We can learn from the lessons
of the past,
and do something about it
- Carla Dearing, Velo CEO
MEET OUR CEO
Carla started her career at Morgan Stanley & Co. in financial analysis and new product development in the company’s New York, London and Geneva offices. She was on the development team that created and launched The Pierpont Funds, a joint venture for the private clients of Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan. She was on the acquisition team for the purchase of the Capital International indices by Morgan Stanley, now world-renowned as the MSCI Indices.
After the acquisition, she contributed on strategy, management, sales and operations to grow a profitable research business based on the MSCI Indices and contributed research support on the team that created Morgan Stanley’s international derivative and program trading business, initially based on MSCI indices. In the London office, she presented on the methodologies and construction of the MSCI indices in support of Morgan Stanley’s salespeople and traders across Europe.
She left Morgan Stanley as a Vice President with a partner and co-founded a financial advisory and fund administration firm that was acquired after eight years by Investors Bank & Trust in Boston, now owned by State Street Bank. The advisory activities included advising non-U.S. clients on methods for entering the investment management and private client markets, either by building or acquiring existing players, and several consulting mandates on growth strategies for investment management firms. Representative advisory clients included Coutts & Co, the Government of China, and Bankers Trust. The fund administration services focused on institutional mutual funds and limited partnerships and grew to $8 billion in assets under administration at the time of acquisition, and $15 billion shortly after closing. Representative fund administration clients included Fischer Francis Trees & Watts, The Investment Fund for Foundations (TIFF), Harding Loevner Management, the Holland Balanced Fund and The Common Fund.
After the acquisition and integration was complete, Carla became the founding CEO of Community Foundations of America, a nonprofit technology and professional services startup with grant support from Kellogg, Packard, Mott, Ford and Skoll Foundations and 115 community foundations nationwide. CFA innovated in foundation and scholarship technology, donor marketing through relationships with financial institutions and strategies for demonstrating accountability through impact measurement technology. CFA created a grant-funded Technology Funding Syndicate among the community foundation members to help them pool their grant funds targeting their own organizational effectiveness to identify and create new functionality in their existing fund accounting and management platform and seed new technologies to meet growing donor demand.
Carla was a five-time recipient of the Nonprofit Times Power and Influence Top 50 award during the course of this work.
CFA “exited” by spinning its products off to its for-profit partners after eight years, and dissolving the nonprofit entity, sending the last remaining funds after the wind-down to the Council on Foundations, Community Foundation Division for further support of community foundation programs.
During the years of 2011-2020, Carla was a co-founder and CEO of Sum180, a fintech startup focused on using technology and mobile engagement to improve the financial wellness of employees in the employee benefits market. Sum180 was acquired by FlexWage Solutions LLC in April 2019, a leader in the Early Wage Access market. Carla stayed on as a leader of the product and client success efforts until September 2020. Prior to and during the first years of Sum180, Carla served as CEO of International Marketing Concepts (IMC) for seven years, SUM180’s major investor, and has been a board member of IMC for 16 years.
In 2018-2019, Carla was Executive Adviser to the Louisville Urban League’s development of its $53 million Norton Sports Health Athletics and Learning Complex in West Louisville as a volunteer. Carla facilitated the creation of the proforma of the operating entity that factored into the funders, donors and long-term operator’s involvement of the project.
As an eighteen-year board member of the Jefferson Community and Technical College Foundation, Carla facilitated the process of the Foundation selling its JEC Building to a developer, while retaining a minority equity stake, turning a significant liability and operating risk into a source of future income to support its mission. Recently, she spearheaded an outdoor placemaking installation on Jefferson’s downtown campus, supported by a combination of philanthropic and college funding, as a catalyst for economic development in the neighborhood.
As a seventeen-year member of the investment committee of a large family foundation, Carla facilitated the reallocation of the concentrated stock position in founder’s stock to a highly diversified and sophisticated portfolio of marketable securities, limited partnerships and alternative investments. As such, she is current with 30+ hedge, private equity and real asset funds across the investment style spectrum. She has also served as an advisor and trustee to select high net worth families.
Carla graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in economics and political science, and she holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago – Booth School of Business. She is a frequent writer and speaker, an avid triathlete and a passionate cook, traveler and life-long learner.