Vise, a fintech firm that focuses on helping financial advisors rather than automating them out of existence, has today announced that it is bringing on Andrew Fong as its chief technology officer.
Fong hails from Dropbox, where he served as VP of Infrastructure Engineering. He actually started out as a site reliability engineer at Dropbox back in 2012, climbing the ranks to engineering director, and then senior director of Engineering - head of Infrastructure before becoming to vice president.
Before Dropbox, Fong was an engineer at YouTube and Aol.
Vise brought on Fong to scale up its technical team following its most recent fundraise, a $45 million in Series B led by Sequoia Capital. In total, Vise has raised $63 million since launching on the TC Disrupt stage in 2019. You can check out the video of their demo here.
Vise uses AI to support financial advisors in their relationships with clients, giving them the ability to justify and explain (with data) the reason for making this or that investment, as well as the ability to customize a portfolio quickly.
Top of mind for Fong is scaling up the engineering department from 20 people to 75 by the end of the year, and Fong explained that diversity, equity and inclusion must be front and center in that endeavor.
"Vise is in the early stages of building out its engineering organization," Fong told TechCrunch. "It's imperative that we weave in DEI as a first principle to our recruiting at this stage and ensure we are maturing our processes with DEI in mind."
At Dropbox, Fong started out as a team leader building a team of 40, and by the time he left, led a team of more than 250 people. He explained that he learned a lot during that eight-year period, and made a lot of mistakes, and was eager to see how that knowledge could be reapplied at a different firm.
"What would it be like to do this again with the knowledge I have now?" asked Fong. "What things would I do differently? How would I improve upon it? How can I actually take that knowledge and leverage it in a way that helps others in the industry or my peers at Vise? Can I provide a perspective that they don't necessarily have today?"
Fong was first connected with Vise while he was still at Dropbox. He spoke to Vise co-founder Runik Mehrotra on an explanatory call, and remembers feeling like no matter where his path took him, he wanted to stay connected to Mehrotra and Vise.
"This is somebody that just has something about him," he said of Mehrotra. "There's just like an 'it' factor that made me feel like I wanted to work with him."
Fong says that recruiting during COVID, with extremely limited face-to-face contact, is one of the biggest challenges ahead for both himself and Vise in general.