Elle Kaplan, Lexion Capital Management
Elle Kaplan is CEO and founder of Lexion Capital Management, a wealth management firm in New York. Kaplan, 36, worked for a decade at Wall Street firms and was well-compensated accordingly, but it never felt right.
"I didn't feel like i was helping anyone or contributing anything positive to the world," she said. She had toyed with the idea of creating a "client-centric" wealth management firm but was wary of the risk. Eventually, her own clients urged her to go out on her own.
Kaplan had saved enough start-up capital, but her secret weapon was her rapport with clients.
"I had called a few clients at around 2 p.m., and we were profitable by 5 p.m.," she said. "I had a very loyal following, and these people were willing to take their life savings and follow me."
Anyone considering leaving a safe career to found their own company will get lots of conflicting advice. Kaplan's advice? Consider the information source.
"Some of my friends and family were the biggest naysayers," she said. "They love me and they wanted to protect me, but they don't understand the industry. The people who really pushed me were entrepreneurs. 'You're crazy' came from a place of love, but 'go do it' came from concern about my career."
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