Our
Professionals


Investment Management

Mitchell A. Kovitz

Mitchell A. Kovitz, CFA, CPA

Founder & Principal, Portfolio Manager

In October 2003, Mitch and his partners founded Kovitz Investment Group to provide asset management services and solutions to high net worth individuals and institutions. Mitch serves as co-chief investment officer of the investment team. Kovitz applies the investment methodology pioneered by Benjamin Graham and further developed by Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger. Prior to founding Kovitz, Mitch was President at Rothschild Investment Corporation. Mitch has been featured in publications such as: Crain’s Chicago Business, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, and Value Investor Insight. In addition, he has been interviewed on Bloomberg broadcast television. Mitch graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. He became licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in August 1986, and received a Masters in Taxation from the University of Illinois in 1987. Mitch is a CFA Charterholder.

Jonathan A. Shapiro

Jonathan A. Shapiro, MBA, CFA

Founder & Principal, Portfolio Manager

In October 2003, Jon and his partners founded Kovitz Investment Group to provide asset management services and solutions to high net worth individuals and institutions. Jon serves as co-chief investment officer of the investment team. Kovitz applies the investment methodology pioneered by Benjamin Graham and further developed by Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger. Prior to founding Kovitz, Jon joined Rothschild Investment Corporation in 1999 as a Portfolio Manager in the firm's Investment Management Department. Jon was previously employed as an Analyst at Vector Securities from 1997 to 1999, and a Management Consultant with KPMG and Towers Perrin from 1986 through 1997. He has been frequently featured in Crain’s Chicago Business and the Chicago Tribune. He has also been featured in such publications as Value Investor Insight and The Art of Value Investing: How the World’s Best Investors Beat the Market. Jon graduated from Carleton College in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics. He later received his MBA degree from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business with concentrations in finance and accounting. He is also a CFA Charterholder and a member of the CFA Society of Chicago.

Joel D. Hirsh

Joel D. Hirsh, CFA

Principal, Portfolio Manager

Joel focuses on portfolio management of the long/short and long-only equity strategies at KIG. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group in 2006, Joel worked as an equity research analyst for KeyBanc Capital Markets, a Division of McDonald Investments. In his previous role, Joel focused on fundamental research in an award-winning basic materials research group. Joel has been published in CFA Magazine and quoted in Bloomberg, Value Investor Insight and Chicago Sun-Times. He is a member of the CFA Society of Chicago's Education Advisory Group. Joel graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. He is a CFA® Charterholder and member of the CFA Society of Chicago. Joel is licensed with FINRA under Series 7, 86, 87, 63 and 66.

Robert S. Burstine, BBA, J.D.

Portfolio Manager

Bob serves as a portfolio manager for Kovitz Investment Group and as member of its investment team.  Prior to joining Kovitz in 2017, Bob co-founded Fairpointe Capital in 2011 and served as its president. Bob led Fairpointe's Focused Equity strategy, including serving as lead portfolio manager for the AMG Managers Fairpointe Focused Equity Fund. Bob previously served as a portfolio manager and investment analyst at Harris Associates for ten years, providing investment research and portfolio management as a mid cap and large cap value generalist.  Bob has been featured in various publications including Barron's, Forbes, Kiplinger's, MarketWatch, The Street, Value Investor Insight, and the Wall Street Transcript.  Bob graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 1986 and a JD from Harvard Law School in 1989.

Mark Rosland

Mark C. Rosland

Principal, Equity Trading & Hedged Equity Strategies

As a member of the investment team at KIG, Mark focuses primarily on the management of KIG's long/short strategy. As the strategy’s chief risk officer, Mark spends the majority of his time structuring the individual positions and stress testing the overall portfolio. In addition, Mark oversees KIG's equity and options trade execution and is also involved in the firm’s institutional marketing for the long/short offering. Prior to the formation of KIG in 2003, Mark was a financial advisor at Rothschild Investment Corporation. Mark graduated in 1997 from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration. He is a Registered Options Principal and is licensed with FINRA under Series 4, 7 and 66.

Matthew R. Wieneke

Matthew R. Wieneke

Equity Trader & Trading Operations Manager

Matt joined Kovitz Investment Group in 2010 and manages trading and operations for KIG’s long only, long/short strategies and the Green Owl Intrinsic Value Fund (GOWLX). In addition to Matt’s role in trading and operations, he is responsible for building relationships with institutional partners and serves on the firm’s marketing committee. Matt graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2009, and is licensed with FINRA under Series 7 and 66.

