One of the major challenges that organizations today face is the rapidly evolving market environment. Client needs, milestone developments in technology, shareholder expectations, new and strict regulations are shaping the business models and requirements. To be able to seize the global potential and survive in the business long term, having true industry veterans who understand the needs of the modern-day independent financial advisor is crucial.
In the light of the above mentioned, we are thrilled to present you Chalice Financial Technology, LLC dba Chalice Financial Network, a firm that was built with the purpose to meet the demands of the ever-growing number of SMBs being born every day of every month and to serve the needs of breakaway advisors leaving the shackles of large corporations with diminishing support. Chalice Financial Network started by aggregating and integrating everything that SMBs need to run their business through a single sign on a digital marketplace and e-commerce platform. Now, it has moved ahead to building and buying products and companies we own and operate as well.
Interview excerpt: CEO Keith E. Gregg speaks to us about the inception of Chalice Financial Network and the journey so far.
How successful was your first project roll on?
We had a very successful 5 City Roadshow and Rollout of the Chalice Financial Network and Chalice Exchange – cities included Santa Monica, CA, Phoenix, AZ, Dallas, TX, Atlanta, GA, and NYC, NY. We not only attracted over 500 attendees at these locations but also dramatically enhanced and accelerated our BRAND recognition and platform adoption.
How have the consumer responses over the years motivated you to shape your offerings and grow the company?
SMBs are frugal and need to see the cost-benefit analysis and ROI. We created a savings calculator for them so that they could visually see the savings and scale they achieved through their membership with Chalice. We work with the aim to deliver the economies of scale they seek, operational efficiency they strive for, and ultimately aid in enhancing their enterprise value.
How did you tackle the challenges that you had to go through in your initial days?
You need to show value immediately, and the user experience must be good as well. There is too much competition in the marketplace and the consumer has very little patience and does not want to be disappointed. Therefore, do the homework upfront. Beta test with small groups to get it right, and once you get the feedback, adapt it to meet the expectations of the market. Now you can market it with testimonials and be loud and proud about it.
“Earning trust and respect of consumers all around the world is through consistent focus on delivering high quality in all of our actions.” How do you interpret this statement?
I agree with this. This is true especially if you are in a service business. We work very hard at delivering on our corporate promise through three key operating principles:
- Open, Honest, and Frequent communication with our members (monthly newsletter, webinars, and corporate events)
- Building Trust through Transparency – we are very transparent with pricing and expectations; no hidden fees and no hidden agendas
- Accountability – Do what you say you are going to do and hold each other accountable.
About adaptability, how do you stay relevant to the consumer interests and needs in this highly volatile market?
We have an amazing Chalice Advisory Board of Industry Luminaries who meet every quarter, as well as work hard at knowing and experiencing industry conferences or events. We are also on the lookout for new offerings, searching for ways to solve pain points, and delivering pleasure through best products, services, pricing, privileges, and perks for our members.
A company to be one the most ‘innovative,’ its employees must think like innovators, employees need to feel they have a decent outlet for sharing their observations and ideas. Is this true with your company?
Absolutely! We foster a very collegial and collaborative work environment. We have an annual Innovative Idea Award with cash incentives for all our employees.
Technology & Innovation, a perfect fusion. How often do you innovate? Is it only when there is a need in the market?
We operate on 90-day win sprints for new and innovative products or services. We are constantly innovating and providing the necessary incentives to keep this on top of mind.
How do you and your company contribute to the competitive global IT platform at large?
We are a cloud-based platform and e-commerce delivery system that operates quite like Amazon. We have world-class developers here in the US, and abroad in places like India and Belarus who help us keep up with global standards and maintain our competitive edge.
People like companies that are involved in social welfare/CSR activities. What do you say about this?
We are big believers in “Doing Well by Doing Good” and truly adopt the old saying that “Charity starts at Home.” To that end we support our local charities and contribute to our community.
Do you have any new products ready to be launched?
We will be launching the Chalice Community Connect, Chalice on-Call payment platform, and Chalice Advisor Lending Platform in Q1/Q2 2020.
As a question on sustainability, where do you see your company a couple of years from now?
A couple of years from now, we will be the largest digital community and digital business solutions provider for Independent SMBs professionals.
The Man Behind the Strength of Chalice Financial Network
Keith E. Gregg, Founder & CEO
Keith has 32 years of experience in the Financial Services Industry. He is a former US Marine and the recipient of the Presidential Service Award.
“Through our digital marketplace—Chalice Advisor Exchange™—we provide access to best-in-class wealth management products and services in pursuit of the economies of scale and operational efficiencies advisors want and need to succeed.”