Before FinTech Was a Thing
Driven by his passion for technology, George Anderson founded Enterprise Engineering, Inc. (EEI) in April 1995. Throughout his career, he’s built a company that has garnered a number of honors and awards, including inclusion in the Deloitte and Touche Fast 50 and Fast 500, as well as the FinTech 100. Enterprise Engineering works with Financial […]
Driven by his passion for technology, George Anderson founded Enterprise Engineering, Inc. (EEI) in April 1995. Throughout his career, he’s built a company that has garnered a number of honors and awards, including inclusion in the Deloitte and Touche Fast 50 and Fast 500, as well as the FinTech 100.
Enterprise Engineering works with Financial Institutions and FinTech developers to securely and reliably connect people to their money, through any channel they care to use. The company’s software products facilitate data access, aggregation and transaction processing for many of the world’s largest Financial Institutions. By brokering access to vast amounts of financial data, EEI is able to power a wide range of applications and leverage analytics that power growth for the company’s partners.
This month, Finance Monthly had the pleasure of speaking with George about EEI’s award-winning software solutions and the exciting journey that starting and running his company has been to date.
What are Enterprise Engineering’s ethics and priorities towards its clients?
Before the term ‘FinTech’ was even coined, NY-based EEI was successfully delivering financial data solutions to leading Financial Institutions. From our inception, the commitment to build ground-breaking financial software solutions has been the cornerstone of EEI. We have unparalleled customer focus, comprehensive resources, and in-depth subject matter expertise, making us a trusted adviser to many of the world’s largest banks and wealth management firms.
Today, EEI’s reputation as a world-class ‘trusted adviser’ is legendary on Wall Street. We have been in business over 22 years – not a lot of companies get to the 20-year milestone and we feel incredibly lucky to be here. We take great pride in being one of the very first FinTech companies and the pioneers of financial data aggregation.
Key attributes have led to EEI’s success, making us a standard in the industry. In any successful business, having the ability to spot talent and retain the highest caliber of individuals is key to being effective. We are proud of our incredible team and the high rate of repeat business that demonstrates the quality of their work.
Above all is our strong commitment to our clients and their future success. We understand how to build and deploy enterprise grade technology products. EEI’s products run every day, aggregating and accessing tens of millions of account records for major financial institutions without fail. Our goal is to continue to build leading-edge solutions that offer secure, competitive advantages to our customers.
Tell us a bit about the formation of Enterprise Engineering.
EEI first started as a professional services firm and even had a learning centre where we were wildly successful in teaching database courses and application development. In 1998, we developed a software product for one of our clients, a major financial institution, and our history began. Our software was built to ensure that it was rapidly deployable – a design principal behind our products since day one.
To date, EEI has delivered software solutions to the financial industry for over 20 years. These have been some of the most volatile and challenging times, but throughout our entire history, we have maintained a strong relationship with the leaders in the industry and continue to partner with the top firms as an adviser for their technical and business objectives. As CEO, I am personally involved with many of our initiatives and will continue to stay current on market conditions and technological advances.
We have developed a sophisticated software product set that integrates with personal financial management tools, SMB accounting software, tax packages, and expense management applications.
With the help of our high-level subject matter experts, we have created and deployed test and development methodologies that enable our software and professional services to be extremely complimentary.
Tell us about EEI’s growth & transformation over the years
EEI evolved from the Wall Street and Capital Markets space. Since inception, we’ve been working with complex investment and client problems. Our initial software product, EnterpriseFTX™, launched in 1998 to streamline banking by supporting all banking functions, including checking, savings, wealth management products, brokerage, bill pay and funds transfer. Today, EnterpriseFTX™ has morphed into a leading edge software product suite, which when used together, can support all products within a retail bank, wholesale bank, capital markets and wealth management – capabilities that no other product on the market has.
In the last few years, EEI has seen tremendous growth. In addition to our new customers and partnerships, we launched our next generation software solutions, which have helped revolutionize the financial services industry. Tax Navigator™, EEI’s only cross industry product with several government agencies as clients, enables automatic tax data downloads and distribution to any tax management and reporting platform. Tax Navigator™ is a subset of Commander™, EEI’s flagship product. Commander™ leverages data from a financial institution’s internal platforms to provide accurate, timely and secure automated access to financial information.
