First published by Family Wealth Report on April 8, 2020.

US-based F2 Strategy has launched a new outsourced chief technology officer solution for wealth manager firms and family offices that can’t afford a CTO but need to best-in-class tech.

The offering is called OCTO™. It gives the kind of C-suite control and management for firms trying to develop technology and for a fraction of what it would cost to hire a CTO and a surrounding team, F2 Strategy said in a statement yesterday. As a retainer-based service, OCTO provides a committed, monthly budget of hours (normally 20-30) to each client by one of F2 Financial’s former wealth technology executives.

With COVID-19 accelerating a drive towards more tech-driven ways of working – a trend already in play – some small and even larger wealth managers can struggle to keep up with clients’ expectations, F2 Strategy told Family Wealth Report in a call this week. The outsourced CTO concept builds on other models, such as the outsourced chief investment officer concept that is already well established in the wealth management sector.

This offering was designed late last year to enable RIAs, multi-family offices and smaller wealth firms to access executive support normally provided by a CTO, the firm said.

“The release of OCTO™ represents a fundamental adjustment to the preferred operating model of our industry,” Doug Fritz, chief executive, said in a statement announcing the launch. “This new solution offers our clients the opportunity to engage with a team of former wealth executives equipped to seamlessly plug in and activate innovation from within a firm’s existing operating model and culture.”

“There is now intense focus for business of all sizes to implement sophisticated technology capabilities to remain relevant and competitive,” Seb Dovey, F2 chairman, said in the same statement. “To succeed requires skills, process and leadership experience. Not every firm has the capacity to have market-leading CTO capabilities internally. OCTO™ addresses this situation.” (This publication recently covered Dovey’s appointment – he is also a member of this news service’s editorial advisory board.)

F2 Strategy is a management consultancy, which has contributed a number of commentaries to these pages. (See here and here.)