Savvy Advisors, a tech-forward RIA headquartered in New York City, has recruited the 12th advisor to its decentralized and AI-powered platform.
Based in the District of Columbia, Maya Joelson left Perigon Wealth Management after nearly six years with the firm to become a founding managing partner and global investment strategist at Savvy. Prior to Perigon, she spent time at Merrill Lynch and launched a markets intelligence firm called Meta Point Advisors that she continues to run.
Prior to Merrill Lynch, Joelson was based in London, where she served as a macroeconomic and financial advisor to the CEO and senior leadership at Rio Tinto, then the world’s second-largest mining company.
She also spent time as an advisor to an emerging markets bank in London, where she led initial public offerings and supported managers of billion-dollar funds. Before her career in financial services, Joelson worked for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), collaborating with one of the inventors of the internet Vint Cerf, on advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction and collaborative systems.
Joelson holds a master’s in public administration from Harvard University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. While at Harvard, she wrote the first World Economic Forum paper on the business case for corporations to advance women and diverse talent. The paper was presented in Davos in 2004 and inspired the launch of the WEF Gender Programme tracking gender gaps across nations.
“Since I began my professional career in the 1990s, I have been searching for an employer who gives me freedom to express my differentiated insight and empowers me to utilize my unique global perspectives,” Joelson said in a statement. “With Savvy, I can leverage my deep experience in international markets to navigate headwinds that may impact client portfolios. The firm’s cutting-edge technology and all-in-one platform will allow me to enhance my practice.”
“What Maya brings to the table is truly unique,” added Ritik Malhotra, co-founder and CEO of Savvy Wealth, Savvy Advisors’ parent company. “With her deep understanding of economic affairs and her knack for simplifying complex concepts, we are confident that she will help us build a future where advice is seamlessly integrated, personalized, and centered on delivering extraordinary client experiences.”
Incorporated in July 2021, Savvy Wealth raised venture capital through two funding rounds before officially launching its affiliated RIA with no advisors or assets in August 2022. Six months later, the firm had attracted a half dozen advisors and more than $100 million in assets. After pausing earlier this year to assess progress and roll out a new direct indexing tool and an AI-powered platform called Co-Pilot, Savvy has added six more advisors in recent months.
With a home office in New York City and a satellite near the Vancouver border in northwest Washington, the vast majority of Savvy’s advisors work from home.
“We set everything up from day one to be location agnostic and remote-friendly,” Malhotra told WealthManagement.com. “Advisors were looking for an end-to-end solution that would facilitate that because a lot of them had realized their clients actually prefer just meeting over Zoom.”
In cases where that doesn’t apply, Savvy is happy to support its advisors in booking or leasing office space in their region, he added.
Malhotra declined to comment on current assets under management, as some are still in flux, but said he expects to end the year somewhere south of $500 million.
In 2024, the hope is to triple advisor headcount.
“From an ambitious perspective, we’d love to triple the team and then we will run the numbers on where that leads us in terms of AUM,” Malhotra said. “But I think we could do it. I think we really hit a nerve in terms of where we are in the market and we’ve been able to recruit some amazing folks on the team.”