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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.

John Buckingham

Chief Investment Officer – AFAM Division, Editor, The Prudent Speculator

John joined AFAM Capital in 1987 and Kovitz Investment Group in 2018, as part of the Kovitz acquisition of AFAM. John has more than 30 years of investment management experience and serves as Editor of The Prudent Speculator, which has been a trusted newsletter for over 40 years. He chairs the AFAM Investment Committee, leading a team that performs comprehensive investment research and financial market analysis. John has been featured in Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, and Forbes, and frequently contributes to CNBC, Bloomberg, and Fox Business News. John is a recognized industry contributor who regularly speaks at prominent industry seminars and events.

Joel D. Hirsh

Joel D. Hirsh, CFA

Principal, Portfolio Manager

Joel serves as co-chief investment officer at Kovitz Investment Group. In this role, Joel is responsible for leading the firm’s equity research process, as well as developing portfolio construction for KIG’s Core Equity and Hedged Equity strategies. He also serves as a member of the firm’s Fiduciary Board and Executive Committee, supervising daily operations and business strategy implementation. Prior to joining KIG in 2006, Joel worked as an equity research analyst for KeyBanc Capital Markets, a Division of McDonald Investments, where he performed financial market analysis as a member of an award-winning basic materials research group. Joel has been published in CFA Magazine and featured in publications such as: Bloomberg, the Chicago Sun-Times, and Value Investor Insight. 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.

Mark Rosland

Mark C. Rosland

Principal, Investment Committee Member

As a Principal and Investment Committee Member, Mark focuses primarily on managing the hedged equity strategy and overseeing equity trade execution. Mark acts as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, supervising daily operations and business strategy implementation. He also serves on the firm’s Marketing and Risk Management Committees. 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.

Jason R. Clark

Jason R. Clark, CFA

Principal, Portfolio Manager

Jason joined Kovitz Investment Group in 2018, as part of the Kovitz acquisition of AFAM Capital. As a member of the investment team, Jason is responsible for performing in-depth microeconomic research and fundamental analysis of individual stocks and industries. In addition, he works directly with clients to provide customized account management. Jason is also a regular contributor to the firm’s market commentary and newsletter. After serving in the United States Navy, Jason earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in finance, summa cum laude, from the University of West Florida. Jason is a CFA® charterholder and a member of the CFA Society.

Jason M. Petitte

Jason M. Petitte, CFA

Principal, Equity Research

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.

Jason M. Petitte

Bryan Engler, CFA

Senior Equity Analyst

Bryan is a member of the investment team concentrating on equities. Bryan’s focus is on deep fundamental research complemented by a rigorous bottoms-up valuation process. Prior to joining Kovitz, Bryan was a Senior Equity Analyst with Great Lakes Advisors for 8 years and holds a BA in Political Science from Tulane University. He is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the CFA Society of Chicago.

Robert S. Burnstine

Robert S. Burnstine, JD

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.

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.

Chris D. Taylor

Christopher D. Taylor

Director of Sales - TPS

Christopher joined Kovitz Investment Group in 2018, as part of the Kovitz acquisition of AFAM Capital. He serves as Director of Business Development for The Prudent Speculator and the Private Client Group, responsible for initiating and cultivating new client relationships. Christopher also contributes to the development of internal and external communications to enhance the client experience. In 2008, Christopher earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from Ohio State University. Christopher is licensed with FINRA under Series 65.

Jesse L. Stumpf

Jesse L. Stumpf, CFA

Director – Fixed Income

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 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.

Jason A. Castillo

Jason A. Castillo

Fixed Income Trading & Operations Analyst

Jason is a member of the fixed income team and specializes in municipal bond trading. Prior to joining Kovitz in 2018, Jason worked as an Analyst at Nuveen on their fixed income and equity trading teams, and as a Consultant for a high growth FinTech company advising buy-side investment management firms on trading and portfolio management optimization. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Accounting from Boston College in 2014.

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.

Christopher A. Quigley

Christopher A. Quigley

Senior Research Analyst

Chris joined AFAM Capital in August of 2011 and Kovitz Investment Group in 2018, as part of the Kovitz acquisition of AFAM. As a member of the investment team, Chris conducts fundamental research and analysis. He is responsible for identifying new investment opportunities and maintains company, industry, and macroeconomic models. Additionally, he is a regular contributor to the firm’s market commentary and newsletter. Chris earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Southern California in 2011. He is currently a Level II candidate in the CFA® Program.