However, what truly distinguishes EEI in the industry today is our illustrious product, the Trusted Network Platform™, a cloud solution with the ability to aggregate ‘assets held away’ across multiple Financial Institutions. Often, clients distribute their total assets among multiple wealth management firms to minimize risk. With financial advisers only seeing a fragmented view of a client’s assets, it is impossible to provide holistic financial advice. Using EEI’s Trusted Network Platform™, financial institutions can now provide a secure, accurate, real-time, holistic view of their clients’ data, utilizing internal and held-away assets.
Sitting on top of all of EEI’s software products is our financial services API, the FS-API™. This was the first commercially available Financial Services API ever deployed and has capabilities well beyond the industry standard, such as money movement & bill payment. It is currently deployed in multiple financial institutions, providing secure and reliable access to financial data every day.
It’s funny, EEI is not a household name, yet there’s a good chance that the average person is using, or has used, our software without even realizing it. We work with all financial institutions, Millennium platforms, service providers and FinTechs to securely connect their clients to their money through any channel, including Quicken®, Mint, QuickBooks™, Xero™ and hundreds of other channels. We sit at the centre of the financial ecosystem, providing access to financial data to these participants, in a controlled and secure way. If you use one of these products or bank at a major financial institution, it is very likely you are using EEI’s software.
When working in an industry that is constantly changing, what do you do to ensure that you are at the forefront of any emerging developments?
It’s been quite a journey. EEI has overcome some challenging times under unprecedented conditions, but our commitment to our clients and continued innovation has led us to drive the future of financial data needs. We aggregate over $7 trillion in assets for 7 of the top 10 wealth managers and are considered experts in the financial services Industry. We have been at the forefront of the changing landscape in aggregation and digital banking. In Financial Services, traditional business models continue to be challenged by evolving customer demands, regulatory pressures and the proliferation of FinTech apps accessing data. Financial institutions need a fast and secure way of providing their clients with a single, customized view of all their financial data and the explosion of FinTech apps using data aggregation has led Financial Institutions to explore more efficient and higher-quality data access methods for their account holders. While challenging for our customers, this makes for an exciting time for EEI. We are at the centre of market acceleration in wealth management, enabling us to help our clients react to market demands and gain the competitive edge they need. Our traditional competitors have not been able to deliver the breadth of services, nor the reliability, that EEI can consistently provide.
What does the future hold for you and Enterprise Engineering? What is your advice for success in this modern tech-focused world?
Looking into the future, I am most excited about the growing API market. It’s an exciting time with lots of opportunity. Financial institutions need to be careful and thoughtful about their decisions surrounding API-based data sharing agreements. There is a lot of noise from both the big banks and the FinTechs with each using a different API standard. Big FinTech companies and large banks can deal with these one off implementations and multiple standards, but others will not be able to scale. Our goal is to standardize data sharing.
APIs are different depending on the Financial Institution or FinTech company offering them, and therefore, the implementation process is different each time. Financial Institutions should question which APIs are scalable and viable. Over time, we will not only see Financial Institutions finding it complicated to comply with the manifold standards while implementing APIs, we will also see consolidation, representing risk in the middle to their customers. To solve this predicament, we have architected the FS-API™—a real-time, multi-protocol, multi-channel API that acts as a universal connector. EEI has been developing systems for the major FinTechs and financial institutions for a long time. Our API is constructed to provide an ‘insurance policy’ and a layer of protection to anyone who is using it. If you leverage our API, you won’t worry about scale or one-off implementations – we abstract you from all of that.
You support various charities – can you tell us a bit more about your involvement in the community?
At EEI, we contribute time and resources to charitable endeavors focused on empowering communities and supporting children, families and animals. It is our privilege and responsibility to support organizations that are making a remarkable difference. Some organizations we actively support include the United Way, ASPCA, Friends of Karen, where I am on the Advisory Board, and Make-A-Wish Connecticut.