Parker Ence Podcast Transcript

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Headshot of CEO Parker Ence

Parker Ence Podcast Transcript

Parker Ence joins host Brian Thomas on The Digital Executive Podcast.

Welcome to Coruzant Technologies. Home of The Digital Executive Podcast.

Brian Thomas: Welcome to The Digital Executive. Today’s guest is Parker Ence. Parker Ence is the CEO and co-founder of Jump. Previously, Parker was the CEO at Veraset, which was acquired in 2023. Parker Ence is a three times tech CEO with experience building early stage and growth companies in data, AI, finance, and advisor tech.

Other experience includes working at Google cloud, private equity, investing technology, go to market consulting, and once upon a time as a guitar teacher, Parker received his MBA from Stanford graduate school of business and an honors undergraduate degree in economics from the university of Utah.

Well, good afternoon, Parker. Welcome to the show!

Parker Ence: Yeah, no. Thanks for having me. Brian. Great to be here!

Brian Thomas: Awesome. I appreciate it. Hailing out of the great state of Utah. There near Salt Lake City. So, I appreciate you making the time. This is not 1 of my long distance traveled podcast, but I still appreciate it. And so, Parker jumping into your 1st question.

Before venturing into the tech world and eventually becoming the CEO of Jump, you once worked as a guitar teacher. How have your diverse experiences, including teaching guitar and working at Google Cloud, shaped your approach to leadership and innovation in the tech industry?

Parker Ence: Yeah, it’s a, it’s a great question. I don’t know that I’ve ever thought about how my background in music led to innovation and leadership, but I think you know, as a, as a student of music. I think the 1st thing that you learn is that there’s no shortcuts. So, I think the 1st song that I remember trying to learn on the guitar was sweet home Alabama.

And it’s, it took me, you know, like, 2 hours just to be able to do. And that was like, a great day’s work to be able to get to that. And then it kind of compounds after that. And I think as a teacher, you quickly see which students are willing to put the work in and innovation just takes a long time.

There’s a lot of compounding. That comes from understanding a customer base or a market and kind of what’s out on the edge of. What they can do now, what they wish they could do, but can’t how technology can kind of come into play there. And so, I think just kind of the discipline of the practice of music I think has been really helpful.

And I think. You know, another piece you learn as a guitar teacher that your students don’t really work on the stuff that they don’t actually care about. And I think, you know, I’ve been a part of teams in the past where we were working on something and nobody on the team really cared that much about it.

And so, it was tough to really move it forward. And I think, you know, now, as we’re building enabled software for financial advisors at jump, it is just a ton of fun to kind of build with these new large language models. And we’ve. Yeah. Little AI techniques throughout the software. And so, we’re just, you know, we’re coming up with all kinds of fun, creative ideas because the whole team is just having a good time.

I think another thing from the guitar teaching days is it’s the 1st time that I, yeah, I was, yeah, this was like high school, and this was kind of my make money to get through college. Job, and it was really the 1st time that I kind of looked somebody in the eye and felt truly responsible to help them do something that they really cared about.

You know, these kids would come in and. Some of them wanted to learn Taylor Swift or Avril Lavigne at the time, or some old journey song or something, and they really cared about it. And so, it’s just kind of looking somebody in the eye and feeling responsible to help them. Get there, and that certainly has carried over as we’ve gotten to know more and more financial advisors.

Yeah. Yeah. At jump and, you know, this is like really important stuff. They’re focusing all their time and attention on helping everyday people to take care of their money to prepare for retirement and the kinds of things we’re helping them with, you know, it’s, it’s super important. So, I think that sense of responsibility has been really good.

And you know, I think. Looking at later on as I, you know, worked at Google cloud very briefly, and then after that worked for a big data company called safe graph. And I basically spun out a business unit out of safe graph and built that up as its own company. I think that’s where from a technology perspective and a product perspective.

I really got exposure to what great looks like from, from the perspective of what’s a great product look like, what does a great team look like? What’s it like to build something and work with people who are just really world class of what they’re doing. And also, what speed looks like. So, you know, I think specifically when I was working with Safe graph and we have this board member who was constantly asking, how can we move faster?

How can we push pace? And, you know, usually worked out that there were times when I felt like we were already moving super-fast. And it was uncomfortable to kind of say, how can we move even faster? But super necessary. And I think we’ve kind of brought all of those things into jump where we’ve tried to build high quality products but do it in a super-fast way.

