Techfi founder is making up for lost time after noncompete expires

November 19, 2009 — 4:57 AM UTC by Brooke Southall

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Everyone loves a comeback story and Matt Abar has one to tell – with a twist.

The twist is that the founder of Techfi never actually failed in the first place considering that in chapter one he came out as a winner.

Abar made this software company into the beloved challenger to Schwab PortfolioCenter and Advent Software for its unique features, its accessible price, its scalability and its availability over the web.

Then in 2002 as his company and its product, AdvisorMart, were becoming what passes for household names in the world of registered investment advisors, Abar sold out.

Advent Software paid him about $23 million. Then literally within a matter of months the San Francisco-based company terminated Techfi and this move largely orphaned all of Abar’s loyal clients. [Advent had an extended sunset program.]

Abar left Advent, moved to Las Vegas from Denver, fell in love with a woman who would become his wife and lived happily ever after – except that he didn’t.

At least not completely.

Abar’s decision to sell out to the detriment of the clients who made him rich has weighed on him.

“I do feel responsible for what happened,” he says.

But Abar has been unable to make amends with those Techfi loyalists because he was handcuffed by the highly-restrictive non-compete clause that he signed with Advent.

Now that that legal impediment has expired, he is back with a vengeance and a great story to tell as the founder of FinFolio.

Nevin and I participated in a demonstration of FinFolio’s new portfolio management system with Abar and it’s here for the reading. I’m working to publish the more complete story in the next few days so please stay tuned. I’m interviewing beta users, ex-Techfi users, analyst and competitors and you’ll hear much more from FinFolio’s founder.

Expect FinFolio to exit its beta phase by year’s end with a number of zealous users – including quite a number of [forgiving] former Techfi clients.



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