In our first blog post, Untangling Our Story, we, Kristine and Ria, introduced ourselves briefly and told you our story of how and why we started Untangle Money. Now it’s time to dive a little deeper into who we are behind the scenes and meet some of our team!
Ria Savla - Co-founder, COO
Hi! I’m Ria, I’m the cofounder and COO of Untangle Money.
I'm based in Toronto and have a degree in finance from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.
I started my career as a consultant at Accenture where I worked on many different projects in a variety of industries, and in 2019 Kristine and I founded Untangle Money to help eliminate the Wealth Gap and bring accessible and affordable financial planning to women.
I would say that I have been an avid feminist my whole life and I operate with a real desire to make a difference and do work that is both meaningful and impactful, whether that’s in the consulting or startup world.
My day to day at Untangle consists of helping manage our brand and our product. My goal is to reframe the way women interact with their money. We want Untangle to be the resource that provides the right tools, conversations and content to make finance 1000x better for women. I really try to take the lens of the consumer, and I'm currently working on building out the Untangle community with the help of our awesome team!
I love to travel (pre-covid) and more than just exploring new places, cultures and people I like to get out of my comfort zone and really experience new things. On weekends you'll find me in the kitchen experimenting with new vegetarian recipes and sharing the delicious (and occasionally not-so-delicious) results with my friends and family!
Kristine Beese - Co-founder, CEO
Hello 🙂 I’m Kristine, I’m a Cofounder of Untangle Money and I’m also the CEO.
Right now you can find me in Toronto with my partner and three kids but I spent a big chunk of my life in both Calgary and in London, England. When I went to school, I studied engineering physics at Queens, and later completed my MBA at Ivey (Western).
My background meanders quite a bit. When I graduated from undergrad, there weren’t many jobs in my field, but Oil and Gas was booming. I ended up having my own firm in the Oil and Gas industry. I knew I should save and invest my money, so I went to a bank branch. There, I had a super uncomfortable conversation with a person, who put me in mutual funds. It clarified nothing for me, the experience was awful, and later when I learned more about investing, I realised that my money would end up making the bank more money than it ever made me.
Earning money and thinking of investing led me back to school, and doing an MBA with a focus on finance. It seemed like Capital Markets was the epicentre of the financial world, so I joined a rotational program at RBC, getting experience in different businesses on the trading floor. After several rotations, I found myself in London, UK looking at Oil and Gas stock prices. I took several other roles within the finance industry, but I kept thinking back to my own money, and how the things I learned in finance weren't taught to my friends outside of the industry, and there was a niggling feeling that the industry could be doing a better job.
When I met Ria, and she echoed some of the same concerns about womxn not being brought up on the learning curve on money, and not having a welcoming place to learn, it felt like we were destined to meet, and help our fellow womxn understand their Now Money and their Future Money.
In addition to believing that personal finance should be more accessible for all, I’ve become a strong feminist. However, feminism came later for me. When I was younger, I was really concerned with fitting in and I was convinced that gender equality was a problem that had been solved by the fabulous bra burning women who came before me. Now, as I look back on my experiences with a more mature gaze, and dissect my discomfort with them, I start seeing the systemic issues holding my female friends back, and the role that I can play to advocate for womxn. And as Ria and I dig into the differences between the financial lives of men and women, it feels even more important and urgent to be spreading our knowledge and helping womxn with their money.
As the CEO, I use my background in finance to build the financial plans, I spearhead all the day to day activities, and I love to engage with our community. Nothing gives me more joy than helping womxn find a comfortable place to have uncomfortable conversations about money, and helping them explore what they are interested in learning.
Emeka Balakumar - Social Media Apprentice
Hi, My name is Emeka, and I am a social media apprentice for Untangle Money. I am currently pursuing a marketing and accounting degree at Schulich School of Business. I love the small business world and am always ready to learn more about entrepreneurship from those in the field.
I always have been a passionate feminist, and I have worked with organizations to bring equality to the world. I try to use my knowledge and voice to promote women’s rights whenever I can. I hope that women won’t need to be fearful of using their voices to speak up about the injustices they face one day.
The Untangle Money team feels like a home away from home. Surrounding myself with people who are just as passionate about empowering women in becoming financially independent has only fueled my feminist side. I hope that my role as the social media coordinator for Instagram and Facebook can promote this resource to women who need something like this. As a university student, becoming financially independent does not seem possible, but resources like these make it easier for me to become financially independent.
Past Untangle Money, I am my small business owner. As a business student, I always wanted to put my knowledge to the test. I use my designing skills to create vinyl creations and have experienced the entrepreneurial world when I don’t have school to worry about.
Rachel Birse - Social Media Apprentice
Hey I’m Rachel! I am a social media apprentice at Untangle Money. I am currently based in Toronto but I graduated from Carleton University in Ottawa in 2020. I majored in Human Rights and Social Justice, and minored in Women and Gender Studies. My next steps are law school to study human rights and international law. I'd love to be a human rights lawyer one day but in the meantime I want to continue working toward making this world a better place for women.
I have been passionate about feminism and women’s rights for as long as I can remember, and my degree helped to back-up that passion with knowledge. I am dedicated to the fight for equal rights and making this world a place where anyone who identifies as a woman feels safe, empowered, and equal.
Which is why I’m so happy to be a part of the Untangle Money team moving forward. Making finance affordable and accessible to encourage financial independence among women is an important part of the women’s rights movement and feminist agenda. I am someone with no finance background and who only recently started taking financial independence seriously, so if you’re like me then you’ve come to the right place to start.
My role at Untangle includes helping to build the Untangle Money community through community engagement, collaborating on blog posts and blog content, and helping out over on our Instagram page.
Over the past year or so I’ve become interested in social media management and blogging. I currently have my own lifestyle and feminist blog, Girl Almighty. I’ve loved to write since I learned how to and this is my perfect outlet for it. In my free time I love to read or watch movies, and I consider myself quite the coffee enthusiast.
Financial independence is a huge part of being a strong, independent woman, and it is our mission here at Untangle Money to help women successfully set themselves up financially.
At Untangle Money we help women understand their (real!) financial picture, and obtain financial guidance from people that actually, really, get it. We would love to help you, too. Join the community of hundreds of other women looking to strengthen their financial well-being. You can checkout our products and plans here!
Thanks for taking the time to get to know us!