ABG Capital Team Volunteers at Area Food Bank

On Friday, November 2, 2012, nearly 20 employees from ABG Capital spent the afternoon at The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.  This particular Food Bank distributes 2.2 million pounds of groceries a month, so they rely heavily on volunteers to help with packaging.  The ABG Capital team worked in the Repack Center of the Food Bank and helped package up hundreds of pounds of frozen meat, poultry, and seafood items that were donated from local grocery stores.

“It’s always nice to get away from the daily grind and give back to the community that has given us so much, stated Jason Tapolci, who along with his brother, Jeff, own ABG Capital.  “Activities like these provide us all with a little more perspective on what is truly important in life.”

“Our employees had a blast,” said Jeff Tapolci, CEO of ABG Capital.  “I always enjoy giving back, and to work side-by-side with employees that I don’t normally interact with was very special.”

Located in Pittsburgh, PA, ABG Capital leverages its unique business management model to reduce costs through the consolidation of back office operations for its portfolio companies. By consolidating services like accounting, legal, IT, software development, Employees administration and HR, ABG Capital is able to eliminate redundancy among our portfolio companies and increase efficiency.

See more pictures from this giving back activity here: http://abgcapital.shutterfly.com/210

Giving Back

ABG Capital Giving Back



ABG Capital Employee Update

Atta Boy! Board

ABG Capital’s Atta Boy! Board

Over the past few months ABG Capital’s portfolio companies have received positive feedback from many customers.  To encourage a motivating workspace, ABG Capital employees created an “Atta Boy” board where they will showcase these reviews and the employees providing the exceptional service.  Recently, Jessica Young, Provisioning Manager at VoIP Innovations, was recognized for her excellent customer service skills.  Steven V. Jackson from InterQOS, Inc wrote:

“I don’t have much time for this kind of thing, so I hope you realize how sincere I am when I take the time to write a note in praise of a trade partner’s personnel. With a recent problem, I contacted Jessica Young as the LNP manager for VI. She listened with real interest as I recounted the bizarre situation and stepped up on behalf of VI to get the problem solved. I would guess she in fact furthered our joint cause by documenting an improved means of handling these types of future port-ins which will bring less work to us all and a better end user impression. She presented herself in a very professional manner in the midst of an obviously frustrating situation making a very good impression on behalf of all of VI.

A business is really nothing more than a collection of agreements. Stake holders agree to certain objectives leading to a profit. Employees agree to perform certain defined duties leading to a pay check. The chasm between these two types of agreements often presents the root of a business’s failures or successes. Jessica Young presented herself in this situation as a true stake holder who understood the broader scope of our issue. She protected our joint interests at the business objective level rather than the “how do I have the easiest job” level of a simple employee and that is worthy of our admiration. My sincere compliments to Jessica; and to VoIP Innovations for having her on your side.”

Also in the VoIP Innovations’ porting department, Heather Halpern, Provisioning Specialist, and Denise Breide, Provisioning Project Specialist, were both recently acknowledged for their hard work.  Matt Collins from CCD Service, LLC wrote:

“I just wanted to take a moment to let you know how grateful I am for Heather & Denise in the LNP department. There was a small wholesaler who closed their doors last week with a couple numbers. We know that the emergency ports are never fun but they went the extra mile to make sure that everything went as smoothly as it could.”

In addition to be spotlighted internally, these positive reviews, along with a caricature of these three employees drawn by our Graphic Designer, Ryan Rice, were added to our employee recognition “Atta Boy!” board.  Last month, Dave Smith, Provisioning Specialist who is also in the porting department for VoIP Innovations, was in the spotlight for excellent customer service.  See that post here:  http://abgcapital.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/abg-capital-employee-update/

GuideChoice Introduces New Individual Retirement Account Program with Inspira



GuidedChoice™, an industry leader in investment advice, managed account services, and strategic solutions for retirement plans and individuals, is launching a new individual retirement account (IRA) savings option that will utilize the Inspira® IRA platform. The new program will give current retirement plan participants, who access advice through the GuidedChoice platform, the ability to easily rollover assets into a GuidedChoice IRA. Additionally, individuals not currently using GuidedChoice will be able to open a GuidedChoice IRA and receive the same quality advice and affordable managed investments as plan participants.

