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FinTech Female Fridays: Ayesha Ofori, CEO & Founder at Propelle


Ayesha Ofori started her career at Morgan Stanley, where she worked in two different areas, Investment Banking and Real Estate Investing.  After several years, she pursued an MBA at London Business School. Upon graduation, Ayesha joined Goldman Sachs as an Executive Director, where she advised ultra-high-net-worth individuals, managing assets over £500 million. However, feeling a disconnect with helping only the already wealthy, she left Goldman Sachs to focus on helping those she felt would benefit more from having investment support. 


This desire to make a broader impact led her to found Propelle, the UK’s first 'lifestyle’ financial investment platform designed exclusively for women. Propelle aims to close the gender gaps in investing and pensions, while promoting financial wellness and inclusion. Central to Propelle are its core values: Transparency, Responsibility, Empowerment, and Empathy—principles that are crucial to the company's culture and the services it provides.


Propelle stands out by focusing on three main areas: financial education, community, and investing. This approach not only redefines investing for women but also tailors to their specific financial habits and needs with technology designed for them. As a unique entity in the UK’s investment scene, Propelle is transforming how women interact with finance and reshaping the investment landscape.


Ayesha is constantly challenging herself to step outside of her comfort zone. When she began her journey as a startup founder, she not only had to believe in herself but also had to learn many new skills along the way. She credits her success to having a great team and advisors. Ayesha continues to push her limits, including taking on public speaking engagements. This year,  she is particularly excited about the launch of Propelle! It’s her biggest focus and the thing that she is most excited about for this year.


More on Ayesha

Where you currently live: South Hampstead, North West London

Family at home: Husband and 2 kids

Hometown: London

Favorite hobby: Netball (I play in a league each week in a team with mums and teachers from my daughter’s school)

Favorite show to binge: Billions followed by Succession


What is one piece of advice someone told you that resonated with you that can give to other women in FinTech?     

If you're not invited to sit at the table… you have two choices. Build your own or stand on theirs. Both are viable options depending on the situation.


What's the best job decision you ever made? 

Establishing Propelle is the best decision I have made and I am proud to think that we are bringing investment opportunities normally reserved for the world’s elite to the hands of women everywhere. The feedback that we are getting from women using Propelle is that it is positively impacting their lives. That is so rewarding. 


What is the most important lesson you have learned from a mistake you’ve made in the past? 

Your audience knows much more than you do about what they want and need and you really need to listen. When setting up Propelle, I thought I knew exactly what women wanted when it came to investing and having come from a traditional investment background you can be conditioned to approach problems in certain ways using tried and tested frameworks. To understand my audience, I had to unravel years of conditioning that I had been exposed to and adapt my approach.

 

Do you have any productivity hacks?  What keeps you motivated? How do you maintain a work/life balance? 

 

  • Meditation (a huge game changer for me)

  • Netflix to relax and chill

  • Work life balance is hard, but I have help with the kids and tend to stop work 6-9pm to spend time with them and then will work again once they're in bed. I try not to work during the day on weekends unless it’s really urgent. I’ll work when the kids are asleep.

  • The drive to succeed and see women thrive financially keeps me motivated.


Daily Diary

7:30 am: Wake up and let the nanny in

7:30 am - 8:00 am: Help nanny get kids ready

7:45 am (on Weds): Drive elder daughter to school for pre-school chess club. On other days the nanny takes my eldest to school and looks after my toddler all day

9:00 am: Emails

9:30 am: Team meeting

11:00 am: Breakfast (I eat breakfast very late, as I go to bed late and read you need to leave 12 hours between dinner and breakfast the next day)

12:00 pm - 3:30 pm (or 6:30 pm if not a Thursday): Combinations of meetings, team calls and desk based work

2:00 pm: Lunch (usually at my desk)

3:30 pm (Thurs only): Pick up daughter and take her to swimming lessons

4:45 pm: Back home and resume work

6:30 pm: Stop work and do bathtime with the kids

7:00 pm: Reading with the kids (thankfully they don’t have proper homework yet!)

8:00 pm: Put the kids to bed

8:30 pm: Dinner

9:00 pm: Start working again

12:00 am: Stop work, pack kids bags for the morning and shower

1:00 am: Insta and linkedin scrolling (I know blue light is so bad before bed, but it’s a habit that’s hard to break)

1:30 am: Bed

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