The Story Exchange, Elle Kaplan, Lexion Capital ManagementYour Name: Elle Kaplan

Business Name: Lexion Capital Management, a wealth management firm

Type of Business: Social Enterprise/Financial Services

Business Location: New York, NY, United States

Twitter   @LexionCapital

Reason for starting
During my successful career of over a decade at some of the top banks on Wall Street, I constantly searched for a firm that was client-centric, transparent, and inclusive. When I couldn’t find that ideal firm, I decided to build my own and founded Lexion Capital. Amidst the 2008 collapse and subsequent recession, it became more clear than ever that traditional Wall Street does not adequately serve the needs of millions of hardworking, everyday people. That deficit is the reason that I left my thriving corporate career to go out on my own as an independent entrepreneur. After a great deal of careful planning, I founded Lexion Capital in late 2010. My goal is to raise the bar in finance by creating a firm where clients come first and foremost, and independent fiduciary-level asset management is an accessible reality.

How do you define success?
My definition of success is running a firm that is both highly ethical and highly profitable. At Lexion, we are able to pursue our mission to build a better Wall Street and make people’s lives better while continually growing as a company. To me, that is success.

Biggest Success
I was able to build Lexion Capital completely on my own dollar with no outside capital. I saved scrupulously throughout my career and grew those savings through my own investing acumen. I didn’t have to accept any offers of support or take on investors to make Lexion a reality, which gave me the freedom to have complete control over the direction of my firm, something that was very important to me as an entrepreneur.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
I built my firm from scratch, from the ground up. I spent a full year planning carefully before opening my doors in late 2010. I worked at my day job full time, then worked on Lexion at night. Like many of my fellow entrepreneurs, I adjusted to wearing all hats, all the time. Then, as Lexion grew, I had to break the habit of doing everything myself. Often, entrepreneurs are slow to hire because it really entails a process of letting go. I address this by focusing on hiring truly outstanding team players who are passionate, committed, and share an enthusiasm for Lexion’s mission and core values. Everyone on the team at Lexion Capital is highly involved in the firm’s success.

Who is your most important role model?
I have many. Throughout my career, I have always sought out the guidance of mentors. I continue to benefit from their positive influence to this day. Mentors can be invaluable because they often have a larger vision for you than you have for yourself. They can push you to dream bigger and reach higher.