Christopher Daniels, born May 26, 1962, is an internet entrepreneur and business executive. He is Co-chairman and CEO of HUTN, Inc., the parent of EF Hutton and Meggalife. He is co-chairman of HUTN with Stanley Hutton Rumbough.
Daniels was born in New York City. He graduated from Hamilton College. After college he worked for EF Hutton & Company. He subsequently graduated from Cornell University with an MBA and received a master’s degree from Harvard University.
Daniels developed the concept of web 3.0 in which internet services are designed truly benefit users. He established meggalife.com to apply this concept enabling users to build assets for retirement while they use internet services. His goal is mass adoption of meggalife to improve retirement security for millions of people. BACKGROUND: Daniels was born in the Astoria area of New York City to parents Bernadette and Jack Daniels. His father was an engineer working for American Bridge, a division of US Steel. His father was involved in the construction of two of the largest and most critical bridges in New York, the Verrazano-Narrows and Throgs Neck bridges. He has two brothers whose names are John and Mark.
His father died in automobile accident when Daniels was two years old. A year after his father’s death, the family moved to Venice, Florida. The family returned to New York after three years. He attended public primary schools in New York and graduated from Bayside High School.
Daniels enrolled at Hamilton College in Clinton NY. He spent his sophomore year at Columbia University. He graduated from Hamilton in 1985. Daniels is an avid rower and was the founder, captain and coach of the Hamilton College Crew rowing team. To get the team started, Daniels personally paid for the team’s first two 8-rower racing shells and 16 oars from Columbia University. The team grew rapidly and nearly 4 percent of students participated in some way. The team went to the Head-of-the-Charles racing regatta in only its second year of competition. In 1993, the rowing team was officially designated a varsity sport by the college.
During college, Daniels worked as a paid intern for ITT (International Telephone & Telegraph, the international version of ATT) and IBM, where he assisted clients in using the IBM PCs and application software.
After college, Daniels worked for two years at EF Hutton’s headquarters in New York. Daniels was an investment banker in the healthcare finance group, which at the time was ranked first in league tables among all healthcare banking groups on wall street for tax-exempt bond financing.
Daniels enrolled at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Business. He was a student of nobel prize winning economic professor Richard Thaler, an expert in behavioral economics. While at Cornell he competed in interscholastic sports resulting in an injury that required surgery to his right knee for a torn anterior-cruciate ligament. He graduated with an MBA, he started work on crutches as a consultant with Delotte & Touche (previously Touche Ross) assisting Fortune 100 companies in developing business and marketing strategies. Later he was recruited by Raymond James to join their capital markets group at their headquarters in St. Petersburg Florida.
He returned to New York and founded Ascend Financial, a structured finance company involved in credit risk transfer strategies. Under his leadership, Ascend developed strategic partnerships with Wachovia Bank (now Wells Fargo), UBS and Lehman Brothers. He was chairman and chief executive of the company until it was sold in 2006, just months before the financial crisis, to a unit of Texas Pacific Group.
After the sale, Daniels enrolled at in graduate school at Harvard University and earned a master’s degree.
During the later part of the financial crisis, Daniels acquired certain assets of EF Hutton, including its trademark, previously owned by Citigroup. Daniels recruited members of the Hutton family to join a reemergence of EF Hutton, including Stanley Hutton Rumbough. Daniels planned for a modern EF Hutton that would operate at the forefront of consumer-based fintech and whose famous brand would accelerate adoption.
HUTN & WEB 3.0: In November 2014, EF Hutton assets were acquired by 24/7 Ventures Inc., a public company involved in specialty finance. The company resulting company was named EF Hutton America and Daniels was appointed CEO and as co-Chairman along with Stanley Hutton Rumbough. The company was restructured in 2017 and HUTN Inc. became the holding company.
Daniels rejected proposals to use EF Hutton’s famous brand in conventional financial services products. It was determined that an iconic brand whose history involved in so many innovations in financial services should be a leader in fintech enabled services. Consequently, Daniels developed the concept of reorienting the internet to benefit users, what he referred to as internet 3.0. Prior to that, shareholders of internet companies were the primary beneficiary of internet economics – despite the fact that users were key to a website’s success. Daniels decided that he could not just write about a user-centric web – he had to implement it. Daniels vision was in crafting a solution to the largest economic problem facing America – and the largest single financial challenge in any person’s life – retirement security.
In September 2016, Daniels moved the Company from New York to One Main Street in Springfield Ohio. Daniels believed that actions speak louder than words. The move was meant to convey a strategic message that the company is on the side of main street investors. Daniels plans required room to grow and a location that could provide operational efficiencies. In Springfield, Daniels identified and acquired a 150,000 class A office building and operating costs were much lower than major metro areas. Daniels also negotiated an economic development arrangement with city and state officials that was supportive of the high growth he envisaged.
In October, 2017, the company was reorganized to a holding company structure and named HUTN Inc. The reorganization was necessary because the company’s business had expanded to include multiple brands and operations. It now included financial services, social networks and other internet services, and mobile telecommunications.
HUTN launched Meggalife on November 1, 2017.