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November 5, 2021

A former single mother and options trader, Jenny Just runs a multibillion-dollar business that provides the trading and technology behind popular mobile trading platforms, robo advisors and online banks.

Fintechs, which were already disrupting traditional financial institutions when the pandemic hit, have seen their growth accelerate during the Covid era. From SPAC IPOs to big venture capital rounds, valuations of popular startups like mobile stock trader eToro, robo advisor Betterment, personal finance firm SoFi and online bank Ally Financial have soared under a hot tech market.

The one thing all these firms have in common: Their back-end trading is handled by Apex Fintech Solutions, which is planning to ride their coattails to its own successful public debut. The firm, owned by Just and husband Matt Hulsizer through their Chicago-based investment firm, Peak6, announced in February that it planned to list on the New York Stock Exchange via a SPAC merger expected to value the company at $4.7 billion.

While Peak6 still hopes to close this year, the Securities and Exchange Commission has yet to approve the deal, and the market for SPACs has cooled considerably. The SEC declined to comment on the delay. Even if it goes through at half its announced value, the deal (plus other assets) catapults both Just and Hulsizer into the billionaire ranks—and puts Just into the rarefied club of just 23 American women who are self-made billionaires.

No matter what happens, it’s been an incredible run for Apex. Since acquiring the company in 2012, Just has reinvented it as a “fintech for fintechs,” powering the trading and technology for over 200 clients, from digital trading platform Webull to Marcus, Goldman Sachs’ online consumer banking and investing arm. (When Robinhood was getting started, it also used Apex, but eventually built its own platform.)

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