We’re pleased to present our latest installment in our feature series – “FintekNews Celebrates #WomenInFintech“. This week, we’d like to introduce you to Lauri Hofherr, Head of Product Development at Oranj, whose wealth management software gives financial professionals everything they need to run an efficient practice and provide investors with an interactive and engaging experience.
NAME: Lauri Hofherr
TITLE: Head of Product Development
WEB ADDRESS: runoranj.com
1) What does your financial technology firm offer?
Oranj is the industry’s first freemium wealth management platform, giving financial professionals everything they need to run an efficient practice and provide investors with an interactive and engaging experience. Oranj helps advisers offer financial advice for the digital age; a modern experience for clients means investors can see 360-degree access to their entire financial lives, powerful back-office tools help advisers manage day-to-day portfolio management tasks and the no-cost platform means advisers can increase profits and lower the cost of investing for investors.
2) What was the personal motivation for you to join your firm?
The idea of really growing a business with an experienced CEO and innovative CTO was irresistible. Wealth management technology is a rare sector where there is truly an opportunity to redefine the direction of the industry. In this role, I am in the center of a perfect storm of a generational shift in wealth, new applications of cutting-edge technology, accompanied by an entirely new idea of what financial management needs to be for the digital-first client.
3) As a business leader, do you feel any advantages/disadvantages in being female as you are 1) managing your business & team internally and 2) growing your business competitively?
The old adage, “Start with the customer and work your way back” is still the surest way to develop software. Success is going to be determined by how well we are able to empathize with an adviser desiring to grow her business, with the investor charting a prosperous course or the asset manager who is focused on delivering innovative solutions to their clients. Personally, I feel I have been able to foster a culture of transparency, respect for diversity of opinion and collaboration that is nothing but a positive for how Oranj has been able to position itself in this highly competitive space.
4) Do you feel you are at a competitive advantage – or disadvantage – as a female fintech business leader – or neither?
I believe there is value in the first-hand perspective of being a female investor and adviser’s client. Research shows women to be the driver of most household financial decisions and recently, there have been numerous studies demonstrating that women tend to be better investors. Understanding the growing confidence of this constituent is definitely an advantage.
5) Do you feel there are more women in financial technology leadership roles than in other business sectors? If so, why or why not?
Finance and technology remain male dominated industries at all levels. This is slowly changing but we need to look at shoring up support where it matters for women; eliminate the backlash for women who do step forward, recognize leadership in all its manifestations and recognizing the unique challenges women face in finding work-life balance. Right now it is much more important to me to be a positive role model for the next generation which will have a more lasting effect on the industry.
6) Do you think the trend will continue where we will see more women in leadership roles in fintechs (Yes/No) and why?
I think we will continue to see more women in leadership roles in fintech. The quality and quantity of the roles available in fintech is just too enticing to slow the momentum of smart, strong women in our industry. I am thrilled about the changes I’ve seen with regards to the treatment of women over my long career. I think this next generation is coming forward and making incredible changes. I’m very excited!
As Head of Product Development at Oranj, Lauri Hofherr leads the product management and design team to deliver innovative technology solutions for wealth managers, their clients and partner asset managers. She’s a frequent speaker at industry events, addressing topics such as agile development, leadership and empowering women.