Ada Varchola is a vice president and private wealth advisor at Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management, where she covers ultra-high-net-worth and institutional clients. She’s on a mission to unearth niche sectors with the potential for growth and that focus has led her to build a network within the ecosystem of U.S. tech companies run by African CEOs. And for this Nigerian-born investment professional, it’s personal. Whether it was fate or serendipity that led her from law to finance, one thing’s for certain—this powerful background undoubtedly benefits her clients. With a JD from Georgetown University Law Center, Ada had been practicing law for three years. It was when she was exposed to securities litigation that she developed an excitement for finance. In 2015, she married her interests of law and finance, and launched into a role at Goldman Sachs, a leading global investment banking, securities, and investment management firm. Just five years later, in February 2020, she assumed her current position as vice president and private wealth advisor, where she advises investors about investment products, diversification, and portfolio optimization with the goal of increasing investor returns. Ada is part of a team that serves a diverse cross section of clients, and she is focused on adding U.S. tech companies led by African CEOs to her client roster.
“I consider myself to be an evangelist of this movement,” she says. “I have a vested interest in the expansion of African tech in the U.S. and its influence on the U.S.’ consciousness, by nature of my being Nigerian and a U.S. citizen. I believe the successful proliferation of U.S. tech companies created by African CEOs will inadvertently reshape the power of Africa as a continent and put Africa front and center at the global negotiating table.”
Ada’s focus on this ecosystem has led her to organize tech event panels that highlight the innovation of African CEOs who lead U.S. based-tech companies. She has created a panel for PWM investors, and is currently working on one for the annual Private Innovative Company Conference summit in Las Vegas, which attracts approximately 800 investors.
And while being an advisor undoubtedly underlies her financial analysis, it is her deep network that allows her to stay abreast of developments in the ecosystem, including the growing number of African tech innovators creating companies within the U.S., and the increasing number of these companies merging with Silicon Valley firms. “U.S. investors are paying closer attention to the investment potential of these U.S. companies created by African tech innovators. These African-led U.S. tech companies are getting investment dollars from Silicon Valley and a diverse array of investors.”
As she works tirelessly on behalf of her clients and Goldman Sachs, her boundless energy comes from her passion for an industry that comes naturally to her. “Understanding markets comes natural to me, waking up in the morning understanding the state of play where markets are concerned, and with that knowledge being nimble in my role. This is what I truly enjoy.” Of the many mottos that guide her, Ada points to the one that she’s turned to throughout her life: “Pour your whole heart into developing every facet of who you are, dream extraordinarily, and the universe will inevitably bend to your will.”
Vice President, Private Wealth Management
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC