• Lindsay Hemings

FinTech Female Fridays: Meet CEO, Juliette-Marie Somerset

Updated: Mar 31

This female-founder and tech leader landed on Wall Street 30-years ago, and since then has been breaking glass ceilings for women of color, and actively working towards financial inclusion in the investments space. Juliette-Marie Somerset sat down with us and discussed her career journey, the challenges she’s overcome, and filled us in on her busy schedule during a historic inauguration week.

“Overcoming the challenges of working on Wall Street, landing investment deals in Silicon Valley, and advising Fintech startups has consistently raised the bar of expectations as a professional woman of color.”


Full name: Juliette-Marie Somerset

Job title: CEO & Managing Partner

Current company: Somerset Capital

Current location: Silicon Valley


Juliette-Marie is adept in the world of investments, having formerly worked as a Credit Suisse investment executive in NYC, and eventually becoming an investment company founder. In 2000, she established Klosters Corporation, where she managed a portfolio of Canadian pension funds and tech companies, as well as international central banks, specifically in the FX/Forex global market.

Juliette-Marie now lives and works in Silicon Valley, and has been CEO and Managing Partner at her very own firm, Somerset Capital, for the past 10 years. In this role, she mentors, advises and invests in early-stage global startups. She describes Somerset Capital as “a hybrid startup investment company, mentoring and advisory consultancy.”

Juliette-Marie also sits on the Board of Directors and Board of Advisors of several technology companies, including Norrsken Impact Accelerator in Stockholm, Sweden; Inovexus Accelerator (launched by Credit Agricole Group) in Paris, France; UniRock Partners in Brisbane, Queensland. She is also a lead mentor for the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center Milestone Makers and Blockchain Technology entrepreneurs at CV Labs and a guest lecturer at ESCP Business School in Berlin.

Throughout her impacts as a female-founder, and on multiple boards, Juliette-Marie is impacting the Fintech ecosystem by mentoring, advising and investing in early-stage startups - ultimately building companies to solve the problem of financial inclusion.

“These tend to be entrepreneurs who are passionate about transforming and empowering broken and inefficient financial institutions and business models.”

As far as Juliette-Marie’s career success goes, she accredits having found mentors early on to where she has gotten today.

“Mentors have changed the trajectory of my career since I first arrived on Wall Street 30 years ago. A female executive volunteered to onboard me at Credit Suisse. She taught me that women can be fearless on Wall Street and yet honor our womanhood and motherhood. If we were intentional we could have both a great career and loving family together.”

She has overcome her fair share of challenges throughout her career.

“Overcoming the challenges of working on Wall Street, landing investment deals in Silicon Valley, and advising Fintech startups has consistently raised the bar of expectations as a professional woman of color.”

Juliette-Marie recalls when Michelle Obama came to the San Francisco Bay area on her Becoming book tour, and how she boldly dispelled the myth that women should lean in.

“Leaning in does not work for all women. As women of color continue breaking glass ceilings, and becoming trailblazers and pioneers, we have to continue to be our authentic selves. Rather than lean in we can also own our superpowers that allow us to rise and thrive. Empowered women empower other women.”

Daily Diary

A historic week in America!


Monday

9:00 am: Zoom meeting with Ruth Mojentale in Zürich, Switzerland - Ruth spent 20 years at Credit Suisse and decided to launch her social impact Fintech Fintune. Essentially she has built a Fintech startup for the Alpha generation which is children up to the age of 12. Fintune is also a digital piggy bank offering financial literacy to children.

We discussed an appropriate accelerator for her to scale the social impact Fintech. I encouraged her to consider ABN Amro Accelerator based in Amsterdam and NYC.


12:00 pm: Preparation for my guest lecturing at ESCP Business School in Berlin tomorrow.


3:00 pm: Daily Power Nap - I work in at least 4 different time zones and schedule a short daily nap to keep me energized and at peak performance.


4:00 pm: Afternoon Tea is another daily essential. I love a soothing cup of herbal goodness.


6:00 pm: Mentoring session with Jude in Singapore. I mentor global startup entrepreneurs. Lunchclub is a San Francisco based AI startup for professional networking in the global entrepreneurial ecosystem. Smart introductions to relevant people. I became a member when we had our first Coronavirus pandemic lockdown and all travel was banned. Each week through Lunchclub this platform beautifully matches me with fantastic entrepreneurs in my focus tech areas - www.lunchclub.ai


Tuesday

10:00 am: ESCP Business School virtual guest lecturing on Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency, the lecture is for 2 hours with time for Q&A with the students. Some of the students are in China and they woke up at 3 am their time to attend my virtual lecture, and asked some great Cryptocurrency questions. Students based in Berlin and other European cities wanted insights about Silicon Valley venture capital. - I did reference Scott Kupor, Managing Partner at Andreessen Horowitz and his epic book Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It.


6:00 pm: Zoom meeting with Noam in Taiwan. He is a Blockchain Technology founder with significant expertise in AI. His startup will potentially rival AWS and offer developers more Blockchain superpowers.


Wednesday

20 January 2021 - 🇺🇸Inauguration Day in Washington, DC🇺🇸


8:30 am: Zoom meeting with Christophe at Inovexus in Paris to discuss me joining the team of global mentors. My mother is French and I love working with French startups. President Emmanuel Macron is leading some bold initiatives to supercharge both the French and entire entrepreneurial ecosystem. France is absolutely becoming a nation of tech unicorns - the country is a leader in the Fintech and Blockchain Technology space!


10:00 am: Zoom meeting with Margrethe in Amsterdam. I am a passionate advocate of sustainability and the UN SDGs for accelerating global sustainable development. Margrethe and I discuss green bonds and sustainable digital finance to fund projects to regenerate and protect our precious earth.


12:00 pm: 🇺🇸Inauguration Day Celebration 🇺🇸


I loved “The Hill We Climb” by Amanda Gorman

When day comes we ask ourselves,

Where can we find light in this never-ending shade?

The loss we carry,

a sea we must wadi

We’ve braved the belly of the beast

We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace...


The hill we climb

If only we dare

It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit,

it’s the past we step into

and how we repair it...


For there is always light,

if only we’re brave enough to see it

If only we’ve brave enough to be it


Thursday

9:00 am: Zoom meeting with Funda in Stockholm, Sweden to discuss a new Social Impact Accelerator and my role as one of its Advisors. Exciting because this may become the Silicon Valley Y Combinator of Europe!


12:00 pm: unplugging for several days to really celebrate new beginnings on so many levels for myself, America, and our global communities around the world.

Reach out to Juliette-Marie on LinkedIn.

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