It only took about 60 days of retirement before Frank Jersey, former president, CEO and chairman of The Leverage Group, discovered a business opportunity that brought him back into the insurance business. Today, Jersey is president of 2050systems, LLC, a provider of financial account consolidation software to financial institutions and individuals.
Shortly after retiring, Jersey-who sold The Leverage Group in 1998 to Cybertek (now part of CSC), discovered that managing his retirement accounts was a difficult task. "I took the proceeds from the sale of The Leverage Group and invested in many areas, including stocks, bonds and mutual funds," Jersey says. "I didn't realize how hard it is to manage your own income.
"About 60 days in, I realized that putting money into a financial service institution is easy, but getting it out is a very daunting task," Jersey adds. Moreover, trying to figure out short-term or long-term gains, tax implications or which account the money was actually coming from was a challenge.
And when Jersey turned for help to some of the financial institutions that held his assets, they were of little assistance. During a meeting with the wealth management group at one of the three financial institutions that he had a retirement account with, it became apparent that the institution only knew about the accounts Jersey had with them. The advisors had no idea that he had two other accounts with their competitors, how large the accounts were or what kind of products he was invested in. In addition, they could do little to help Jersey determine the tax implications of just the accounts that he held with that institution. In fact, after visiting a number of institutions, Jersey found out that they commonly had this type of request from customers, but they didn't have the tools to provide the service.
"You can ask your accountant to compile all of the income, investment and tax information for you from your various investments, but it takes a while and it will be very costly each time it is done," Jersey says. So Jersey wrote a prototype system in Microsoft Excel that consolidated his various investment information and produced both federal and state tax forms. After he perfected the calculations in Excel, he converted the system to Java/HTML.
The software, called My Financial Coordinator, provides asset performance metrics, stop-loss warnings for investments, income and cash-flow calculations, asset management and tax planning functionality. "There is a huge market for this application because most financial service institutions can not provide this information to their customers," Jersey says. "An institution that has this offering will be able to see all of a customer's assets and could possibly offer alternatives to investments the customer has at competitors."
Greg MacSweeney is editorial director of InformationWeek Financial Services, whose brands include Wall Street & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, Advanced Trading, and Insurance & Technology. View Full Bio