“As defined contribution plans such as 401(k)s have grown to become the primary retirement tool for many Americans, the industry has responded with an impressive range of investment, advice, and management account solutions to help people make the most of them. But there is a gap for investors who leave their employer’s retirement plan – or who don’t have access to one in the first place,” explained David Bernard, Chief Client Officer for GuidedChoice.

Bernard continued, “To help meet this need, we created the GuidedChoice IRA. This innovative solution runs on the same GuidedChoice platform that powers our offerings for 401(k) and other employer sponsored retirement plans. With the introduction of this new service, IRA investors can enjoy the same professional, independent investment advice that we give participants in thousands of employer plans. They can take advantage of everything GuidedChoice has to offer – including our easy-to-use, behaviorally-based online interface, expert customer service, and integration with our unique GuidedSpending retirement income solution.”

The GuidedChoice IRA program represents an alliance between two industry innovators. GuidedChoice is an independent investment advisory firm dedicated to showing everyday investors the way to financial freedom. Inspira, an ABG Capital portfolio company, has created an open-architecture IRA platform with eSignature account sign-up process, online servicing and accountholder support that brings down costs associated with IRA administration.

“We are delighted GuideChoice selected Inspira to deliver the GuideChoice IRA,” said Lowell Smith, President of Inspira. “We believe our partnership gives individuals the right balance of affordable managed investments and advice that is missing in the marketplace. With GuidedChoice providing advice and investment management and Inspira facilitating the IRA process, retirement savers can be sure their investments are optimized to meet their unique financial goals – with the same high levels of expertise, service, and support found in retirement plans at many of the nation’s most progressive companies.”

GuidedChoice IRA will be made available in the first quarter of 2013. For more details about the program, contact Ashley Avaregan, SVP of Sales at aavaregan@guidedchoice.com or 888-675-4532 x101

GuidedChoice is an independent investment advisory firm specializing in investment advice, managed account services and strategic solutions for corporate and public retirement plans, advisors and individual retirement plan participants in many of the largest defined contribution plans in the U.S. They are also the creators of the award-winning Financial Guidance Theory (FGT), developed for retirement income planning. For more information, visit http://www.guidedchoice.com.

Inspira is based in Pittsburgh, PA and is owned by ABG Capital.  Inspira was founded in 2002 and provides bundled providers, recordkeepers, third party administrators, financial advisors, affinity groups, broker dealers, CPAs and payroll companies with turnkey, cost-eliminating IRA solutions. For more information about Inspira, visit http://www.inspirafs.com

ABG Capital Team Attends Gazelles 2012 Fortune Growth Summit

ABG Capital

ABG Capital

Two weeks, a team from ABG Capital was traveling to the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona for the Gazelles Fortune Growth Summit.  There, the team spent two full days listening to talks by bestselling authors and business leaders whose expertise ranged from management to marketing while soaking in the beautiful Arizona landscape.

Some of the speakers they heard from were Jim Kouzes, Executive Professor of Leadership at the Leavey School of Business and Author of The Leadership Challenge; Chip Conley, Founder of Joie de Vivre Hotels and Author of Emotional Equations: Simple Truths for Creating Happiness & Success; and Vijay Govindarajan, Professor at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and Author of Power of Reverse Innovation. 

Pictures from the Summit can be seen here:  http://abgcapital.shutterfly.com/188

ABG Capital Experiencing Unprecedented Growth

ABG Capital, a privately held business management company that provides back office services to its portfolio companies, had a stellar 3rd quarter and is on pace to have a record year for 2012.

ABG Capital

ABG Capital

“With the close of the 3rd quarter, all four of ABG Capital’s portfolio companies have contributed to one our best quarters ever. Revenues are up 13% and profits are up 25% from the 1st quarter,” stated Jeff Tapolci, CEO of ABG Capital.

