Edelman Financial Engines Names Jay Shah as New CEO; Larry Raffone to Become Chairman of the Board
BOSTON, May 31, 2023 - Edelman Financial Engines (EFE), America’s top independent wealth planning1 and workplace2 investment advisory firm, today announced that its board of directors has named Jay Shah to become the firm’s new chief executive officer (CEO). Shah will assume this role on Aug. 18, 2023, as current CEO Larry Raffone transitions to become chairman of the board while remaining a meaningful shareholder.
“On behalf of the board of directors, I am thrilled to announce Jay’s appointment and also congratulate Larry for his significant contributions,” said Allen Thorpe, partner at Hellman & Friedman, majority shareholder in EFE. “For the past two decades, Larry has been an integral part of the growth and success of the firm, helping us to become the top investment advisory business that today provides millions of Americans with access to high-quality, unbiased financial planning-led advice. Jay is a proven leader who brings an incredible depth of new skills and experiences to build on Larry’s legacy as we accelerate our next phase of growth.”
Shah’s career has been focused on building growth companies at the intersection of financial services and technology. For the last 13 years, he helped grow the financial planning-driven and tech-enabled retail wealth management firm, Personal Capital, serving clients through a model that provides expert independent advisors combined with leading edge digital tools. Since April 2017, he was the firm’s CEO and guided its successful acquisition by Empower, a top retirement plan recordkeeper.
“Jay has been well-known for years among our shareholders and board members, and we were united in our selection,” added Thorpe. “He is the ideal candidate to build on our successful foundation, while complementing the capabilities of our strong, existing leadership team.”
As CEO, Shah will lead a nationwide workforce with approximately 1,500 employees, including more than 650 planners, client service associates and analysts. He will oversee a business that works with many of the nation’s largest employers and top retirement plan recordkeepers, while providing employees and clients with institutional quality asset management, proprietary technology, and access to world-class personal financial planning. Shah will continue to focus on opportunities for growth by adding more clients and planners, as well as acquiring wealth management and financial planning businesses that align with EFE’s business model.
“I have long admired Edelman Financial Engines, and I see incredible opportunity in pairing the distribution opportunities of the workplace business with the best financial planners in the industry,” stated Shah. “I’m thrilled to join a firm that is committed to always doing the right thing for its clients. And we have an incredible opportunity to deliver world-class face-to-face, phone-based, and digital financial planning experiences to help more people lead better lives – from their first paycheck through retirement.”
“This is very exciting news for the firm, its planners and staff, and clients,” noted Ric Edelman, EFE board member and founder of legacy Edelman Financial Services. “Jay not only understands the opportunity that exists to provide more workplace employees with access to broader financial planning services, he has a proven track record of providing financial planners with innovative technology so they can deliver high-touch services to their clients, enabling them to transform their financial lives.”
Raffone, who has been with the firm for more than two decades, has served as president since November 2012, and chief executive officer and a board member since January 2015. He helped evolve legacy Financial Engines from a small, venture-backed Silicon Valley start-up to the largest independent registered investment advisor in America, with more than $246 billion in assets under management today, approximately 1.3 million clients and key relationships with the largest employers and retirement plan recordkeepers in America. Raffone led Financial Engines through some of its most transformational moments, including the buildout of the Financial Engines retail capability, and the merger with Edelman Financial Services in 2018, resulting in what is now Edelman Financial Engines.
“Larry helped steer the firm through each of these chapters and built a business that is well positioned for future growth,” noted Michael Martin, managing director at Warburg Pincus, a minority shareholder. “As our next board chairman, Larry’s experience, knowledge, and commitment to the firm’s mission will continue to be invaluable. The board thanks and appreciates Larry for his many contributions.”
“Having the opportunity to lead EFE through such incredible transformation has been the highlight of my career,” said Raffone. “I’m thankful for the efforts of my colleagues, grateful for the board’s belief in my work, and proud of everything we have accomplished together. As we continue to evolve for our clients, I am confident in Jay’s leadership and look forward to my new role where I can support Jay and the team as they pursue the firm’s strategy for the future.”
About Edelman Financial Engines
Since 1986, Edelman Financial Engines has been committed to always acting in the best interests of our clients. We were founded on the belief that all investors – not just the wealthy – deserve access to personal, comprehensive financial planning and investment advice. Today, we are America’s top independent financial planning and investment advisory firm, recognized by Barron's1 with 145+ offices2 across the country and entrusted by more than 1.3 million clients to manage more than $242 billion in assets.3 Our unique approach to serving clients combines our advanced methodology and proprietary technology with the attention of a dedicated personal financial planner. Every client’s situation and goals are unique, and the powerful fusion of high-tech and high-touch allows Edelman Financial Engines to deliver the personal plan and financial confidence that everyone deserves.