With years of hands-on, entrepreneurial experience and an immaculate track record of success, Rob Adler foresaw a vision for Financial Recovery Technologies (FRT) to lead it towards where it is today. Over the last twenty years, Adler has cofounded four technology companies and maintained an active presence as an advisor, investor, and mentor for several Boston-area growth companies.
As an entrepreneurial leader with extensive experience creating companies from the ground-up, Adler had to adapt his approach to building a business when he took the helm at FRT. With limited background in the industry but aggressive growth targets, Adler built a team of seasoned professionals with legal expertise, class action knowledge and technological experience to achieve FRT’s goals.
Today, as the CEO of FRT, Adler oversees an industryleading global organization which is singularly focused to maximize recoveries for eligible investors in securities class action settlements. Nominated amongst The 30 Most Inspirational Business Leaders to Watch, 2018 by Insights Success, we took a brief look at this inspiring individual and the company he leads.
The Road towards FRT
In 1997, Adler co-founded CCBN, which was a pioneer in direct internet communications between public companies and the investment community. He served as the President of the company from inception to successful exit upon its sale to Thomson Financial back in 2004.
CCBN brought many web-based and compliance related innovations to the market, including live webcasting and full-text, real-time transcription of thousands of corporate earnings calls every quarter.
Following CCBN, Rob founded 80108 Media, known as go2Media later on, which is a mobile media company that provides users valuable and compelling information finetuned for their mobile device. He then joined WordStream as its founding CEO, a venture-backed start-up providing search engine marketing software solutions to small and medium sized businesses around the world. Like CCBN, Wordstream announced in May 2018 its acquisition by Gannett. It was after this, in 2012, when Rob joined FRT with an aim to drive its growth and spread its presence across the world.
Solutions that Echoes Quality
FRT’s comprehensive suite of services enables global monitoring of all types of investor recovery opportunities, from securities class actions to antitrust and global group litigations. Applied to these opportunities are industryleading filing capabilities, sophisticated pre-filing analytics, and reconciliation of all payments to maximize client returns. When combined with FRT’s online, dynamic reporting platform, users gain unprecedented transparency and confidence into their securities litigation recovery program.
A Brief Look at FRT’s History
FRT was established in 2008 to help investors recover money from securities class action settlements. It is an affiliated company of The Cross Country Group LLC (CCG), a privately-held organization comprised of several independent operating companies with common ownership of the Wolk family.
Prior to the creation of FRT, Sidney Wolk was often burdened by completing the paperwork, obtaining proper documentation and submitting claims for the securities class actions that affected his investment portfolio. For one claim, Mr. Wolk received a substantial recovery, providing evidence that the time and effort it took to submit the claim was all worth it. Based on that experience, the Wolks determined there must be a way to use technology to automate and scale the settlement recovery process to relieve the burden investor’s face in addressing securities class action recovery opportunities.
Two Pivotal Moments of Success
Amongst the many monumental moments of the company, two pivotal events have stood-out in the company’s transformation from a start-up to a world-class service provider.
The first of which was back in 2012, when the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world had put forward an RFP to identify a new vendor to service its securities litigation claims. Recalling this moment, Adler says “This was one of our first “institutional” clients, and its recognition of our team, expertise, technology, and commitment helped build the brand of FRT as an industry leading company despite our modest size at the time.”
The second is one that is currently unfolding in the marketplace, owing to the outcropping of Supreme Court decisions in 2010 and 2017. These two decisions are forcing significant changes for securities litigation around the world (not just in the US) and introducing a brand-new set of challenges.
Innovation is at the heart of FRT
To address these specific challenges, Adler and his team at FRT have reimagined what technology, analytics, and client service can be for an institutional investor in this new and more complex era. FRT empowers its clients with the information, insight, and transparency to carry out their fiduciary obligations to shareholders with a scalable system for managing decision-making process as it relates to securities litigation. The Supreme Court decisions re-shape what is required for an institutional investor to act as a fiduciary in the area of securities litigation; FRT is the first company to recognize this, and has invested to create services and capabilities designed specifically to help these investors manage as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Molding a Great Leader and Advice to Aspiring Individuals
In today’s fast paced environment, with customers demanding solutions that are better and more cost-effective, service providers are facing an array of challenges, one which they have faced never before. Adler says, “Key to the success of every service provider is having a team of individuals capable of thriving, not merely surviving, in this highly competitive environment.”
Great leaders need to inspire their teams to remain focused on client-centric problem solving, and empower continuous improvement and learning. Open communication, trust, and respect for individuals on the team are vital characteristics for leaders today.
Adler concludes by advising aspiring and budding leaders with a thoughtful message, “See the world and your competitive situation as it is, not as you want it to be. Build a culture inside your company upon a foundation of openness and respect for the individual, but also where performance is measured and each employee is accountable. Remember that without a team of great people you can’t build a great company. And finally, be humble. Through humility we keep our eyes and ears open to ways we can improve.”