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Blog Post

Building Cross-Sector Partnerships to Advance Financial Health Innovation

Thursday, September 3, 2020

The challenges posed by deepening financial insecurity are having a profound and long-term impact on individuals and families, and solutions will require cross-sector collaboration and partnership. To support these solutions, the Financial Solutions Lab intentionally recruited members to its new Advisory Council who bring a vast range of experience and backgrounds, from organizational strategy to regulatory law to technology to partnerships.

Thanks to an additional commitment from our founding partner JPMorgan Chase and our recent partnership with Prudential Financial, the Advisory Council will help the Financial Solutions Lab drive financial health innovation in even bigger and bolder ways through expanded program offerings. These include our flagship Accelerator program; the Nonprofit-Fintech Exchange, which fosters collaboration and partnership between nonprofit and fintech providers; and the recently launched Financial Solutions Lab Collaborative, a new program to explore consumer needs that the market is not currently meeting.

While this expanded vision of the Financial Solutions Lab has been in the works for a while, the current health and economic crisis are stark reminders of the many historical inequities that continue to challenge our industry. This reminder has made it clear that realizing our vision will require even stronger, deeper, and more inclusive partnerships.

Leaders Who Share Our Mission and Vision

Our new Advisory Council consists of exceptional financial services and fintech industry leaders who share in our mission and vision and bring deep subject matter expertise, new networks, and a truly collaborative spirit to our work. They have committed to providing strategic advice and technical guidance to the Financial Solutions Lab and our portfolio companies over the next five years.

The Advisory Council consists of: 

Executive Committee 

  • Allison Beer, Head of Digital for Consumer & Community Banking, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Yanela Frias, President, Prudential Retirement
  • Jennifer Tescher, President and CEO, Financial Health Network
  • Maria Lajewski, Director, Financial Solutions Lab

Advisory Council Members 

  • Aron Betru, Managing Director, Center for Financial Markets, Milken Institute
  • Marla Blow, Senior Vice President, Social Impact North America, Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth
  • Mike Calhoun, President, Center for Responsible Lending
  • Marco A. Davis, President and CEO, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute
  • Ayanna Fortson, Director of Housing and Community Development, National Urban League
  • Erik Garr, Vice President, Property & Casualty Operations, Policygenius
  • Nicky Goulimis, Co-Founder and COO, Nova Credit
  • Karen Light, Senior Director, Total Rewards, Wal-Mart
  • Miles Reidy, Partner Emeritus, QED Investors

Stepping Up to Address New Challenges

After an inaugural Advisory Council meeting in April, our Council Members have wasted no time finding opportunities to be of service. Marla Blow with the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and Miles Reidy, Partner Emeritus at QED Investors, teamed up to speak to our 2020 Accelerator class on leading through change and times of crisis. Likewise, Ayanna Fortson with the National Urban League and Mike Calhoun with the Center for Responsible Lending have connected us with colleagues across their respective organizations to help advise on a new program we’re launching to respond to the most pressing consumer pain points exacerbated by the current crisis. Many other members are lending their expertise, connections, and insights as we explore new issues of financial health and outline our strategy and operations.

The Financial Solutions Lab team looks forward to working with the Advisory Council as they support the strategic direction of the Lab, lend their expertise to program design and execution, and help us connect to and learn from experts in financial challenges facing low- to moderate- income and underserved populations over the next five years.

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