Simon Baker

Simon Baker

Chief Executive Officer

Wealth Advisory

Simon Baker is the founder of Baker Ave Asset Management and chairman of the investment committee. He oversees the investment process and leads the development of Baker Ave’s strategies and services.

Before launching Baker Ave in 2004, Simon was a managing director at Banc of America Securities, where he was responsible for managing wealth and risk with the private bank’s high-net-worth clients and family offices. Prior to that, he served as a director first at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ), then at Credit Suisse First Boston. Simon began his wealth management career at Morgan Stanley in San Francisco in 1994.

Simon graduated cum laude with a B.A. in economics & French from Hartwick College, NY.

He is a cast member on CNBC Half Time show ‘Fast Money’, Yahoo ‘Breakout” and often quoted in the Wall Street Journal and other financial publications.

On the personal side:

Simon is a native of Nottingham, England who originally came to the U.S. on a Division 1 soccer scholarship. His mother thought it would be a quick 4 years across the pond and then he’d return home. That was 20 years ago and she’s still waiting.

Simon still plays soccer on the weekends and recently learned how to kite surf. He sits on the board of the California Shakespeare Theater, as well as the advisory boards of Girls Incorporated of Alameda County and the Achieve Program. Through Achieve, Baker Ave gives full 4-year high school scholarships to 2 Oakland students from low-income families. Simon lives in New York with his English Sheep dog, Mr. Riley.

Something you may not know about Simon:

While in college, Simon had a summer job in London covering Wimbledon for HBO. There was a lot of rain during the tournament that year, so HBO had to find ways to kill time on the live feed. During one rain delay, Simon performed a skit with Cris Collinsworth in which he challenged the famed sportscaster to a “slide off” down a muddy embankment. Cris accepted the challenge and jumped. Simon, the instigator, didn’t. His only response: “Those crazy Americans.”

King Lip, CFA, CFP®, CMT

King Lip

Chief Strategist

Portfolio Management

King Lip is chief investment officer (CIO) at Baker Ave and serves on the investment policy committee. As CIO, King is responsible for developing innovative new investment strategies, acting as liaison to the greater investment community, and overseeing the performance of the firm’s portfolios. He also advises Baker Ave’s family offices, drawing on over 14 years of market and wealth management experience to provide them with guidance and specialized strategies.

Prior to joining Baker Ave, King was a portfolio manager at Bingham, Osborn & Scarborough, LLC. He also served as the lead portfolio manager at the family office of a Forbes List ultra-high-net-worth individual. As an analyst at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and at Credit Suisse, King worked closely with CEO Simon Baker managing the firm’s All Cap Core strategy. King has been nominated as a Top 100 Independent Wealth Advisor in Barron’s magazine and the San Francisco Business Times. He was also named as one of the Top 10 Rising Stars of ETF investing in 2012 by ETF Report, a leading publication on ETF investing. His analysis has been featured in leading financial publications such as Better Investing, Consumer Reports, MarketWatch, and Bloomberg. King is also a regular commentator on CNBC.

King graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, Haas School of Business with a B.A. in economics and a B.S. in business administration. He also earned an M.S. in banking and financial services management from Boston University. In addition to being a Chartered Market Technician (CMT), King is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder, one of only 11 professionals globally who holds all three designations.

On the personal side:

When he’s away from the office, King enjoys teaching his border collie, Charley, new tricks and playing competitive golf. He has made 1 hole-in-one (so far). King serves on the board of directors of the John Susko Memorial Fund for Junior Golf, a San Francisco foundation that supports junior and high school golf and provides inner-city children access to the game. He also serves on the board of directors of the Lowell Alumni Association and advises on its endowment portfolio.

Something you may not know about King:

King spends most of his waking hours looking at stock charts and can recite the ticker symbols of nearly every company in the S&P 500. In any given year, he reviews close to 15,000 charts looking for the next winner.

Doug Couden, CFA

Doug Couden

Chief Investment Officer

Portfolio Management

Doug is Baker Ave’s Director of Equities and serves on the Investment Policy Committee. Doug is responsible for leading the firm’s research and equity investment process. Doug has over 18 year of experience working in the capital markets, primarily in asset management.

Prior to joining Baker Ave, Doug worked as the Director of Equities at Newfleet Asset Management LLC and Seneca Capital Management LLC in San Francisco. Doug has a proven history of performance (alpha) generation for a diverse client base and product set. His portfolio management and research experience covers all sectors and styles (growth to value). Doug has extensive experience in security modeling, industry forecasting, and valuation work. As the head of multiple investment teams, Doug has initiated and developed investment products, managed the transition of multiple asset managers and products, generated asset and client growth in a variety of products, and instituted robust internal research management processes. Before moving to San Francisco, Doug worked at PaineWebber, and then at UBS, in New York.

Doug graduated from Southern Methodist University with a B.A. in Finance. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and member of the Security Analysts Society of San Francisco.

Doug is a contributor to CNBC and has been quoted on Bloomberg, in the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times, as well as other financial publications.

