Greg Smith

Greg Smithage 37

President, Blooom

Fast Facts

  • Had a ponytail in college
  • Dream dinner party guests: Nelson Mandela, Charlie Rose and Oprah Winfrey
  • First job: Waiting tables at bar mitzvahs and weddings in South Africa

Emails poured in from thousands of readers after Greg Smith, president of Blooom inc., wrote a 2012 op-ed in the New York Times explaining why he left Goldman Sachs.

Mr. Smith, who went on to write a book about his experiences at Goldman, wanted to shed light on how the industry had changed in the run-up to the financial crisis and what young people starting careers in the industry should expect.

“Unfortunately, the more the financial crisis recedes into memory, the easier it is for society to not fix the problems,” he said.

Based on his personality archetype, Mr. Smith is a Trendsetter, and he likes to think outside the box. Instead of addressing an issue as though it is too far along to fix, he looks for solutions.

“I am an idealistic person and believe that we as a society should not be jaded and accept problems the way they are,” he said.

Mr. Smith is now bridging the gap between the finance industry and transparency for 401(k) plans as president of blooom, an automated online service that manages employer-sponsored retirement accounts. He thinks a lot about the fact that Americans pay so much in fees for their retirement accounts over their lifetime, and they may not even know it.

“We want people to have a dignified retirement, yet we think the system is not set up to achieve that,” he said.

His goal is simple: to give everyone an equal shake at saving for retirement.

“The great irony of our industry is that everyone is lining up around the block for those with the most assets and wealth, but the people who need the help are those who do not have the most wealth,” Mr. Smith said.

– Alessandra Malito

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