It’s hard to imagine anyone better suited than Eric Poirier to lead Silicon Valley financial software provider Addepar in achieving its long-term mission of overhauling the technology of a four trillion-dollar market. From a young age, the tech executive didn’t live a “normal life,” which encouraged him to reimagine traditional systems and throw away the conventional wisdom for success.
Young Eric Poirier grew up in UMass’ family housing with his parents while they attended university. The situation was extremely formative for Eric in the long-term, as he gained a love for learning and was given access to advanced math and science material such as calculus at a young age.
During high school, where the drop-out rate was as high as 40%, Poirier spent his extracurricular time building computer programs with his father. At age 15, he co-founded his first business in which he worked to scale mission-critical websites with high performance requirements. His customers included eBay, Novartis, Priceline and others.
Poirier went off to attend Columbia, where he was a part of the Ivy League University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. Poirier says his core classes at Columbia were particularly valuable and helped him learn “how to think clearly, how to think in a way that’s action-oriented, and how to communicate in a way that’s inspiring to people.”
At Columbia, Poirier met serial entrepreneur, PayPal co-founder and angel investor Peter Thiel, who served as his mentor.
Upon graduating Columbia with a B.S. in Computer Science, and despite Thiel advising him against it, Addepar’s current CEO took a job with Lehman Brothers’ Fixed Income Analytics group, where he focused on modeling, simulating and visualizing data across debt and credit instruments. The dismal state of technology at Lehman Brothers led the young professional to become passionate about the data integration problem in the financial sector as he sought to revolutionize the industry with large-scale technology and infrastructure solutions.
Further turned off by the “rigidity of working within a bank” and the corporate hierarchy at large, Poirier hooked back up with Thiel, who secured him a job at newly founded Palantir Technologies.
Eric then spent almost seven years at the multi-billion-dollar software company. When he joined the big data analysis company as a developer, he was one of Palantir’s first 20 employees. Poirier had a hands-on role in building the firm’s core technology and creating its finance business, which now comprises about half of the firm’s revenue.
In July 2013, Poirier joined Addepar as CEO, a wealth management platform which provides investment professionals with tools to better manage their global portfolios.
In June 2017, the B2B fintech company with offices in New York, Mountain View and Salt Lake City, raised $140 million amidst a lull year for fintech funding. The most recent Series D round was led by existing backer Valor Equity Partners, 8VC, head by Addepar co-founder Jose Lonsdale and Harry McPike, founder of QuantRes. The eight-year-old company has raised $206 million in four funding rounds, according to Crunchbase, and intends to use its latest capital influx to invest in R&D, expand its product and platform and reach a larger base of wealth and asset management firms.
Addepar says it now supports over 250 firms and $750 billion in assets on its leading investment management platform, up 33% from the beginning of 2017. Clients include leading wealth advisors, family offices and large financial institutions such as Morgan Stanley, Dynasty Financial Partners, Jefferies, BMO Wealth Management’s CTC, GHS Partners, King Pine Investments and Summit Equities.
“Our growth reflects extraordinary demand from wealth advisors who embrace technology strategically in order to serve their clients and scale their business," said Poirier in a press release from August 2017. "In the past quarter, our team has made a massive impact—but we're just getting started: our recent funding, client and partner wins and commitment to deep innovation propel us toward our ambitious goal of powering the global financial system with a unified platform.”
Along with overseeing technology and product innovation at Addepar, Poirier is an advisor at San Francisco-based venture firm Eight Partners.
As a husband and father of one young daughter, Poirier wants his employees to know that he has a life outside of work. To do so, he marks off time dedicated to his family on his public calendar that anyone at Addepar can see. In giving details such as “leaving work at six to make it home before her bedtime,” the tech CEO hopes that he is offering his employees support when the same kinds of situations arise in their lives.
Throughout his life and career, Poirier has made an effort to give back. Starting at Columbia, he designed a math and science curriculum for kids in lower-income neighborhoods in Harlem and Washington Heights. With Poirier at the helm, Addepar has donated money to building schools and providing children with resources to learn and grow.