On the Personal Side:

Doug hails from the great state of Tennessee. His southern roots keep him "down home", gentlemanly and well natured. Several years in New York gave him his competitive edge and forced him to trade in his Hush Puppies for dark suits and ties. His southern drawl is long gone, although it could be argued that at certain times of the day, it can still be heard.

Doug is an avid water sportsman and outdoor enthusiast. On sunny days you can find him paddling to the Golden Gate Bridge. Doug enjoys a competitive game of hoops and has a hard time turning down an invitation to play in basketball leagues around the City. He thinks he can still dunk.

Doug is active in his local community and supports multiple charities and foundations in the Bay Area with his wife Holly. He coaches his daughters Grace and Ava soccer and basketball teams and recently completed back-to-back undefeated seasons. Not that anyone’s counting.

Something you may not know about Doug:

Doug makes his own brand of deep dish pizza he affectionately calls the “The Dougie”. From dough to tomatoes, pepperoni to paprika and sausage to sage, Doug’s pie is a made from scratch weighs in at 6 lbs fully cooked. It won’t win any beauty contests, but they say it has never left a palate wanting. Best served with a splash of one’s favorite libation, Doug prefers a lively social setting to help devour the goods. While the recipe is proprietary, his view on the markets is not.

Jerry Luff, CFP®

Jerry Luff

Chief Operating Officer

Wealth Advisory

Jerry Luff is a veteran with over 20 years of the wealth management industry, with experience in both the institutional and retail markets. As managing director of investment management and financial planning at Baker Ave, he is responsible for the firm’s integrated wealth management strategies. His areas of expertise include asset protection, retirement planning, tax minimization, and trust and estate planning.

Prior to joining Baker Ave, Jerry served as vice president in the Global Wealth Management group at Banc of America Investments. He was also an institutional advisor at both Bear Stearns and Morgan Stanley, where he provided fixed-income analysis and portfolio strategies to endowments, corporations, and municipalities such as General Motors, U.S. Steel, and the Regents of the University of California.

Jerry holds a B.A. in finance from The University of Texas at Arlington and an M.B.A. in finance from Fordham University. He is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP).

On the personal side:

Jerry is husband to Alison and Dad to daughters Christina and Katie. His recreational interests include skiing, boating, and motorsports. Jerry may have been a racecar driver in a past life. In this life, however, his time behind the wheel is spent shuttling his children around.

Jerry is active in his church and community. He is a Special Olympics coach and a member of the fundraising committee for Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center, an innovative nonprofit program for people with disabilities and other special needs. Jerry also led a project to fund and build a computer lab for Old First Reach, an afterschool mentoring program for inner-city youth.

Something you may not know about Jerry:

Jerry originally wanted to be an architect. He decided to attend the University of Texas at Arlington because of its strong architecture program, but soon after beginning his studies he realized that his true calling was finance. He quickly transferred to the school of business and the rest is history. But Jerry still finds ways to indulge his passion for architecture and design, including a number of interior and landscape design projects at his own residence. More recently, Jerry has been experimenting with spot and arc welding. After mastering a few more techniques, he plans to weld a metal sculpture for the garden—assuming he gets his wife Alison's approval.

John Tassone, JD, CAIA®

John Tassone

Chief Operating Officer & Managing Director

Wealth Advisory

John is the Chief Operating Officer and a Managing Director of Baker Avenue Wealth Management, LLC, a private wealth advisory boutique serving ultra-high net worth entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and families. He brings over 20 years of experience providing advice in the areas of wealth management, investment management, financial services, and public and private investments, among others. John serves on the Baker Avenue Wealth Management Investment and Strategy committee as well as the Finance committee.

Prior to joining Baker Avenue Wealth Management, John served as the Chief Operating Officer and a Senior Investment Partner of the Investment Advisory Center at GenSpring Family Offices, LLC. While at GenSpring, in addition to his client portfolio management, asset allocation, and investment research duties, he oversaw the investment platform which peaked at approximately $20 billion by the time he left the firm. Prior to GenSpring, he worked as an investment banker and M&A advisor with Deutsche Bank and Rabobank International. During his investment banking career, he originated, executed and completed over 25 merger advisory, debt and equity capital raises, initial and secondary public offerings, as well various recapitalizations worth in excess of $12 billion. Earlier in his career, John was a practicing trusts and estates attorney and senior tax accountant at Deloitte & Touche LLP.

John received a B.S. in business management from Cornell University’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, an M.B.A. with a specialization in accounting from Union College Graduate School of Management, and his J.D. from Albany Law School. John is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) and is also admitted to practice law in New York and Connecticut. He also holds the Series 65 license.

On the personal side:

John grew up in Ithaca, New York and attended Cornell University. While studying abroad in London, England he met his wife, Debbie. They enjoyed many adventures travelling throughout Europe and Asia and still love to explore new places. After starting their careers in New York City, they embarked on their biggest adventure…parenthood! While their two children were still young, they decided to trade in their snow boots for flip flops and moved to sunny, Jupiter, Florida. John is very involved in his family’s artistic and athletic activities. When he is not coaching his son’s hockey team, listening to his wife sing, or wandering around the ring as his daughter jumps horses, John can be found enjoying the tremendous outdoor activities that South Florida has to offer. John and Debbie are also actively involved in several local charities that support families and children in need.

