Frequently Asked Questions
How long has Celera been in business?
Since our founding in 2000, Celera has been recognized as an innovator in information technology solutions for financial services companies: mutual fund and institutional managers, insurance companies, retirement plan providers, banks and broker dealers.
What is Celera’s ownership structure?
Celera is a privately-owned company. In 2000, Celera’s three Managing Partners, Mike Giunta, Kevin Klein & Gary Maradik, combined their collective decades of information technology “know how” and software engineering expertise, and capitalized on their respective experiences with four large and nationally-prominent investment managers, broker dealers, trust companies and banks. Together they launched Celera in their hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Since its founding as a newly-minted entrepreneurial firm 13 years ago, Celera has grown into a nationally-regarded and prospering company today. The three founding partners remain at the helm, and actively engage in Celera’s day to day operations.
Where is Celera located?
Celera is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where we founded our firm in 2000. We also support our clients from our satellite offices in Novato, California; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Charlotte, North Carolina.
How many people work at Celera?
Celera is a small, boutique firm, with impressive professional bench strength more typical of much larger organizations. Each of the twenty professionals on the Celera team represent on average, 16+ years of investment industry experience, and on average, have more than 5 years tenure with our firm. The three founding partners of the company, who collectively represent 75 years of industry experience, remain at the helm, and actively engaged in our day to day operations. Our approach has always been to selectively add only seasoned experts to our team, a practice which has enabled our clients to benefit from their direct engagement with knowledgeable, highly skilled and industry-experienced professionals.
How many clients does Celera serve?
Going into 2014, across our three major solution platforms, Celera will be providing services for approximately 75 asset management, insurance company, bank and broker dealer organizations.
Our clients represent many of the most prominent financial services companies in the industry as well as many impressive small and fast growing asset managers. While our technology solutions are sophisticated and robust enough to meet the demands of the largest and most aggressive organization, we have developed a unique and specific expertise in serving the needs of small and fast growing asset managers.
What is Celera’s product line?
Celera developed and offers three distinct information technology solution platforms for financial services companies:
- SalesStation, our flagship solution encompasses data management, business intelligence and CRM in a single all-in-one solution.
- Merrill Connect: Celera has partnered with Merrill Corporation to deliver a literature fulfillment solution that connects the entire sales and materials fulfillment cycle, automates repetitive literature ordering and shipping processes, and generates concise reports that impact key revenue-generating decisions.
- Celera, and our partner Envision Financial Systems, developed the Clarity Compliance 22(c)-2 solution, which operates as a fully-managed web-based, on-demand service combining all aspects of hardware, software, databases, communications, security and support to meet the compliance demands of this SEC rule.
How long is the SalesStation installation process?
Installations are generally completed, and new licensees up and running with SalesStation six weeks from the date we receive files from a new client’s transfer agent . Of course, every installation is unique, and can be impacted by the complexity and accuracy of the data files we are provided, and the extent of data scrubbing (stewardship) required/expected by each client.
During Installation, will we be assigned a specific Relationship Manager, or have a direct contact assigned to our account?
Yes. We know that installation is a critical time for all of us at Celera to make a great first impression, and to deliver on our promise that “when you do business with Celera, you can expect to feel like a big fish in a small pond.” That’s why only our senior and most experienced and expert installation manager will be assigned as your dedicated point person throughout the installation process. In addition, Beverly Dube our Vice President of Client Services, is always standing by to shepherd the installation process forward, and to serve as another knowledgeable “go to” point person.
How much effort and what resources are required on our part during the installation process?
At the core of our value proposition, is the expectation that SalesStation will enable our clients to focus their energies and efforts on building their businesses, while leaving the management of their data to Celera. At the outset, and in order to expedite our initial data retrieval process, a new client’s responsibility is limited to taking care of the requisite authorizations (we provide you the forms you’ll need) that enable us to retrieve your data files from your Transfer Agency, as well as each of the clearing firms and intermediaries with whom your firm does business.
We have found that while we do all of the “heavy lifting” for initial data retrieval, aggregation and alignment, new clients who actively engage in the review and reconciliation process at critical junctures throughout the installation process achieve the best results.
Once SalesStation is installed, clients can count on timely, accurate and complete reporting, business intelligence and CRM functionality at their fingertips, first thing every morning.
Once we submit authorizations for Celera to retrieve our data files, how long does it take before Celera receives initial data feeds?
Each intermediary, custodian and trading platform operates according to their own firm’s timelines for acting on data authorization requests. Generally the well known Transfer Agencies and the “Big 3” Supermarkets (Schwab, Fidelity and TD Ameritrade) will act on authorizations within a few days. Some broker dealers are slower to act, and can hold up the installation process. That’s where Celera’s industry experience and longstanding relationships with operations departments at all the major platforms becomes especially valuable to new clients.
How long has SalesStation existed?
