Meet Elsen

Our Story

Elsen was founded by three graduates of Northeastern University who came together to tackle some of the most difficult data problems in the financial industry.

After his stint with Credit Suisse, Elsen founder Zac Sheffer realized that the tools he was using to analyze data at one of the most venerable investment banks were less sophisticated than the ones he used at school. He knew he could have a big impact on the industry if he could improve the way financial institutions used their data.

After becoming aware of what his roommate Justin White was working on at IBM and the U.S. Government, Zac realized that he had found the perfect partner to start Elsen. One day over lunch, they agreed to start working together.

Way back in 2012, Zac and Justin recognized the difference between cool technology and something that changes people’s lives. They understood that the human element - the usability - of any solution was critical to success. That’s when they enlisted their fellow Northeastern alumnus Ryan Johnson, an experienced UI/UX designer, to complete the founding team.

With its team’s diverse skills, Elsen is able to provide future-forward data science technology that’s focused on the human element and ease-of-use. Creating turnkey financial data solutions that are easily grasped by all users, Elsen is - and will continue to be - a driver of innovation in a space afflicted by deep stagnation.

Leadership

ceo & founder

Zac Sheffer

Zac keeps Elsen running. From recruiting and managing a top-performing executive team, to driving critical decisions and developing partnerships with world-class companies, he ensures all areas of the business are aligned with the company’s strategic goals.

An engineer by training, Zac worked at Schneider Electric before catching the finance bug. During a later position at Credit Suisse, he applied his engineering and programming skills to macroeconomic research. His ability to create solutions that address complex problems in manageable ways gave him the tools he needs to solve difficult finance problems.

What Zac loves most about Elsen is its talented team of dedicated people who want to do something awesome every day. When he’s not leading the team, he enjoys longboarding, surfing, cooking, watching Chef's Table, and playing board games.

Zac holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University and holds several patents for cool stuff like fluid mechanics.

head of product & cofounder

Ryan Johnson

Ryan champions excellence in all user experience and interface design efforts for new and existing Elsen products.

Prior to Elsen, Ryan led UI/UX design for early stage startups as well as several large international companies (FTSE 100). He's designed everything from medical devices, to consumer products, to sophisticated enterprise software.

For Ryan, the most rewarding part of working at Elsen is bringing good design and innovative technology to the largest financial institutions in the world. When he’s not doing that, he enjoys playing video games and taking trips with his amazing wife. He also once partied with DJ Tiesto’s mother.

Ryan holds a B.S. in Bioengineering from UC Berkeley (Go Bears!) and an M.S. in Business from Northeastern University.

chief operating officer

James Comstock

Day-to-day, Jim is responsible for managing business development with channel partners, promoting positive customer engagements, and driving operational excellence across the company. He makes sure Elsen can scale successfully as it grows.

Before joining the Elsen team, Jim gained extensive experience in building technology businesses in both large and startup companies such as EMC/DELL, Akorri, NetApp, Sun MicroSystem, and Pirus.

Jim is most excited about how Elsen is creating a paradigm shift in how financial services use modern technology to significantly accelerate their research. When he’s not at Elsen, Jim is likely playing guitar, biking, enjoying good food and wine, or playing poker.

Jim holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Oregon State University.

chief marketing officer

Jane Hood

Jane is Elsen’s chief storyteller and customer advocate, and also quarterbacks the company’s go-to-market strategy.

Prior to Elsen, Jane held CMO roles at early stage FinTech startups as well as leadership positions at MasterCard Worldwide, Standard Insurance, and American Express.

What Jane likes most about Elsen is the fantastic culture and the smart people she gets to work with. Beyond Elsen, Jane is an avid skier, golf lover, and a competitive equestrian. If you meet her, the first thing you’ll notice is that her personality is much larger than her petite stature.

Jane holds a BBA from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin. She was also a Washington Campus Fellow for Public Policy.

head of quant analytics & research

Andrew Breton

Andrew is Elsen’s resident expert in all things data and data technology. He takes his understanding of clients’ data needs and implements them into the platform, designs and approves the analytics in the engine, and trains users on advanced features.

Andrew developed his expertise in data at BlackRock Solutions, where he analyzed new clients' portfolios for market risk and added a layer of human quality control on top of their analytics engine. He also implemented new clients' portfolios and brought them into production on the risk analytics platform. After that, Andrew was a Senior Product Specialist at Thomson Reuters, where he worked with of the some of the best financial data in the market. His foundational knowledge allows the Elsen nPlatform to be ready for any problem.

Andrew’s favorite part of working at Elsen is the team’s tenacity and ability to solve every problem thrown their way. Outside of Elsen, Andrew is an avid political organizer around local elections and state legislation.

Andrew holds a BS in Financial Systems Engineering, magna cum laude from the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science and an M.A. in Applied Economics from Duke University.

cofounder & advisor

Justin White

Justin is a co-founder of Elsen and advises Elsen on high-performance computational modeling applications.

Justin’s interest in high-performance computational modeling applications led him to positions at IBM and the U.S. Government. He previously ran a research lab centered around analytical modeling, which is similar to financial modeling and gives him an extremely valuable skill set when creating solutions for financial services. He was instrumental in helping Elsen build specific applications around HPC when the company was founded.

He enjoys the outdoors and exploring Oakland and its environs. Besides advising Elsen, he works at Google in their Cloud Platform as a Technical Solutions Engineer.

Justin holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Northeastern University.

Press Releases

May 26, 2017

21st Annual MITX Award Winners Announced

Elsen wins Best Tech Innovation of the Year at the 2017 Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange (MITX) Awards.

May 19, 2017

Bringing Elsen nPlatform Across the Pacific

Elsen’s on its way to officially being a global company – and it happened pretty quickly. This is a feat that truly showcases the impact that the Elsen nPlatform can have on financial institutions, and the benefits that they can gain from using it to build their own applications.

May 17, 2017

First Commercial Product Built on Elsen nPlatform Launches in Asia

Thomson Reuters QA Point Powered by Elsen Expands to Global Markets Ahead of Schedule

Apr 11, 2017

Elsen Unveils Platform-as-a-Service for Large Financial Institutions to Harness Big Data and Quickly Solve Complex Problems

Thomson Reuters Launches QA Point Powered by Elsen, the First Commercial Product Built on Elsen nPlatform

Apr 11, 2017

Thomson Reuters Helps Drive Greater Accessibility to Quantitative Analysis for Buy-Side with Launch of QA Point Powered by Elsen

Cloud-based QA Point enables portfolio managers to more quickly add backtest analytics into fund management