Innovator

Aaron Klein

CEO and Co-founder, Riskalyze

Aaron Klein, co-founder and CEO of Riskalyze, started his entrepreneurial journey at age 12, working for the family business. At age 24, he negotiated the sale of the company, learning firsthand about how buyers think about risk. The subject grew in his mind when he later developed products for options traders and observed how poorly many of them understood risk.

Recognizing a need to improve risk assessments, Mr. Klein and his team developed the “Risk Number” — and built a company around it — to more accurately portray and communicate clients’ dispositions toward risk. As the utility of the number expanded from characterizing clients to characterizing their portfolios, Riskalyze expanded its services to also cover portfolio analytics, client investment proposals, trading and compliance. These are all delivered through the lens of the Risk Number, he said.

“We’re helping advisers think differently — for example, about rebalancing, looking not at allocation risk but Risk Number drift instead,” Mr. Klein said.

Since the company’s beginnings in 2011, its customer base has grown to more than 20,000 advisers. Many of them have integrated the Riskalyze brand and philosophy into their client relationships.

Mr. Klein has also applied his technology and business expertise to charitable endeavors. Honoring their children, who were born in South Korea and Ethiopia, he and his wife founded Hope Takes Root, an organization that provides technological vocational skills and life training to at-risk kids in Ethiopia.

“We’re building a for-profit technology business that will be self-sustaining for the charity and the kids,” he said.

— Deborah Nason