Our Executive Team

Alexa von Tobel, CFP®

  • Founder and CEO of LearnVest.com
  • Vice President — Client Experience, Northwestern Mutual and NM Future Ventures
  • New York Times-Bestselling Author of Financially Fearless
  • Founding team member of Drop.io (acquired by Facebook)
  • Formerly worked at Morgan Stanley’s Proprietary Trading Desk
  • Received an A.B. in Psychology Honors at Harvard College
  • Harvard Business School
  • Member of the 2016 Class of Henry Crown Fellows
  • Columnist for Money Magazine
  • Hosts a weekly radio show on SiriusXM called Financially Fearless with Alexa von Tobel
  • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and Series 65 licensed

Ainslie Simmonds

  • Chief Operating Officer, LearnVest
  • Former SVP of Innovation at Maddock Douglas, a product innovation agency
  • Former Chief Marketing and Product Development Officer at Investools/Thinkorswim, an online education and brokerage company, acquired by TD Ameritrade ($850MM transaction).
  • Former Partner at Markitecture, an innovation focused research firm, Vice President of Marketing for Coors/Molson and Director of Marketing in the soup division for the Campbell Soup Company.
  • Received MBA from Harvard University, and a BA from the University of Western Ontario.

Aditi Gokhale

  • Chief Marketing Officer, LearnVest
  • Board Member of Churchill Downs Inc (CHDN)
  • Former Chief Marketing Officer, Shutterstock (SSTK)
  • Former Senior Vice President & General Manager, Digital, Nutrisystem (NTRI)
  • Former General Manager, IGOUGO.COM, subsidiary of Travelocity
  • Former CMO and Co-Founder, iQuanti
  • Vice President of Marketing, American Express Company (AXP)
  • Booz & Company (formerly Booz Allen & Hamilton)
  • MIT’s Sloan School of Management, 1999
  • Received a B.S. in Marketing and Economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1996


image01Emilia Sherifova

  • Chief Technology Officer, LearnVest
  • Prior to joining the team, she was the CTO at Pulsepoint, Inc., an award-winning new media company, with properties including a content marketing platform, RTB/ad exchange, ESP, audience platform, and data analytics.
  • Served as the Chief Information Officer/Chief Tchnology Officer at OTC Markets Group, Inc, the largest US electronic trading venues for unlisted OTC equities.
  • Built one of the largest US Equity Trading Systems
  • Holds B.A. in Journalism from University of Bridgeport, graduated Summa Cum Laude
  • Holds Masters with concentration in International Business from Columbia University

Hamilton Faris

  • Head of Data and Analytics, LearnVest
  • Former Vice President, Head of Global Data Strategy & Insights Delivery, MetLife
  • Former Vice President, Chief Data & Analytics Officer, Americas Region, MetLife
  • Former Vice President of Professional Services, PlanetSoft
  • Former Director, Solutions Architecture, MetLife
  • Former President, Aegeanblue Consulting
  • Former Senior Architect, Systems Consulting & Integration, Baan
  • Received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from North Carolina State University (1994)


image02Kelly Leyden

  • Vice President of People, LearnVest
  • Experienced Human Resources leader with 16 years in multiple industries including technology, ecommerce, industrial manufacturing, entertainment and information management services.
  • Former Director of Human Resources Business Partner at eBay, Inc. supporting upward of 3000 employees both domestic and internationally across a $28 Billion portfolio
  • Led the creation of $7B globally consistent B2C sales and account management model and organization, including consistent segmentation; scaled and enhanced, pre-and post-sales capability/capacity; scaled merchant operations, global compensation plan and introduction of commercial finance to become the partner of choice for brands and merchants
  • Former Talent Acquisition Program Manager at Ingersoll Rand
  • Former Human Resources Representative at Iron Mountain
  • Holds B.A. in Political Science from University of Kansas


image02Pete Petersen

  • Head of Transformation Office, LearnVest
  • Former VP of Integration Management Office for LearnVest and Northwestern Mutual.
  • Former head of $200 million strategic projects portfolio at Northwestern Mutual
  • Completed six month executive rotation in Northwestern Mutual distribution system (Maryland Network Office)
  • Sharpened leadership skills across five different business units, and 20 years, at Fortune 100 company
  • Industry speaker:  Client-centric innovation, Portfolio and Program Management, Operations Management
  • Received MBA from Marquette University, and BA from University of Wisconsin-Whitewater


image00Stephany Kirkpatrick, CFP®, AIF®

  • Vice President of Product and Financial Advice Strategy, LearnVest
  • Former Vice President of Operations, LearnVest
  • Former Sr. Director of Retirement Planning at Pension Architects
  • Industry expert in personal finance as seen in the New York Times, WSJ, Forbes, Money Magazine, Parents, etc
  • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® and holds her Series 65 FINRA license.
  • Received a B.A. in International Management and Spanish from Pepperdine University