Tell us about yourself.
I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was a little kid when I would clean and sell bottles to a honey maker. I had a business in college as well and subsequently moonlighted for over twenty years on various lifestyle projects like real estate, import/export, and luxury goods.
In 2012, I quit my job as a Director at BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world, to pursue my entrepreneurial career. That was the second time after quitting Goldman Sachs in 2007 to move to California from NYC to pursue a new business plan to help the underbanked.
What motivates me is to have the freedom to choose what I want to do, from where, when, and with whom.
Tell us about your professional background and the clients you serve.
I am currently the CEO of FinTech School, a company focused on providing FinTech and Blockchain learning solutions to financial institutions, governments, regulators, and universities.
Prior to founding the school, I was the Co-Founder and CEO of FundPaaS, a funding platform as a service servicing SMBs and holder of one of the few equity crowdfunding licenses in the US. I also ran a boutique management consulting firm focused on financial innovation which led a major FinTech player to launch the world’s first Wealth Management Cloud, a robust set of Apps and APIs that power robo advisors and Digital Wealth Management Platforms.
I previously held various roles on Wall Street within senior management in trading and risk management technology, trading operations, and finance and investment analytics at Tier 1 investment banks like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Merrill Lynch. As a financial advisor, I built relationships with High Net Worth Individuals and managed $20MM in assets.
In 2013, I led a venture-backed startup to launch the leading payments and compliance engine for crowdfunding portals and as the product’s general manager, increased client growth by 300%. Earlier in my FinTech career, I founded and led BuckSprout, a FinTech company focused on automating the financial advisory process and one of the earliest digital financial advisors. I serve as a mentor, advisor, and board member of several FinTech companies including Apple Pie Capital, CommonBond, Hackers & Founders, and Plug n Play.
I hold a B.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering (honors) and an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a concentration in Entrepreneurial Management & Innovation. I previously held series 7, 31, 63, and 65 securities licenses.
What’s your biggest professional accomplishment?
Starting various FinTech projects and raising $2.7mm for myself and helping others raise over $2Bn. Academically speaking, being able to contribute to top universities like Wharton, MIT, Columbia, and Cornell since 2019 at the intersection of FinTech, Blockchain, and Crypto.
What’s one of the hardest things that come with being a professional in your field?
Entrepreneurship is a marathon. Therefore, it’s important to have energy, grit, integrity and smarts to be able to navigate efficiently.
What are the top tips you’d give to anyone looking to pursue a career in your profession field?
I believe who you work for does not define who you are. Only you can do that. This means sometimes that you may have to leave Goldman or BlackRock to pursue your own dreams. Finding whatever is holding you back is key to letting go.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Find a job that you love so you never have to work another day in your life