Richard P. Salerno

Richard P. Salerno

Fixed Income Trader

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.


Wealth Management

Bruce A. Weininger

Bruce A. Weininger, CPA, CFP®

Principal, Senior Financial Advisor

Bruce has been instrumental in the firm's 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. 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 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.

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. 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.

Leonard S. Gryn

Leonard S. Gryn, CPA

Principal

Len is responsible for initiating and enhancing client relationships, as well as the strategic development of KIG’s alternative investment offerings. Prior to joining Kovitz, Len served as Chief Operating Officer for Weber-Stephen Products, LLC (Weber). He began his career with Weber in 1978, where he held various roles, including Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President, and was also a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He currently serves as a member of Weber’s Board of Directors. Before joining Weber, Len served as a Supervisor at Ernst & Whinney, where he provided audit services to both public and private companies. He 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 degree in Business Administration and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant, as well as a member of the American and Illinois CPA societies.

Jenny P. Boyke

Jenny P. Boyke, MAS, CPA, CFP®

Principal, 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. 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.

Amanda L. Falkum

Amanda L. Falkum, CFP®

Principal, 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 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.

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. 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.

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 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.

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.

Kate E. Jonynas

Kate E. Jonynas, CFP®

Senior Financial Advisor

Kate provides comprehensive financial planning and investment consulting services to high net worth individuals and their families. She focuses on helping clients discover planning opportunities centered on their unique circumstances and lifelong goals. Kate began her career with Kovitz Investment Group in 2008. Kate is a member of the Financial Planning Association; the Professional Women’s Club of Chicago; the Chicago Estate Planning Council; and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation Legacy Partners. Kate earned her Bachelor of Science in Commerce degree in Economics with a Minor in Management from DePaul University, graduating cum laude. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. Kate is licensed with FINRA under Series 7 and 66.

Bradford P. Madison

Bradford P. Madison, MBA, CFP®, CTFA

Senior Financial Advisor

Brad has spent three decades in the wealth management industry. Before joining Kovitz in 2015, he spent more than 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 is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional as well as a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor.

Christopher J. Nicholson

Christopher J. Nicholson, CFP®

Senior 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 Associate 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 with a minor in Spanish Language from the University of Iowa. Chris has been a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ since 2013 and is licensed with FINRA under Series 7 and 63. He is also a member of the Financial Planning Association, Chicago Estate Planning Council and Milwaukee Estate Planning Forum.

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.

John E. Roessler

John E. Roessler, CPA, CFP®

Senior Financial Planner

John has more than 20 years of experience providing comprehensive wealth management to high net worth individuals and their families. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group, he was a Senior Wealth Manager at Budros, Ruhlin, and Roe. John earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Michigan and began his career in public accounting. He is a Certified Public Accountant and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.

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.

G. Scott Brown

G. Scott Brown, CPA, CFP®

Financial Advisor

Scott joined Kovitz Investment Group in 2019 as a Financial Advisor and partners with senior financial advisors providing comprehensive wealth management. Prior to joining KIG, he served as a VP of Fiduciary Income Tax Services at Northern Trust where he advised fiduciaries on client tax matters and fulfilled tax compliance obligations. More notably, Scott has extensive tax experience supporting high-net-worth individuals, partnerships, and closely-held business entities at firms such as Kessler Orlean Silver & Co. and CliftonLarsonAllen LLP. Scott earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from Colgate University, and his MBA in Finance from DePaul University, graduating with distinction. Scott is a Certified Public Accountant and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.

Mitchell P. Hamer

Mitchell P. Hamer

Financial Advisor

Mitch joined Kovitz Investment Group in 2019 as a Financial Advisor. In this role, he works with the client service team to provide comprehensive wealth management services to clients. Prior to joining KIG, Mitch worked at a Registered Investment Advisor firm where he guided clients through customized financial plans and analyzed investment portfolios. Mitch earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois. He is currently pursuing a CFP® certification.

Joel M. Hunter

Joel M. Hunter, CFP®

Financial Advisor

Joel joined Kovitz Investment Group in 2018 and partners with senior financial advisors to provide clients and their families with comprehensive wealth management and financial planning advice. Previously, Joel was a Financial Planner for high net worth individuals and families at a small wealth management firm in Chicago, Illinois. Joel received his Bachelor of Science degree in Financial Planning from Ohio State University in 2013. Joel is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.

