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Meet the Betterment Family

The best thing about Thanksgiving is family time. Time with our own families, and time with other people’s families too. We have our own family here at Betterment.

Articles by Betterment Editors

By the Editorial Staff
Betterment Resource Center  |  Published: November 15, 2012

Knowing someone’s family means knowing more about them – where they’ve come from, why they are how they are, and how they might be when they’re older (yes, big nose and thickened waist included).

Image Source: What Katie Ate

We have our own family here at Betterment. You might know some of us – the team, Eli’s dog Piper, and our mascot Fred – but we have an extended family too. These are the people behind Betterment’s investments and advice.

They range from college Professors, to CFPs, to Behavioral Economists, to the Principals of leading venture capital firms. We may be biased, but we think you’ll agree that these are seriously accomplished individuals!

Alex Benke

Alex Benke

Alex serves as a Product Manager on the Betterment team. His experience is a fitting mix of tech and personal finance. He loves drilling down on product solutions for real financial needs, and isn’t waiting around for someone else to build them. Yup – he’s that guy in the clan (if you need something built with spit and power tools or Python and sweat, he’s your man).

Alex is a Certified Financial Planner™ who graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Operations Research Engineering. He holds a Certificate in Financial Planning from Fordham University.

He worked at JPMorgan for 10 years in Credit Markets and Risk Technology, focusing on derivatives products. He was also a financial planner and wealth advisor at Ascent Financial Group, LLC prior to joining Betterment.

Dan Egan

Dan Egan

Dan Egan is at the forefront of one of the most important sciences of our time: Behavioral Economics. Betterment is leading investment advisors in terms of innovative design – so it’s a beautiful marriage (of minds if you will). Dan serves as our Director of Behavioral Finance and Investments, responsible for ensuring our clients invest (and behave) intelligently.

Dan has spent his career using behavioral finance to help people make better financial and investment decisions. Prior to joining Betterment he was the Behavioral Finance Specialist at Barclays Americas, and a founder of the team in 2007. Before that he was an economist for a London-based private equity firm, and an econometrician at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dan earned his undergraduate degree in Economics from Boston University and his Master of Science in Decision Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is a published author of multiple publications related to behavioral economics, and lectures at New York University, London Business School, and the London School of Economics.

John Jarve

John Jarve

John Jarve has a wealth of knowledge on building better businesses.

Over the past 27 years, John has led Menlo Ventures’ investments in more than 40 portfolio companies, primarily in the communications, storage, semiconductor, Internet and financial technology sectors.

John has been the lead investor in multiple venture capital funded companies that have had successful IPOs and achieved billion dollar valuations, including UUNET Technologies, the world’s largest Internet access provider (UUNT; now part of Verizon), Digital Insight, the pioneering leader in Internet banking (DGIN; now part of Intuit), and Cavium Networks, the leading provider of security communication chips (NASDAQ: CAVM).

John attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering) and then went on to the Stanford University Graduate School of Business (M.B.A.).

John is a former trustee of the Corporation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the former chairman of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Management Board. He is currently the president-elect of the MIT Alumni Association and will begin his term as president summer 2013.

Steve Lockshin

Steve Lockshin

Steve Lockshin is recognized as a thought leader in the wealth management industry. Founder of Convergent Wealth Advisors, Steve has established his company as an innovator in the use and analysis of risk and reward parameters for alternative portfolios, equity risk management for concentrated portfolio holdings, and other strategies now employed industry-wide.

Ranked by Barron’s as the #1 advisor in California in 2012 and #2 on Barron’s Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors list in 2012, this is Steve’s third straight year as one of the top five independent advisors in the nation. In 2010, Washingtonian magazine named Steve as one of the Top Financial Advisors in the Washington, DC area.

In 2012, Steve founded Advizent, a membership organization of investment advisory firms. The mission of Advizent is to promote client-centric wealth management and to provide consumers the access and information to make educated decisions when evaluating financial advisors. We’re proud to say that this commitment to transparency and a client-centric approach are shared family values.

Saman Majd

Saman Majd

Take a look at Saman Majd’s background, and you’ll see why we value his advice —

Most recently, Saman was Vice Chairman of Deutsche Asset Management. Prior to that, Majd was Global Head of Derivatives and Fixed Income Government Bond Trading in Deutsche’s Global Market Division. Before joining Deutsche Bank in 1995, he was a Managing Director and head of derivatives at Salomon Brothers.

Saman Majd has a distinguished academic record with a degree in Physics from Oxford University and a PhD in Finance from MIT. He was an Assistant Professor of Finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania for two years, and at the School of Management at Yale University for one year before joining Salomon Brothers in 1987.

Phillip Riese

Phillip Riese

Phillip Riese’s background reads much like Betterment’s – he is passionate about disruptive financial services startups. Notice the family resemblance?

Phillip spent over 20 years in leadership roles in Financial Services, initially at Chase and ultimately at American Express. He retired from American Express in 1998 as President of the Consumer Card Group and Chairman of American Express’ Centurion Bank, leading the teams that turned around American Express’ core business.

Since leaving American Express, he has focused on co-investing in start-up and midsize companies that are potential leaders in providing disruptive financial services, advanced data analytics and next-generation marketing capabilities, serving on the boards of some and acting as an advisor to management in others.

Rob Stavis

Rob Stavis

Rob Stavis has been with Betterment almost since birth and has been instrumental in our company’s growth.

Rob has been a partner in Bessemer Venture Partners’ New York office since 2000. He focuses on investments in the financial-services sector and in emerging software technologies. Prior to joining Bessemer, Rob was an independent private-equity investor. He led the A round and served on the board of Arbinet (NASDAQ:ARBX), the world’s leading electronic market for trading routing, and settling communications capacity.

Rob entered private equity after a 15-year career at Salomon Smith Barney, where he was co-head of global arbitrage trading. He was a member of Salomon’s operating and risk-management committees and chaired the recruiting committee, in addition to managing a $100 billion balance sheet.

Jon Stein

Jon Stein

This guy you might know – Betterment is his baby. Jon is Betterment’s CEO and co-founder.

Jon spent years working as a consultant for big banks on Wall Street, and found that typical financial products were poorly designed. Jon started Betterment to re-invent the investing industry.

Jon is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), a Series 7, 24, and 63 Registered Securities Representative, and a graduate of Harvard University (Economics) and Columbia Business School. His interests lie at the intersection of design, psychology, and economics.

This is just a glimpse into the Betterment family. Stay for dessert and you’ll get to know us better.

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