VoIP Innovations, ABG Capital’s largest investment, is a wholesale provider of Voice-over-IP telephone services. This company is well on its way to achieving its goal of being the industry’s largest wholesale provider of North American origination and termination.

“This company is where we are seeing tremendous growth,” said Tapolci. “In an aggressive market such as telecommunications, VoIP Innovations has not only been able to contend with their competitors, but are among the leaders of their industry.”

GlobalPOPs, the industry’s largest aggregator of dial-up internet services, continues to actively acquire wholesale dial traffic, as well as end-users through its End User Services (EUS) nameplate. Though the world of dial-up interest service is consistently shrinking, GlobalPOPs and EUS are positioning themselves to be in the dial-up internet market for years.

Finally, Inspira, ABG Capital’s most recent venture, has been self-sufficient for two quarters now. Their role has been determined in their market and Inspira’s focus since the spring has been to bring on new clients. “We are continuing to sign up larger clients,” stated Tapolci. “We now know there is a market for our comprehensive IRA rollover and retirement plan termination services.”

With the fourth quarter being consumed by the election and holiday seasons, having three great quarters completed this year gives ABG Capital the momentum needed to successfully move through the rest of the year. Closing out 2012 in the way that they anticipate will allow them to start 2013 ahead of plan, which will make their shareholders happy. If 2013 is anything like what we saw in 2012, look out.

“We’re extremely proud of our success, but most of the success can be credited to the team we have in place,” said Tapolci. “It’s not every day that you can have profitable companies and keep the fun, family atmosphere that we have, especially to the point where you’re named one of the best places to work in the state. We’ve been blessed, that’s for sure.”

About ABG Capital: Located in Pittsburgh, PA, ABG Capital leverages its unique business management model to reduce costs through the consolidation of back office operations for its portfolio companies. By consolidating services like accounting, legal, IT, software development, employee administration and HR, we are able to eliminate redundancy among, increase efficiency and be very nimble to the changes that occur in the market.

ABG Capital Among Best Places to Work in Western PA

ABG Capital was recently ranked 41st on the Pittsburgh Business Times list of 2012 Best Places to Work in Western Pennsylvania.  This list ranks 96 Pittsburgh-area workplaces.  Since 2005, ABG Capital has been honored for this recognition six times.

ABG Capital

ABG Capital

“We make a point to foster a family atmosphere here, and to know our employees feel the same way is extremely gratifying,” stated Jeff Tapolci, CEO of ABG Capital.

ABG Capital prides itself on creating a positive work culture for its employees.  To ensure success, the company abides by their mission, which is to cultivate ideas and people through C.O.R.E. (Cultivate, Overcome, Respect, and Evolve) Values for the purpose of giving back. Additionally, the ABG Capital staff participate in many team activities to help keep employees engaged.

The basis of ABG Capital’s mission statement is their C.O.R.E. Values.  To Cultivate, they encourage and support a healthy life balance for each employee.  They Overcome obstacles by combining passion and perseverance to achieve success.  They believe that Respect is achieved by earning mutual trust and exhibiting reliability. They encourage each employee to Evolve by embracing the ability to adapt and innovate.

Additionally, ABG Capital values giving back to their community.  Every quarter, they have an opportunity to donate time to a community service activity.  This past May, they spent an afternoon at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, where they cleaned headstones of the entire grounds.  Next month, the staff will volunteer their time at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

Lastly, ABG Capital believes in keeping morale high and enhancing a team environment by featuring a variety of activities.  Some of their favorite opportunities to gather as a group include their annual softball and flag football games.  Last Friday, they celebrated their recognition of being one of the region’s best places to work by hosting a wine and cheese event for all employees to partake in.

Looking ahead, ABG Capital will continue to focus on people and culture, which will allow them to create a work environment in which both business and individuals thrive.  They hope to continue their trend of being named one of the region’s best places to work in the future.  To learn more about ABG Capital, please visit http://www.abgcapital.com

ABG Capital Employee Update

ABG Capital portfolio company GlobalPOPs recently expanded its team.  Two weeks ago, they welcomed Eric Butler as their new Technical Support Contractor.  Eric comes to GlobalPOPs from TRG Customer Solutions where he worked as a Sales Supervisor and Customer Service Representative for 10 years.

