Facet Wealth, the rapidly growing fintech firm offering subscription-based financial advice and planning, has expanded its leadership team with a focus on client experience and marketing, hiring a former J.P. Morgan portfolio manager, a data scientist and econometrist, a former director of optimization research at MEC Labs, and a marketing and product director with a fintech background.
According to Facet CEO and co-founder Anders Jones, the four new hires were brought into their brand-new positions to help maintain the fintech’s growth rate—2,523% over the past two years—following a $100 million Series C raise earlier this year.
“Client experience is a huge differentiator,” said Mayra Cardoso, Facet’s new head of client experience. Cardoso specialized in asset allocation strategies for pension plans, endowments and foundations for J.P. Morgan before moving into digital and strategic innovation leadership roles at the investment bank.
Cardoso said data indicates that as many as a third of clients will leave a firm, even one with which they have an established history, after just a few poor experiences. In her new role, she is establishing a “voice of the client” program to collect actionable feedback from surveys, social media and Facet advisors regarding public perception, platform interfaces and service outcomes.
“A big part of this is constantly keeping an eye on the competitive landscape, both in category and out of category,” she added. “What do people love, what are they drawn to? And when you think about how that drives growth, a huge percentage of clients who experience a great client experience are likely to recommend that brand to a friend.”
Other new hires include:
- Nick Betit as vice president of growth and client experience analytics. Betit comes to Facet from Discovery Education, where he led growth analytics.
- Jimmy Ellis as senior director of growth marketing. He joined Facet after a year as VP of marketing for Knox Financial. He spent four years in marketing for Fracture, a fintech firm in the real estate space, and was previously director of research at marketing firm MEC Labs. He is the co-founder of Prospecting Hub, a B2B lead generation service.
- Sung Lee as director of acquisition marketing. Lee spent four years with PayPal and, most recently, held a position at fintech firm Revolut.
The firm also announced Tom Graff as its new head of investments earlier this month.
Facet executives say their goal is to quadruple the number of clients each advisor can serve through automating all non-client-facing tasks, and Jones said earlier this year that Facet wouldn’t be looking to add more than a handful of new advisors in 2022. The new additions to the leadership team, he said Tuesday, are a part of the firm’s growth plan—which includes building out marketing programs and boosting client experiences—supported by the recent funding round, and the recent downturn in the markets is not expected to deter that growth.
“Our value prop around planning is not super tied to market cycles,” he said. “And, actually, in some cases, when the market goes crazy, that's when people really seek out help. I think for us, it's actually a great time to hire. The tech market is softening and there are stories of tech companies changing their hiring plans and laying people off left and right. So, it’s a great time for us to be sourcing top talent. We're in great shape from a liquidity standpoint and really pressing the advantage here.”
One of Facet’s stated goals is the "democratization of financial services." The firm charges clients a flat fee based on the complexity of services rendered—up to a ceiling of $6,000 annually—and has no minimum net worth requirement. Jones is confident that the firm's target demographic of clients who do not have a current financial advisor but have questions about how to handle their finances is largely untapped.
“Our focus on growth is really just around the size of the opportunity,” he said. “You know, 76% of American households don't have access to affordable and unconflicted financial advice right now; it’s tens of millions of households that need the help. We’ve been at this for a few years and it's pretty clear that we’ve got a very good product-market fit. And now it's just a question of scaling that to reach the full market. So we're guns blazing.”
To date, Facet Wealth has raised more than $165 million in funding from Durable Capital Partners LP, Warburg Pincus, Slow Ventures, TeleSoft Partners, Green Cow Venture Capital and others. While the SEC-registered investment advisor has plans for an eventual IPO, Jones said that he’s not in any hurry to get there.
“I've heard that being a public company CEO really sucks,” he said. “So I’m not in too much of a rush, but I think the broader point is the size of the opportunity and what we aspire to build. We want to be the next Fidelity, the next Schwab, that sort of lends itself to being a long-lasting stand-alone public company. We’re not going to sell the company at any point.”
Per its latest regulatory filing, Facet manages approximately $1.9 billion in AUM across almost 13,500 clients. The firm hopes to reach 20,000 clients by the end of the year.