Innovator

Ted Jenkin

Ted Jenkin

CEO and co-founder, oXYGen Financial Inc.

When you grow organically to $1.2 billion assets under management in nine years, you must be doing something right.

Ted Jenkin, CEO of oXYGen Financial Inc., co-founded his firm in 2009 after a long stint with a large corporation. Seeing an opportunity in the then-untapped Gen X and Y markets, he decided to appeal to these financially emerging cohorts.

He attributes much of the firm’s success to his early embrace of social media. Understanding that most people start searching for an adviser on the internet, Mr. Jenkin aggressively experimented with new strategies to get his message out online, especially via blogging, YouTube and podcasting.

An important tip, he said, is to not convey a neutral, bland persona.

“You cannot succeed on social media by being Switzerland. Those who succeed socially in life tend to have a viewpoint and a voice,” Mr. Jenkin said. “Unless you create the narrative around your company, the narrative is being created for you.”

He cited several early-to-market innovations that attracted younger people to his firm (The average client age is 47.):

•Inventing and trademarking the term “private CFO” in place of “financial adviser”

•Charging clients on a monthly basis

•Providing account aggregation

•Changing the look of the office to feel homey and welcoming, not antiseptic.

The leap into entrepreneurship wasn’t hard for Mr. Jenkin. He learned what it was like to rely on his own wits at 18 when his father passed away and left the family with no money. After graduating from college, still with little money, he lived in Section 8 housing with not much more than a drafting table and a waterbed.

“It spurred me to get into this business,” he said. “And I made the choice not to fail. I never forget what it’s like to have nothing.”

– Deborah Nason

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