SalesStation, was originally introduced to the marketplace in 2002, under its original brand name, SPR, (Sales and Performance Reporting System), and has been continually expanded and enhanced to meet the changing needs of a demanding asset management industry. In 2012, SPR was rebranded as SalesStation, reflecting the evolution of the solution to an all-in-one software as a service platform, providing sales tracking and reporting and a suite of analytics and business intelligence tools. In 2011, Celera added CRM (Customer Relationship Management) functionality, and in 2014 rolled out a best in class solution, fully customizing Salesforce.com, the world’s leading CRM platform, to suit the unique needs of the mutual fund managers.
What differentiates SalesStation from other systems in the marketplace that offer similar functionalities?
The following things set Celera apart from our competitors:
- We can boast a unique and specialized expertise in serving the needs of small and fast growing asset management organizations. While well known competitors focus their energies on the largest and most prominent mutual fund complexes, we are ideally suited for asset managers who manage assets between $100 Million and $5.5 billion. Our largest client manages $120 billion in institutional and mutual fund assets.
- When you do business with Celera, you can expect to feel like a big fish in a small pond. You won’t get lost in the shuffle.
- You will appreciate our affordable pricing structure that is structured for unique value.
- You can expect prompt and responsive service from knowledgeable and experienced investment industry professionals.
- Our best in class CRM solution, fully customized to suit the unique needs of asset management distributors, fully integrates SalesStation, our powerful and sophisticated data management, sales reporting and business intelligence solution, with Salesforce.com, the world’s leading CRM provider.
In addition to these attributes, SalesStation offers all of the core functionalities offered by our competitors, enhanced by our unique expertise in understanding the needs and concerns of small and fast growing asset managers.
What kind of reports do you provide/are available through SalesStation?
Our reporting, business intelligence and CRM reports are all available at an enterprise-wide (executive) summary level, a sales-management decision-ready level, and at a wholesaler-friendly territory level. Our model for reporting is to provide roll up and drill down information from virtually every perspective which your firm may find important; by channel,by firm (broker dealer or RIA), and by RIA firm-affiliated advisor, or broker-dealer affiliated representative level.
Based upon our work with dozens of asset managers over the years, we offer a suite of standard, core reports that have been developed by seasoned distribution executives. For many clients, our core reporting package meets most of their asset and sales tracking and reporting needs. For clients whose needs extend beyond the scope of our core reporting package, customized reporting is readily and expertly developed.
Clients can “consume” the reports and the business intelligence they need according to their individual preferences:
- by distributed e-mail first thing each morning
- via their Salesforce.com CRM system, fully customized to suit the unique asset, sales and activity tracking and reporting needs of asset managers
- by accessing their uniquely customized SalesStation suite of reports on a when/as needed basis
- by accessing SalesStation’s sophisticated data warehouse, utilizing SalesStation’s powerful business intelligence and analytical tools to create customized reports and analytics
From which trading platforms do you receive data?
We retrieve data every day from every significant transfer agency, trading platform, broker dealer intermediary, and custodian. It is unlikely that an asset manager would be doing business through an intermediary or platform from whom Celera is not already retrieving data on a regular and ongoing basis.
What sorts of problems do you typically encounter when you retrieve information from intermediaries and trading platforms?
Rarely are there obstacles in retrieving data. Interpreting and transforming data from the raw file formats in which it is delivered to SalesStation from multiple third parties, into usable and actionable information is critically important, and is where SalesStation’s experienced operations and data stewardship experts add real value. Maintaining data integrity over time, and reconciling data back to each custodial and trading firms’ omnibus accounts, is an integral part of SalesStation’s effective and efficient reporting service.
How much information will dealers make available?
There are varying degrees of information and different file formats provided across broker dealers. Each dealer, platform and sub-accounting system has its own distinct methodology and approach to recording data, and its own unique identification #’s and nuances associated with the data provided.
How much a dealer will share, and exactly how to most efficiently retrieve it depends on the type of dealer, the terms of the selling agreement between the dealer and the asset manager or its service providers, and the programs and platforms through which the dealer may trade. If the firm is a broker dealer or introducing firm, generally advisor-level information is available directly through the Transfer Agency or from sub-accounting files. RIAs will generally provide only their firm name and an office location. Retirement and insurance companies generally won’t provide a branch location or advisor-level.
Interpreting and translating data which dealers provide can be tricky; that’s where the experienced operations and data stewardship experts who support SalesStation add significant value.
What information is made available by the large supermarket platforms?
Fidelity, Schwab, TD Ameritrade &Pershing provide transaction data on a daily basis; asset data is made available at each month end. The large supermarket trading platforms segment their data according to standard industry channels, and provide transaction details and positions held for each distinct fund or portfolio. For the RIA channel, the supermarkets provide daily transaction data and month end asset data only at the RIA firm level, not at the individual advisor level.