Employee Spotlight: Kelley Megale, Strategic Account Executive

Kelley Megale, Strategic/Enterprise Account Executive, Wealth Management:

What inspired you to pursue a career in Sales? What drew you to Canoe?

My mom was in sales, and she was able to take her skills to so many different areas throughout her career. I was always in awe of how she could be so successful wherever she went. I have also always valued relationships, built meaningful friendships, and worked hard on networking in the industry, all of which have allowed me to grow, learn from others, and be successful in sales. 

I was drawn to Canoe because of the culture and product. I heard about Canoe in the marketplace from a few large firms in my network and was excited once I got a glimpse of the roadmap and goals Canoe was looking to achieve. It was something I definitely wanted to be a part of—the culture really solidified my decision after attending a Club Canoe get-together for employees after work and seeing how all the teams collaborate. Everyone works together across teams and cares about each other’s success, all while having fun. I am really drawn to that collaboration and saw a future for myself here. 

Working in Sales often requires you to work cross-functionally with other teams to effectively communicate the value of Canoe with prospects. How does your work intersect with other departments at Canoe? How does this collaboration benefit our prospects?

To give the client an idea of what it will be like to partner with Canoe, I think it is extremely important to work cross-functionally with the Relationship Management (RM), Onboarding, and Support teams. We truly have amazing people who work at Canoe, and I try to showcase that to the prospect. They are not just signing up for incredible tech but will be working with a partner to help grow their alternative business. 

I am also relaying new ideas and functionality to our Product and Engineering teams. When a firm comes to us and wants to partner with another vendor, we have a Partnerships team that we can introduce to that vendor and figure out ways to work together with the mutual client. When a prospect or client shares new features or functionality they are looking for, that is also something our Product team is constantly working on and looking for feedback on. Having previously worked at larger corporations, seeing how quickly we can turn around an idea or feature has been exciting and refreshing because I can quickly go to market and sell the new enhancement. 

Together with the RM and Onboarding teams, we are constantly consulting each other about clients who are about to move forward with Canoe so that our downstream internal teams are up to speed on the expectations and needs of our new clients. We are highly collaborative and looking to help in any way that we can to solve any roadblocks or challenges that come up together. I’ve been so impressed with these two teams and the expertise they can provide clients that I look forward to introducing prospects and clients to the next phases of working with them. We recently launched regional peer groups, which have provided our clients the opportunity to get to know other similar firms or cross-segment firms using Canoe. We’ve also been able to have prospects attend as well to see the value even earlier than usual.

Lastly, our leadership team is very involved in our sales evaluations and willing to speak with anyone—whether they are a prospect or an existing client of Canoe. It is refreshing working for a firm where not only I but also clients have access to the leadership team—to hear from the top level where we are going strategically as a firm in the future. I am excited to be a part of Canoe and want clients to feel that way too, so I love looping in our leadership team to discuss Canoe’s strategic outlook and future plans. 

Research is a critical part of the sales and client engagement funnel, as it helps us ensure our solutions are delivering value tailored to clients’ needs. What are some pain points you look for or other indicators that Canoe might be a good solution for these clients?

Listening Closely to Tailor Value to Clients’ Goals

I try to listen as much as possible to their current processes to, first and foremost, see if we are a good fit. My entire career, I’ve always heard firms use words in our industry like “scale” and “growth,” and a lot of firms claim they can do those things, but how can Canoe fit into that equation? A lot of RIAs I work with are either growing organically, buying other RIAs to grow, or looking to attract advisors to join their firm. We can enable our technology to take on additional clients in a seamless way. We have a huge fund master and exposure to the industry already, relationships with some of the top fund providers and portals, and AI-focused technology that is taking clients’ exact learning patterns and applying them to their growth. 

I have been impressed with the team that supports Canoe on the Relationship Management side; together, we are advocating for this growth and helping our clients add relationships with ease. If I speak with an RIA, I want to understand what they are looking for over the next five years rather than offer a quick band-aid to fix what they need right now. Instead, we work on both by thinking more strategically about how we can truly partner with the firm’s goals in mind—whether they are taking a strong growth focus, streamlining operational workflows, or mindfully growing without adding staff that will take on unpleasant manual tasks in spreadsheets. 

Example in Action: Managing a Large RIA’s Complexities Centrally with Canoe

I listen not only to the needs of the operations team but also to the CIO or, at RIAs, the investment team, about how they are getting this information today and making informed investment decisions. We just signed a large RIA that came to us a few months ago struggling to bring all 40 RIA teams together on one platform, given the different service teams and various systems in place. Canoe can work with multiple “downstream systems” and tech platforms. Since we are built around not only RIAs and family offices but also some larger enterprise clients, we benefit from the level of customization our various client profiles need. That meant we could easily bring this specific firm’s complexities into one central place with Canoe. It was great to work with that firm and see the progress over the last year, like where they now spend time outside of collecting documents and keying in transactions into four different platforms. They are now coming back to us to bring new ideas to the table, provide feedback on other roadmap items, and come up with other ways to partner. It’s cool to see the firms use Canoe for our standard workflow that we’ve mastered and then start to think of other ways we can be involved in their business plans for years to come. 

Example in Action: Partnering with Custodians to Get Better Data, Faster

Another example that comes to mind is related to custodial feeds generally not being as accurate for alternative assets. Canoe partners very closely with our custodial relationships to work with their RM and BDO teams to help solve this issue together. We are going right to the source and getting the documents and statements from the GP portals, allowing us to provide client users with more speed and accuracy in their alternative reporting. Coming from a custodian myself, I know how much of a black box the alternative landscape can be for RIAs. I’m excited about providing them with the tools they need through Canoe’s existing products, and even more so with new products like Canoe Asset Data in the future. For firms that want to provide more research or analytics around data points like EBITDA, operating metrics, exposure by sector/industry/country, and more, they now can with our new offering.

What has been your biggest success at Canoe to date? What do you find most rewarding?

The most rewarding thing to me is checking in with the clients that I have signed who have just finished onboarding and listening to the great feedback on how they are now using Canoe. In sales, we talk a lot about the painful workflows and manual aspects a firm has in place but actually partnering with a client from start to finish and seeing them come out of onboarding and seeing the value in practice is something I find really rewarding. I love to hear stories on how firms have incorporated Canoe into their workflows and listen to other ideas that they have on how we can help them grow. It gives me a lot of confidence in sharing their success with other prospects because I have a strong client base behind me that I can lean on during the sales process. Being behind a strong product is always something I am looking for in my career.  

What has been particularly meaningful to you outside of work? How does that inspire you in your day-to-day?

I love to travel and give back. Traveling-wise, I’ve visited over 40 countries and don’t plan to stop anytime soon. When it comes to giving back, in 2018, after losing my younger brother, Matt, at 26, my family launched a nonprofit, American Boy, to raise awareness and funds to help people struggling with Addiction. We put on NCAA Lacrosse Fall Brawl tournaments, have released a book, American Boy: The Opioid Crisis and the Sister Left Behind, written by my sibling, Shea Megale, to help other families, and put on other year-round events in support of the cause. I’m very proud to say we have, to date, given over 90 scholarships to long-term sober-living recipients in Matt’s name and continue to help people in his honor. Having both traveled and gone through some difficult times over the last ten years, I feel like I have a really interesting perspective on life that I try to bring into my career as much as possible. I want to help others as much as I can, want to work with people who care, and do something that I value for a living.