Studio IX: Good morning, Jonathan.
Jonathan: Good morning.
Studio IX: So let’s break the ice. Tell us who you are and what it is you do.
Jonathan: Yeah, I'm Jonathan Eldridge. I'm a product manager at a financial software company called SS&C technologies, which is a conglomerate of software. They purchased a bunch of companies, so my company was purchased three years ago by them. Previously, it was called Advent Software, based in San Francisco. It's the only job I've ever had, since out of college, so I've been there for 18 years.
Studio IX: And what brought you to Charlottesville?
Jonathan: Two kids.
Studio IX: Gotcha.
Jonathan: So I was in San Francisco and then New York and then once we had our second child in New York, in Brooklyn, our apartment became too small, and life became too tough. I knew the area (Charlottesville). My brother used to live here, but my best friend, and his family have since moved down here and I have some friends from college who live here as well. We had a good little circle of people trying to sell us on Charlottesville, once they heard we were wanting to move out of New York, pitching the Charlottesville dream.
Studio IX: Glad they did, it's good to have you here.
Studio IX: What are you passionate about? It could be work, could be life related, ..could dovetail.
Jonathan: I'm pretty passionate about my job. I like working with my clients, with hedge funds and smart individuals that are overall pretty cool.
Jonathan: I'm passionate about travel. We travel a lot. I travel a lot individually for work but then also as a family.
Studio IX: Does that take you all over the world? Or is it mainly in the states?
Jonathan: It’s primarily international. I go to Dublin every year. I went to Amsterdam this year. Munich previously. Hopefully Beijing later this year. But mainly Europe.
Studio IX: Is Dublin personal or is that more work?
Jonathan: All work.
Studio IX: Cool.
Jonathan: Personally we haven't decided to take the kids that far yet. My wife really wants to but I’m still hesitant on the overnight flight and timezone change. They come with me to San Francisco a lot for visits to the office out there.
Studio IX: San Fran’s a good spot.
Jonathan: Yeah, it is.
Studio IX: What do you enjoy most about your work?
Jonathan: Helping other people do their jobs. We have a lot of developers and business analysts who understand how the product works as well as what the clients need. We have relationship managers to keep clients happy and make sure they're paying their bills. We have consultants that implement the products. And so I sit in the middle of all that trying to connect the dots and relay information. I talk to clients as well. My main responsibility is to figure out what we should build next. So what kind of crazy swap instrument or bond or whatever they're trading these days and how we can support that. And I just try to then figure out what we're going to build and then relay all that information and make sure everybody's connected on moving the product forward and keeping the clients up to date. That make sense?
Studio IX: Yeah. I'm going to date myself here, but you're like Stockton to Malone.
Jonathan: Yeah, yeah. A lot of assists. That's right. (Laughter)
Studio IX: Can you share a memorable story from your work? Something that’s stood out to you, that might've been a turning point or just something that mattered.
Jonathan: Let me think about that.
Jonathan: Becoming a manager was eye opening. Being responsible for your team, for giving them paths to success so they can grow. It’s a big responsibility, especially for some younger team members that have so much potential. So allowing that potential to grow in areas that help the business and their career. And then, yeah, just making sure you're not holding them back and getting the most out of them and keep them happy and staying with the team. So it's a big responsibility and I kind of didn't quite think too much about that specifically before becoming a manager.
Studio IX: How long have you been doing that?
Jonathan: Managing? Probably the last five years. It's a small team, like four people.
Studio IX: With that in mind, where do you see yourself in the next five to ten years? Where’s the industry's headed? Are things changing quickly or has it stayed relatively the same?
Jonathan: For us, we've had legacy products. My product which is called Geneva has been 15 or 20 years now. It's gone through different evolutions like Java client, .Net client. So now the trend is everything moving into to the cloud, so we are moving to a web based UI (user interface). So that's a challenge, but also very exciting.
Jonathan: The other thing that we see as growth for us is we're building out teams in India to do manage services. So certain clients, like hedge funds want to go into new strategies like trading swaps or whatever it is, but they don't want to hire a big team to do all the reconciliation of the numbers and entering the trades and all that kind of day to day work that comes along with the strategy. So we will provide them with a team that does that so they get to take the advantage of the new strategy that they're going after without having to onboard a bunch of people.
Studio IX: Biggest shift from Brooklyn to here?
Jonathan: As far as life changes, I mean, well, as a whole life is so much easier here. I do miss the food. We are getting used to it. The food is good here and I love the independent restaurants, but you know - you miss some of that. The biggest impact was moving here in the middle of all the craziness of 2017. We moved here in July and were still unpacking as all that went down. There are still some things in the south that you just don't realize until you get here. But those specific events, we know that wasn't a product of Charlottesville, those were people from everywhere.
Studio IX: It's been eye opening for a lot of people.
Jonathan: Yeah. On the positive side, one of the biggest shifts is just for the kids. The pool scene here is incredible. Whether it's ACAC, Frye Springs, or the city pools. We're happy with the of ease of life, to do anything. Especially the kids. It's fantastic.
Studio IX: Night and day.
Jonathan: Yeah. Our biking commute is 10 minutes.
Studio IX: Were you working in Manhattan?
Jonathan: Yeah, yeah. Rode the subway to Bryant Park everyday.
Studio IX: On that note — what do you enjoy most about being here at Studio IX?
Jonathan: Well, I ended up having two friends that were already working here, Jed and Tiffany. So it was nice having some friendly faces that you could see. I think it's just a cool spot. It's got a cool coffee shop out front. I mean the IX area itself is just a great, unique location versus I guess what you would get in just renting out a stale office. I think you do a great job of bringing new things to try and get people together. Having that opportunity is good.
Jonathan: And it's interesting, you hear these little conversations of people doing their job. Most people that do so many different things. You see the same people here for two years, which means they like it here too. It's not a constant turnover.
Studio IX: Is this the first time you've co-worked?
Jonathan: I've always been at an office, so yeah this is my first experience.
Studio IX: Beautiful. Well, — that's it.
Studio IX: Painless.
Jonathan: Yeah, it is painless. Way, way, way, way easier than going to the dentist.