BDF’s wealth managers have to go through the investment committee to get their research questions answered.
"The onboarding process was very simple,” Matt said. “I provided a list of emails and names to our Enterprise account manager, Kyle, who is phenomenal from a customer service aspect. He quickly got everyone on the same page (literally) with customized dashboards and watchlists.”
The user-friendly nature of YCharts enabled BDF to get up to speed with the platform in short order. Wealth managers realized that in addition to saving time on the research end, they were able to use YCharts as a resource to visually depict information in client meetings and when getting to know prospects. In fact, BDF worked with the YCharts team to build a custom spreadsheet to create a proprietary “BDF Snapshot” to showcase data and metrics in an easily digestible format.
The onboarding process was very simple. I provided a list of emails and names to our Enterprise account manager, Kyle, who is phenomenal from a customer service aspect. He quickly got everyone on the same page with customized dashboards and watchlists.
Understanding that the wealth management industry is becoming more holistic, and clients need advisors to serve a number of needs, YCharts has become a key resource in BDF’s toolbelt. In addition to being cost-effective investment research solution, it also gave back Matt about six hours per week, and he estimates that the firm’s wealth managers are saving roughly 3-4 hours each week.
Those vast time savings are enabled by a few key elements in YCharts. First off, there are the YCharts Fund and Equity Screeners, which allow BDF to save screens and quickly parse all the information to build their asset class reviews. Matt says it helps them to tick the boxes not only from a competitive perspective, but also from compliance, fiduciary, and regulatory purposes. Additionally, the Excel Add-in, which automates the flow of performance data directly to Excel, has removed time-consuming steps from BDF’s investment research process.
Matt is also a big fan of the Fundamental Chart tool, which BDF’s wealth managers use in client meetings to quickly pull up data on their laptops to project custom time periods for depicting trend lines on key investment statistics.
“For example, we use the Charting function to help our clients see Cash vs. Bonds,” said Matt. “We can show them a one year time period, and project out the time period to 5 or 10 years, which really makes it easy to see the difference. Demonstrating that information dynamically has helped us with our client communication, which enables them to better understand our process.”
BDF has a growing team that ranges from millennials to seasoned wealth managers and executives, but regardless of their age, Matt says the BDF team members love YCharts because they’re all able to take full advantage of the platform.
“The Google-esque search functionality wasn’t anything I’ve ever seen in this space,” he said. “It was really a no brainer for us to get the whole team up andrunning on YCharts to take advantage of all the benefits. Having the power of all of the data at our fingertips in a customized format gives me a lot of flexibility to be creative with clients and highlight the important concepts to both clients and prospects.”
Having the power of all of the data at our fingertips in a customized format gives me a lot of flexibility to be creative with clients and highlight the important concepts to both clients and prospects.
Success Made With YCharts
The YCharts Enterprise Solution gives BDF the data and tools save time, improve client communications, and reduce research expenses.