Jason M. Petitte

Jason M. Petitte, CFA

Senior Analyst

Jason is a member of the investment team and primarily focuses on equity research and analysis.  As part of the Kovitz team since 2005, Jason pioneered and managed the firm’s investments in private-label residential mortgage-backed securities, was engaged in portfolio management and trading related to the firm’s investments in fixed income securities, and was initially responsible for equity trading and operations before transitioning into investment research and analysis.  Jason has been published in CFA Magazine and he graduated from DePaul University with High Honors in 2002 while earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance with a Minor in Accounting.  He is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the CFA Society of Chicago.  Jason is licensed with FINRA under Series 7 and 66.

Mark C. Ott, Jr.

Mark C. Ott, Jr.

Fixed Income Investment & Operations Analyst

Mark joined Kovitz Investment Group in 2011 and currently trades fixed income products such as municipal and corporate bonds. Prior to joining Kovitz, Mark served proudly in the United States Air Force which included tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He received his Bachelor of Science degree magna cum laude in Finance and a minor in Economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2011. He is licensed with FINRA under Series 7, 66 and 53.

William W. Lee

William W. Lee

Director - Institutional Sales

Bill has a broad knowledge of capital markets as well as a significant financial business network. Prior to joining Kovitz in 2012, he served various roles in the wealth management division, including regional director, at Smith Barney. Bill earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Economics from the University of California Santa Barbara in 1979.

Richard P. Salerno

Richard P. Salerno

Director - Fixed Income

Rich focuses on Kovitz Investment Group's bond buying process in which he is able to achieve higher yields for clients through an open bidding process. His expertise includes all aspects of fixed income investing. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group, Rich’s fixed income skillset is derived from time spent in the fixed income divisions at Rothschild Investment Corporation, Howe Barnes Investments and Gruntal & Co. Rich earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Lewis University in 1977 and is licensed with FINRA under Series 7, 53, 63 and 66.

Jesse L. Stumpf

Jesse L. Stumpf, CFA

Investment Analyst

Jesse is a member of the investment team and is engaged in portfolio management, trading, research and analysis related to the firm’s fixed income and equity strategies with a focus on non-agency mortgage backed securities. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group in 2012, Jesse was a Financial Analyst and Planner for high net worth clients and corporate executives at The Ayco Company, L.P., A Goldman Sachs Company. He received a Bachelor of Science in Finance with Honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2010. Jesse is licensed with FINRA under Series 7 and 66. He is also a CFA Charterholder and a member of the CFA Society of Chicago.




Wealth Management

Bruce A. Weininger

Bruce A. Weininger, CPA, CFP®

Principal, Senior Financial Advisor

Bruce has been instrumental in the firms growth through his focus on client service and financial planning. Since 1988, he has provided comprehensive financial planning advice to high net worth individuals and institutions. Bruce has been the primary source of financial advice to more than a dozen Fortune 500 Chief Executive Officers and Chief Financial Officers. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group in 2004, Bruce was a partner at Deloitte, LLP, leading their Midwest financial planning practice. He has spoken at national conferences on wealth planning topics and has been featured in Barron’s and Worth magazine as one of the top financial advisors in the country. His work has been published in the Journal for Financial Planning, Financial Advisor magazine, and Investment Advisor magazine. Bruce has also guest lectured at the University of Illinois, and has been quoted extensively locally in the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times and, nationally, in Business Week. He also served on the Journal of Financial Planning’s Advisory Board. In 2013, 2014 and 2015 Bruce received the Five Star Wealth Manager Award from Chicago magazine, placing him among the top 3% of wealth managers in the Chicago area. Bruce received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1986. He is a Certified Public Accountant and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.

