Chris Giglio is retiring as chief executive officer of Aderant, replaced by chief operating officer Deane Price, who becomes the first woman to head the Atlanta-headquartered software company.
Price will take on the title of president, which is reflective of the fact that Aderant was acquired by Roper Technologies in October 2015. While Giglio retained the CEO title to avoid confusion, Roper is headed by chairman, president and CEO Brian Jellison.
Price has been with Aderant since July 2011, when she joined the executive team as senior vice president and chief financial officer from Ventyx. She was promoted to COO in April 2014 – following a two-year period when Aderant hired 60 people in client support, training and professional services – and has been involved in all nine of Aderant’s acquisitions in the past five years.
Roper was involved in the CEO selection and interviewed Price as part of an intensive selection process, with Price said by Giglio to be “the clear winner.”
Speaking with Legal IT Insider, Price, who has been working on her transition to president with Giglio over the Christmas holidays, said: “I have worked very closely with Chris and been very engaged with the strategy so the transition has been relatively easy.”
Giglio retires after six years at the helm – his longest tenure in any corporate position – during which time he led Aderant through its acquisition by private equity house Madison Dearborn Partners from Vista Equity Partners, and its ultimate acquisition by strategic investor Roper.
Roper has brought stability for a company that has changed hands four times since 2004 and, explaining his decision to retire, Giglio told Legal IT Insider: “I thought about the experience I’ve had leading Aderant through two separate acquisitions and finding it a permanent home and it has landed nicely. Aderant is never going to be in a stronger position.”
2016 was a record year for Aderant, including winning 28 new clients, a fact that both Giglio and Price say has been aided by Roper.
“There is a phenomenal difference between being owned by a short-term investor focused on raising money to service debt,” Giglio said. “We have had a phenomenal year compared to when we were private equity-owned – it’s a different world.”
Last year Aderant released an integrated case management system and Aderant Expert 8.1, which includes a transformed version of Expert Billing and Price added: “Roper has absolutely been instrumental in last year’s success. It takes years to develop and release software and we had a significant release this past year. We were allowed to focus on that and will continue to focus on that going forward.”
Aderant can be expected to grow further and Price said: “We have doubled in size in the last five years and our plans are to continue with that growth organically as well as through acquisitions.”
Historically Aderant was limited by its balance sheet but Price added: “Roper is very committed to helping us with that strategy,” although she also said there is “nothing imminent”.
In terms of being Aderant’s first female head, Price said: “We have a great deal of diversity in Aderant and I’m very proud of that. We also have a fair amount of our clients that are women and I think they will value a female president.”
Giglio added: “As a father of three daughters, I’m thrilled my daughters will have another senior executive as a role model.”
Price began her career at Energy Management Associates, which later became the utilities division of Electronic Data Systems. She moved to executive level positions when she co-founded New Energy Associates which acquired the assets of Energy Management Associates from EDS, serving as President and CEO, and led the company through its acquisition by Siemens and later through its divestiture to Ventyx. She stayed on with Ventyx as a company leader until its sale to ABB.
Along with the transition at the helm, Aderant also announced the promotion of Chris Cartrett to executive vice president. Cartrett, who joined Aderant at the start of 2014, has served in a senior vice president role for the last three years. “Chris Cartrett has contributed significantly to the success of Aderant,” said Price. “It makes sense to expand his impact on our business and continue to drive the growth of the company.”