Eric is a huge sports fan with the Penguins being his favorite team and hockey his number one sport.  He and his wife are partial season ticket holders for the Pirates and Penguins.  Eric loves outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, hunting, and camping when the weather permits.

Another ABG Capital portfolio company, VoIP Innovations, also recently expanded its team.  Last week, they welcomed Sally Stewart, who will be working as a Provisioning Representative.  Sally joins the VI team from Neishloss & Fleming, Inc., where she worked as a Compliance Officer for over 6 years.

She attended Carnegie Mellon University and earned a BA degree in Creative Writing.  In her spare time, Sally enjoys Dragon Boating, kayaking, cooking, dancing and making jewelry, primarily with metals and glass.

Atta Boy!In addition to bringing in new employees, VoIP Innovations recently received a glowing review on one of its existing employees, Provisioning Specialist, David Smith.  VI customer David Wessell, from Ring Free Communications, LLC, sent this feedback last week:

“Just wanted to give you some feedback on David. If he’s not in charge of porting, give him a promotion. We port lots of DID’s with lots of different vendors, and David’s the rock star out of all of them. Anytime we have any difficult issues with porting (and let’s face it, porting is never easy) he always does the deep dive into the issue and gets me the information that I need.  The rest of your port team is good, I’m not knocking them, but David’s your rock star out there.”

As a result of this positive customer feedback, ABG Capital employees created an “Atta Boy!” bulletin board, where they will recognize positive achievements of their employees.  As a result of David’s rave review, ABG Graphic Designer, Ryan Rice drew a caricature of David as a Rock Star, which was posted on the “Atta Boy!” board.

ABG Capital Portfolio Company, VoIP Innovations, Launches Wholesale VoIP Channel on TMCnet

VoIP Innovations TMCnet MicrositeTMCnet, a global, integrated media company helping clients build communities in print, in person and online, announced that the Wholesale VoIP channel, sponsored by ABG Capital portfolio company, VoIP Innovations, has been launched as the newest addition to the TMCnet Online Community program.

The Wholesale VoIP Channel is designed for individuals involved in the VoIP and telecommunications industry interested in learning about and acquiring wholesale VoIP services. Information on the Wholesale VoIP Channel addresses issues important to these individuals interested in how to stay ahead in the ever-evolving and competitive VoIP space. Visitors to the Wholesale VoIP Channel can find valuable resources such as feature articles, industry news, white papers, free product trials and e-demos.

The Wholesale VoIP channel can be found at: http://wholesale-voip.tmcnet.com

“VoIP Innovations is pleased to join forces with TMC, the leader of communications and technology media,” commented Jason Tapolci, President of VoIP Innovations. “TMCnet is known for providing valuable content, and we’re thrilled to sponsor this forum where people can learn more about collaborative, online project management.”

VoIP Innovations is a wholesale VoIP origination and termination carrier for over 1000 ITSPs, Hosted PBX providers, call centers, calling card providers and carriers. Specializing in providing the largest DID and termination VoIP footprints in North America, the company has played a central role in the growing world of VoIP for over 10 years. Boasting the experience, extensive network and dedicated staff, VoIP Innovations has been bringing its customers’ businesses to new, sophisticated levels to achieve a strong competitive edge. Additionally, the company offers the nation’s largest telecom providers with the most affordable and efficient wholesale VoIP rates and network footprint needed to remain competitive, such as its proprietary Titanium III platform, which enables customers to deploy VoIP services in real-time via their cloud service.

“TMCnet welcomes VoIP Innovations’ channel into our Online Community program,” stated TMC President Dave Rodriguez. “VoIP Innovations is a well-respected wholesale VoIP provider that shares our vision of advancing new technologies. Our Online Community program is a powerful Community-building vehicle assisting our partners in building their brands, while contributing to the vast array of valuable content which drives traffic to TMCnet, the most-visited communications and technology website in the world.”

