founded Guidefi to help women and people of color make better decisions with their money. She started the company out of frustration when she was unable to find a culturally competent and trustworthy financial advisor that was a fit for her multicultural family.
Charlene started her career in banking after studying Electrical Engineering at the University of Virginia. Charlene got her start as a financial analyst at Citigroup and later worked as a tax credit investment underwriter with the Royal Bank of Canada’s Housing Finance Group. She then went on to complete her MBA at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, and graduated in May 2009 following the 2008 financial crisis. For the next 10 years, she focused her career on making the banking industry more safe and inclusive for all American families. She spent 6 years at PwC as a Bank Regulation Consulting Manager, leading projects on Wall Street to support compliance with the Dodd Frank Act. Later she joined the Federal Reserve Board of Governors as a bank regulation expert and led projects to strengthen consumer protection regulations and promote the safety and soundness of the US banking system.
After her 20 year career in banking, she realized that the financial system was broken — and just didn't work for everyone. So she decided to start Guidefi. Launched in 2019, Guidefi has garnered multiple awards including First Place in the In3 Labs Pitch Competition, and admission into the Washington, DC-based SeedSpot Impact Accelerator. Charlene currently teaches financial education to youth through Guidefi's sister organization, GuidefiKids. She is also the author of two children’s books about money, Ayo's Money Jar and Ayo’s Had Enough. Charlene is based in Washington, DC where she lives with her husband, two wonderful children, Sade and Ayo, and a Foxhound named Wuffie.