ISABELLA is a network that helps women better manage their money around major life events.
During the most dynamic phases of our life and careers, women need to take active control in building and securing our financial present and future. But we get so busy dealing with the day-to-day stuff that we don't really have as much chance to plan, particularly around personal financial goals. Sometimes we're held back by not knowing what we don't know. Or we might simply feel intimidated by all the jargon and services out there. Talking to many women, we realised there's a need to share information with each other and to have "trusted advisors" that aren't trying to sell you something.
Women ask each other for all sorts of life advice, but when it comes to finance we either don't have a place to go or we feel uncomfortable asking. We all need to get better at managing our own money - it's not as complicated of a process as many think it is, but the jargon can make it seem like rocket science at times. (It's not.)
We need to ensure our hopes and plans are backed by financial realities.
The purpose behind ISABELLA is to help our fellow women learn and grow in our understanding of how to plann for our financial futures. We come from finance careers, but we don't have an incentive to sell any financial products or services. We just want to create a comfortable space to ask money questions and not only learn together but also from each other.
Money forms the launching pad for many of our hopes and dreams, and it gives us that all-important sense of security. It may represent different things to each of us, but learning to successfully manage of money does enable us to do more of what we want, how we want.
Grace Maa / ISABELLA Founder
Grace wants women to feel confident about managing money and achieving their lifestyle goals - whether that's planning for time to travel around the world or just feeling more in control of everyday spending and investments. In 2012, Grace was selected by PAM (Private Asset Managers) Awards as a Top 40 Under 40. Her background includes advising senior finance executives on managing their personal assets and as a Business Development Director for a company with over £4 billion of assets under management. She is an active proponent of women putting their money to work and has designed marketing campaigns with Hailo and TaskRabbit to help women "speak up" through our spending power. Grace leads the London Chapter of Ellevate, the largest global professional women's network with 40,000 members worldwide. She received her MBA in Finance from London Business School and her BA from Princeton University. Grace tries to keep up with her two children and splits her time between London, Silicon Valley and Milan.