TMCnet is the leading Website for communications and technology professionals. TMCnet is visited by 1.5 million unique monthly visitors and generates more than 60 million page views every month, according to Webtrends.  TMC is celebrating its 40th anniversary as a global, integrated media company that helps clients build communities in print, in person, and online.  TMC publishes the TMC’s CUSTOMER Magazine (formerly Customer Interaction Solutions), INTERNET TELEPHONY, Next Gen Mobility, and Cloud Computing magazines. TMCnet.com, which is read by 1.5 million unique visitors each month, is the leading source of news and articles for the communications and technology industries. TMC is the producer of ITEXPO, the world’s leading B2B communications event. In addition, TMC runs multiple industry events:  Cloud Communications Expo; Cloud4SMB Expo; CVx (ChannelVision Expo); DevCon5; HTML5 Summit; LatinComm Conference & Expo; M2M Evolution Conference & Expo; Mobility Tech Conference & Expo; MSPAlliance MSPWorld; StartupCamp; Video World Conference & Expo and more.  For more information about TMC, visit http://www.tmcnet.com

VoIP Innovations is owned by ABG Capital, which is based in Pittsburgh, PA.  VoIP Innovations provides wholesale VoIP services to Carriers, ITSP’s, Calling Centers, Calling Card Companies and SMB/Enterprise. These services include VoIP Origination, Termination, Toll-Free, 411, e911 (News – Alert), Caller ID, CNAM and more.  VoIP Innovations was recently awarded #744 on the 2012 Inc. 5000 list and #12 on the Pittsburgh Business Times 100 List of Fastest-growing Pittsburgh-area Private Companies.  For more information about these companies, please visit http://www.abgcapital.com and http://www.voipinnovations.com

ABG Capital’s Portfolio Company, InspiraFS, Enters Strategic Partnership with Benefit Trust Company

ABG Capital portfolio company, Inspira, the retirement industry’s low-cost IRA provider, has signed an agreement with Benefit Trust Company that gives Inspira another Custodial and Trading platform to offer to its clients. The two companies are also planning to mutually market Inspira’s IRA rollover services to the Benefit Trust Company’s existing clients and prospects.

“Not only are we adding a third custodial and trading option for our growing list of partners, but we’re opening a door to new markets and new relationships,” said Lowell Smith, President of Inspira. “We believe Benefit Trust Company shares our long-term vision for this relationship, and we’re both excited to get started.”

Benefit Trust Company, a privately owned, non-depository trust company based in Overland Park, Kansas, joins Mid Atlantic Trust Company and MG Trust as IRA custodians on Inspira’s platform. The partnership with Inspira allows Benefit Trust Company to further expand its already robust suite of IRA services for its current partners while also providing another attractive service offering to prospective clients.

“This partnership is a win-win for us,” said Bradley Scafe, President of Benefit Trust Company. “We believe that by utilizing an up-and-coming platform like Inspira’s, we’ll be able to retain assets that often transfer out of our platform as a result of automatic and voluntary IRA rollovers, enabling us to maximize our current business and increase our marketability going forward.”

Inspira was founded in 2002 and provides bundled providers, recordkeepers, third party administrators, financial advisors, affinity groups, broker dealers, CPAs and payroll companies with turnkey, cost-eliminating IRA solutions.  They are owned by ABG Capital and are based in Pittsburgh, PA.  To learn more about these companies visit them at http://www.abgcapital.com and http://www.inspirafs.com.

ABG Capital Welcomes New Employee

ABG Capital

ABG Capital

On Monday, September 17, ABG Capital welcomed Sara Warhold as their new Office Administrator.  Sara joins ABG Capital’s expanding team from The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh and Lemieux Family Center where she served as their Adoption Administrative Coordinator.  Sara lives in Castle Shannon with her husband, Bradley, and 7 year old son, Max.  She enjoys running, riding horses, and watching Max play ice hockey.  Sara will be located at the front desk supporting ABG Capital Corporate and all its Portfolio Companies.Welcome to the ABG Capital family, Sara!