And also, you know, being really taking responsibility for helping the customer make some significant progress.

Brian Thomas: Thank you. You’ve highlighted several examples there and some of the things I picked out totally resonate. Obviously, at the end of the day, you’re trying to make that a better product, better customer experience that engagement with employees.

And you learn that back in your guitar days when students were doing something fun. This is the stuff that they love to do. And that’s what people really get engaged. And if you can figure out those hot buttons, that makes a world of difference. So, I appreciate you highlighting those for us. Thank you.

And Parker jump started with a, your company jump started with a focus on AI tools or B2B sales teams before pivoting to financial advisory technology. Can you walk us through that journey and the pivotal moments that led you to the redefinition of jumps mission?

Parker Ence: Yeah, sure. So, in the very early days, my co-founder, Tim and myself, we were really trying to solve our own problem with all of the new exciting AI techniques around large language models and generative AI.

And really the problem we were trying to solve is I had worked as a, as an account executive in a sales role. I’d also led sales teams. And one of the most annoying things for a salesperson is. Updating the CRM at the end of the day, whether it’s Salesforce or HubSpot or whatever they happen to be using as a CRM.

And so, we were trying to basically build an AI assistant that could at the end of a call with a prospect or with a customer. Summarize everything that had been discussed and organize it into well-known sales frameworks. You know, if the audience is familiar with kind of B2B sales techniques or, or qualification frameworks, like medic or bant, or, you know, these, these have been around for a long time.

If you’re really doing a good job as a salesperson, especially if you’re working on the big deals, you’re analyzing those deals and you’re kind of storing all that information. Into the CRM, but it’s very time consuming to do that. And so we were working on you know, just kind of getting AI to help with that workload.

And I think what we found is we were relying on a lot of product development techniques that I would say are probably consensus. When you think about, you know, R and D techniques, like finding design partners and getting users to use the product for free and giving you feedback. And asking a lot of you know, almost scientific method style questions around.

Can you rate your pain from 1 to 10 and what, you know, how would you rate this pain point? And I think what we learned, and if I were to do this over, instead of being in a research mode for so long, I think we were probably in a research mode for a call. I don’t know, 4 to 6 months. Everything changes when you start actually selling and so I think we learned way more when we started actually trying to sell and I think when you sell, it activates a part of the brain.

That is totally different from the I will give you feedback on your idea part of the brain and that’s when you really learn. And so, I think partially what happened is when we went and started asking for the sale. You know, it turns out these sales teams actually had a lot of resources to help them get data into the CRM and they really didn’t have a very high willingness to pay for something.

And so. We started to think, wow, you know, maybe this isn’t the best place for this technology to be and right around that same time, just serendipitously. I was chatting with this with my neighbor who happens to run a very successful which is a financial advisory firm, here in Utah, and I was explaining to him what we’re trying to do and he said, well, geez, you know, we have to load a lot of information into our CRM about our client meetings and it takes up a ton of time and you should look into doing this with us.

And so that sort of kicked us off. down a path of talking to a lot of different advisors and it’s really kind of pivoting our focus to do something that’s much more focused. And so now we only work with wealth advisors.

Brian Thomas: Thank you. I appreciate again, sharing the backstory on that. And, you know, I always pick out these little gems is the fact that and we’ve had many dozens of guests on here that we’re in the sales business 1st, right?

And so, they have a totally different perspective. And we’ve seen a lot of those people like yourself come out of that. And start their own company and become very successful entrepreneur. So again, highlighting that I just certainly appreciate it, Parker and Parker, the next question I have for you here at your company jump, you are enhancing how financial advisors interact with clients using AI.

We talked a little bit about that. How do you envision AI continuing to transform the financial advisory sector, especially in terms of client relationships and compliance management?

Parker Ence: Yeah. So, you know, we’re super focused at Jump on helping advisors with the client meeting cycle. So, if you think about what the role of a financial advisor actually is, their day to day is finding clients to work with, making sure that they deeply understand the client’s goals and all of their different alternatives and options for what they can do to secure their financial future.

And then they need to deliver a plan, and, in many cases, they actually are going to execute that plan on behalf of the client. And so, a lot of this revolves around these client meetings, and that could be an hour. We’ve got some advisors that are doing 4-hour meetings with their clients. And there’s so much that’s covered in those meetings when the meeting’s done, the advisor then has to go turn that into a professional meeting note that they store for compliance purposes in case they get audited by the or a state regulator to make sure that they’re doing their duty in protecting the client’s interests.

