FinTech Female Fridays: Jessica Schaefer, CEO and Founder of Bevel
What is your professional background and what led you start Bevel in 2017?
I started working in financial communications at a mid-sized agency in 2008 just prior to the start of the financial crisis while attending graduate classes for my MBA in finance at night. I kept telling myself I never wanted to go into PR, but everyone said I was “so PR.” I guess they were right!
After surviving the storm of scandals, I graduated with a newly minted MBA and was ready to take on an even bigger feat: rebranding Moody’s, one of three credit ratings agencies largely blamed for causing the subprime mortgage crisis in Michael Lewis’ book “The Big Short.” After four years of running marketing communications, I jumped to the other side of the pond for a role in sales managing a $12.5M book for our global banking relationships.
Six months later I was offered an opportunity to join Point72, Steve Cohen’s family office with $12.5B in assets under management, as VP of External Affairs. I couldn’t have dreamed of a more exciting opportunity. At the same time, I was tasked with launching the firm’s new venture capital fund, Point72 Ventures. It was after working with the fund’s portfolio companies that I discovered my love for technology. I had a bird’s-eye-view into every new technology that was hitting the market and an opportunity to work with the CEOs of these companies on crafting their message. With capital flooding into tech, it became quickly apparent that there was an opportunity to shape the future of technology through communications and start my own company.
That’s when I decided to found Bevel, a strategic communications firm in tech with an understanding of the finance world. My background in analytics, business management and the capital markets is the basis of our results-driven approach.
In 2018 Bevel won the 2018 Bulldog Small Agency of the Year award, what did this mean for you and your company?
The biggest piece of advice I wish someone told me: when you are busy, reach out to those who helped you get started in the beginning:
1.They can probably help you in ways your new clients cannot.
2. They will appreciate the call. Otherwise, you may lose them down the line.
What has been one of the biggest successes of your career so far and why?
The growth of Bevel! I never dreamed we would be as successful as we have been. I need to remind myself, constantly, to stop and smell the roses. Within a span of two years, I’ve built a leading team the industry has never seen before and a portfolio of clients that I am proud to represent. We are excited to be a part of such an innovative time.
Who is one of the most influential person in your career and why?
Throughout my career I have found many mentors who have been instrumental in my career success. Some notable names include Linda Huber, former CFO at Moody’s; Alan Patricof, legendary venture capitalist and co-founder of Greycroft; Noah Kerner, CEO of Acorns; and, Nathan Richardson, Founder of TradeIt, which was recently acquired by TradingView.
They took chances on me and believed in Bevel from the beginning. Their guidance and industry expertise shines through in various parts of our business.
Reach out to Jessica on LinkedIn.