Laila Pence

Laila Pence

CEO and president, Pence Wealth Management

Laila Pence emigrated to the U.S. from Egypt, when her family’s home was bombed during the 1967 war. Her first job was selling hot dogs on the Staten Island Ferry.

After waitressing through college at UCLA, and earning her broker’s license, she received $20,000 to invest from her first client.

“I could hardly believe someone would entrust me with so much of their hard-earned money,” she said. That $20,000 has grown to $1.5 billion in assets under management.

Ms. Pence’s firm offers a full-service suite of services from retirement, business and estate planning, to taxes and charitable giving. She attributes her success to delegating to her talented team and her drive to her family’s inspiration.

“As the youngest of four sisters, I wanted to prove to my father how much girls can achieve,” she said, noting women’s advantages when it comes to providing financial advice, like empathy and multitasking skills.

Ms. Pence supports charities at home and abroad. She is passionate about Egyptian causes, like Telemed Foundation, which helps children with cancer in the Arab world.
— Vanessa Drucker