What to expect when your baby turns three: In this case, our baby is Vested (but that’s my human baby pictured!) and we couldn’t be more proud of how far it’s come. This July marks the firm’s third year in business, and just like parents who look far down the road to ensure opportunities for their child, we’re paving the way for Vested’s future. For us, and for many young parents, this means investing.
Parents — in some cases soon-to-be parents — start saving for their child’s education before the little one is even born. Through opening a 529 college savings account, parents can save, tax-free, while their lump sum is collecting interest. We’re doing some investing of our own: in our staff, in our work, and in our clients. Not only have we seen the ROI, but we’ve managed to secure our spot as the pre-K Valedictorian.
See how our developmental stages have been as crucial as a toddler’s to helping us grow, learn, and play.
Age three carries some big emotional milestones for kids—their first friendships, and proven success in positive reinforcement. It’s the age where children become more conscious of how they feel. Vested, too, has an awful lot of feelings about its third birthday; but the most overwhelming? Gratitude.
Over the last year, we’ve been fortunate enough to win 10 industry awards and secure two finalist placements. These include PRNews’ The Finnies: won by our Maggie Mognahan; PRNews’ The Finnies: won for our work with Clarity Money; PRNews’ PR People: our CEO Dan Simon was named a finalist; Bulldog Reporter’s Stars of PR: Vested was named Most Innovative; Bulldog Reporter’s Stars of PR: Vested was named Best Boutique Agency; Bulldog Reporter’s Stars of PR: Vested was named Best News Agency; Business Intelligence’s PR and Marketing Excellence award: Vested won; Business Intelligence’s PR and Marketing Excellence Award: given to our COO Ishviene Arora; Gramercy Institute’s Financial Marketing Strategy Award: won for our work with Rockefeller & Co.; Agility Solutions’ Bulldog PR Awards: won for our work with Rockefeller & Co; SVUS Awards for PR World Awards: won by our President Dan Simon; SVUS Awards for PR World Awards: Vested won.
And somehow, that’s not all. We’re incredibly grateful for our new client, Morgan Stanley, as well as our existing clients, with whom we continue to grow and build relationships.
Just like toddlers, we’ve found our voice in year three. We hosted our first-ever Leading Women’s event, moderated by our COO Ishviene Arora. The roundtable event brought together big names of females in finance, including with Bloomberg TV anchor Emily Chang; CCO of Women’s World Banking Karen Miller; Morgan Stanley’s Head of Corporate Affairs Michele Davis; and Founder of Girls Who Invest Seema Hingorani.
Plus, our CEO Dan Simon MC-ed Money20/20, one of the biggest annual conferences in finance. The day-long event showcased innovation in the finance and technology fields during its Demos, Case Studies & Announcements section. Dan also headed to the Gramercy Financial Group’s conference in Boston this spring, where he presented Vested’s Millennial Money Study, which analyzed the demographic, their spending habits, and flaws in existing research. With the study came media coverage, a one-pager, and two blog pieces.
Speaking of media, members of the Vested team also lent their voices and perspective to industry publications. A few highlights: Seres Lu bylined a piece for Markets Media on the 10-year anniversary of Bear Stearns, and Ishviene was quoted in an NBC News piece. I published a piece in Forbes about gendered tech brands, and later, was quoted in the publication for a piece about women in finance. Similarly, our in-house economist Milton Ezrati appears in Forbes, and dropped by Cheddar earlier this year to discuss Trump and tariffs.
Our new UK office — which also opened during year three, but more on that later — did some talking, too. CEO Elspeth Rothwell and team hosted the office’s inaugural Breakfast and Brainfood, where we brought together industry leaders to discuss the latest consumer trends in marketing and financial services.
Much like talking, three years seemed to be a landmark for us in the thinking department too — or more specifically, thought leadership. We ramped up our blog content this year, having published more than 60 posts to-date on subjects like traditional economy analysis, to female leadership, to the World Cup, brand trends and more.
Plus, our blog gave us a platform to explore and embrace how much fun finance can be. We love a good meme and took the liberty of compiling Instagram’s best financial meme accounts. The post caught the eyes of Haley Sacks, the brain behind @MrsDowJones, who reached out to thank us. Long story short, the ‘grammer and content creator later came into the office for a Vested Lunch n’ Learn.
Playing and learning
As we mentioned, we’re firm believers that finance can be fun. This includes being able to poke fun at ourselves and what we do. Last fall, we launched a fintech name generator because the world knows there’s a serious lack of catchy, buzzwordy financial technology company names, many of which either lack vowels or end in “ly.” And while the generator is a bit of a gag, it’s helped us stop and think about how important the proper branding is for newly launched companies.
We’ve also tapped into other forms of tech for some more creative and playful ways of learning. In October, we took our weekly newsletter, Vested Suggested, to the next level. The letter consists of curated news headlines and why they’re relevant – and thanks to our pal Alexa, are now even easier to digest. The Amazon device will read the newsletter out loud so you can get caught up on what’s happening this week, hands-free.
Social media has been another successful avenue for us to get a little cheeky, and turn the idea of stodgy, stuffy finance on its head; and it seems to be working. Our following on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram has grown over the last year and given us the opportunity to tell it like it is.
Up, up and away! Ok, maybe not so much “away” but rather in addition to. We relocated to a new office in midtown complete with some of our favorite snacks, a massive open floor concept, and of course, our resident pups!
We also added the UK office – formerly Templars PR – and hired Elspeth Rothwell as its CEO and Katie Spreadbury as Director. And they weren’t the only ones: they’re just two of 15 new hires, including a new CTO and a culture specialist. It’s also helped us earn the spot as the world’s fastest-growing PR firm in 2017, according to the Holmes Report.
To say it’s been an eventful year would be an understatement. But it’s been about so much more than accolades or financial growth, although those things are important. We look back on the last 12 months and feel overwhelmed with gratitude for our dedicated staff that makes Vested the creative and inspiring company it is, and for the clients who put their trust in us to push the envelope and forge ahead. Happy Birthday to us; we can’t wait to see what year four brings.