Harold (Skip) Gianopulos

Harold (Skip) Gianopulos, Jr., JD, CFP®

Principal, Senior Financial Advisor

Skip has focused his entire career on counseling high net worth individuals in all areas of wealth management. His extensive knowledge as a wealth planner in diverse areas such as investments, retirement planning, taxation, and estate planning allows him to provide comprehensive investment advisory services to clients. Prior to joining Kovitz in 2005, Skip served as Senior Vice President at Harris Trust & Savings Bank in Chicago and Managing Director of their Wealth Management Group in Barrington. He also co-founded a successful fee-based investment advisory firm. Skip has been featured in Barron’s and Worth magazine as one of the top financial advisors in the country. He was also named by Consumers Research Council of America as one of “America's Best Financial Planners.” He is a published author and speaker on various wealth management strategies. Skip received the Five Star Wealth Manager Award from Chicago magazine, placing him among the top 3% of wealth managers in the Chicago area. Skip graduated from Taylor University in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Computer Information Systems Analysis. In 1999, he received his JD from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago and Masters in Taxation in 2005. Skip is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.

Andrea R. Cohen

Andrea R. Cohen, CFP®

Principal, Senior Financial Advisor

Andy has been working with corporate executives and high net worth individuals since 1985. Her extensive expertise with investments, retirement planning, income and estate tax and wealth transfer strategies makes her a trusted advisor to her clients. Before joining Kovitz Investment Group in 2006, Andy provided comprehensive financial planning services to high net worth families while at Northern Trust and Personal Financial Planning, Inc. She also served as Director of Executive Compensation and Benefits for Ameritech Corporation, and also consulted on executive compensation issues to other companies in the Chicago area. A five-time winner, Andy received the Five Star Wealth Manager Award from Chicago magazine in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 placing her among the top 3% of all wealth managers in the Chicagoland area. She’s also been published in the Journal of Financial Planning and has been a guest speaker for the Financial Planning Association and the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. Andy earned her Bachelor of Science degree magna cum laude in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1985. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.

Edward W. Edens

Edward W. Edens, MBA, CFP®

Principal, Senior Financial Advisor

Ed provides financial advice and manages investment accounts for his clients. He enjoys working with many types of clients including individuals, trusts, private foundations, pension and profit sharing plans, not-for-profit organizations and businesses. Ed works seamlessly with clients’ tax advisers and estate planning attorneys to provide comprehensive planning and advice. Prior to joining Kovitz in 2005, Ed was an advisor at Wayne Hummer Asset Management as well as Harris Trust & Savings Bank. A six-time winner, Ed has received the Five Star Wealth Manager Award from Chicago magazine from 2010 through 2015 placing him among the top 3% of all wealth managers in the Chicago area. He is also a published author and speaker on various investment matters. Ed is a member of the Financial Planners Association of Illinois. Ed graduated from Augustana College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration and Finance in 1986. He received his MBA in Finance from DePaul University in Chicago in 1997. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.

Mary E. Anderson

Mary E. Anderson, MA, MBA

Senior Financial Advisor

Mary works closely with her clients with the construction and management of portfolios. Since 1982, Mary has been involved in financial markets. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group in 2007, she was a Vice President and a Senior Portfolio Manager at Harris Bank. After 11 years working in Harris Bank’s Investment Department, Mary joined Harris's Private Bank in 1995 where she specialized in developing asset management programs for large complex trusts and investment relationships. Prior to joining Harris in 1984, Mary worked in Continental Bank's Investment Department. In both 2014 and 2015, Mary received the Five Star Wealth Manager Award from Chicago magazine, placing her among the top 3% of all wealth managers in the Chicago area. She graduated with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree from Marquette University and an MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota with a concentration in Finance. Mary also earned an MA from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.

Jenny P. Boyke

Jenny P. Boyke, MAS, CPA, CFP®

Senior Financial Advisor

Jenny focuses on the maintenance and construction of client portfolios as well as comprehensive financial planning advice. Since 1999, Jenny has been a trusted advisor to senior corporate executives and high net worth individuals and families. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group in 2007, she began her career in the tax practices of Deloitte & Touche, LLP and RSM McGladrey. Jenny received the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 Five Star Wealth Manager Award from Chicago magazine, placing her among the top 3% of wealth managers in the Chicago area. In 1998, Jenny received her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting with a Minor in Finance from Northern Illinois University, graduating summa cum laude. A year later, she also earned her Master’s in Accounting with an area of specialization in taxation from her alma mater. Jenny is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and a member of the Financial Planning Association.

David A. Castro

David A. Castro, CFP®

Senior Financial Advisor

David is a member of the client service team. David works closely with financial advisors to provide wealth management and comprehensive financial planning advice to clients. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group in 2013, David was a Financial Planner for high net worth clients at The Ayco Company, L.P., a Goldman Sachs Company. He received a Bachelor of Science in Honors Finance from DePaul University in 2010. David is licensed with FINRA under Series 7 and 66. David is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.

