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Stuart DePina, president of Envestnet

Practice Management > Building Your Business > Leadership

Why Envestnet's Stuart DePina Is Stepping Down

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What You Need to Know

  • Stuart DePina is exploring some opportunities after stepping down as Envestnet president, he says.
  • He says he has long wanted to run his organization but stayed to help the tech firm cope with the death of then-CEO Jud Bergman in 2019.
  • The firm's restructuring makes sense, says Joel Bruckenstein, who notes its WealthTech should have been separated from its other businesses a while ago.

Stuart DePina is “exploring some opportunities that I’m excited to undertake as my next mission,” the Envestnet executive said late Wednesday, one day after the company announced he was stepping down as its president later this month but remaining a company advisor as part of a company restructuring.

Asked why he decided to step down as president, DePina told ThinkAdvisor via LinkedIn: “The short version is, after 15 years I’m ready for a change.”

DePina was named CEO and president of portfolio management software maker Tamarac in 2007. Envestnet acquired the company in 2012 for $54 million in a move that provided Envestnet with an immediate boost to its presence in the RIA market.

DePina went on to be named CEO of Envestnet | Yodlee in 2019 before shifting to Envestnet president in 2020. Envestnet bought data aggregator and software developer Yodlee for about $660 million in cash and stock in 2015.

Elaborating on his decision to step down as president, DePina told ThinkAdvisor: “Don’t read into this statement that I’m no longer interested in where Envestnet is currently or the vision of the business. I’ve had an interest in driving my own organization for a few years now.”

But the “untimely and unexpected passing of Jud Bergman required my commitment in supporting Bill in stabilizing the organization while we developed a sustainable succession plan,” DePina explained.

Bergman, who founded Envestnet and was its CEO and chairman, died at 62 in 2019 in a car crash in San Francisco, along with his wife, Mary Miller.

“When we sold [Tamarac] to Envestnet some 10 years ago I had no expectation that I [would] be there 10 months, let alone 10 years,” DePina went on to tell ThinkAdvisor. “However if you knew Jud and assuming you know Bill, I hope you can understand how easy it was for me to become inspired with the possibilities which we faced in driving change for our industry.”

DePina has “both enjoyed and am proud of what we’ve accomplished and am well aware that there is much more to do” at Envestnet, he added. “Bill and I have focused on building a leadership team capable of completing the next phase of Envestnet’s mission. For me, I’m taking a break and literally exploring some opportunities that I’m excited to undertake as my next mission.”

Not immediately clear: How long DePina will be serving as an Envestnet advisor.

As part of its restructuring, Envestnet is “streamlining” its business into three segments: Envestnet Solutions, Envestnet Data and Analytics, and Envestnet WealthTech, it said.

Envestnet announced three group presidents for the new business lines: Dana D’Auria, who will lead Envestnet Solutions and also was named co-chief investment officer; Farouk Ferchichi for Envestnet Data and Analytics; and Tony Leal for Envestnet WealthTech.

Another Take on Envestnet’s Restructuring

“What is now called WealthTech, run by Tony Leal as per the announcement, should have been separate from the legacy Envestnet and from the data and analytics. Long ago,” Joel Bruckenstein, head of Technology Tools for Today (T3), told ThinkAdvisor by email on Wednesday.

Bruckenstein added: “This feels to me like they are peeling off what I think of as the legacy Envestnet, with some of the newer innovations attached to that like direct indexing, portfolio overlays, and the exchanges…. This makes sense.”

While MoneyGuide is “innovative, and they stick to their knitting,” he said that, “in the RIA space, and that is the fastest growing segment of the business, Tamarac is a natural fit” for MoneyGuidePro.

Envestnet “could be doing a lot more to deeply integrate the two,” Bruckenstein said, adding: “Now that they are all under Tony, hopefully that will happen.”

That division also has the Envestnet client portal and some next-generation tools under development and “this is where they belong,” according to Bruckenstein.

“That is not to say that Tony’s division will cease working with the other divisions,” he said. “I think it just laser focuses the WealthTech division on what matters most to the long term success of their segment.”

(Pictured: Stuart DePina, Envestnet president)