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ABAR's Outlook

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Matt Abar, 31, is the founder of TechFi. At the time of the agreement to sell his company last month, Abar owned about 50% of TechFi stock, giving him close to a $12 million payday on the acquisition by Advent. He has an employment agreement to continue to oversee TechFi as Advent’s transition team gets to work. Here are his predictions:

You can’t get around the fact that the competition aspect is gone. Wait and see if it harms the industry, though. Advent is serious about giving us market segments and building on our technology. We’re far enough along with the integration plans and merger where this is obvious now to me. As far as the fact that there is less competition, you can’t point the finger at Advent. Look at what Schwab has done with Centerpiece.

On their earnings call with analysts, Advent’s chief financial officer said the company was cutting prices. They’re planning to offer Advent on term licenses rather than perpetual licenses. They’re going to take Advent Office to a larger scale. They’ve drastically dropped the front-end price and are charging a little more on the ongoing maintenance price.

Watch what we do over the next four or six months. We’re keeping all of our point-to-point interfaces in Portfolio. Plus, we’ll add a link to the 250-interface library at ACD. That will be good for TechFi prospects. We have had to turn away many advisors because we don’t have interfaces with Merrill and other brokerages. By adding an interface for ACD to Portfolio 2000, we open up to advisors using our software the possibility of downloading from scores of new B/Ds. Plus, TechFi will be adding an interface to Wealthline [Advent's product for delivering account information over the Web].

Advent has gotten a really bad rap on the pricing issue. Much of that reputation is undeserved. For instance, Advent dropped prices to smaller practices about six months ago when it revamped its Office Essentials program, and none of the trade press covered it. People are skeptical of them but they are doing the right thing and not getting the credit they should be getting. In the long run, you’ll see that the decision to sell to Advent was right for TechFi and for its customers.