Heather Fortune Vestweber

Founding Partner

Historical Relationship Tenure: 20 years

Years of Experience: 30 years

Educational Background

  • University of Iowa, BS, Business

Designations/Certifications/Classes

  • Wells Fargo Family Dynamics Training
  • Wells Fargo Business Succession
  • Norwest College of Credit
  • Cannon Trust School I

Other Notable Information

  • Niche is working with the financial problems marital disputes create
  • Trust and estate planning expertise
  • Tax planning and management expertise
  • P&C/health insurance management expertise
  • Budgeting and bill pay expertise

Dave Arens

Founding Partner

Historical Relationship Tenure: 20 years 

Years of Experience: 37 years 

Educational Background 

  • University of Iowa, MA, Economics 
  • University of Iowa, BA, Zoology 

Designations/Certifications/Classes 

  • Graduate, ABA School of Banking Colorado 
  • Graduate, Cannon Trust School I & II 
  • Graduate, Wells Fargo Business Succession Planning I & II 
  • Graduate, Wells Fargo Family Dynamics Training 

Other Notable Information 

  • Niche is business owners and success planning 
  • Trust and estate planning expertise
  • Tax planning and management expertise 
  • P&C/health insurance management expertise 
  • Budgeting and bill pay expertise

Chris Casey

Founding Partner

Historical Relationship Tenure: 13 years 

Years of Experience: 37 years 

Educational Background 

  • Troy State University, BA, Finance 

Designations/Certifications/Classes 

  • Graduate, ABA School of Banking Colorado 
  • Graduate, Cannon Trust School I & II 
  • Graduate, Wells Fargo Business Succession Planning I & II 
  • Graduate, Wells Fargo Family Dynamics Training 

Other Notable Information 

  • Niche is unique income solutions for clients after they retire or sell their business or other assets
  • Member of our Investment Committee
  • Leads the firm’s asset allocation and optimization process to create efficient investment portfolios
  • Board of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, and served on their Investment Committee, Development Committee and Linn County Grant Committee
  • Past President of the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation Board
     

Brett Halley

Founding Partner

Historical Relationship Tenure: 11 years

Years of Experience: 29 years

Educational Background

  • University of Iowa, MBA
  • University of Iowa, BS, Investment Finance

Designations/Certifications/Classes

  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) 

Other Notable Information

  • Niche is institutional investing
  • Member of the Investment Committee 
  • Directs our fixed income investing

David Holtorf

Founding Partner

Years of Experience: 24 years

Educational Background

  • University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Studied both Psychology and Music Performance

Other Notable Information

  • Niche is farm families, retirement income planning and cash flow planning 

Russell Samples

Founding Partner

Historical Relationship Tenure: 9 years

Years of Experience: 28 years

Educational Background

  • University of Texas, BA, Business Administration with Honors

Designations/Certifications/Classes

  • Certified Trust and Financial Advisor, American Bankers Association/Institute of Certified Bankers (CTFA®)
  • Graduate of the Texas School of Trust Banking
  • Graduate of Cannon Trust School I, II and III
  • Graduate of the Darla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina, Graduate School of Bank Investments and Financial Management

Other Notable Information

  • Russell’s area of specialty is in managing wealth and financial planning for high-net-worth individuals, families and foundations
  • Niche in working with business owners and succession planning
  • Trust and estate planning expertise
  • Tax planning and management expertise
  • Budgeting and bill payment expertise

 

Debra Wilkens

Founding Partner

Historical Relationship Tenure: 13 years

Years of Experience: 15 years

Educational Background

  • Baylor University, BA, Business Administration and Political Science (Summa Cum Laude / Valedictorian)

Designations/Certifications/Classes

  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®)

Other Notable Information

  • Specializes in building customized investment portfolios to meet the unique needs of high-net-worth individuals, families, foundations and endowments
  • Member of the Investment Committee
  • Active member of the CFA® Society of Austin

 

Timothy Kneen

Chairman of the Board, Founding Partner

Years of Experience: 36 years

Educational Background

  • University of Denver, BS, Public Affairs/Economics

Designations/Certifications/Classes

  • Certified Investment Management Analyst, The Warton School, University of Pennsylvania (CIMA®)

Other Notable Information

  • Timothy was the 2007 recipient of the Tom Gorman Award for Lifetime Service to the Investment Management Industry.
  • Timothy was named Top 100 Investment Consultants in America by Barron’s in 2000, and #1 ranked consultant in Colorado.
  • Specialist in working with business owners, family offices and institutional investors. 
  • Tim has founded five companies from scratch, bought several others and has exited all of them selling some to strategic buyers, some to financial buyers and some private equity. 
  • Tim leads our investment banking work, serves on our Investment Committee and chairs our board of directors.
     

