Suzanne van Staveren, the chief financial officer of Goldman Sachs’ Personal Financial Management unit, has left the bank to become an executive at Edelman Financial Engines, one of the largest RIAs. She’s now the CFO at Edelman, a Boston-based wealth manager with more than 1.3 million clients and $290 billion in assets that is eager to get even bigger.
It was not an easy decision, van Staveren told RIA Intel, but she could not pass up the opportunity to help Edelman grow. Two months after Edelman president and CEO Larry Raffone called to gauge her interest in the job, she agreed to join.
“It’s truly the perfect fit. I was really attracted to the culture, the purpose, the people, and I think my background really matches with what we’re looking to achieve here,” van Staveren told RIA Intel.
She replaced Mario Ramos, the former CFO of Edelman, who left the company in October to pursue an opportunity outside the industry, according to Edelman. Ramos is currently the chief financial officer at Evolv Technology, a publicly traded company that produces weapon detection security products.
Van Staveren was previously an executive of the group at Goldman that was formerly United Capital and led sales strategy and execution and corporate benefits specialists teams for Ayco, the workplace benefits consultant. She also was chief operating officer of the Americas institutional business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management and worked at Fidelity Investments and AXA.
At Edelman, van Staveren will oversee more than 90 professionals across finance, strategy and the small retirement plans division, which she will lead. Her role as CFO will also include helping to develop a merger and acquisitions strategy for Edelman.
“I have quite a bit of experience both, organically building businesses, but also a lot of M&A experience,” van Staveren said. Edelman is interested in acquiring RIAs that share the same investment and wealth planning philosophies, and not looking to acquire companies just for the sake of growth, Staveren said.
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Raffone said in a statement that Edelman is “thrilled” to have van Staveren.
“Suzanne brings extensive finance, operations and strategy experience from within our industry, including direct knowledge of the wealth planning landscape and our unique combination of retail and workplace businesses. She also has a strong track record of success managing through mergers, acquisitions and organizational integration, which will be crucial as we continue to pursue both organic and inorganic growth,” Raffone said.
Van Staveren will remain based in New Jersey but said that she plans to be visible at Edelman’s Boston headquarters and other key locations around the country.
Edelman was valued at more than $7 billion in a round of funding from investors including private equity firm Warburg Pincus. In the past year, Edelman has grown from managing $230 billion in March of 2021 to more than $290 billion.
Holly Deaton (@HollyLDeaton) is a staff writer at RIA Intel and based in New York City.