When it comes to the future of Gemini
, Kevin Hesselbirg
wants to "create an evolution together, not a revolution." Watch for the new Gemini Companies chief to invest more in technology and processing speed, among other things.
| Kevin Hesselbirg |
The Gemini Companies
Hesselbirg took over
earlier this month as CEO of the Hauppauge, New York-based mutual fund back-office and series trust provider. Today he briefly took the stage at the 2017 Gemini Edge Conference
in New Orleans. About 180 people came to the Big Easy for the conference, which is Gemini's first stand-alone conference in years. (Gemini parent NorthStar Financial Services previously did a joint conference for all of its companies, including Gemini.)
"There's a lot to be proud of here," Hesselbirg says, giving praise to his longtime predecessor, outgoing Gemini CEO Andrew Rogers
. Hesselbirg wanted "to make sure" to keep Rogers involved, and Rogers is going to help lead a brand new Gemini client advisory council that will meet a couple of times per year. And Rogers is still going to serve on boards for Gemini's Northern Lights series trusts.
As for Hesselbirg, a Fordham alumnus, he describes himself as "an accountant at heart," one who worked in healthcare and medical technology before switching to fintech about two decades ago. Since the sale of his last fintech company about a year ago, Hesselbirg has been helping private equity firms (including TA, the owner of Gemini parent NorthStar) with due diligence and teaching entrepreneurial studies classes at Hofstra University.
The new Gemini chief lays out three "success factors" that have driven his career: "partnering with outstanding people", working with "collaborative and innovative partners", and having "a competitive fire."
"No one ever created anything great that didn't want to create something great," Hesselbirg says. "We want to partner with people who want us to be great. We want you to be successful."
It's still "early days" for Hesselbirg in his new role. Yet he gave Gemini's clients and allies a preview of what he has in mind for the value statement that the Gemini team will be working on.
"It begins and ends with quality ... We have to constantly improve," Hesselbirg says. "We're in the business of getting your numbers right every day."
Hesselbirg also aims to strengthen Gemini's relationships, focus on authenticity, be thought leaders and help Gemini client be thought leaders, be results-oriented, and foster an entrepreneurial spirit.
"I missed that more than anything else," Hesselbirg says of his time since the sale of his last company.
Looking ahead, Hesselbig says, he's putting a big emphasis on education and growth, both internally and with clients. He wants to "add more technology infrastructure" and improve Gemini's speed of processing.
"That leaves more time for us to actually engage with you on your ideas and your thought processes," Hesselbirg says. "We want to continue to foster a customer-centric view of the marketplace, through superior customer service and that engagement model with you."
Hesselbirg and Gemini, he says, have to be able to answer three key questions: "why are you different, why are you better, and how do you create an urgency to buy?" Gemini under Rogers has done that, Hesselbirg says, by offering a comprehensive platform, being "more engaged with ... employees, partners, and customers," and through innovation. Now it's Hesselbirg's turn to take up that mantle.
"It's much of how we can create an evolution together, not a revolution," Hesselbirg says. "Let's see what we can do to grow together."
Gemini now has more than 340 employees supporting 154 clients with 536 funds and about $50 billion in assets under administration.
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