Crowdfunding Platform EarlyShares Hires Wells Fargo Executive as CEO

20130107-170659.jpgEarlyShares, an Equity Based Crowdfund investing platform, announced today the appointment of Heather Schwarz-Lopes as Chief Executive Officer of the company, effective January 1, 2013. Stephen Temes, EarlyShares’ Co-founder and Chairman expressed his excitement “I am thrilled to work hand in hand in everyday operations with Heather. Her expertise in the financial industry, corporate background and entrepreneurial spirit add incredible value to our team. She has been in the background with EarlyShares since the beginning, helping to set the strategy and direction for the company.” Maurice Lopes, the founder and former CEO, will remain as an advisor and will continue to help form and promote the crowdfunding industry as a whole, while Schwarz-Lopes will spearhead day-to-day operations at the company.

“As Title II of the JOBS Act goes into effect this quarter, my energy and focus needs to be centered on lobbying for swift action. As part of the team that lobbied for the passage of the JOBS Act, my passion has been in developing not only the leading platform but also the industry as a whole,” says Maurice Lopes, founder of EarlyShares. “This is the best of both worlds – not only will I continue to help shape EarlyShares through my board position, but I can focus on the industry as a whole through my recent appointment to the Governing Board of the Crowdfunding Professional Association.”

Schwarz-Lopes brings more than 15 years of management and financial industry experience in addition to an outstanding track record of launching successful businesses of her own, as well as building a entrepreneurial division within a leading private bank. As a Sr. Vice President at Wells Fargo, she managed a $500 million investment portfolio while simultaneously leading business development and client relationship management efforts. As the founder of Beyond Lending, Schwarz-Lopes grew a financial consulting firm to a 17-person team in only four years. As a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch, she co-managed a portfolio in excess of $250 million. She has been with EarlyShares since its founding in 2011, serving on the board of directors in an advisory capacity.

“I am honored to step into the role of CEO at EarlyShares as equity crowdfunding readies to take off in 2013,” says Schwarz-Lopes. “Having spent my career in finance working with high-net worth investors and successful entrepreneurs, I see crowdfunding as a game changer. This new asset class will revolutionize the capital markets, and EarlyShares is proud to be at the forefront of this process. I look forward to expanding our investor and business accounts while rolling out exciting new features as the CEO of this company.”

As an experienced leader in portfolio and product management, the company had planned for Schwarz-Lopes to step in as CEO once equity crowdfunding in the U.S. came closer to becoming a reality. Maurice Lopes, the driving force behind the company and a prominent industry spokesman, remains confident that further regulatory progress will be made and will be a vocal proponent of democratizing access to capital through crowdfunding.

Ms. Schwarz-Lopes attended the University of Tennessee and attained her CFP certification among other professional and securities licenses.

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