Our Executive Team
Alexa von Tobel, CFP® | CEO & Founder
is the founder and CEO of LearnVest.com, and the New York Times- Bestselling Author of Financially Fearless. Alexa launched LearnVest in 2009 with the goal of making financial planning affordable, accessible and even delightful. Since then she has raised over $72 million in financing from Accel Partners, American Express Ventures, and others.
Alexa serves as an inaugural member of the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE), and she was selected as a 2011 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, named to the Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women Class of 2011, honored as a 2012 Fortune Most Powerful Women Entrepreneur, and named a Scholar at the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival. She has been included on a variety of lists such as: Vanity Fair’s 2011 Next Establishment; Fortune’s “40 Under 40: Ones to Watch”; Business Insider’s Silicon Alley 100; Inc. Magazine’s 30 Under 30; Businessweek’s “Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs”; and Marie Claire’s “Women on Top.”
Since launching LearnVest, Alexa has been widely quoted as a personal finance expert and entrepreneur in top tier business and consumer outlets. She is a columnist for Cosmopolitan and Inc. Magazine and hosts a weekly radio show on SiriusXM, “Financially Fearless with Alexa von Tobel.” She has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Businessweek, Fast Company, Inc., Elle, Forbes, InStyle, Mashable, TechCrunch, VentureBeat and many more. In addition, Alexa has appeared on several local and national television shows including The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Katie, CNN’s Your Money, and The Rachael Ray Show.
Alexa has spoken at nationally renowned events and conferences including TEDxWallStreet, SXSW, Inc.’s GrowCo Conference, NY Ideas Festival, Fast Company’s Innovation Uncensored, and Maria Shriver’s Women’s Conference.
Originally from Florida, Alexa received an A.B. in Psychology at Harvard College. Upon graduation, she worked as a trader at Morgan Stanley on their Proprietary Trading Desk before leaving to serve as Head of Business Development at Drop.io, a venture backed startup in NYC. She enrolled in Harvard Business School in the fall of 2008, but took a formal leave of absence shortly after to launch LearnVest.
John Gardner | Chief Financial Officer
John has spent his career in a variety of roles that focused on portfolio management, personal finance advice, and technology.
He received a B.S. from Lehigh University with a double major in Finance and Marketing, with a minor in Philosophy. Furthermore, John is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). He began his career at SEI Investments on the Global Equity team, doing manager research and portfolio construction for SEI’s Manager of Managers program. While at SEI he developed a new communication strategy that leveraged the Internet to more efficiently communicate the firm’s investment philosophy, product construction, and performance to the firm’s various distribution channels. John also was responsible for building insurance and credit platforms to support SEI’s Wealth Management Solution. Next, he was a Director of Product Strategy at Finaplex, Inc. a venture-backed Enterprise Wealth Management software provider that helped large financial institutions consolidate data and provide a single advisory desktop for wealth management advisors.
Most recently John was a Founding Partner and Chief Operating Officer for Cabezon Capital Management, a Global Macro hedge fund based in San Francisco that concentrated in emerging market investments. The fund, launched in 2006, grew to over $400 million in assets by the beginning of 2008.
Ainslie Simmonds | Chief Operations Officer
Ainslie brings 20 years of marketing and product development experience to LearnVest.
Most recently Ainslie was the Senior Vice President of Innovation at Maddock Douglas, an innovation agency where Ainslie’s role was to leverage her experience in direct response, CRM, traditional media, social media, e-commerce, research, and business strategy to create game-changing growth and profitability for many Fortune 100 companies.
As the Chief Marketing and Product Development Officer at Investools/Thinkorswim, an online education and brokerage company, Ainslie helped grow the business from $75 million to a $600 million valuation before it was acquired by TD Ameritrade.
Prior to her work with Investools/Thinkorswim, Ainslie was Partner at Markitecture a innovation focused research firm, Vice President of Marketing for Coors/Molson on the Molson brand family, and Director of Marketing in the soup division for the Campbell Soup Company. Ainslie holds her MBA from Harvard University, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Western Ontario.
Hrishi Dixit | Chief Technology Officer
Hrishi has lived in the computational and enterprise software space for over 17 years. He has deployed large-scale applications in several domain verticals spanning finance, education, geo-aware systems and e-commerce, with specific focus on financial technology and large-scale data-driven systems, and has managed distributed engineering teams across the globe.
Prior to joining LearnVest in 2010, he was a principal and co-founder of Gordian Labs, a software consulting and product development firm specializing in finance and startup industries, specializing in financial systems and bootstrapping internet startups. He has also served as senior technical architect and development manager at Finaplex, Inc., a wealth management startup in San Francisco. where he was responsible for deployments of the Finaplex Wealth platform at major financial institutions.
Hrishi holds a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering (with a Minor in Computer Science) from Cornell University, and resides in New York City with his wife.
Karim Naraghi | VP of Business Development
Karim joined LearnVest as VP of Business Development after spending five years in a variety of leadership and business development roles at AOL. During his time at AOL, Karim was responsible for the identification, evaluation, and negotiation of new business opportunities across AOL’s entire content and advertising portfolio, including the launch of the company’s branded entertainment division in 2010 as well as leading strategic partnerships in the advertising technology space. Karim has extensive experience in the negotiation of large-scale commercial transactions and was an integral part of AOL’s push to redefine the company’s business model.
Karim holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management as well as a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Karim was born in Tehran, Iran and raised in Houston, TX and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.