I founded DGO to provide a home for the Chief Marketing Officer, brand consulting, and creative work I’ve done with over five dozen firms like yours. Here’s the backstory—and what it means for you as a client.
I help growth-oriented firms in the financial industry build stronger brands, improve marketing performance, and keep up with the competitive landscape. Every day, I get to help intelligent and caring companies stand out and communicate their value at scale.
I’ve had more breadth of experience than your average bear, both within the financial industry and as a generally curious and overly energetic person. This is an asset I bring to work with me every day.
I fell in love with finance and economics at the University of Southern California, during which time I managed to convince both a distressed debt hedge fund and a macroeconomics professor to hire me. After graduating magna cum laude, I became a research associate at Harvard Business School, then moved on to a strategy role (later becoming COO) for a boutique wealth manager.
It was here that I found my calling—the financial crisis hit, and I became the de-facto communications office for our firm, complete with daily client emails, talking points, and advisor/client education. I knew I had something special when clients started to forward our communications to their friends, and I set out to start my own firm after we closed out the crisis with net client gains.
During this time I also picked up an MBA from UCLA Anderson, with a focus on behavioral finance. I worked as a research assistant in this area (with a professor who later became a client), and because I like anything complicated I picked up upper-division graduate coursework and a stint as a researcher in psychoneuroimmunology, a fantastically interesting (real!) area in health psychology.
Once I set out on my own, I took on every opportunity that I thought could help build my knowledge, moving from more technical writing and strategy to journalism (most notably with the Financial Times) and communications; managing digital and traditional marketing and brands; and finally taking full control of marketing programs. I’ve been fortunate to work not just in one subsector, but with clients ranging from traditional advisory firms to broker/dealers, mutual fund managers, alternative asset managers, and banking and fintech. I even tried my hand as a founder in the (merciless) retail business.
My breadth of experience is an enormous asset. I’ve sat at many different tables with many different types of end clients, and through that I've developed a rigorous, methodical approach to marketing that focuses not just on the qualitative, but on the quantitative. After all, when you invest money into something, you want it to work.
One of my first clients was one of my professors at UCLA Anderson, Shlomo Benartzi. My research and communications support landed me an acknowledgement in his bestselling book Save More Tomorrow, which remains a fond career milestone. I've been acknowledged a few times since; it never gets old.
As an avid childhood reader of the dictionary (I know...), it was an honor to have one of my many syndicated articles referenced by Merriam-Webster as an example of how to use of their “Word of the Day.” The word was frugal; sadly, I am not.
One of my clients is a Chief Investment Officer who builds fantastic solutions for his employers before moving onto the next challenge. Everywhere he goes, he stipulates that he will be working with me to develop his marketing tools and communications, a compliment that will never cease to flatter me.
One of my clients turned me on to the research of a famous investment manager, and for months I talked constantly about their work. Well, that manager became a client, and later asked me to become their Chief Marketing Officer. It was and remains a milestone honor.
I spent several years working as a journalist, most notably for the Financial Times Africa service (now defunct). As the recipient of many a half-baked PR strategy, the experience has made me into an absolute tyrant when it comes to doing PR the right way. Actually, this applies to doing any kind of strategy or creative endeavor.