Last Thursday, there was plenty of purple (and rain!) as Women in Fund Finance co-hosted the first FFA event of 2023, along with Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft and Wells Fargo, kicking off the year with an exciting evening of cocktails. and a conversation with Jenn Toyzer, Co-Founder and CEO of UME Plum Liqueur.
Dee Dee Sklar, Global Co-Chair of Women in Fundraising, opened the event with the theme of innovation. She emphasized how innovative Jenn has been in founding UME and gave examples of how she had seen each of the moderators, Wells Fargo CEO Michele Simons and Cadwalader partner Leah Edelboim, as innovative in their careers. She invited and inspired the audience to consider how they can be innovative in their own careers.
In this informal chat moderated by Michele and Leah, Jenn, who after 10 years left behind a successful career in finance and co-founded UME just a few years ago, discussed various topics related to the startup, including her decision to take the plunge. from finance to liquor during COVID shutdowns. Jenn explained to the group how, among other things, the tenacity and persistence that she honed during her time in finance helped her set and achieve goals and deadlines, and ultimately achieve her goal of launching UME in 2020.
The packed house of attendees from across the fund finance industry was fascinated to hear Jenn mention the similarities between her career in finance and her current role as an entrepreneur, but also how her past experience has helped her current success, especially the speed . in which she went from the idea to bringing the product to market. Many of the attendees relatable when Jenn mentioned that learning to become an entrepreneur and founder of a spirits company was in many ways similar to moments in her career in finance when a whole new structure for her landed on her desk and her desk. job was to figure out how it worked. As an entrepreneur, Jenn had to navigate and tackle new structures, for example setting up a supply chain for UME, something that was completely new to her.
Jenn also discussed the value of her prior experience in terms of how she handles, interprets, and negotiates various types of contracts. She is easy with the legal jargon that finance people use like “representations and warranties”, “indemnification”, etc., and her experience with contracts certainly sets her apart as a businesswoman, as she is capable of it, as we say at Cadwalader , “getting in the weeds” of these new contracts and, as Jenn pointed out, flagging and changing the provisions that contract writers often point out to you that no one has asked to negotiate (until Jenn, of course).
During the conversation, Jenn was asked if she could draw any parallels between her experience as a woman in finance and as an entrepreneur. She responded by discussing the ways that being one of the few female founders and CEOs in her industry has worked in her favor, as it has been a way of distinguishing herself, allowing both her and her purple product to stand out. stand out For example, people she meets often remember her name and her company at subsequent meetings or networking events.
Looking around during the event, which was held at The Raines Law Room at The William, many attendees took the opportunity to dress “in theme” donning various shades of purple outfits that complemented the purple cocktails they were sipping on. . Thursday’s drinks menu featured three very different cocktails, each handpicked by Jenn and mixed with the night’s signature liquor, and all exemplified everything Jenn set out to achieve with UME, which is to strike a perfect balance between a beautiful plum liqueur that is drinkable and delicious on its own, but also excellent combined and that can be sipped. From a business perspective, while we were sipping the cocktails, Jenn explained how UME differs from other products on the market with its low sugar content (which is half that of traditional liqueurs), its lightness and its beautiful purple hue, which we learned from to a question from the audience, it is actually derived from cabbage!
A wonderful evening was enjoyed by all in attendance and the Cadwalader team would like to thank Wells Fargo and Women in Fund Finance for partnering with us on such a fun and successful event.
Top left top photo (from left to right): Michele Simons (Wells Fargo), Jenn Toyzer (Co-Founder and CEO of UME Plum Liqueur), Dee Dee Sklar (Global Co-Chair of Women in Fund Finance) and Leah Edelboim (Cadwalader), along with additional networking photos from the event. part.