Alexey Sokolin

Alexey Sokolinage 32

Chief operating officer, Vanare

Fast Facts

  • Has a succulent plant Platypus
  • First job was interning at the Metropolitan Museum of Art designing a website on Cubist paintings
  • Participated in a three-day obstacle course called the “Death Race”

Challenges, and an innate skill to overcome them, are not unfamiliar to Alexey Sokolin. As a 10-year-old, he moved with his family from Russia to the United States, where they lived on food stamps and welfare as he learned a new language. His desire to help clients of all ages and assets stems from his own upbringing.

Mr. Sokolin, who also goes by Lex, is a young leader of new media, and his focus is technology in financial services. His main message is simple: technology is a tool, and it deeply benefits the traditional adviser’s practice. Technology only exists to make people better, he said.

“That sometimes gets lost,” Mr. Sokolin said. “I want to humanize it just a bit.”

Mr. Sokolin, chief operating officer at wealth management technology provider Vanare, started as an investment management analyst at Lehman Brothers, where he saw colleagues and clients watch as their life savings were depleted. He wanted to find solutions, so in 2010, he created a business-to-business robo-adviser, NestEgg, for advisers to automatically manage their clients’ assets.

In December 2014, Vanare acquired NestEgg, which has hatched more innovation and business development for Vanare, he said.

As for successes, Lex received his MBA and a law degree, which helped him in his career, but the most surprising fact that people don’t know about him is that he once completed a three-day obstacle course called the “Death Race.” He didn’t sleep for 45 hours and hiked over 20 miles with heavy backpacks. He’s still nursing a few sprains, he said.

As for failures, “we don’t like to admit failures, but it is our scars that give us a story. I still don’t know how to define success, other than doing more each day,” he said.

– Alessandra Malito

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