John J. Conway

John J. Conway, CRPC®

Senior Financial Advisor

John provides financial advice to high net worth individuals, trusts, private foundations, pension and profit sharing plans, and not-for-profit organizations. Prior to the formation of Kovitz Investment Group in 2003, John was a financial advisor at Rothschild Investment Corporation and a financial consultant with the Merrill Lynch Private Client Services Group. John received the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 Five Star Wealth Manager Award from Chicago magazine, placing him among the top 3% of wealth managers in the Chicago area. John earned his CRPC® through the College for Financial Planning in Denver, Colorado and recently completed Northwestern University's School of Continuing Studies Certified Financial Planner™ course. He attended Winona State University and specialized in Economics.

Amanda L. Falkum

Amanda L. Falkum, CFP®

Senior Financial Advisor

Amanda provides comprehensive financial planning and investment consulting services to high net worth individuals and corporate executives. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group in 2008, Amanda began her career in the private client groups of Deloitte & Touche, LLP and Ernst & Young, LLP. Amanda received the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 Five Star Wealth Manager Award from Chicago magazine, placing her among the top 3% of wealth managers in the Chicago area. Amanda is a member of the Financial Planning Association and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison with a Bachelor of Science degree in Personal Finance.

Deborah A. Hopkins

Deborah A. Hopkins, MBA, CFP®

Senior Financial Advisor

Debbie counsels her clients on the financial and investment decisions that impact their lives and the lives of their family members. She works with clients to integrate investment and financial planning strategies into their financial picture. Prior to joining Kovitz in 2011, Debbie was the Chief Operating Officer for a small wealth management firm in Chicago, Illinois. She also was a Vice President in private banking at The Northern Trust where she managed the investment and credit relationships for senior executives from Fortune 100 companies. Debbie is a member of the Professional Women’s Club of Chicago where she co-chairs the Programs committee and a board member for the Exclusive Professional Women’s Networking Group. She is also a member of the Professional Council for Philanthropy for Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Debbie earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1986. She earned her MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in 1991. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.

Melissa Mabley Martin

Melissa Mabley Martin, MBA, CFP®

Senior Financial Advisor

Melissa provides comprehensive financial planning and investment consulting services to high net worth individuals and their families. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group in 2015, Melissa was a Wealth Advisor at RMB Capital Management. She was previously a Vice President at U.S. Trust where she managed investment and credit relationships for high net worth families and corporate executives. Melissa earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University. She earned her MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. Melissa is licensed with FINRA under Series 7 and 66.

Bradford P. Madison

Bradford P. Madison, MBA, CTFA

Senior Financial Advisor

Brad has spent the past 26 years in the wealth management industry. Most recently, he spent 15 years at Bessemer Trust as a Senior Client Advisor where he was responsible for advising ultra-high net worth individuals and families in all aspects of wealth management including investment management, estate and tax planning, philanthropic advisory and Next Gen education. Prior to that, Brad spent 10 years at First Chicago (now part of JP Morgan) as a Senior Portfolio Manager where he was responsible for managing investment portfolios for corporate executives and other high net worth individuals. Brad started his career in bond futures at the Chicago Board of Trade. Brad received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Illinois and a MBA in Finance from Loyola University. He has been a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor since 2003.

Jack Nicholson

Jack Nicholson, MBA, CFP®

Senior Financial Advisor

Jack joined Kovitz Investment Group following eight years at BMO Private Bank (formerly Harris Private Bank) where he held a variety of leadership positions in its Barrington, Illinois office and in downtown Chicago headquarters. Prior to joining Harris, he was Senior Vice President of LaSalle Bank’s Wealth Management Group, leading client service teams in Hinsdale, South Barrington, and Rockford, Illinois. Earlier in his career, Jack provided investment management and financial planning services for Fidelity Investments Premium Assets Group, First Chicago, and Merrill Lynch.

Jack received his AB degree from Dartmouth College in Economics and a Masters in Management with distinction from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He is a member of the Financial Planning Association and the Chicago Estate Planning Council. He has been a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional for almost thirty years.