Something you may not know about John:

If you take a look in the trunk of his car at any given time, it looks like a small sporting goods store! John is ready to play any activity at any time! Since childhood, he has been passionate about many sports and outdoor activities. A former collegiate athlete in football and self-proclaimed world-class Weekend Warrior, John has hung up his spikes and gracefully retired from any activity that involves something more than just going straight ahead. Nowadays, when he is not working, he can usually be found riding his bike, swimming in the ocean or running on the scenic beaches.

Keith Miller, CPA

Keith Miller

Chief Financial Officer

Wealth Advisory

Keith Miller serves as the firm’s dedicated finance and accounting officer. Keith’s primary duties include maintaining Baker Ave’s financial statements and records along with managing the firm’s annual budget, forecasts and overall finances. Keith also assists on projects related to Baker Ave’s financial planning and corporate strategy. Keith has 16 years of experience in the accounting industry, including over 10 years in the securities and alternative investment funds space.

Before joining Baker Ave in 2012, Keith was a partner at EisnerAmper LLP in the financial services group where he provided audit, accounting and consulting services to approximately 100 hedge funds and their registered investment advisor entities. Keith’s hedge fund clients ranged from start-ups with $20 million in net assets to established groups managing over $2 billion. Prior to that, Keith was a member of the risk assurance group at Man Investments in London, UK.

Keith is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed to practice accounting in the State of California and a Chartered Accountant (CA) registered with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Keith holds a B.A. in accounting and economics from the University of Kent at Canterbury in the UK.

On the personal side:

Away from the office, Keith’s biggest passion is professional sports, a potential occupation choice that would narrowly finish second behind going into accounting…

Growing up in the suburbs outside London, England, Keith’s favorite sport along with many other people in that part of the world is soccer (or football as he calls it). Though, on moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2002, Keith quickly fell into America’s summer pastime, baseball. Keith also loves travelling to places with a warmer climate than he experienced growing up. Hawaii currently tops his list of favorite places visited, although he feels he should now visit Tahiti, just to see how the two compare.

Something you may not know about Keith:

Keith has visited twelve of the thirty-two major league baseball parks along with a number of triple-A minor league parks. His goal is to take in a game at each of the remaining major league parks he is yet to experience.

Jacques Soenens

Jacques Soenens

Chief Investment Officer and Partner
Alternative Investments
Great Gable Partners, LP

Portfolio Management

Jacques Soenens is the chief investment officer and managing partner of Great Gable Partners LP. Great Gable manages Alternative investment strategies and acts as a sub advisor to Baker Ave.

Jacques has spent 14 years in the public equity investing arena. Prior to managing Baker Ave’s alternative portfolios, he co-founded Osmium Partners, a small-cap value hedge fund that he also co-managed. Before that, he was a private investor and consulting analyst. Jacques also worked as a research analyst at Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette, where he focused on information technology services and business process outsourcing. He began his career at Prudential Securities as part of a top-ranked research team covering imaging technology companies.

Jacques earned a B.S.M. in 1993 from Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business.

On the personal side:

Jacques and his wife, Jennifer, live in San Francisco with their 4 children, Madeleine, James, Olivia, and Camille. Jacques enjoys art projects and city adventures with his kids. He is also an avid photographer and plays basketball in several city leagues.

Something you may not know about Jacques:

Jacques’ first official job was on a farm in Belgium at the age of 10. His tasks included driving a tractor during the harvest, stacking hay, herding and milking cows, cleaning pigpens, collecting hen eggs, and delivering the occasional calf. The pay was limited to the joys of farm life. So much for child labor laws in Belgium in the 70s.

Chris Tyler

Chris Tyler

Analyst
Alternative Investments
Great Gable Partners, LP

Portfolio Management

Chris Tyler is a member of Great Gable Partners LP. Great Gable manages Alternative investment strategies and acts as a sub advisor to Baker Ave.

Prior to joining Great Gable, Chris most recently served as a Deputy Chief of Staff in the California State Senate. Before that Chris served as Managing Partner of Terravest Capital Partners, LP, an investment fund he founded to purchase a portfolio of distressed residential real estate projects. Chris began his career in finance at the age of 18 as a clerk on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and later worked in investment banking at JP Morgan and in private equity with Chicago-based investment fund, Frontenac Company.

Chris graduated from Harvard College in 1994 and earned a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School in 2002.

On the personal side:

Chris lives with his wife and two children in Modesto, CA where he is actively involved in local government as a member of the city’s Planning Commission and charitably as the Treasurer of the Miracle League of Stanislaus County. Chris is an avid sports enthusiast. A former collegiate athlete in lacrosse and ice hockey, these days Chris can be found most early weekend mornings cycling with friends in Stanislaus County’s beautiful countryside.

