Kapitall Appoints Jarrett Lilien, Former E-Trade COO, as Its New CEO

9/17/12Follow @jpruth

Sometimes using a simple layout to explain a complex task such as investing can make it easier to comprehend. Kapitall in New York developed an online investing platform that uses a game-like interface to help its users better understand the stock trading world. Now the three-year-old company is eager to scale up and expand its user base. The company announced today it brought Jarrett Lilien on board as its new CEO and chairman to help guide its future. Lilien brings to Kapitall experience as a former E-Trade Financial president and chief operating officer as well as investor savvy as managing partner of Bendigo Partners in New York.

Lilien believes Kapitall’s game-oriented platform gives the company a strategic edge on rival online brokerages. “Everything on the Internet today is based on game mechanics, yet you look at online financial services and they haven’t changed in more than 10 years,” he says. Many of the competitors in this industry, he says, use platforms with very similar layouts. Having spent five years as president of E-Trade, Lilien may know a little bit about the sameness that spread across the sector.

After leaving E-Trade in 2008, he founded investment firm Bendigo Partners to seek out new technology in financial services. Lilien says competition among online investing brokerages typically focuses on making access readily available, low pricing, and fast trading. Looking for a different strategy, he was drawn to Kapitall’s focus on the user experience.

The company’s cloud-based platform, Lilien says, uses drag-and-drop controls and other elements found in apps and gaming to make online investing more intuitive. For example, Kapitall users can test the waters in a no-risk, virtual playground where … Next Page »

João-Pierre S. Ruth is the editor of Xconomy New York. He can be reached at jpruth@xconomy.com and followed on Twitter @jpruth. Follow @jpruth

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