Michael J. Fenge

Michael J. Fenger

Director - Taft Hartley Client Services

Mike is responsible for building KIG's investment management business with respect to Taft-Hartley and related pension plans. Mike has well-established relationships with the Taft-Hartley community and their service providers. Prior to joining Kovitz, he served as the Director of Institutional Sales for Vestor Capital Corporation in Chicago where he was responsible for their Taft-Hartley institutional division. Mike has also served as the Director of Labor for the State of Illinois and served six terms as Business Manager for IBEW Local 364 in Rockford, Illinois. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Labor Studies degree from National Labor College in Silver Spring, Maryland. Michael is licensed with FINRA under Series 65.

Peter M. Rudman

Peter M. Rudman

Director - Business Development

Peter joined Kovitz Investment Group in January 2012. He is responsible for building KIG's investment management business with respect to high net worth individuals, trusts, private foundations and family offices. Before joining Kovitz, Peter worked in the entertainment industry for 18 years producing various programming for national broadcast and cable networks. Peter earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the Lehigh University in 1990 and earned his Master's Degree from Northwestern University in 1993. Peter is licensed with FINRA under Series 7 and 66.

Kate E. Jonynas

Kate E. Jonynas, CFP®

Financial Advisor

Kate provides financial advice and manages client portfolios. She works closely with advisors and financial planners to provide integrated wealth management solutions for high net worth individuals and their families in order to achieve their long-term goals. Kate began her career with Kovitz Investment Group in 2008. She is a member of the Financial Planning Association and the Professional Women’s Club of Chicago. Kate earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Economics with a Minor in Management from DePaul University. She is licensed with FINRA under Series 7 and 66. Kate is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.

Christopher J. Nicholson

Christopher J. Nicholson, CFP®

Financial Advisor

Chris delivers a variety of financial planning services to Kovitz's clients, including retirement modeling, tax planning, portfolio construction and estate plan review. Prior to joining Kovitz in 2014, Chris was a Financial Planning Assistant at JMG Financial Group, Ltd., where he focused on the development and implementation of comprehensive financial plans for high net worth clients. In 2008, he received a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a minor in Spanish from the University of Iowa. He is licensed with FINRA under Series 7 and 63. Chris is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.

Eric S. Vernsten

Eric S. Vernsten, JD, MBA

Financial Advisor

Eric is a member of the client service team. Eric works with senior financial advisors to provide comprehensive wealth management and financial planning advice to clients. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group in July 2016, Eric was a Financial Planner for high net worth individuals and families at Ayco, a Goldman Sachs company. He received a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in May 2009. Eric received his Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration degrees from the Southern Illinois University School of Law and College of Business in May 2013. Eric is a licensed attorney in the state of Illinois. He is also licensed under FINRA with his Series 7 and 66.

Susan M. Herrick

Susan M. Herrick, CFP®

Associate Financial Advisor

Susan collaborates with senior financial advisors managing client portfolios and has worked closely with the clients at Kovitz since 2008. She has worked in the financial industry since 1997. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group, Susan worked at Harris Associates as a licensed Portfolio Associate, American Family Insurance as an agent. She is also a member of the Financial Planning Association. Susan earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from University of Michigan and is licensed with FINRA under Series 7, 63 and 66. Susan is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.

Cara J. Haselrig

Associate Financial Advisor

Cara joined Kovitz Investment Group in 2017 and partners with senior financial advisors to provide individualized and comprehensive wealth management. Previously, Cara worked with Charles Schwab’s Wealth Strategies Group as a client service member, providing support to high net-worth clients and assisting financial planners, tax experts, and trust and estate planning specialists. Cara graduated from Duke University in 2012, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy. She is licensed with FINRA under Series 7, 63, 66, 9, and 10.

Lori Cullina

Lori Cullina

Client Service Associate

Lori joined the Kovitz Group in 1997 after working at Rothschild Investment Corp. since 1980. She assists the portfolio managers with new account paperwork and cash management. She has over 30 years experience in the investment industry.

Paul M. Gorynski

Client Service Associate

Paul works alongside financial advisors to provide client service. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group, Paul worked for Barclays Wealth and Investment Management as a Client Service Analyst assisting clients with fund transfers and account maintenance. Previous to that, he worked as a Client Onboarding Analyst and facilitated the account opening process for new accounts. Paul graduated from Boston College in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and English Literature.

Teresa J. Harvey

Teresa J. Harvey

Client Service Associate

Teresa works alongside Financial Advisors to provide client service and administrative support. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group in 2016, Teresa worked for Covenant Trust Company as a Personal Trust Assistant and Northern Trust as a Personal Fiduciary Support Associate. Teresa has over 15 years of experience working in the financial industry in a supportive role to trust administrators, human resources managers and medical record keepers.