Something you may not know about Chris:

To celebrate a recent milestone birthday Chris persuaded friends to join him on a small outing to the very top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. If on the way to 19,300’, Chris’ friends were hoping that future birthdays would be spent poolside, they shouldn’t count on it. Chris is already setting his sights even higher with a goal with a trek up Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Americas at 22,800’, by his next milestone birthday.

Brent Johnson, CWS®

Brent Johnson

Wealth Manager & Managing Director

Wealth Advisory

Brent Johnson brings over a decade of wealth management experience to his position as managing director at Baker Ave. He specializes in creating comprehensive, customized wealth management strategies for the individual portfolios of high-net-worth clients. He also has extensive experience in equity block trades, 10b5-1 restricted stock plans, private placements, and venture capital stock distributions. Brent’s clients include Fortune 500 executives, wealthy families, technology entrepreneurs, and senior partners in venture capital and private equity firms.

Before joining Baker Ave, Brent spent 9 years with Credit Suisse as vice president in their private client group. Prior to that, he was with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) in New York City before moving within the firm to San Francisco. He joined Credit Suisse in the fall of 2000 when the bank purchased DLJ. Earlier in his career, Brent was a senior financial auditor for Philip Morris Management Company in New York City. In addition to performing audits at the company's headquarters, he worked on projects for Philip Morris subsidiaries in Germany, Hong Kong, and Richmond, Virginia.

Brent played on the junior varsity basketball team at the University of Kansas before transferring to Rockhurst College in Kansas City, where he graduated with a dual degree in economics and global studies. He received his M.B.A. from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

On the personal side:

Brent is originally from Sutherland, Nebraska. After stints in his home state, Kansas, Arizona, and New York City, he finally found his home in San Francisco.

In a small twist of fate, Brent met his wife, Mary, while hanging out with CEO Simon Baker. After some encouragement from Simon, Brent got up the nerve to talk to her. They’ve been together ever since. They welcomed their son, Moses, into the family in August 2008. When he’s not working, Brent enjoys golf, traveling, history, and reading. He’s also a big Cornhuskers football and Jayhawks basketball fan.

Something you may not know about Brent:

In 1999, Brent hiked the "Camino de Santiago", an ancient pilgrimage route that crosses Europe and ends in Northwest Spain. He started his trek in the French Pyrenees mountains, just across the border from Pamplona, Spain. After walking 20 miles a day for 26 days, he arrived at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. Brent says the whole experience is beautiful in its simplicity: "All you do is get up in the morning and start walking." While he learned a lot on the trip, the one area where he truly became an expert was on blisters. He hopes to put this expertise to good use someday on a repeat of the trip with his son, Moses.

Eric Jardine, CFA

Eric Jardine

Senior Portfolio Manager

Portfolio Management

Eric Jardine is a portfolio manager at Baker Ave, as well as our head trader and hedging strategist. He serves on the investment committee and is co-manager of the All Cap Core strategy.

Prior to joining Baker Ave, Eric was a proprietary derivatives trader at Wells Fargo Bank in the Capital Markets group. While at Wells Fargo, he was responsible for the risk management of a 500-million-dollar derivatives portfolio with products tied to the equity, interest rate, and foreign exchange markets. In addition to investing the bank’s capital in a proprietary options portfolio, Eric structured hedging solutions and equity-linked notes for individuals and institutions.

Eric graduated from the University of Colorado with a B.S. in business administration. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder and a member of the CFA Society of San Francisco.

On the personal side:

Eric is a member of the board of elders at Regeneration Church in Oakland and active in several nonprofit organizations that serve youth and children in need locally in the bay area and in Africa.

He and his wife, Rebecca are parents to 3 children, Josiah, Alana, and Alexa, a set of triplets born in July 2008. All parents like to think that their kids are one in a million, but since the odds of having healthy spontaneous triplets are almost as low as winning the lottery, Eric is proud to say that his children actually are.

Something you may not know about Eric:

Eric likes to ski, surf, and spend time outdoors. He was a ski instructor at Vail for several winters teaching turns to a few now-famous names in banking and sports. One winter he logged over 150 days of skiing, which equates to just 2 non-snow days per month for an entire ski season. And just in case you’re concerned, Eric wants you to know that last year he logged only 6 days on the mountain.

Scott Stephens, CWS®

Scott Stephens

Wealth Manager & Managing Director

Wealth Advisory

Scott Stephens has 13 years of private wealth management experience. His emphasis is customized portfolio management, with specialties in risk management, retirement income planning, and trust services. Scott oversees Baker Ave’s Dallas office, working with high-net-worth clients in the southwest territory.

Before joining Baker Ave, Scott served as vice president at Fidelity Investments’ Institutional Wealth Services unit, where he advised Fidelity account executives, retail branch representatives, and independent registered advisory firms. Prior to that, Scott advised high-net-worth clients as a senior investment consultant for Fidelity Private Portfolio Services. He began his wealth management career in 1996 as a brokerage trader and retirement specialist with Fidelity Investments in Boston.

Scott holds a B.A. in marketing from Assumption College. He is currently pursuing the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation and expects to complete his certification in 2013.

