Sam started her career as a rotational data analyst at a large brokerage firm. After a few rotations, she took a permanent seat on the product analytics team, with a focus on investor engagement in a variety of products during changing market conditions. Sam grew into managing the team while also serving as the Executive Chief of Staff. During an acquisition event, she oversaw the integration of lending and retirement products into the company's new, combined ecosystem. It was through that experience that she discovered her passion for product design and user experience, which prompted her to find a new home at Templum as a product manager.
Templum is setting the standard for private markets and alternative assets, providing investors greater access to capital and liquidity in today's fragmented, challenging infrastructure for firms. Sam believes the company's greatest asset is their people's combined level of expertise and experience in the space, together with robust technology, which replaces traditionally slow, manual processes with transparency and speed. Providing accessibility to new asset classes is part of a broader industry movement to democratize investing, which she is proud to be a part of. Sam is also always looking for opportunities to streamline traditionally manual, slow processes to make private markets more efficient.
Sam is excited by the opportunity to bring multiple tools and providers into one single platform through open banking and API integrations. More generally, she is excited by embedded finance because it changes how individuals interact with financial services, which could positively impact overall financial literacy and accessibility.
In addition to Sam's regular responsibilities, she is always paying attention to the pain points within her organization and doing what she can to minimize them. Sam sees a common one being decision-making, or the lack thereof, which impedes even the most mature organizations from growing at a faster pace. She pays attention to when miscommunication or lack of alignment is hindering the ability to decide. In those cases, she calls the experts, develops a list of potential paths forward, brings the decision makers together, and guides them towards a decision.
A piece of advice that has resonated with Sam has been to give people something to react to and come with a perspective. "You will make a stronger impression and reach decisions faster if you come to meetings prepared with proposals. Brainstorms can be effective but often end without lack of actionable takeaways. It is much easier to drive to conclusion if you put options in front of people – literally in front of them, whether that’s with a slide or some other form of visual aid."
More on Sam
Where you currently live: Jersey City, NJ
Living arrangement: I live together with my fiancé
Hometown: Short Hills, NJ
Favorite hobby: Piano – specifically, learning to play the theme songs from my favorite shows
Favorite show to binge: Succession
Favorite Fintech media that inspires you: Although not specific to Fintech, “Imposters” is among my favorites. It is important to be reminded that even the most successful individuals have faced personal and professional challenges. I also appreciate that many of the guests are women!
What's the best job decision you ever made?
Any time I have taken a risk – whether that was speaking up to express a contrary viewpoint or leaving a job I knew for the unknown – it has always paid off. I had been with my previous employer for seven years, and I exchanged comfort for uncertainty when I left to help build a new company. The valuable skills I’ve acquired and new challenges I’ve worked through have made me a more well-rounded individual and employee, and I am grateful for my courage every day.
Can you tell us about a time someone encouraged you to try a task or take on a project you didn’t think that you would know how to do/or be good at?
A former manager nominated me to be Chief of Staff for an executive leader at a large brokerage firm. I would be the youngest Chief of Staff at the company, and for a highly visible leader. My imposter syndrome soared through the roof. I was reminded by a mentor that if you have a seat at the table, you should embrace it and not question whether you belong there. No one else is questioning it but you. It ended up being one of the most rewarding challenges of my career so far.
What is the most important lesson you have learned from a mistake you’ve made in the past?
Over communicate. Even when you think you have communicated sufficiently, communicate again. The most sizable obstacles can be cleared or managed with direct, open communication. Tell people what you expect of them so they are set up for success. State goals for a project or a meeting and continue to reiterate them. Everyone will thank you.
Do you have any productivity hacks? What keeps you motivated? How do you maintain a work/life balance?
As with most people, my productivity tends to benefit from proper sleep and nutrition. During the workday, I typically allocate time for deep focus, with intentional breaks throughout. I try to change my scenery during those breaks by going for a walk. As for work-life balance, I always strive to be in a role where I am learning and stretching, so that my life is enhanced by virtue of self-improvement.
6:00 am: Finishing up my last dream. Snooze button is my friend.
6:30 am: Wake up, stretch, scroll, catch up on market news
7:00 am: Move! I like to ride my bike, go for a walk, or do pilates.
8:00 am: Time to nourish - breakfast and coffee.
8:30 am: Review my calendar for the day and create a to-do list. I always check the next day’s schedule before signing off the previous day, but I use this time in the morning to plan for deep focus and intentional breaks in between meetings.
9:00 am to 1:00 pm: Depending on the day, I am typically listening in to huddles, leading internal status calls, and conducting client demos during this period. There is almost always an intentional break baked into this time.
1:00 pm: Eat a quick, healthy lunch to stay energized (and more coffee!)
1:30 pm – 5pm: Depending on the day, I am typically writing product requirements and documentation, meeting with internal teams for feedback and sign-off, and taking at least one intentional break.
5pm and beyond: I get some of my best work done during this time because there are fewer interruptions. At least one hour of uninterrupted time is worth a lot to me and my productivity.
Before I sign off, I check my calendar for the next day to make sure I am prepared for any client calls or presentations. I then typically head to a networking event, grab dinner with friends, or cook something at home.