Our Executive Team
Our Executive Team
Alexa von Tobel | CEO & Founder
Alexa von Tobel is the founder and CEO of LearnVest.com, the award-winning financial planning company. Alexa developed the idea for LearnVest during her senior year at Harvard College, when she realized she, and most of her peers, had never had any formal education on how to effectively manage their finances. Alexa searched for reliable financial guidance and consistently came up overwhelmed or disappointed. Thus, the LearnVest mission was born – to make trusted personal financial information accessible to millions across the country.
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 be the Head of Business Development at Drop.io, a venture backed start-up in NYC. She enrolled in Harvard Business School in the fall of 2008 only to take a leave of absence shortly after to launch LearnVest and pursue her dream of bringing financial literacy to millions of people everywhere.
Since launching LearnVest, Alexa has been widely quoted as a personal finance expert and entrepreneur in top tier business and consumer publications including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, InStyle, TechCrunch, and many more. In addition, Alexa has appeared on several local and national television shows including The Today Show, Good Morning America, and Anderson, among many others.
She was recently selected as a 2012 Fortune Most Powerful Women Entrepreneur, named “One of the Coolest Young Entrepreneurs” in Inc. Magazine’s 30 Under 30 feature, titled a “Woman to Watch” by Forbes, listed as one of “18 Women Changing the World” in Marie Claire, and selected as a 2011 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
John Gardner | Chief Operations Officer & 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 Marketing & Product 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.
Carrie Sloan | Editor in Chief
Carrie Sloan is LearnVest’s Editor in Chief. Previously, she was the editor of Lemondrop, a lifestyle site for women. She spent ten years as a magazine editor before transitioning to the web. Her stories have appeared in ELLE, Martha Stewart Weddings, Real Simple, Women’s Health, and the New York Daily News and been featured on NPR and the Today Show.
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.