On the personal side:

Scott is originally from Southborough, Massachusetts. In 2001, he moved to Texas for Fidelity Investments, thinking he would stay for just a year or two. Then he met his wife, Beth. It’s been 9 years since, and he’s never looked back. Scott and Beth live in Dallas with their 3-year-old son, Owen. Scott enjoys kiteboarding, fishing, scuba diving, cooking, and golf. He’s also a die-hard Patriots, Celtics, and Red Sox fan.

Something you may not know about Scott:

Once a year, Scott travels to the island of Andros in the Bahamas with his uncle, Captain “Art” Stephens, a commercial stone crab and lobster fisherman famous in the Florida Keys, for a week of deep-sea fishing, diving, snorkeling, kiteboarding, bonefishing, and spearfishing. In 2003, Scott dove 115 feet to the edge of the “Tongue of the Ocean” trench, right where it drops off 5000 feet into the abyss. “It’s pretty scary when you’re so far down that you can’t see the top of the ocean,” says Scott. “It’s a whole different, breathtaking world.”

Chris Smith, CFA

Chris Smith

Wealth Manager & Managing Director

Chris Smith is a wealth manager at Baker Avenue and serves on the investment policy committee. Chris brings 15 years of experience managing money on behalf of individuals and institutions.

Prior to joining Baker Ave., Chris spent 3 years with Credit Suisse where he advised individuals, foundations and institutions on investment management and wealth planning strategies. Before Credit Suisse, Chris spent 5 years at SCM Advisors LLC as senior credit analyst/director of research where he helped manage $800 million in high yield corporate bonds and loans. Prior to SCM, Chris spent 4 years at Bear Stearns where he helped manage $2 billion in high-yield corporate loans. Earlier in his career, Chris also worked at The Yucaipa Companies focused on private equity opportunities and Salomon Smith Barney as investment banking analyst.

Chris received an M.B.A. with a specialization in finance and accounting from New York University and a B.A. in economics from Brigham Young University. Chris is also a Chartered Financial Analyst.

On the personal side:

In his spare time, Chris enjoys swimming, golfing, snowboarding and cycling. Chris is also actively involved in the community including volunteer positions at Orinda Youth Association, Orinda Country Club, Shelter Inc. and Orinda Unified School District. Chris and his wife, Amy, have three daughters and live in Orinda, California.

Something you may not know about Chris:

Chris considers himself part Italian (despite no family ties). He lived in Italy for two years as a young man (mostly on the island of Sicily) and grew to love the culture, people and food. And while his Italian is pretty rusty his love for Italian food is as strong as ever (favorite dish: pasta al forno)!

Rick Mordesovich, CIMA®, CWS®

Rick Mordesovich

Wealth Manager & Managing Director

Wealth Advisory

Rick Mordesovich has 20+ years of experience serving and securing the long-term financial needs of affluent private investors. As managing director, he advises high-net-worth clients on strategic issues including portfolio construction and diversification, income tax strategies, and trust and estate planning.

Previously, Rick was senior vice president at Neuberger Berman, where he advised individuals, families, and their foundations on asset management, asset protection, philanthropic initiatives, risk budgeting, and wealth transfer strategies. Prior to that, he was a managing director at Banc of America Securities, where he and CEO Simon Baker met and first worked together. He launched his career at Dean Witter Reynolds in 1993.

Rick is a Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) and a member of the Investment Management Consulting Association. He earned his B.A. from DePaul University and his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business.

On the personal side:

Rick is committed to building sustainable business relationships rooted in integrity. He frequently writes and speaks on the topics of values-based financial planning and socially responsible investing. He is a member of the Silicon Valley Microfinance Network (SVMN). Rick has also served on the boards of the Academy of Friends, a nonprofit organization that raises money to combat HIV and AIDS, and Friends of the Children San Francisco, a program for disadvantaged inner-city youth.

Rick volunteers as a neighborhood organizer for Friends of the Urban Forest, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a greener San Francisco through tree planting and community involvement. He is also active in his community as a traffic and safety leader. Rick is an avid amateur photographer, a passion that’s been reinforced by his extensive international travels. He is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in photography at the Academy of Art University, San Francisco.

Something you may not know about Rick:

Rick once had a guest spot on the hit TV show Desperate Housewives. The episode “One More Kiss” opens with Rick kissing a woman at a party at Bree Van de Kamp’s home. This was his 3 seconds of fame.

Gregg Pfaff, CWS®

Gregg Pfaff

Wealth Manager & Managing Director

Wealth Advisory

Gregg Pfaff has 20 of years financial planning experience with an expertise in creating and overseeing financial portfolios for high net worth individuals. As a wealth management consultant, he has diversified experience in retirement strategies, wealth management and preservation, and trust and estate planning.

Prior to joining Baker Ave, Gregg was the Senior Vice President of Texas Capital Banks’ Wealth Management and Trust Division. He advised clients on developing sound financial plans, strategic asset management, estate planning and trust administration. Prior to that, he spent 15 years with Fidelity Investments, most recently as Vice President of the Private Client Group.