Jeff Shipley

President, Founding Partner

Years of Experience: 27 years

Educational Background

  • Texas A&M University, BA, Psychology and Economics

Other Notable Information

  • Jeff brings more than 25 years of private banking experience to the team.
  • Jeff has extensive experience developing teams to reach their fullest potential, most recently providing strategic leadership to more than 1,000 team members across a 21-state region. He is driven by results, delivering outstanding experiences for clients every step of the way.
  • Jeff is very active in the community, serving in leadership roles for some of the largest nonprofit organizations in Houston including Board Director for Houston Methodist Hospital, Chairman of the Board of Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Advisory Director at Texas Children’s Cancer Center, Chairman of the Board for Interfaith of the Woodlands, and the Director/Finance Chair for the Woodland United Methodist Church.
     

Maxwell Smith

Chief Operations Officer, Founding Partner

Years of Experience: 15 years

Educational Background

  • University of Colorado Denver, BA, Economics

Other Notable Information

  • Max’s primary focus has been in operations and mergers and acquisitions with close to $6 billion in AUM with breakaway, mergers and acquisitions experience
  • Max is a founding partner and serves as the firm’s chief operations officer managing the operations of the firm day-to-day as well as assisting advisors in transitions to Private Wealth
  • Max is a member of the Executive Committee and co-chairs the Operations Committee
  • Maxwell is co-author of Breaking Through the Wall: A Financial Advisor’s Guide to Grow, Scale, and Monetize Your Business for Millions
     

Kim Cappellano

Chief Marketing Officer, Founding Partner, Director of Philanthropic Services

Historical Relationship Tenure: 10 years

Years of Experience: 20 years

Educational Background

  • University of Notre Dame, MNA
  • Creighton University, MBA focused on Quantitative Analysis
  • Indiana University, BS, Business Administration and Management
  • AA, Financial Planning

Designations/Certifications/Classes

  • Certified Trust and Fiduciary Advisor (CTFA®)
  • Yale University - Women’s Executive Leadership Program
  • Graduate, Wells Fargo Business Succession Planning I & II
  • Graduate, Wells Fargo Family Dynamics Training 

Other Notable Information

  • Kim is a member of the Executive Committee, co-chairs Private Wealth Operations and Marketing Committees
  • Trust and estate planning expertise
  • Philanthropic services expertise for nonprofits and private family foundations
     

David Tawil

Managing Partner, Texas

Historical Relationship Tenure: 9 years

Years of Experience: 24 years

Educational Background

  • Texas State University, BBA, Finance

Designations/Certifications/Classes

  • Certified Trust and Fiduciary Advisor (CTFA®)
  • Fiduciary Graduate Program

Other Notable Information

  • Chairman, Private Wealth Investment Committee
  • Investment Management Consultants Association
  • Leadership San Antonio - Class 44
  • Member of the Executive Committee, co-chairs Investment Committee
  • Specialization in working with high-net-worth individuals, families, foundations and endowments
  • Specialization in leading advisors working with high-net-worth individuals, families, foundations and endowments
  • Ballet San Antonio - Board of Directors (Treasurer)
  • Active in the San Antonio Estate Planning Council

 

Rick Simonetti

Chief Strategy Officer

Years of Experience: 33 years 

Educational Background:  

  • The Ohio State University, BS, Accounting 

Designations/Certifications/Classes: 

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA®) - Inactive 

Other Notable Information: 

  • Rick is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants  
  • Licenses held: Series 7, 65, 24 
  • Rick brings years of experience from his previous roles, such as Senior Managing Director of Wells Fargo Private Wealth Management, National Head of Wealth Planning at Wells Fargo, and Senior Tax Manager at Deloitte.  

Wendy Brekken

Chief Wealth Planning Officer

Years of Experience: 18 years (10 as a practicing attorney, 8+ in wealth management)

Educational Background

  • William Mitchell College of Law, JD, Magna Cum Laude
  • Saint Olaf College, BA, Psychology and Family Studies, Magna Cum Laude

Other Notable Information

  • Wendy’s area of specialty is in providing customized wealth planning advice to high-net-worth individuals and families
  • Extensive experience providing holistic planning advice, with experience in the areas of estate and wealth transfer planning, business transition planning and philanthropy
  • Conducting family meetings and navigating challenging family dynamics

Matthew Rothchild

Chief Compliance Officer

Years of Experience: 15 years in the financial services industry, (8 years in compliance)

Educational Background

  • University of North Dakota, BA, Management and Economics

Other Notable Information

  • I have a reputation for being an adventurer; to that end, I am a hiking enthusiast and have scaled the highest points of several states plus the District of Columbia. Additionally, I am an avid tinkerer who has taken apart and reassembled a long list of machines and other items, usually to bring them back into working order. And on occasion, I’ve even been known to build things from scratch!