It was my pleasure to co-host AddeConf24, Addepar’s second annual innovation and technology conference. Designed to bring our talented teams together with clients, prospects and partners, AddeConf24 fostered a dynamic exchange of ideas as we presented our forward looking vision for Addepar’s product and the future of Addepar’s engineering. AddeConf24 delivered on this year’s theme of ‘Build, Grow, Scale’ with presentations from our design, engineering and product leaders, client panels and external industry leaders and an action packed ‘Innovation Lab’ where participants could experience our latest products, enhancements and innovations.  

The ‘Build, Grow, Scale’ theme was particularly relevant for me personally, as I’ve been fortunate enough to have been at Addepar for over two years, during which time I’ve witnessed the rapid growth of our business, seen the realization of engineering investments that have significantly scaled our products and compute platform, helped guide the expansion of our product offerings, and felt the positive impact of a huge investment in a new foundational data platform. Events like AddeConf always represent a special time to step away from the daily fast-moving flywheel of building products and platforms at a high-growth company and take time to appreciate how much we have delivered for our clients and how many new and exciting additional solutions we’re about to offer.

The day was kicked off by Don Nilsson, our Chief Product Officer, and Bob Pisani, our Chief Technology Officer. As a career engineer, there is always a tendency to interpret a theme like “Build, Grow, Scale” as: “Let me show you what we built, look at how we’ve grown as an engineering organization and check out how well our technology scales!” Bob and Don were quick to remind us that yes, while an engineering-focused view is important, more important is the fact that we are here to champion our clients. A more accurate interpretation of this year’s theme is how we’re helping our clients build their businesses’ foundation on Addepar, grow their practice in terms of revenue and assets, and then gain scale by facilitating growth with lower or tightly controlled costs. Our company’s motto of “Adde parvum parvo magnus acervus erit” (roughly “Add a little to a little and you get a whole lot”) is certainly true of the myriad of solutions that Addepar has built over the last year and plans to deliver shortly. It’s best to look at that universe with the theme of AddeConf24 in mind: Build, Grow, Scale.


The ‘Build’ part of theAddeConf24 theme was perhaps best felt in the presentations and Innovations Labs that focused on our product offerings. Addepar started life as a multi-custodian aggregating, performance reporting and analytics powerhouse. That value proposition remains the core strength of what we refer to as our ‘core product.’ Never content to just leave that Core Product be, we showcased a major upgrade to the look and feel of our Addepar applications, which we call our new ‘Addepar visual signature.’ I really enjoyed hearing about how we’re continuing to invest in our products to ensure a premium user experience and how we’re also applying the visual signature to our new ‘Dashboards’ offering, which gives our clients the ability to build flexible, powerful, and dare l say, quite slick visualizations of the data that has heretofore been accessible through only our Analysis tool and our reporting. The Dashboards offering is a great example of Addepar putting more power into our clients’ hands to tell targeted stories with data in order to help build their businesses. Speaking of powerful storytelling tools for our clients, I was thrilled to see our client portal engineering and product teams highlight the work they have done over the past year to simplify the administration and setup of our Portal to simplify view creation and make our Portal a more impactful tool for our clients to use to talk to their clients.

We also got an insightful overview of the past, present and future of our Navigator product, which provides investors valuable tools for forward looking total portfolio analysis, and in particular for the intricate and time-consuming tasks of modeling out cash flows and commitments for alternative investments. Whether you love or hate your pacing models, Navigator should be your best friend! I’m super proud of the work our engineering teams did to add a linear optimizer-based solver into Navigator’s pacing model, which means Navigator can now make powerful data-driven recommendations on your future capital commitments.


A finance industry veteran once urged me to remember that “All of Financial Services is data processing.” Now, I’ll freely admit that that industry veteran may have suffered from overexposure to back- and middle-office functions, but there is wisdom in those words. Certainly, as Addepar has grown, our day-to-day reality is awash in greater and greater quantities of data. And when I speak to Addepar clients, I hear that more growth means dealing with more data. Those who can master more of the dimensions associated with growing quantities of data tend to be more successful and grow faster. That success, in turn, engenders ever more data.  

The intrinsic relationship between growth and data in wealth management and financial services gave even more gravity to what we heard from Junta Nakai from Databricks. Junta emphasized that the largest companies of today, especially those in financial services have all pushed themselves up the maturity curve of deriving value and insights from the vast quantities of data that underpin their businesses.

If more growth equals more data, then equally critical is getting more insights and more value out of that growing quantity of data. Allen Yeong and Eric Baker showcased new capabilities Addepar is building on top of Databricks to allow our clients to get direct access to the key underlying data sets that power their Addepar instance. In the past few years, Addepar has made significant investments in building a data operating platform on top of Addepar Data Lakehouse (ADL), which is transforming huge swaths of our platform architecture and allowing us to strengthen our focus on data driven decisions. Allen and Eric highlighted how we are drawing on Addepar’s experience and internal data platform to offer our clients new functionality that not only opens up new avenues of data insights, such as richer business intelligence or supporting and growing investment research practices, but also allows our clients to store and analyze their data side by side with their Addepar data. And perhaps most game-changing, it can serve as a foundation upon which our Addepar clients can build their own data lakes and data warehouses. Addepar’s data transformation, and hopefully our clients’ data transformation is the foundation on which we all grow maturity and importantly unlock data driven capabilities such as AI. 


Generating scale is the art and science of growing while controlling effort, costs or expenditure.  Getting scale is where the real magic happens for Addepar and for our clients. It was great to hear from Shawn Edwards, CTO of Bloomberg, about his experience helping Bloomberg build a unified data catalog and about the company's journey with several generations of AI technology over the past 15 years. He shared a lot of wisdom about what that journey to scale with data takes. We also heard from a client panel about how they have scaled with Addepar. The build, grow, scale theme resonated with the panel as they agreed that the core Addepar product suite has given them an excellent foundation upon which to build out the core of their business.  The panelists talked about the balancing act of growing on Addepar while channeling the flexibility of the product suite in order to find the optimal solutions for their advisors and asset owners, but once that was done and the foundation was in place, we heard how Addepar’s reporting and client portal solutions have helped scale advisory practices.

AddeConf24 also offered more visibility into what Addepar is building to help our clients get scale with data. Our Chief Data Officer James Thornton delivered a thorough overview of how Addepar is rapidly transforming how we think about data quality. He did an excellent job explaining the multi-disciplinary practice that is data quality and data management and educated all in the audience about how Addepar is turning multifaceted theory into a real-world, globe-spanning data quality machine! We also had an informative client panel with some of the early adopters of our Alts Data Management product. It will be no shock to anyone in our industry that managing alternative investments is still a labor intensive, PDF saturated, infuriating process.  We heard how Addepar’s investment in new tools, backed by a purpose-built large language model, is helping get scale in work of onboarding alternative investments. Finally, AddeConf24 featured an exciting preview of Addepar’s plans to embed AI into our products. Addepar AI will allow our clients to get help faster, be more efficient, and make smarter decisions. Over time, it will also transform workflow optimization and automation.

See you next year!

It was no easy task consolidating into just one day all of the cutting-edge solutions Addepar has built for clients and all of the innovations we’ll soon deliver to help our clients build their businesses, grow their practices and scale to greater heights. But hopefully, this write-up has given you a taste of the many groundbreaking things happening at Addepar. A huge shout out to Addepar’s own Lisa Lu, the organizing force behind AddeConf24. We’re lucky to have you Lisa! To all those in attendance at AddeConf24, thank you, and to all those curious about what the future of wealthtech and finance holds and how Addepar will help shape it…we’ll see you next year at AddeConf25.