They’ve got to. Follow up on a bunch of tasks and other follow up items based on what happened during that meeting. They also generally need to have good communication with the client after the meeting, sending a recap email that outlines what was covered and what the next steps are. And then there’s all this data that is discussed during the meeting years?

It’s unstructured data. It’s just in the flow of the conversation, financial planning, data, data that might impact some sort of compliance, some sort of future compliance implication. And so, it might take an advisor. Anywhere from 15 to maybe 45 minutes to actually wrangle all of this data. And they’ve tried a lot of things, right?

So over time, some advisors have paid someone to sit in the meeting and take notes for them. Others have tried dictation services, where they sort of regurgitate the meeting after the fact and talk through what happened. There are a bunch of more generic AI summarizers that are around that aren’t really advisor specific.

And so, some have tried those. And so, at jump, what we said is, well, let’s try to do something that leverages the latest generative AI and makes all of this take like 5 minutes instead of 40 minutes. And so, the AI assistant that we’ve built, it’ll see that the advisor has. A meeting with a client, and it’ll go into the and it’ll summarize and create a brief of what’s up with that client.

Who’s in the household? What are their hobbies? Hey, maybe it would be good to ask how the transition is going to their son. It’d be good to ask about how the wedding went last summer to enable them to maintain that personal touch as they, as they grow. It also writes up the meeting notes. It creates a task list.

It summarizes all the financial planning data. And it really just gives them kind of a 90 to 95 percent head start on the final draft of all those outputs. And so, I think this is kind of 1 example of how we’ve been able to just get them a bunch of time back. And it really allows them to be able to serve a lot more clients than they could in the past.

Or if nothing else, it saves them from having to stay up late on a Friday night typing up all of the notes.

Brian Thomas: Thank you. And I just love that you’re bringing truly a solution to a bigger problem and providing time back to everybody involved here. I think that’s awesome. As I call it advisor tech, right? You’re helping out those folks and their clients.

So, thank you. And Parker, if you could just briefly share the last question here with your experience in building early stage and growth companies, please. What emerging trends in data, AI, finance, et cetera. Do you believe will shape the future of these sectors in the next few years.

Parker Ence: Yeah, so I think for financial services in particular, I think a lot of people, as we’ve seen the amazing things that generative AI can do, people try out ChatGPT, it’s not hard for the imagination to jump to.

Wow. You know, will advisors be replaced by AI, or will they be you know, yeah, in some way replaced. And I think we’re really far away from that. So I think especially when it comes to something. As personal and critical as your financial future, most humans are going to want to work with another human to safeguard that future.

Having said that, I think it’s really important that advisors start thinking about how they can augment what they’re doing, kind of put together the iron man suit, so to speak, to enhance. What they’re doing, I’ve heard this line thrown around a lot, but I think it’s true. It’s don’t be so worried about being replaced by be so worried about being replaced by someone who has figured out how to use it effectively.

And so I think we’ll see a, I become part of everything generative eyes can help. Find clients for advisors, serve the clients better deliver a better. A better service and product and also help them comply with their regulatory obligations. And I think the good thing about that is. Advisors can be more successful because they can serve more clients with a smaller team, and they can also serve previously un-servable clients.

So, there might be clients who have a lower net worth, or they have a lower count when it comes to their assets. That it wouldn’t have really made sense for an advisor to work with them, but as they get faster and faster by leveraging to be smarter about how they use their time can actually open up service to a whole sector.

Of Americans who previously were not able to get that help and so I think it’s I think it’s. It’s been a lot of fun to be in the early innings of building that and you know, I just think it’s a great time to be building a software company. It’s been a lot of fun.

Brian Thomas: That’s awesome. And I love that. And again, just highlighting a couple of things here for our audience you know, the, the one, one thing that stood out is, you know, chat GPT came out with this powerful, you know LLM or generative AI technology, right. And platform. And now we’ve got users that, well, what if we do this with it now?

And it’s, it’s leapfrogging and that’s what I really love to hear, especially entrepreneurs that take advantage of technology and build something better in, in my opinion. So, I appreciate the share on that Parker really do. And Parker, it was such a pleasure having you on today, and I look forward to speaking with you real soon.

Parker Ence: All right. Thanks a lot, Brian.

Brian Thomas: Bye for now.

Parker Ence Podcast Transcript. Listen to the audio on the guest’s podcast page.

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