Twenty years ago, an optimistic entrepreneur named David A. Stone founded a company in his living room and he hasn’t looked back since. That company, First Rate Inc., is today a leading provider of performance measurement solutions for the financial services industry.
“As we celebrate 20 years of business, we reflect on our strong growth within the industry, where we have, thanks to our clients, become one of the top investment performance services providers to the wealth management industry. It’s hard to believe that this company has grown from just myself to more than 75 employees who are all committed to solving some of today’s toughest challenges in the investment performance industry,” said David A. Stone, CEO of First Rate. “We’re proud to be an award-winning company with a strong reputation for service and specialization and we’re firmly committed to serving this industry for years to come.”
Since July 1991, the company has provided best of breed performance measurement to wealth managers across the retail investment advisory, trust bank, and brokerage industries, while continuing to do business in a way that is vastly different than most companies.
First Rate was founded upon the values of Love, Give, Serve and Enjoy, and these values permeate the fabric of the company. First Rate’s commitment to these principles is so strong, they created an experience dedicated to promoting and expounding on this foundation called First Rate Living™. Every year, First Rate makes a donation of at least $2,000 in each employee’s name to the charity of his or her choice. The company did $15 million in sales last year, and a full ten percent, $1.5 million, was donated.
Twenty years after its founding, First Rate operates from a five-acre campus in Arlington, Texas, with five remote offices throughout the country. Some things haven’t changed, however—their very first client still utilizes First Rate for its performance measurement needs, and their very first employee, John Watkins, is still with the company, currently serving as the Director of Research & Development.
Now a B (Benefit) Corporation
Responding to a growing consumer demand for responsible commerce, and a corresponding shift to impact investing in the wealth management industry, First Rate was certified in 2011 as a B (Benefit) Corporation™ by B Lab. B Corporations meet higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability as they use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.
Recognized for what they do well
As a result of their success in creating sustainable solutions, First Rate was selected as one of Inc. Magazine's 5000 fastest growing companies in 2009. Also in 2009, the Dallas Business Journal named First Rate as one of its “Best Places to Work.”
“I’m most proud of the fact that we achieved success by staying true to our guiding values. We’ve become a positive force, yes, for our clients, but also for the local, and even global, community,” added Stone. “We have successfully transformed a hopeful startup into one of the most vibrant, profitable and growing organizations in our industry. We’ve demonstrated a proven ability to listen to our customers and respond by developing innovative solutions to meet their needs, all the while continuing to sew into the lives of our clients and the world around us.”