While studying peace and conflict resolution during a college program in the Middle East, Marla Sofer realized her passion for partnerships aimed at addressing significant social challenges. Today, she is the VP of Strategic Partnerships at Jemstep, a digital advice platform focused on helping Americans achieve their financial goals. At Jemstep, Marla has established allies across technical, financial, and consulting ecosystems to expand the availability of investment advice, improve the end-to-end user experience, and reduce the cost to serve clients at the country’s largest financial institutions. Prior to joining Jemstep, she was the Head of Business Development at Xignite, and the Head of Third-Party Monitoring and Oversight at Lending Club. Both firms dedicated to democratizing financial services to broader markets.
Before diving into Fintech in 2015, Marla led institutional partnerships at BlackRock, and J.P. Morgan. At BlackRock, she was a founding member of the Global Provider Strategy team responsible for developing and executing the firm’s operating strategy for selecting and partnering with global banks, index licensors, and market data providers. At J.P. Morgan, she established the West Coast Investment Management Segment coverage team, responsible for over 100 asset manager relationships. On behalf of her clients, she and her team led initiatives to improve automation and simplify business processes. Her entry to financial services was at Bank Leumi, where she managed partnerships with branch offices across South and Latin America, and directly with international high net worth clients.
Marla has committed to improving gender diversity at every one of her employers. She was a co-founder of Lending Club’s women’s network and recently launched a women’s network supporting the west coast at Invesco. Marla has been involved in numerous non-profit organizations. She spent several years on the board of the Jewish Community Relations Council, focused on social justice and community engagement in the Bay Area. She also served on the advisory committee of the Jewish Coalition for Literacy,dedicated to improving the reading skills of elementary school-aged children in high risk areas of the Bay Area.
She holds an MBA in business strategy and international business from Rutgers University, completed a program focused on Peace and Conflict Resolution at American University, and a BA in Sociology and Hebrew from the University of Texas at Austin.
I found Marla to be engaging, funny, bright and a joy to interview. You will surely enjoy the podcast as much as I did.