It was a straightforward and easy decision to join the Stash board of directors.
Throughout my career, I have enjoyed thinking of myself as a “Student of Financial Services.” Our industry has a history of cycles and common themes—from the booms and busts of bull and bear markets to the pitfalls and opportunities that can come with new trends in investment.
Nonetheless, there have been few true innovations that changed how people interact with money. The Money Market Fund, introduced in the early seventies, was a game changer as investors could receive a higher yield as dividends, and more importantly, consolidate where they held extra cash (e.g. they didn’t need the bank account anymore). The 401(k) Plan was created in the late seventies and changed how individuals saved for retirement and increased their connection (and impact) to the market.
The ‘Fintech Revolution’ of the 2000’s was supposed to accelerate innovation. While challenging the industry to try new things, in my view, most of fintech has simply been the creation of ‘tools.’ It didn’t change how individuals think or interact about finance, rather it simply made finance more accessible and faster. For example, most online trading or investing is not new—rather it is the same workflow as decades ago, but just replicated online.
This is why Stash is different. It is not a tool—it is a business. It is not simply replicating a traditional workflow online. Rather, it is encouraging and teaching an underrepresented (traditionally ignored) customer segment about the value of investing through a financial subscription model. It is leveraging technology to make finance both accessible and also understandable. What is more understandable than buying a Starbucks coffee with your Stash debit card and then seeing the shares in your portfolio?1 People have an impact on the market—and Stash is helping them realize it.
I am excited to be joining the Stash board of directors and supporting the company’s mission of empowering people to invest and build better lives. As the first Independent Audit Chair, I take on the responsibility of supporting the organization as it continues to mature. The path to becoming public company-like and embracing best practices in governance can only lead to positive outcomes, for all stakeholders, whatever ultimate road we take. That is precisely what CEO Liza Landsman and the team are committed to. In my view, Stash represents the best characteristics of what companies, fintech or not, should strive for.
I am so appreciative of the vision that founders Ed and Brandon had the courage to build. I am also extremely confident in, and honored to be working with, someone like Liza. Liza’s experience, combined with an incredible leadership team and Board, will propel Stash in its journey as an industry leader in innovation for positive change.
About Amy Butte:
Amy Butte is a respected leader, strategic visionary and advisor to startups, growth companies and corporations. She has a track record for guiding the creation of companies from nonprofit to for-profit and private to public.
Amy is Board Member and Independent Audit Chair for Stash as well as Board Member and Audit Chair for NYSE Listed DigitalOcean (DOCN); Board Member for NYSE Listed Bain Capital Specialty Finance (BCSF); and Strategic Advisor to the CORI Innovation Fund and the Long Term Stock Exchange (LTSE). Prior Board experience includes Audit and Compliance Chair for Fidelity Investments Strategic Advisers Funds and an Independent Director and Audit Chair for BNP Paribas USA.
Amy was the Founder of TILE Financial and SpendGrowGive, an online portal created to help parents and financial institutions educate the next generation of investors. Between 2004 and 2008, Amy helped spearhead two major financial services IPOs as CFO, including the historic transition of the New York Stock Exchange to a public company in 2006. Previously, she was a highly ranked Equity Research Analyst at Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch covering the financial services industry.