Deborah L. Stevenson

Deborah L. Stevenson

Client Service Associate

Deborah works alongside financial advisors to provide client service and administrative support. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group in 2013, Deborah worked at Harris Associates LP providing customer and administrative level support to portfolio managers. Deborah graduated from Chicago State University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Computer Science. In 2009, she received her Masters from University of Phoenix in Education.

Michaelene J. Watson

Michaelene J. Watson

Client Service Associate

Michaelene works alongside portfolio managers to ensure that clients’ needs are met. She has provided client service and administrative support to the financial industry since 1996. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group in 2011, Michaelene worked in client service at Edwards Jones Investments and spent over ten years at the Chicago Board of Trade working in the Market and Product Development Department, where she assisted in the development and marketing of new Futures Contracts.

Maria C. Brumbach

Maria C. Brumbach

Administrative Assistant

Maria serves as the firm’s receptionist, greeting clients and visitors as they arrive. In addition, she supports operations of the firm by working with vendors, managing supplies, scheduling and completing other accounting related tasks. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group in 2010, Maria served as an administrative assistant and office manager for companies specializing telecommunications, real estate and finance. Maria obtained her Associate Degree in Applied Science in International Business from Chicago City Colleges.

Dorothy J. Miyazaki

Dorothy J. Miyazaki

New Account Administrator

Dorothy prepares and processes new account paperwork and account transfers. She has provided client service and administrative support to the financial industry since 1998. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group in 2009, Dorothy worked for Griffin, Kubik, Stephens & Thompson, Inc. and Smith Barney. Dorothy received her Associate Degree in Administration from the City College of San Francisco.




Finance & Operations

Marc S. Brenner

Marc S. Brenner, JD, CPA

Founder & Principal, President

Marc and his partners founded Kovitz Investment Group in October 2003 to provide asset management services and solutions to high net worth individuals and institutions. As President of the firm, Marc serves his clients in addition to directing many functions of the firm, including compliance, legal, and operations. Before co-founding Kovitz Investment Group, Marc joined Rothschild Investment Corporation in 2001 as a Portfolio Manager in the firm's Investment Management Department. Marc has also been a partner in the Chicago law firms of Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg, Rosenberg & Liebentritt, and Hopkins & Sutter, specializing in real estate and corporate finance and representing various public and private corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, and individuals. Marc is a member of Young Presidents Organization. Marc received his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1985, earning recognition on the Bronze Tablet. Subsequently, he received his JD from the University of Chicago in 1988 where he was awarded the Order of the Coif. Marc is a Certified Public Accountant and was awarded the National Gold Medal in recognition of the highest score in the nation on the May, 1985 CPA examination.

Leonard S. Gryn, CPA

Principal

Len focuses on internal operations for the firm. He works with the firm’s alternative investment offerings, and is the Senior Advisor for Kovitz Private Holdings, LLC, an affiliated private equity holding company. Len has previously held the position of Chief Operating Officer for Weber-Stephen Products, LLC (Weber), which manufactures and sells gas and charcoal barbecues and related accessories. Len began his career with Weber in 1978, and in addition to his role as COO, he was a member of the Company’s Executive Committee and continues as a member of the Board of Directors. Len had previously served as the Company’s Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining Weber, Len was at Ernst & Whinney for six years serving as a Supervisor providing audit services to both public and private companies. Len has also actively invested in and sat on the Advisory Boards for various private and public companies, including those in the retail/wholesale, consumer services, real estate, financial services, and advertising and marketing industries. Len holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and member of the American and Illinois CPA societies.

Theodore J. Rupp

Theodore J. Rupp, MBA

Principal

Upon formation of Kovitz Investment Group in 2003, Ted became responsible for managing the firm’s finances and internal operations. Currently, Ted continues to focus on these items in addition to working with the firm’s alternative investment offerings, most recently heading up Kovitz Private Holdings, LLC, an affiliated private equity holding company. Previously, Ted served as Chief Financial Officer for a regional coffee and tea distributor, as well as assisting in the management of fixed income portfolios while with Rothschild Investment Corporation. Ted is currently a member of the Economic Club of Chicago. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from DePaul University in 2002 and his MBA in 2009 from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University with concentrations in Entrepreneurship and Management & Organizations.

