SAN FRANCISCO — After leaving Trulia earlier this month, Ken Shuman kept mum on his new venture — but has now disclosed he’s the first VP of communications at personal finance startup NerdWallet.
Reporting to the CEO, Shuman oversees a seven-figure PR and social media budget and three-person staff that he expects to grow to eight by the end of the year. His plans also include bringing on agency support, likely in Q4, as well as ramping up NerdWallet’s policy initiatives on public financial literacy.
NerdWallet launched in 2009 as a bootstrapped startup that eschewed external investors, and instead, has focused on profitability to maintain independence. This year, NerdWallet expects to double its headcount to 150 — and has built out its senior management team with hires like former LinkedIn VP Dan Yoo as COO and Zynga’s Florence Thinh as VP of talent, as well as Shuman.
Prior to Shuman joining, the three-person PR team reported into NerdWallet’s director of content and strategy Maggie Leung who oversees 20 employees, composed largely of former journalists, who generate content for the startup. NerdWallet also houses a team of content marketers who mine media channels for hyper-local content syndication options.
Shuman, who started last week, considers his remit to simplify financial literacy and to “make it beautiful, fun and immersive.” His longer term vision includes building out an open-source financial literacy curriculum that educators could tap into.
Unlike Intuit’s Mint or LearnVest, NerdWallet doesn’t store a user’s financial info or provide investing tips. Rather the site lets users compare options on credit card, insurance and mortgages rates.