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Hearsay Social Names CFO

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Hearsay Social named its first chief financial officer on Tuesday, tapping William Salisbury.

Salisbury spent 15 years at Morgan Stanley (MS) working on financing deals for technology companies. He then moved into CFO roles at Crescendo Bioscience and at Avast Software, where he helped the company nearly triple sales.

“Bill’s wealth of experience in North America and overseas as a startup CFO, investment banker and corporate attorney makes him an ideal finance leader for Hearsay Social as we pursue international growth and product expansion in the coming months and years,” said Hearsay Social CEO and founder Clara Shih, in a statement.

Salisbury says his investment-banking work for Morgan Stanley in Silicon Valley gave him lots of exposure to how wealth management teams work with clients and run their practices.

“I understand the challenges they face,” he said in an interview with ThinkAdvisor. “And the evolution of that business has made it very clear to me what Hearsay Social is trying to do and what importance that has for the sales and communications side of the business within the financial services industry.

“At Morgan Stanley, I worked with lots of tech firms,” he explained. “Many have gone through the growth that Hearsay is having now.”

Hearsay’s product and growth story interested Salisbury, because the company “is helping bring the financial services industry into the world of social media, digital [communications] and mobile apps, he said. “I have a pretty good perspective on how and why that’s highly relevant to the industry.”

In his view, “Hearsay is on the leading edge of this critical curve.”

Hearsay Social took about a year to fill its CFO slot. “We wanted the right person and the right experience – so we are thrilled to have him on board,” said Gary Liu, the firm’s vice president of marketing. “He will help us scale both our domestic and international growth as we expand the company’s products and services.”

Salisbury, who says he follows social media trends professionally as well as at home with his two teenage daughters, believes advisors will always have a role in the advice business.

“I personally think human interaction when investing assets of any size is critical, and I don’t see advisors ever becoming irrelevant,” he explained. “But they have to be highly aware of how to compete in a constantly evolving environment. This means Hearsay’s role in helping them in mobile, social and digital communications is critical.”

Hearsay Social provides its Predictive Social Suite to financial advisors and insurance agents with over 100 firms, such as New York Life, Raymond James, Vanguard and Penn Mutual, which include some 100,000 financial relationship managers.

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