Growing up behind the Iron Curtain in Kiev, Ukraine, Michael Pinsker had always admired the spirit of entrepreneurial freedom that is a hallmark of the U.S. Twenty-six years after he emigrated here, he still believes strongly in encouraging the free flow of business ideas and enabling those ideas to come to fruition.
He set up Docupace Technologies with this in mind. The company provides broker-dealers, RIAs and financial advisors with a complete technology solution to make their businesses more efficient and client friendly, but also to provide the necessary support and direction to allow companies to stay true to the individual nature of their particular business, all the while enhancing and improving it.
“We decided to focus on the financial advisory market because there exists there a whole entrepreneurial mindset, especially when it comes to independent broker-dealers,” Pinsker said. “We also have expertise in this area; we understand it well and we have people in our firm who came from the industry. This has allowed us to create a specific product to promote best practices and to ensure that the technology we have provides the best value-add.”
Technology, by its very nature, is a transformative tool. Docupace’s tech offering is a holistic solution that allows a financial advisory firm to become more efficient, but in an individualized manner that allows it to better realize its specific goals.
“We have always been client centric. We listen to our clients; we listen to their needs and cater to them,” Pinsker said.
On the administrative side, financial advisory firms that implement Docupace can be assured of an easy-to-use cloud-based solution for their back office and record-keeping needs, and an SEC- and FINRA-compliant straight-through processing platform. The Docupace platform is designed to keep up with regulatory changes as they happen, Pinsker said, without too much additional expense to a business.
Building on Open Architecture
Pinsker describes Docupace as a firm’s “central nervous system.” The system provides a solid foundation to a particular financial advisory firm, but it also allows for integration with complementary products and solutions that would enhance a firm’s technology overall and make a particular business’s systems and processes that much more efficient.
“We are an open architecture platform, and we have the capability to connect with other technology firms, with clearinghouses, custodians and so on,” he said. “Providing this kind of open architecture allows us to bring in other technology that integrates with our system, but we provide the all-round wrapper to make things compliant, holistic and connected.”
Looking ahead, Pinsker believes that security and compliance will be the two most important challenges facing financial firms. These issues have been important to him from the get-go, and he believes Docupace can make a real difference in this area with a full suite of security offerings that have been built specifically for financial firms by cyber security experts.
“We’re moving more and more toward cybersecurity now and this has always been a pillar for us, and it’s an area in which we’re being much more productive,” he said. “Data management is also a big area for us, and we’re able to make sure that a broker-dealer or an RIA can easily get their hands on data they need when they need it.”
Ultimately, Docupace’s end goal is to offer solutions that not only impact advisors but also their clients. That happens because the company is looking to forge and cement long-term relationships with its clients, Pinsker said, as opposed to cashing in on the moment with “drive-by sales.”
Pinsker and his family emigrated to the U.S. in 1991 and after spending a year studying English, he went on to UCLA, where he got a degree in computer science and engineering. He then founded MPDN International, a consulting firm specializing in workflow, imaging and document management services that worked with clients as diverse as Datamax Technologies, Unisys and Paramount Pictures. Pinsker founded Docupace in 2005.
— Read Staying Out of the Technology Penalty Box on ThinkAdvisor.