This week, we speak with Sarah Kirshbaum Levy, chief executive officer of Betterment, an independent digital investment adviser with $40 billion in assets under management. Before joining Betterment, Kirshbaum Levy was chief operating officer of Viacom Media Networks, where she oversaw global strategy, finance and operations. Previously, Levy served as COO at Nickelodeon, where she spearheaded Nickelodeon’s entry into new segments, including consumer products, resorts, Broadway and theme parks, and subscription video on demand.
She discusses how her carrer in media branding and marketing was a perfect background for an online digital asset manager.
Kirshbaum Levy also explains how the digital booms and busts that motivate incumbent players take place in every sector — including the digital wealth management space. Just as Amazon pushed Walmart into offering an online platform, she expects Betterment to push innovation that will force the incumbent players like Blackrock and Vanguard into keeping up with them from online to mobile to AI.
She wants Betterment to be the Millenial and Gen Z brand in wealth management the same way Schwab and Fidelity were to her parent’s generation.
You can stream and download our full conversation, including any podcast extras, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, and Bloomberg. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Tom Hancock, Grantham, Mayer & Otterloo‘s head of the Focused Equity team and Quality Strategies. He is the portfolio manager for the Quality Fund (GQETX). The fun has returned 13.43% annually over the past decade (versus 12.03% for the S&P 500), putting it in the top 1% of peers, and is a Morningstar 5 Star, Gold-rated. He oversees an exchange-traded fund US Quality Equity ETF (QLTY) — the first retail product from GMO since its launch in 1977.
Sarah Kirschbaum Levy Books
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson
Books Barry Mentioned
Loonshots by Safi Bahcall