Eric S. Vernsten

Eric S. Vernsten, JD, MBA, CFP®

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. Eric is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. He is also licensed under FINRA with his Series 7 and 66.

Paul M. Gorynski

Paul M. Gorynski

Associate Financial Advisor

Paul works alongside senior financial advisors to provide clients with comprehensive wealth management. He joined Kovitz Investment Group in 2017, as a member of the client service team. Previously, Paul worked for Barclays Wealth and Investment Management as a Client Service Analyst, assisting clients with asset movements and account maintenance. Paul graduated from Boston College in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and English Literature.

Cara J. Haselrig

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.

Michaelene J. Watson

Michaelene J. Watson

Client Services Manager

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.

Deborah L. Stevenson

Deborah L. Stevenson

Client Coordinator

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.

Tenisha M. Adeoye

Client Service Associate

Tenisha works alongside financial advisors to provide client service and administrative support.  Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group in 2019, Tenisha was the Brokerage Operations Specialist for Marc J. Lane & Co. providing support to both clients, a broker dealer and a registered investment advisor.  Tenisha has over 15 years of experience in the investment industry working as both a financial planner and in a supportive role.  

Tammy L. Alfaro

Tammy L. Alfaro, CFP®

Client Service Associate

Tammy works alongside financial advisors to provide client service and administrative support. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group in 2017, Tammy worked at Fairpointe Capital, LLC providing support to high net worth and institutional clients. Tammy’s previous employment included Harris Associates LP and Stein Roe & Farnham. Tammy has over 25 years of experience working in the financial industry in a supportive role.

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.

Alison M. Grigoletto

Alison M. Grigoletto

Client Service Associate

Alison joined Kovitz in 2019 as a Client Service Associate. Before joining Kovitz, she worked as an Office Manager for Eccleston Law. Prior to that, Alison served as a Client Relationship Manager at IHT Wealth Management in Naperville for 5 years. In 2009, she received a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in Psychology from Illinois State University.

Lorita Walker-Durley

Lorita Walker-Durley

Client Service Associate

Lorita joined Kovitz Investment Group in 2019 as a Client Service Associate. Prior to joining Kovitz, she worked as a Trust Administrator at BNY Mellon. She also served as a Client Service Specialist at Ziegler Wealth Management. Lorita has over 20 years of investment industry experience, including 18 years with JPMorgan Chase.


Finance & Operations

Marc S. Brenner

Marc S. Brenner, JD, CPA

Founder & Principal, Vice Chairman, President – Kovitz Real Estate

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 Vice Chairman of the firm, Marc serves his clients in addition to directing the firm’s offerings in real estate and private equity. 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.

Theodore J. Rupp

Theodore J. Rupp, MBA

Co-President, Principal

Ted currently serves as Co-President of Kovitz Investment Group. In this role, he oversees the firm’s strategic initiatives, as well as its corporate development efforts. Previously, Ted has worked on the firm’s private equity offerings and served as Chief Financial Officer of both KIG and a regional coffee and tea distributor. Ted is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and serves on the board of Social Venture Partners Chicago. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from DePaul University and his MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Robert A. Contreras

Robert A. Contreras, JD

Co-President, Principal & General Counsel

Rob currently serves as Co-President and General Counsel of Kovitz Investment Group and directs various operational functions of the firm, including the oversight of the firm’s legal, compliance, and human resources departments. Rob has extensive experience as internal counsel for investment managers and financial services companies, having served in such capacity for nearly 20 years. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group in 2012, 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.

Patrick B. Wiese

Patrick B. Wiese

Principal, Chief Operating 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.

CAROLYN E. RADEN

Carolyn E. Raden, CPA

Chief Financial Officer

Carolyn joined Kovitz Investment Group in 2014. As Chief Financial Officer, Carolyn oversees the firm’s finance and accounting function, including strategic financial planning and analysis, accounting operations, financial reporting, budget development, merger and acquisition financial due diligence, treasury management, tax compliance, and maintenance of internal controls over financial reporting. Carolyn also serves as Chair of the firm’s Risk Management Committee, leveraging her experience in identifying and assessing business risks to develop and implement relevant internal controls. 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. Carolyn is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the states of Illinois and Texas and belongs to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Illinois CPA Society.

