Record keeping as a service company Vestwell is making two changes to its oversight, appointing Lori Hardwick, board member, chair of the board and adding Mary Dent, former CEO of Green Dot Bank, to its board of directors. Hardwick has served on the Vestwell Board of Directors for four years and serves on the Boards of Cetera Financial Group, Genstar Capital and Orion Advisor Services. (Genstar is the private equity owner of Cetera, Orion and Mercer Advisors.) She and Dent will support efforts to scale Vestwell following a $ 70 million Series C funding round and vision CEO Aaron Schumm’s “clear line of sight to being a multi – billion dollar business in the very near future.”
Hardwick and Dent will work with a management from Vestwell who has raised funding and investor expectations, including Wells Fargo Strategic Capital and Fin Venture Capital. “[Schumm] is simply committed to implementing its vision of reshaping the industry, ”said Hardwick. “It will be a big part of my role as President to make sure I help him do that and keep the firm’s strategic direction in the place needed to make it happen. “
Vestwell’s approach is to keep its investors happy by growing the business, Hardwick said. “We have a lot of very high profile investors in the business,” she explained. “A lot of these investors might think they want a front row seat so they can potentially take the business under their wing at some point. At the moment, this is not something that has been openly discussed.
Already focused on workplace savings activities, Vestwell is expanding its product line to include Education Savings Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Emergency Savings and IRAs. It has partnerships with BNY Mellon, Franklin Templeton, Morgan Stanley and Quickbooks, according to Schumm.
As chairman of the board of directors and a member of the board of directors of several other companies, Hardwick is keenly aware of the management of conflicts of interest and perceived conflicts of interest. That’s what prompted her to step down from her role as Chairman of Riskalyse’s board earlier this year, she said. In June, Hardwick left Riskalyze, following the acquisition of HiddenLevers by Orion, which is owned by Genstar — of which she remains on the board of directors.
“As a board member it is so important to make sure there is no conflict,” she said. “It’s something I take very seriously. Every member of the board should take it very seriously, so that your decisions are never biased in one way or another.
Because HiddenLevers and Riskalyze are competitors, a fact inevitably raised by Riskalyze’s marketing campaign targeting HiddenLevers and RiXtrema, Hardwick “didn’t want to have a level of perceived conflict or actual conflict,” she said.
Riskalyze CEO Aaron Klein said he was “incredibly grateful” for Hardwick’s contributions, announcing that Hardwick would be leaving Riskalyze. Hardwick also said it was a business decision.
“We’re all friends,” she said. “I’m happy for Riskalyse and the recapitalization. They are wonderful people. And I will stop there.
Conflicts of interest resolved, Hardwick is eager to lead the way with Vestwell. Once rivals – when Hardwick worked at Envestnet and Schumm at FolioDynamix – the two are now “an unstoppable force,” she said. “Being chairman of the board of directors of his company is truly such an honor. “