Gregg holds a BS in Finance and Public Relations from Texas Tech University. He is a Registered Investment Advisor with multiple NASD securities licenses. Gregg is a member of the Dallas Estate Planning Counsel and the Estate Planning Counsel of North Texas.

Alter Ego

Gregg was born in Huntington, New York where he spent his early years enjoying life on the ocean and water sports. He moved to Arlington, Texas when the airline industry moved his family to Texas.

He sent most of his life travelling the world, visiting many exotic destinations like Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and the BVIs. He loves all sports and is an avid golfer and water sport enthusiast. Gregg has been a Dallas Cowboy fan since the ripe old young age of 2 and still has the Roger Staubach PJ’s to prove it!

Something you may not know about Gregg

Gregg once lived in St Croix, helping to rebuild the city after a devastating hurricane hit the island, knocking out most of the infrastructure. His scuba diving travels have taken him to two of the largest reefs in the world, and he has a passion for swimming with and petting sharks. In the near future, Gregg hopes to take his interest in Sharks to the next level and participate in cage diving with the Great White Sharks of Northern California.

Wendy Hales, CFP®, CWS®

Wendy Hales

Wealth Manager & Managing Director

Wealth Advisory

Wendy has over 12 years’ experience in financial services. She started her financial career at Fidelity Investments. There she was a Financial Planning Consultant and a VP Senior Account Executive where she helped high net worth individuals with their overall financial plans, including insurance, investments, and estate planning. She also was a Workplace Planning and Guidance Consultant, working with some of the Bay area’s largest Non-Profit employers. In this role she worked with key executives to strategize and implement plans to better educate and engage their employees with regards their benefits. She also helped individual employees and CEO’s alike with their benefits and retirement plans.

Wendy has a diverse background; she has been a Teacher and a Deputy Sheriff. She has taught and worked with people of all ages and backgrounds.

She lived in Taiwan for over 4 years and speaks Mandarin Chinese. In addition to all her securities and insurance licenses, she also has a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She is also a CFP®. All this work and life experience gives her a unique ability to relate to all kinds of people and help them understand their finances and investments.

On the personal side:

Wendy is an avid adventurer. She has traveled to over 50 countries and has stepped foot on every continent, including Antarctica where she spent 10 days in December of 2010. Her adventures started after graduating from college when she went to Taiwan looking for a job with only $50.00 in her pocket. Fortunately she found one and stayed for over 4 years, learning Mandarin Chinese along the way. She backpacked alone throughout Southeast Asia, China and Nepal. While hiking the Annapurna sanctuary in Nepal she had a close call when an avalanche roared down the glacier she had just crossed. She also likes everything outdoors, skiing, snowboarding, hiking, camping, rock climbing, surfing and SCUBA diving. She is a certified rescue diver.

Her greatest adventure came when she and her wife Sirma decided to start a family, and the birth of their son Max in 2010, and then their daughter Naya in 2012.

“Being a parent is the greatest adventure I’ve ever had, nothing compares to it, and it is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”

Something you may not know about Wendy:

Wendy has poor luck with primates. Once, when visiting a remote village in Taiwan, a monkey ate her motorcycle key and she had to hitchhike back home. Then, hiking in the jungles of Thailand a troop of monkeys started throwing coconuts and sticks down at her from the trees. The biggest insult was when she was hiking up a sacred mountain in China, three baboons surrounded her and tried to pull off her pack, when she refused to give it up, one of them bit her on the behind and didn’t let go. She still has the scar.

Bill Connor, CFA, CFP®, CWS®

Bill Connor

Wealth Manager & Managing Director

Wealth Advisory

Bill Connor has 13 years of investment management and financial planning experience. Bill has a diversified skill set with a focus on risk management, investment analysis and retirement income planning. In addition Bill has experience with alternative investments including hedge funds, private equity and managed futures. Bill works in the New York office serving the needs of affluent domestic and international individuals as well as institutions.

Prior to joining Baker Ave Bill was a managing director at Longboard Asset Management, a hedge fund and investment management firm. Bill began his career working with private clients providing wealth management solutions for affluent individuals. Bill advises clients on prudent asset management, income generation strategies and overall financial planning.

Bill holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and the Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®) designations. Bill is a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA) as well as the Financial Planning Association (FPA). Bill graduated from James Madison University with a double major in Finance and Computer Information Systems. Post-graduation, Bill enrolled in Georgetown University’s financial planning course earning a Certificate of Financial Planning. Bill holds the FINRA series 3, 65, 63, and 7.

On the personal side:

Bill lives in New York City with his wife of 7 years, Ymirsy. Bill and Ymirsy met through mutual friends who unbeknownst to either Bill or Ymirsy were secretly plotting for them to meet. The rest is history. Bill enjoys exercise and sports, growing up playing football, basketball and soccer. While his football cleats have been hung up you can still find Bill playing basketball at various courts in NYC. Bill is a rabid NY Football Giants fan, a passion he inherited from his father. Most Sundays during the fall you can find Bill watching the Giants, much to Ymirsy's chagrin. Bill and Ymirsy travel regularly to Ymirsy’s native Venezuela. They especially like to visit Venezuela when the thermometer drops in NYC soaking up every minute of the sun filled beaches. While his Spanish is a work in progress, Bill can make a delicious arepa, the national dish of Venezuela.

