Founder, eMoney Advisor
Being number seven of 10 kids imbued a certain amount of fearlessness in Edmond Walters, 57, founder and CEO of eMoney Advisor. This trait served him well as he left his established financial advisory practice in 2000 to launch a tech start-up based on a wealth management tool he had developed.
Mr. Walters started eMoney because clients wanted the ability to see their accounts in one place, and he couldn't find any tools to help them do that.
"So I decided to go on my own and do it," he said. "We entered the space as the smallest, but we were the only one built by an adviser for advisers."
Good thing he was confident, because the timing wasn't great.
"It was just as the dot-coms were failing," he said. "I couldn't raise money from [venture capitalists], so I raised it from clients and from my own money."
One of the biggest challenges in the beginning was learning how to manage different types of employee personalities, whether tech or sales or numbers of other people, he said. Another challenge was figuring out how to keep the family-feeling in a company that was growing by leaps and bounds.
Fifteen years and 300 employees later, eMoney was acquired by Fidelity Investments for more than $250 million.
A native of Villanova, Pa., Mr. Walters and most of his family attended Villanova University. While he waits for his non-compete agreement to end in 2018, he reads, plays golf and stays in touch with other tech companies.
– Deborah Nason