A conversation with Three Bridge Wealth Advisors and Navigator’s Rajiv Sharma
Recently, we sat down with the co-founders of Three Bridge Wealth Advisors, Brett Sharkey and Eric Thurber, and product lead for Navigator, Rajiv Sharma, to glean some valuable insights into the origins of Addepar’s Navigator product, the meaningful impact it has had on the way wealth advisors manage their clients’ assets, and plans for its continued advancement.
Building a tool for changing times
2022 Preqin Global Alternatives Reports
“From 2015 to the end of 2021, AUM across all alternative asset classes increased at a CAGR of 10.7%. As of the end of 2015, AUM stood at $7.23tn, rising to $13.32tn by the end of 2021 and we expect AUM growth to accelerate to 11.7% and reach $23tn in 2026.”
Diversification into alternative asset types has seen significant growth in recent years across an ever-growing range of clients. The technology to model and project portfolios and funds containing these asset types wasn’t keeping pace. Rajiv Sharma and his team aimed to solve this disparity – to provide clients with the ability to look forward for the first time, and with clarity.
For Rajiv, this looked like the ability to model alternative assets in detail quickly and efficiently, and, ultimately, “understand what the trajectory is so that the end user is able to understand that they can take different actions and feel comfortable about them.” From the outset, he worked closely with clients like Three Bridge to create a tool that successfully met and exceeded their technological demands.
“The real benefit of Navigator is that it allows clients to project their portfolio out into the future to understand key metrics – whether that’s allocations, returns, AUM and cash flows – by taking into account the detailed modeling that’s associated with alternative assets, as well as both, investment or non-investment related cash flows and other sorts of complex modeling associated with the portfolio.”
Promoting ease and efficiency with powerful modeling
Three Bridge Wealth Advisors, a boutique, multi-family office based in Silicon Valley serves 50 individuals and families and manages over $450 million in assets.
Before Navigator, co-founders Sharkey and Thurber relied on “spreadsheets and rudimentary analysis, for years,” according to Sharkey. When Rajiv gave them a glimpse into “the future generation of how we think about reviewing clients’ exposures, how we think about the go-forward, and how we think about managing both risk and liquidity on an ongoing and future basis,” in Eric Thurber’s words, the co-founders concurred – “He’s building a holy grail.”
The profound shift the two foresaw rings true today. The implementation of Navigator has spelled immense change for the way Three Bridge manages its clients’ assets – especially alternative investments – and the way they convey their guidance to clients.
According to Sharkey, modeling cash flows while taking into account factors like capital and cash liquidity becomes “a little bit more of a challenge” when serving multiple clients and managing dozens of investments. Equipped with Navigator’s comprehensive modeling tools and ability to draw data directly from the Addepar software, that challenge has become “infinitely easier” for Three Bridge to navigate.
Embracing the future with Navigator
Sharkey and Thurber reflect on the undeniable pivot in their workflow that has occurred since Navigator entered the operation. With Navigator’s modeling and projection capabilities, conversations with clients have shifted from “where we’ve been” and “where we are,” to “where we’re going,” as Sharkey puts it.
“The benefit is for our clients to be able to see what their future may look like.”
Being able to model cash flows and gain valuable foresight with “a few flips of some online toggles and switches” may be noteworthy, but it’s the human aspect of things, Sharkey and Thurber note, that’s been uniquely fulfilling. The co-founders reflect on the emotional moments – the resounding gratitude from clients upon hearing their finances are secure – that make it all worthwhile.