About Us

As a child growing up in Los Angeles, Jean Smart watched her immigrant parents work tirelessly to provide for their family and employees.

As owners of a grocery store and a restaurant, Jean’s parents valued education and hard work. While her parents took care of everyone around them, they didn’t formally invest in their own retirement, leaving them vulnerable in their later years. Jean’s parents were an all too familiar story in the US; equal parts inspiration and cautionary tale.

After a career in financial services, Jean decided to start Penelope - a 401(k) platform focused on micro and small businesses. Monica Barry joined as a co-founder and remains an advisor. Today, Jean and the Penelope team are on a mission to enable every small business owner and employee to build a bright financial future.

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Our Founder's Story