Something you may not know about Bill:

Bill is a bit of a history buff, enjoying learning about different periods and geographic areas. His passion was recognized at a young age by the Sons of the American Revolution receiving an award as most outstanding history student in high school. Those who know Bill best understand the apple didn’t fall far from the tree as his father has PhD in in history and is a former university professor.

Richard LoPresti, CWS®

Richard LoPresti

Wealth Manager & Managing Director

Wealth Advisory

Rich LoPresti is a seasoned financial advisor who has been successfully serving affluent private investors’ clients since 2000. His emphasis is customized portfolio management, with specialties in portfolio construction and diversification, risk management and retirement income planning. Rich works in our New York Office.

Prior to joining Baker Ave’s New York Office, Rich served as an account executive at Fidelity Investments where he focused on all aspects and risks of wealth management, from accumulation of assets to preserving, distributing and transferring wealth to future generations. Prior to his work at Fidelity, Rich began his finance career with E*TRADE Financial in New York City.

Rich received a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Pace University in 2000 and M.B.A degree from AIU in 2005..

On a Personal Note

Rich is married to his beautiful wife, Darcee, who he met at college and has two precious daughters, Kyla and Zoey and his son, a shaggy dog named Cole. On her own accord, his twelve-year-old daughter, Kyla, wrote and published her first novel in 2012, the trilogy is on the way…. His eight year-old daughter, Zoey, is scoring goals left and right and is well on her way to becoming the next Mia Hamm Gooooaaaal!!!.

Something You Don’t Know About Rich

In 1989, he learned how to sell solutions early on in his career. Employed at age 11, he helped increase sales of expensive baseball card sets at a local dealer with his suggestion to break up the complete sets into more affordable team groupings. His reasoning? No kid could afford the whole set, but they would love to own all the cards from their favorite teams. I guess that could be called marketing to the micro-customer! He has come a long way since then, but has never lost his knack for identifying a problem and creating an effective, end-to-end solution.

Jared Johnson

Jared Johnson

Associate Managing Director

Wealth Advisory

Jared Johnson has over a decade of wealth management experience with an expertise in servicing affluent clients. Jared specializes in customized portfolio management, retirement income planning, and trust services.

Prior to joining Baker Ave’s Dallas office, Jared served as a Private Client representative at TD Ameritrade where he focused on all aspects and of wealth management including trading strategies and risk management for high net worth clients. Jared began his career in the financial industry with Bank of America, N.A., where he was promoted to the Vice President level before transitioning to a position as investment advisor with Banc of America Investments.

Jared holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of North Dakota. He is currently pursuing his MBA and Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation from the University of Dallas.

Jared was born and raised in a small town in Northwest North Dakota. At a young age, he started working at his family’s business, Johnson Oil Co., with his father and grandfather. After high school and college in North Dakota, he wanted to experience a different part of the country, so he moved to Texas to start his career. Within a year, he met his wife, Meg, and they made Texas home. Eleven years later, the two “honorary Texans” couldn’t imagine life anywhere else.

Jared enjoys spending most of his free time with his 2 year old son, Charlie, but when time permits, can be found taking in a round of golf or attending a local sporting event. He religiously follows the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux men’s hockey team, has quite a collection of Sioux memorabilia, and even installed a special satellite dish at home to ensure he never misses a game. He’s also an avid fan of the Texas Rangers, Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Stars.

Something you may not know about Jared:

Jared and Meg own two horses and enjoy all things equestrian. Meg competes in the western sport of Reining, which takes up much of their weekends. Although Jared doesn’t compete, he considers himself an excellent groom and horse chauffer.

Hannah Kim

Hannah Kim

Compliance Officer, Relationship Team Director

Private Client Service

Hannah Kim serves as the primary liaison between the custodian of our clients’ assets, our clients, and Baker Ave’s internal staff. In this role, Hannah’s main focus is to make sure our new and existing clients are provided with optimal service. She is responsible for managing the different types of account activity including account establishment and day-to-day maintenance. Also core to Hannah’s responsibilities is her representation of the Client Services Team in many internal projects, including our ongoing commitment to process improvement.

Prior to joining Baker Ave in 2012, Hannah worked at Credit Suisse in the Private Banking USA division as a Relationship Associate for 6 years. She was an integral member of a senior team, where she gained a comprehensive knowledge of the securities industry and its procedures and regulations. She also worked with executives of public companies regularly to help customize and administer their 10b5-1 plans, as well as facilitate the selling of their restricted stock.

Hannah attended the University of Missouri where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, with minors in History and Religious Studies.

