Harmony Capital LLC is a single family office based in Redwood City, California, managing a full range of investments and financial needs, including asset allocation, investment selection, real estate development, estate planning, and accounting. When the firm launched in 2007, President and Chairman Robert Dean and Senior Vice President of Operations Kelli Kellerman initially relied on Excel to value and analyze all of the family’s assets.
Though Mr. Dean and Ms. Kellerman tried various software systems including Black Diamond and PCR, none of these solutions provided the breadth and accuracy to tackle their family’s range of assets and complicated ownership structures with efficiency or ease. “I didn’t have very much confidence in the numbers we were getting in Black Diamond, and ease of use wasn’t what we expected going in,” Mr. Dean explained. “So then we switched over to another application, PCR, which was archaic. Uploading data was very cumbersome. We battled that for two years.”
The most detrimental was the inability of these systems to model the complexity of inter-family relationships. “For example, there was a lot of duplication required in PCR,” Ms. Kellerman says. “For an asset that was owned by numerous entities, we would have to replicate the asset numerous times and assign the duplicated asset separate values accordingly. Modeling hierarchy was very difficult.”
In addition, Harmony did not have control over the data aggregation process. With legacy systems, Harmony Capital was unable to directly change data or update reports on the fly. “Relying on a third party for up to date information made the process cumbersome and annoying,” Mr. Dean says.