21 November 2019 6 Min Read
A Conversation with Trevor Gauthier, CEO of ACES Risk Management (ARMCO)
July 2019 marked the beginning of NCP’s partnership with ACES Risk Management (ARMCO), the leading provider of enterprise transaction risk management solutions to the financial industry. Trevor Gauthier joined the ARMCO team in October as Chief Executive Officer, bringing 20 years of executive experience in enterprise SaaS technology solutions and a track record of leading high-growth companies. We talked to Trevor about his professional history, his role at ARMCO and his plans for the future of the company.
New Capital Partners: Tell us about your professional history, both before ARMCO and since you joined the team there.
Trevor Gauthier: I have been in Fintech since 2000, beginning in the throes of the .com era. I started at a company (Lion, Inc.) that competed against LendingTree (Mortgage101.com), created custom websites for brokers, and had a buy/sell portal for lenders. I was able to do a variety of things at this organization as it was a startup culture, and if you took initiative, you were given opportunity. I was very much focused on the marketing/sales side of the business at this time, with some search engine optimization work thrown in as a bonus.
From there I went to Mortgage Cadence, again finding a company with tremendous growth potential and the ability to take on several roles/responsibilities. I came into this organization focused on marketing, specifically assisting with go-to-market strategy as Mortgage Cadence productized its offerings and expanded their sales/market reach. From there I took a natural progression into not just marketing, but getting involved in complex enterprise sales, and then all aspects of the business that were revenue-generating (i.e. sales, professional services, client relations, etc.). There was an approximately 10-year period of fast-paced and exciting change as we were acquired by private equity, purchased some companies, and integrated the people/products into our organization and culture, and then were acquired by a $32 billion organization.
Shortly after that acquisition by Accenture, I became the President/COO of Mortgage Cadence, overseeing all facets of the Mortgage Cadence business for just over five years before speaking with New Capital Partners. The conversation with NCP made me really think back on my career and when I was the most challenged while also having the most “fun.” It was when I was part of a mid-sized company backed by a private equity firm as it fueled our growth and creativity in a very fast-paced and collaborative environment.
NCP provided me with the opportunity to become CEO of ARMCO, which is where I sit today. I have found NCP to be a very unique and welcoming private equity firm with an enormous focus on company/product industrialization and operational excellence first, which leads to great outcomes for our clients, the company and our employees as we look to enhance their abilities and grow their careers.
NCP: What are some highlights from your time with ARMCO so far? Anything you’re particularly proud of your company and your team for?
TG: At the time of this interview, I have only been with the company for about 1.5 months, though slowly integrating in for about 4 months. I have a few key highlights. First is the employee base. It is an amazingly loyal and engaged group of individuals who are doing all they can to help our customers and create a great place to work. The environment is incredibly collaborative, and I feel as though I have already been a part of the team for years.
Second is our customer base. We are very fortunate to have the relationship we do with our customers, and our base is incredibly happy with what we are providing them while also working close with us on where we go next. We have a broad-reaching base with some true leaders in their various markets, so the future has a lot of opportunity for us and our clients alike. I couldn’t ask for bigger advocates than our current base.
NCP: What are some of the biggest challenges you and your team face in your industry, and how do you work to overcome those?
TG: Being in a highly regulated marketplace, one of the biggest challenges is constant change related to regulations and compliance. These changes provide opportunities for ARMCO to assist our customers and provide them enterprise solutions that grant them a competitive advantage; however, at the same time, it takes time and focus off of the end goal of fully digitizing an industry that is in desperate need of this to provide higher quality products and services.
That leads me to the next challenge: access to data. Our goal is automating all we can on the loan quality front, which goes hand in hand with accessing and verifying as much data as we can. The problem to solve is getting access to this data from the many disparate platforms/organizations that have little to no standardization.
NCP: So far, what do you love most about your work at ARMCO and the company as a whole?
TG: I am a very team-oriented person, so thus far it has been becoming a part of this team, which includes our employees and our customers. I love working with groups to solve complex problems that make individuals’ jobs/lives easier and provide better experience for their end customer. It has been great working in a very fast-paced environment with driven individuals that motivate me daily.
I also believe there is a lot of potential in the space we serve, as it is fragmented with several niche providers and our customers are looking for enterprise solutions to solve multiple needs. I also would be remiss if I didn’t mention the customer base again. It is a group that is incredibly motivating. True partners looking to solve big problems in the industry. Their willingness to share information with us and others is paramount to all our success.
NCP: Describe the partnership between ARMCO and New Capital Partners as you’ve experienced it so far.
TG: Prior to coming on board with ARMCO, I was fortunate to get to know New Capital Partners for almost a year and a half as we looked to find the right opportunity and the right time. Therefore, the relationship I have had with NCP is likely longer/deeper than many starting in this position and has really allowed for a relatively seamless transition.
I think the use of the word “partnership” in this question is the perfect use. It has been exactly that. NCP provides for a sounding board and support system for what we (ARMCO) are looking to do. NCP brings great experience to the table, and they have seen many similar challenges/opportunities due to their great portfolio of expanding companies. ARMCO is ripe for growth, and NCP is helping fuel our growth. My experience thus far has been better than expected, and that is saying a lot given I knew the NCP folks well coming in, and my expectations were high.
NCP: In your time at ARMCO, what has been the most beneficial part of the partnership with NCP?
TG: It has been truly collaborative. Whether we’re solving for a long-term goal or seeking quick assistance via their network on a granular/short-term fix, I can always count on NCP to be incredibly thoughtful and responsive. I also have enjoyed and am fully on board with their approach to the organizations in their portfolio. ARCMO looks to be an extension of the team with a focus on helping mature the operations from top to bottom, offering guidance based on similar situations they have had firsthand experiences with. This provides for maturing and expanding products and services and doing the exact same for the employees. It allows for the team to continue to grow and learn while being challenged in a collaborative environment.
NCP: When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time?
TG: With friends and family. I am married with a seven-year-old daughter and two dogs. Living in Colorado, I enjoy all things outdoors, including hiking, camping, bouldering, skiing and mountain biking. I love traveling in search of amazing vistas, great food and drink, and most importantly, unforgettable experiences with great people.
NCP: What fact about you might people be surprised to learn?
TG: I listen to a wide variety of music and enjoy going to concerts, though I lack the ability play an instrument. Perhaps later on in life… I have seen Phish live over 30 times, The Black Crowes and Tool both over 10 times, and a large swath of other bands including Metallica, Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, Lady Gaga, Queens of the Stone Age, Elton John, A Tribe Called Quest, and Beastie Boys.