Our Story

We’re passionate about creating a world where all Kiwis are wealthier, more financially literate, and good savings and investing behaviour is embedded for future generations. We exist to give people the few kernels they need to transform their financial future.

Meet the team

Our team of globally experienced financial professionals are passionate about helping Kiwis achieve financial freedom. Our team came together to create Kernel as a response to our frustration with the failings we saw in New Zealand’s financial services industries, and the negative impact this was having on Kiwi’s financial futures.

Dean Anderson
Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Stephen Upton 
Chief Operating Officer

Sam Williams
Head of Tech

Gavin Weekes 
Compliance & Risk Officer

Armin Svoboda
Head of Digital

Catherine Emerson 
Head of Marketing & Customer Strategy

Sam Tither
Operations Analyst

Christine Jensen
Marketing Manager

Ryan Potter
Senior Full Stack Developer

What we stand for

Think Different

Not all investors are alike and we will empower them to express their individuality.

Think Together

We encourage open and free sharing of opinions, so that everyone feels as though they can collaborate and contribute.

Never Stop Innovating

We have an insatiable desire to understand the inner workings of things, fostering an environment of continual thinking and problem solving.

Say It Like It Is

We call a spade a spade, not a gardening tool. We will always engage with our investors in a language they understand – never diluted and never in the small print.

We're running a marathon, not a sprint.

Index investing

We reckon a prosperous future requires clever investment decisions.  That’s why we take a long term, data-driven approach to investing, that’s backed by decades of research.


We tell our investors exactly what they’re paying in fees, where their money’s being invested and when.


Fees reduce investment returns, that’s why we strive to deliver more for less by using technology to lower fees.


Diversifying your investments is important and helps minimize risk while maximizing rewards.

We're always on the look out for talented
individuals to join our team.

Ready to start investing?

You may also call us on 0800 537 635 during 9am-5pm weekdays.

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Copyright 2020 – Kernel Wealth Limited 

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After spending a number of years in the financial services industry, Dean realised that investment options needed to improve and investors deserve better. Taking a fresh approach to the investment sector, he created Kernel – a digital wealth solution where innovation meets investment.

On the back of five years as Head of Product at a large ETF provider; he is an expert at creating, launching and developing index funds. Prior to that, Dean worked at the NZX specialising in data products, licensing and contracts.

Dean is committed to helping ambitious individuals achieve financial freedom through the creation of innovative financial products. He understands the investor challenge and is on a mission to change the financial future of millions.

A self-described “mainlander”, Dean and his partner enjoy regularly exploring NZ, visiting friends and family, and sampling Auckland’s great eateries.

Connect with Dean here.

Stephen is Kernel’s Chief Operating Officer. He leads our investment operations and management of Kernel’s technology, communication and information requirements.

As the former Chief Operating Officer for a large NZ fund manager, he oversaw six managed investment schemes. Prior to that, Stephen lived overseas for 10 years, mainly residing in Switzerland, and working for multi-national banks Citi and UBS.

Stephen holds an MBA from the University of Cambridge in England, as well as a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and the CIMA Professional qualification in Management Accounting.

Stephen, his wife and two kids live on Waiheke Island and as a major sports fan, he is the Chairperson of Touch NZ.

Connect with Stephen here.

As Kernel’s Head of Tech, Sam leads the development team to build all things technical. Sam is passionate about building mission-led technology (like Kernel’s 😉), mentoring young developers, and taking on new technical challenges to keep his finger on the pulse.

Having grown up in Hamilton, Sam studied Computer Science at Waikato University. Since then, he has gained over seven years’ experience in Software Development, most recently at EROAD where he led the development team.

When Sam isn’t building Kernel’s product, you’ll find him solving solitaire through machine learning, and teaching others how to code on his blog and YouTube channel.

Connect with Sam here.

As our Compliance and Risk Officer, Gavin brings to the team 30+ years experience in risk management, assurance and compliance. Beginning his career in major audit firms based in NZ and US, Gavin then transitioned to risk and assurance functions in the banking industry.

Gavin has executive-level experience with major NZ banks, having worked in the industry for 20 years. Most recently, Gavin has been consulting to public and private sector businesses, providing specialist knowledge in risk management, process design, protective security and fraud.

He holds a BA in Economics, a B.Com in Accounting, is an Associate Chartered Accountant and a Certified Information Systems Auditor.

Gavin lives just out of our nation’s capital, in Paremata, with his wife, one of his three sons and their family dog. On the weekend he can be found enjoying the Pauatahanui inlet, working on his boat shed and house.

Armin is the Head of Digital here at Kernel and is the go-to guy for all things tech and product related.  With a passion for personal finance and background in tech, Kernel was the perfect match for him. He is excited about improving the financial well-being of Kiwis through the use of smart technology.

Originally a rural lad from Canterbury, Armin moved up to the big smoke in 2012 to pursue a career in digital technology. Armin holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Post Grad Diploma in Business Administration.

On the weekends Armin can be found out West, playing golf, running trails and walking his dog Lola. Armin also loves some weekend DIY, recently building a new fence.

Connect with Armin here.

As Head of Marketing and Customer Strategy, Cat manages Kernel’s marketing and customer success teams. Cat is most passionate about ensuring her generation understand how to design their finances to achieve their life goals.

Originally from Melbourne, Cat moved to Auckland in 2017, previously working at financial advice firms in the high net worth space. She understands first hand goals based advice and the challenges new investors face.

Since moving, Cat embraced a digital nomad life, working as a Strategic Adviser for a Melbourne millennial-focused advice firm. Cat holds a B.Com, a Diploma of Financial Services and has completed the Certified Financial Planner course.

Cat and her husband enjoy travelling the world, hosting dinner parties and hanging out with their family and fur-baby.

Connect with Cat here.

Sam works across our investment operations and customer success teams. He has a passion for personal finance, enjoys keeping up to date with the financial markets and discussing investing with both his mates and co-workers.

Sam studied a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Finance and Economics down south at Otago University. After graduating in mid-2020, he made the move back home to the City of Sails and joined the Kernel team shortly thereafter.

In his spare time, you’ll find Sam outdoors. In the Summer months he can be found at the beach and year-round on the golf course or at the rugby.

Connect with Sam here.

Joining Kernel in 2020, Christine supports the team with all marketing endeavours to inform and delight our customers. Naturally curious, Christine is passionate about financial psychology and understanding what drives financial decision-making (and the people behind them!).

Christine brings both Customer Success and Marketing experience from various NZ based start-ups; notably My Food Bag and Hatch. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing and International Business and hopes to add a Psychology qualification into the mix.

Outside of finance, you’ll find Christine on her yoga mat, hitting the netball court or seeking out a new sunset picnic spot. Oh, and planning her next travel adventure!

Connect with Christine here.

Ryan is our Senior Full Stack Developer, working with Sam and our Tech team to build beautiful digital products. Having worked across start ups through to large agencies, Ryan brings 10+ years of experience in creating business-focused web products, e-commerce solutions and online tools. Ryan’s natural tendency is to continually evaluate, he loves learning new skills and doesn’t shy away from a deadline.

Outside of work, Ryan spends his spare time kickboxing, building media-servers and preparing for the imminent arrival of his daughter!

Connect with Ryan here.

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