Forbes: Sallie Krawcheck Leads Ellevest to $1 Billion AUM
Sallie Krawcheck has not forgotten what the skeptics said about Ellevest, her women’s-focused investment platform, before the service even launched. “It was like, ‘This is gonna fail; other people have tried and failed,’” she recalls. “And also, ‘What is for women anyway? That’s sort of dumb!’”
Five and a half years later, Krawcheck can finally mock these slights. She lets out a whoop and raises her hands above her head as she tells Forbes, exclusively and in a video chat, about the milestone Ellevest just hit: $1 billion in assets under management.
“It actually has been compounding, as you sort of expect assets under management to do, where the first $10 million took forever, the second $10 million takes less, and so on,” Krawcheck, who is also Ellevest’s CEO, says. She acknowledges that the service more than doubled its assets under management (AUM) in 2020 but says this was not entirely the result of a rebounding market boosting the value of users’ portfolios—instead, it came from clients consistently shuffling money into their Ellevest accounts.
“What I’m particularly proud of is that it happened during a pandemic. And very importantly, that at a time when you would think women would be more pulled back, we actually had net positive inflows every single week of the year,” she says. Money wasn’t necessarily flooding in—and in fact, Ellevest’s own data shows that as the so-called she-cession has taken hold, average monthly deposits have decreased from $740 to $474—but it was still coming in, not going out. This is especially notable, given how the rest of Wall Street was performing last year: According to Morningstar, U.S. equity funds posted $241 billion in outflows in 2020, which is more than the four next-worst years combined (2015, 2011, 2009 and 2020).
Ellevest has 123,000 clients with an average account size of $8,000. While the typical user is a woman in her 30s who is also saving money in a 401(k) at work, Krawcheck notes that Ellevest has investors ranging from 18 to 106 years old. A small portion of the business also focuses on higher-net-worth clients; a “triple digit” number of accounts hold $1 million or more, which is a demographic Krawcheck did not originally intend to address with Ellevest, but the events of recent years changed her mind.
Read Maggie McGrath’s full article here
Maggie McGrath is an associate editor at Forbes and the editor of ForbesWomen, the Forbes vertical dedicated to covering all angles of female entrepreneurship.
[Note to Reader: Sallie Krawcheck wrote a compelling article, Why Investing in Women is Crucial Right Now for GreenMoney last year.]