Catherine J. Smith

Catherine J. Smith, MBA

Vice President – Operations

Catherine manages internal operations and reporting functions for the firm. She is also responsible for firm strategy and supports various 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 her Executive MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. She is licensed with FINRA under Series 7 and 66.

Eric R. Hare

Eric R. Hare

Director of Business Development

Eric joined Kovitz Investment Group in 2018, as part of the Kovitz acquisition of AFAM Capital. He previously served as President of AFAM Capital, where he was responsible for leading strategic initiatives across the firm’s internal operations, information technology, marketing, and business development teams. He began his career at AFAM in 2006, serving in various key roles across the organization. Eric earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Bemidji State University. He is a member of the Austin Chapter of Vistage, an executive coaching and development company, and is licensed with FINRA under series 65.

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.

Faith-Ann N. Chen

Faith-Ann N. Chen

Compliance Specialist

Faith is responsible for supporting the compliance function across Kovitz Investment Group’s business lines. Faith works directly with the Chief Compliance Officer to analyze and offer guidance on compliance issues, assists in designing and performing compliance tests, and functions as an internal resource for employees. Prior to joining Kovitz in 2018, Faith worked at Thoma Bravo, LLC as a Compliance and Legal Associate. Before that, she worked at Geneva Advisors (now CIBC Atlantic Trust) as a Compliance and HR Associate. Faith earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Studies, with a minor in Spanish, from Loyola University Chicago.

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.

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.

Merilou Bury

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.

Andrew J. Miller

Andrew J. Miller, MBA

Operations Associate

Andrew joined Kovitz Investment Group as an Operations Associate in 2018, as part of the Kovitz acquisition of AFAM Capital. In this role, Andrew is responsible for the maintenance of client portfolios and client reporting, and also assists in managing internal and external communications. In addition, he executes workflows for private clients, dual contract, and platform relationships. Prior to joining AFAM, he served as an Associate Financial Service Consultant at Charles Schwab. Andrew earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Management from The University of Texas at Austin and an MBA in Finance from St. Edward’s University.

Daniel N. Funkhouser

Daniel N. Funkhouser, CPA

Senior Accountant

Dan is responsible for supporting the financial accounting and reporting needs of the firm. Dan works closely with the Chief Financial Officer of the firm to identify process improvement and increase efficiencies. Dan is a licensed CPA in the state of Illinois as well as a member of the American Institute of CPAs. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group in 2017, Dan worked at Grant Thornton LLP as an Audit Senior Associate, serving clients across many different industries. Dan received his Master in Accounting from Indiana University at Bloomington in 2013 and his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Indiana University at Bloomington in 2012.

Lata Nair

Senior Accountant

Lata joined Kovitz Investment Group in 2018, as part of the Kovitz acquisition of AFAM Capital. Lata works closely with the Chief Financial Officer and supports the accounting and financial needs of the firm. She has more than 19 years of accounting experience and has served in various roles as an accountant and manager within various professional service industries. Prior to joining AFAM Capital, Lata served as a Senior Accountant for the Global Portfolio team at Capital Group, a client company of Accenture LLC. Lata earned a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree from the University of Delhi in India and a Master of Arts from Annamalai University in India.

Sreeruppa Dey

Sreeruppa Dey

Accounting and Human Resources Assistant

Sreeruppa is responsible for supporting the accounting and human resources needs of the Kovitz Investment Group. She works closely with the Chief Financial Officer, Senior Accountants, and HR Manager to assist with numerous reoccurring activities and reports. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group in 2019, Sreeruppa worked for a startup IT Staffing and Recruiting Firm in Chicago. Sreeruppa earned two Bachelor of Arts degrees from Loyola University Chicago in 2013.

Ellyn Gallagher

Ellyn Gallagher

Executive Assistant

Ellyn Gallagher joined Kovitz Investment Group in 2019 as an Executive Assistant. In this role, she supports the firm’s Principals and Executive Team. Ellyn also assists with internal projects and initiatives. Prior to joining Kovitz Investment Group, she served in various organizational roles supporting executives at KingTote, FoodMinds, and LivCor. Ellyn earned an Associate in Arts degree from Stanly Community College.

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