FinGarde (formerly M-Linton TechService LLC) was founded in 2014 and like many other companies, we come from a humble beginning. Our original office was a 150 square foot room in the corner of our basement. Originally a break-fix computer repair shop, we fixed any technical problem that came our way, for anyone that was willing to work with us.
While we were focused on fixing problems and repairing computers, our core focus was on customer service and delivering a solid customer experience. This allowed us to grow at a healthy rate from 2014-2018. However, we found that trying to be all things to all people, essentially made us “not really good” at any one thing. We were a jack-of-all-trades kind of shop.
Up to this point, FinGarde had been a side project for our President (Mark Linton) and the company was unable to sustain full time work – but started to demand full time attention. During the Winter and Spring of 2018, Mark had a vision for a different type of company and a company transformation was started.
Based on his experience in Enterprise IT, the vision was to prevent problems thought proper management. Rather than fixing things when they needed to be repaired, we would try to fix problems before they happened and act like an internal IT department while leveraging the economics of being an outsourced IT company.
This first phase provided a solid direction, and the decision was made to pivot from break-fix (billing by the hour) to Managed IT Services (fixed contracts with a commitment to properly manage the IT environment). But one element was still missing – who would we serve? We pitched our new model to several of our existing clients, most of whom decided to switch providers and go with someone else. While disappointing, this was incredibly insightful.
Those that were leaving were not a fit and we had a great baseline thanks to those who adopted the new model. We found that the Financial Firms we were already serving were a perfect fit for this new model. It should have been obvious at the time, but it turns out that our Presidents background had everything to do with this. He was trained and had experience in Business, Technology and, Finance – everything important to a financial advisor but not so important to healthcare, construction or other industries.
Mark Linton is the founder and president of FinGarde. Mark is a business technology specialist who began working professionally in 2009. After serving the United States Navy from 2005-2009, Mark attended The Ohio State University and Empire State College, ultimately earning his undergrad degree in Business and Economics with a Focus in Information Systems. He went on to earn his Master of Information Strategy, Systems and Technology degree from Muskingum University and he has earned several technology certifications over the past 10 years.
The new company vision, our presidents background and the response for our current clients set the direction for the company. The initial offerings were deployed in July 2018 with a sharp refocus on RIAs in 2019. In 2020 M-Linton TechService LLC was rebranded to FinGarde to more accurately reflect what we do and who we serve.
Our current office is in Heath, Ohio (Hopewell Commons) and we continue to serve the RIA community with technical resources and support.
To be a partner of such high value, that our clients cannot imagine doing business without us.
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