Robert A. Contreras

Robert A. Contreras, JD

Principal, General Counsel

Rob joined Kovitz Investment Group in 2012 as General Counsel and provides practical legal and business advice to senior management and portfolio managers. Rob has extensive experience as internal counsel for investment managers, having served in such capacity since 2000. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group, Rob was General Counsel of Deerfield Capital Management LLC, an investment manager with over $10 billion in assets under management, and Deerfield Capital Corp., a NASDAQ-listed public company. Previously, Rob was an associate with Pedersen & Houpt and a staff attorney in the Division of Enforcement of the Securities and Exchange Commission in Chicago. Rob received his JD from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 1996 and Bachelor of Science in Finance from Indiana University at Bloomington in 1992.

Steven E. Hengst

Steven E. Hengst

Chief Compliance Officer

Steve oversees the compliance function across Kovitz Investment Group’s several business lines. He focuses on investment advisor, investment company and broker-dealer compliance. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group in 2005, Steve spent over six years as a Securities Compliance Examiner in the SEC's Midwest Regional Office in Chicago. In this position, he participated in or led over 100 examinations of investment advisors and investment companies. Steve received his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance with a Minor in Economics from Valparaiso University in 1999. He is also licensed with FINRA under Series 7, 24 and 66.

Jeremy Wilson

Jeremy Wilson, CAMS

Compliance Officer

Jeremy assists in the oversight of the compliance function across Kovitz Investment Group’s several business lines. He focuses on investment advisor, investment company and broker-dealer compliance. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group in 2015, Jeremy spent over five years as Director, Regulatory Compliance with HighTower Advisors, LLC in Chicago. In this role, he helped build and streamline the investment advisor and broker-dealer compliance program for the firm. Jeremy received his Bachelor of Science degree in Financial Planning from Ohio State University in 2004. He is also licensed with FINRA under Series 7, 24 and 66 and has received the Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist designation.

Patrick B. Wiese

Patrick B. Wiese

Principal, Chief Information Officer

Patrick currently manages the firm’s technology infrastructure, creates and enhances many of the firm’s operational processes, and implements new applications. He is also responsible for integrating external information systems and assists in managing the firm’s internal operations. Previously, Patrick was Portfolio Administrator during the formation of the Kovitz Investment Group in 2003. He started his career at Rothschild Investment Corporation as an Associate in 2001. Patrick received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management with a minor in Finance from Roosevelt University in 2002. He is licensed with FINRA under Series 7 and 66.

Catherine J. Stronczek

Catherine J. Smith

Vice President – Operations

Catherine manages internal operations, finance and reporting functions, and human resources for the firm. She is also responsible for assisting in other areas of the firm’s business. She has been part of the Kovitz team since 2007. Catherine received her Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is licensed with FINRA under Series 7 and 66.

Brad L. Teitel

Brad L. Teitel

Senior Operations Associate

Brad joined Kovitz Investment Group in 2011. He works directly with our Chief Information Officer, maintaining back office systems and technology. Brad’s prior work experience includes operations roles at hedge funds and proprietary trading firms. Brad received his Bachelor of Science degree in Decision Information Systems and Finance from the University of Florida in 2002.

Merilou Bury

Operations Associate

Merilou is responsible for maintenance of client portfolios and client reporting. She has worked in the investment industry since 1983. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group in 2017, Merilou was an Operations Specialist - Associate Vice President with Credit Suisse. Merilou has also worked as a Senior Portfolio Administrator with Harris Associates servicing both individual and institutional clients.

Carin L. Nesbitt

Carin L. Nesbitt

Portfolio Administrator

Carin is responsible for maintenance of client portfolios and client reporting. She has served the investment industry since 1990. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group in 2007, Carin was a Senior Client Relationship Liaison with Frye Louis Capital Management. Carin has also worked as a Senior Investment Manager Liaison with Northern Trust servicing global & domestic.

CAROLYN E. RADEN

Carolyn E. Raden, CPA

Controller

Carolyn joined Kovitz Investment Group in 2014 as Controller and provides accounting and financial reporting expertise. Carolyn has extensive experience with assessing business risks and developing relevant internal controls, identifying complex accounting transactions and evaluating the financial statement impact, and understanding and applying relevant technical accounting guidance. Carolyn is a licensed CPA in the states of Illinois and Texas. In 2010 she received recognition as one of the top ten CPA candidates in Texas, receiving some of the highest cumulative scores on the Uniform CPA Examination. Carolyn is a member of the American Institute of CPAs. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group, Carolyn worked in the assurance services function of Deloitte & Touche, LLP, serving as Audit Manager to a variety of public and private clients. Carolyn received her Master in Professional Accounting and Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin in 2008.