On the personal side:

Hannah is a huge sports fanatic. She has impressed many people with her knowledge about football, hockey, baseball, golf, tennis, and basketball. Growing up in St. Louis, attending sporting events was all there was to do for entertainment. Fed up with the limited options of food, entertainment, and a potential husband, Hannah moved to San Francisco in 2004. It was the best decision of her life. Finally, she was surrounded by a variety of restaurants, still lived in a sports town, could choose from many activities the Bay Area had to offer, and in September 2011, got married. Although she misses her Midwestern upbringing, she has no plans to ever go back.

Something you may not know about Hannah:

Hannah was lucky enough to marry a man with the same last name. As a joke, she told her friends she was considering hyphenating her name to Kim-Kim. They all loved the idea so much that all her friends still refer to her as Hannah Kim-Kim.

Maria Michel

Maria Michel

Portfolio Advisory Associate

Private Client Service

Maria Michel is responsible for providing client support functions and assisting the director of client services in the overall management of office operations and client relationships.

Prior to joining Baker Ave in 2006, Maria held a marketing position at First Republic Bank. Previously, she worked at Roza Real Estate Loans and the Oakland Fund for Children & Youth.

Maria earned her B.A. in political economy with a concentration in international business from the University of California, Berkeley. While attending UC Berkeley, Maria served as a member of the finance committee for the Latino Business Student Association and as treasurer for Hermanas Unidas, Inc.

On the personal side:

Maria is a member of both UC Berkeley’s Latino Business Alumni Association and Hermanas Unidas Alumni. She is also involved with the Achieve program, serving as a mentor for high school students. Maria enjoys scrapbooking and salsa dancing, and is an aspiring golfer.

Something you may not know about Maria:

In 1992, Maria competed in a children’s track race at the state level in Jalisco, Mexico. To her surprise, she won first place and, in addition to her big medal, she got to spend a day with Carlos Rivera Aceves, the governor of the state of Jalisco at the time. Her relocation to the United States brought her track and field career to an abrupt and untimely end, but she still thinks fondly of her “glory days.”

Sherine Fazeli

Sherine Fazeli

Relationship Manager

Private Client Service

As a Private Client Associate, Sherine is responsible for expanding and managing existing accounts. She assists clients through the new account creation process, day-to-day maintenance and provides them with information on the status of existing accounts, asset transfers, and current investments.

Sherine is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. She graduated with a B.A. in Political Economy with an emphasis in Globalization. She was an active member of the Berkeley Women in Business Club.

Sherine is a member of the Cal Alumni Association and a mentor for the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization.

On the personal side:

In Sherine’s free time, she loves to learn about different cultures and countries. She’s been fortunate enough to travel to many countries with her family. Sherine has volunteered abroad as well. She spent time in Peru, installing alternative technologies of cooking stoves to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and eliminate harmful smoke in homes. Sherine also volunteered at a turtle protection program in Costa Rica.

Something you may not know about Sherine:

Because Sherine travels to the Middle East frequently, she’s always wanted to learn Farsi. In college, she studied the language for two years. Now she can read, write, and converse in Farsi.

Rabia Turab

Rabia Turab

Relationship Manager

Private Client Service

As a Private Client Associate, Rabia works closely with the operations team to manage new and existing accounts. She assists clients in the account opening process and account maintenance by assisting them with their asset transfers, sending clients quarterly reviews and overall account maintenance. She is energetic and enthusiastic about Baker Avenue and takes initiative by working closely with the operations team to ensure client satisfaction.

Rabia is currently pursuing her degree in Public Health concentrating on Health Education, she is also an active member in her community.

On the personal side:

Rabia enjoys being active and staying healthy. She and her husband, Bilal, enjoy spending time with their two German Shepherds, Sasha and Rosko. Rabia has a passion for cooking and baking. She enjoys using her weekends to bake desserts and sweets for her friends and family.

Tyler Page

Tyler Page

Analyst

Portfolio Management

As an analyst, Tyler works on the investment team and is responsible for trading, research, and performance tracking.

Prior to joining Baker Ave, Tyler worked as a research analyst with PortfolioOperations, a value investing institutional advice service and newsletter. In this role he performed due diligence, built models, and wrote daily and monthly research pieces across a variety of sectors. Previously, he worked at America's Growth Capital and RSF Social Finance.

Tyler graduated cum laude from Tufts University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a minor in Entrepreneurial Leadership. He was also an analyst for the Tufts Financial Club. Tyler is currently a candidate in the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) program.

On the personal side:

Tyler grew up in San Francisco and after attending high school and college on the east coast he was finally able to move back home. Tyler has always been an avid fan of all Bay Area sports, especially the Giants and 49ers. For many years the laughing stock of his roommates, he is glad that his San Francisco teams have returned to the glory years of old.

Something you may not know about Tyler:

Tyler is also an athlete himself, having played lacrosse at Tufts where he won a National Championship in 2010. Most people are surprised to find that Tyler is a goalie, as the position has a reputation of insanity. In fact, many have told him that he is the first normal goalie they have ever met. Post-graduation, he hasn't hung up the cleats, as he is playing in a men's league in San Francisco. Tyler also enjoys coaching a U13 team at Town School, where his lacrosse career started years ago.