Daniel J. Finan, CPA

Senior Accountant

Dan joined Kovitz Investment Group in 2017 as Senior Accountant and works directly with the Controller to provide accounting and financial reporting expertise. Dan has extensive experience providing technical accounting analysis, aiding in compliance with SEC and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance requirements, and performing risk assessment procedures as they relate to the development of internal controls. Dan is a licensed CPA in the State of Illinois. Formerly, Dan worked in the audit and assurance function of Deloitte & Touche, LLP, serving as Audit Senior on a variety of public and private clients in the Chicagoland area. Dan received his Master of Science in Accountancy and Bachelor of Business Administration in Accountancy from the University of Notre Dame in 2014.

Jessica R. Chanda

Jessica R. Cunnick, PHR

Human Resources Manager

Jessica is responsible for all aspects of human resources support for the firm which includes management of employee benefits, recruiting, on-boarding, training, human resources compliance, and performance management. She is also responsible for effectively creating, implementing, and applying processes and practices. Jessica works closely with the Principals at Kovitz Investment Group to support the company culture amongst all firm employees. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group, Jessica worked at Trading Technologies, a global software development firm. Previously, she worked within the Corporate Human Resources team at RR Donnelley & Sons. Jessica graduated from Millikin University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Services. She is certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR®) and licensed with FINRA under Series 99.

Alyx M. Cox

Marketing Associate

Alyx works alongside the firm’s operations and client services staff to develop and execute marketing strategies, materials, and events. Before joining the Kovitz team in 2017, she worked as an Associate Financial Representative and Marketing Coordinator. Alyx graduated Cum Laude from Southern Methodist University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Corporate Communications and Public Affairs. Alyx is licensed with FINRA under Series 7 and 63.

Check the background of this firm and its investment professionals on FINRA's BrokerCheck.

The Five Star Wealth Manager award, administered by Crescendo Business Services, LLC (dba Five Star Professional), is based on 10 objective criteria. Eligibility criteria – required: 1. Credentialed as a registered investment adviser or a registered investment adviser representative; 2. Active as a credentialed professional in the financial services industry for a minimum of 5 years; 3. Favorable regulatory and complaint history review (As defined by Five Star Professional, the wealth manager has not: A. Been subject to a regulatory action that resulted in a license being suspended or revoked, or payment of a fine; B. Had more than a total of three customer complaints filed against them [settled or pending] with any regulatory authority or Five Star Professional’s consumer complaint process. Unfavorable feedback may have been discovered through a check of complaints registered with a regulatory authority or complaints registered through Five Star Professional’s consumer complaint process; feedback may not be representative of any one client’s experience; C. Individually contributed to a financial settlement of a customer complaint filed with a regulatory authority; D. Filed for personal bankruptcy; E. Been convicted of a felony); 4. Fulfilled their firm review based on internal standards; 5. Accepting new clients. Evaluation criteria – considered: 6. One-year client retention rate; 7. Five-year client retention rate; 8. Non-institutional discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered; 9. Number of client households served; 10. Education and professional designations. Wealth managers do not pay a fee to be considered or placed on the final list of Five Star Wealth Managers. Award does not evaluate quality of services provided to clients. Once awarded, wealth managers may purchase additional profile ad space or promotional products. The Five Star award is not indicative of the wealth manager’s future performance. Wealth managers may or may not use discretion in their practice and therefore may not manage their client’s assets. The inclusion of a wealth manager on the Five Star Wealth Manager list should not be construed as an endorsement of the wealth manager by Five Star Professional or this publication. Working with a Five Star Wealth Manager or any wealth manager is no guarantee as to future investment success, nor is there any guarantee that the selected wealth managers will be awarded this accomplishment by Five Star Professional in the future. For more information on the Five Star award and the research/selection methodology, go to fivestarprofessional.com. 3,411 Chicago wealth managers were considered for the award; 726 (22 percent of candidates) were named 2016 Five Star Wealth Managers.

For more information about the Five Star Wealth Manager program, please click here.