Trusted Advisor

We serve as a trusted advisor for our clients and develop long-term relationships. A senior professional oversees each client engagement and is supported both by a strong client-service team and by substantial research expertise.

Great People

We invest substantial resources to attract, retain, develop, and excite truly great people. We believe that the quality of our people meaningfully distinguishes us from many other advisory firms, reflected in academic and professional credentials, seniority of professionals, years of experience serving high net worth families, breadth and depth of investment and planning knowledge, intellectual rigor and orientation to truth, ethical standards, and interpersonal skills and empathy.

Size and Stability

Our firm was founded in 1969. We have over 70 team members. We have no external owners. Our business model allows us to do what is right for our clients. Our independence also results in very stable client-service teams who can work with clients for decades.

Committees

Most senior professionals serve on one or more of our committees. Our investment committees include: Impact Investing, Investment Strategy, Private Equity, Public Markets, and Real Estate. Our other committees include: Executive, Financial Planning, Knowledge Management, Risk Management, and Technology.

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Mary Claire Allvine Chicago MBA, Princeton AB, CFP®
Mary Claire Allvine

Mary Claire chairs BRF’s Knowledge Management Committee and co-chairs the Risk Management Committee. She serves also on BRF’s Real Estate Committee. Mary Claire has previously co-chaired BRF’s Investment Strategy Committee and served on the Financial Planning Committee. She has particular expertise in inter-generational wealth transfer issues.

Prior to joining BRF, Mary Claire worked for a Chicago-based bank technology consortium and an international business consulting firm.

Mary Claire received an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business and an AB from Princeton University. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner. Mary Claire authored a financial planning book for young couples entitled “The Family CFO” (Rodale 2004). She regularly writes financial planning articles for several national publications and is frequently quoted in the national media. A former board member for the Atlanta chapter of Teach For America, Mary Claire also sits on the finance committee at her church and on the gardening committee for her children’s school.

Kristin Balon Northwestern Kellogg MBA, Michigan BBA, CFP®
Kristin Balon

Kristin joined the Chicago office of BRF in 2003. She is currently a member of the firm’s Private Equity, Financial Planning, and Impact Investing Committees.

Kristin received an MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management. She has a BBA with concentrations in Finance and Accounting from the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan in 2003. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner.

Barbara Booth Columbia MBA, Kentucky JD, Vanderbilt BA, CFA, CAIA, FRM
Barbara Booth

Barbara serves on the firm’s Financial Planning, Public Markets, and Private Equity Committees.

Prior to joining BRF, Barbara was a Senior Equity Analyst and Sector Manager responsible for industrial, media, and telecom investments for firms including Dreman Value, Lord Abbett, and Bankers Trust.

Barbara received an MBA in Finance from Columbia University, a JD from the University of Kentucky College of Law, and a BA in Economics from Vanderbilt University. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst as well as a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst.  Barbara is also an active pro bono consultant to the Taproot Foundation in New York City.

Fred Brownson Chicago PhD, Duke BS
Fred Brownson

Fred co-founded Brownson & Associates (BRF’s predecessor organization) in 1969 having previously been with Irwin Management Company, the family office of J. Irwin Miller of Columbus, Indiana. Having transitioned most of his clients to other principals of BRF, Fred continues as active advisor to a small number of families and individuals who have been clients for many decades.

Fred received a PhD from the Graduate School of Business of the University of Chicago and a BS in Civil Engineering from Duke University.

Keith Cardoza Chicago BA, CFA
Keith Cardoza

Keith is BRF’s Chief Investment Officer and co-chairs the firm’s Investment Strategy Committee. He serves on BRF’s Impact Investing, Knowledge Management, Private Equity, Public Markets, and Real Estate Committees. He leads the firm’s asset allocation and manager selection efforts.

Prior to joining BRF, Keith served as a Managing Director of Merrick Ventures, an investment firm focused on technology investments. The U.S. Patent Office awarded three patents to Keith, including one for the Ocean Tomo 300 Patent Index, the first intellectual-property based stock-index. Previously Keith chaired Boeing’s Investment Strategy and Asset Allocation Committee, responsible for the investment strategy for $41 billion in retirement assets. This team included the Directors of Equities, Fixed Income, Alternative Investments, and Risk. The team improved the funded ratio of Boeing’s retirement plans from 80% to 91%. Prior to Boeing, Keith managed the $6 billion equity portfolio for the Illinois State Board of Investment pension fund.

Keith received a BA in Economics from the University of Chicago and is a Chartered Financial Analyst, having served as a recent past chair of CFA Society Chicago. Keith serves on the board of the Economic Club of Chicago and is the immediate past chair of its Forums Committee. Keith is a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago and The Chicago Club. He serves on the Board of the University of Chicago’s Humanities Division. He has served on the executive committees of the Chicago Children’s Choir, Steppenwolf Theatre, and Chicago Stock Exchange. He also served on the boards of Joffrey Ballet, the Chicago International Film Festival, and the Union League Club of Chicago. Keith is a Knight in the Sovereign Order of Malta.

KC Corkery Stanford BA
KC Corkery

KC has served as a member of BRF’s Investment Strategy and Risk Management Committees.

Prior to joining BRF in 2007, KC travelled the world as a professional tennis player, was ranked on the ATP tour, and played in the US Open.

KC received a BA from Stanford University. While at Stanford, KC was the captain of the tennis team. He was an All-American all four years and won the NCAA doubles National Championship as a sophomore. KC was also named to the Pac-10 All Academic team all four years.

Rebecca Deaton Chicago MA, Princeton AB, CFP®
Rebecca Deaton

Rebecca co-chairs BRF’s Real Estate and Impact Investing Committees and serves on the firm’s Public Markets and Financial Planning Committees.

Prior to joining BRF, Rebecca worked in non-profit community development for several organizations including South Shore Bank in Chicago.

Rebecca received an MA for the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy Studies and an AB from Princeton University. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner. She is on the the board of Princeton Alumni Corps, a civic leadership program that places talented young people with non-profit organizations across the country.

Kate Donaldson Michigan MM, Northwestern BM, CFP®
Kate Donaldson

Kate co-chairs BRF’s Real Estate Committee and serves also on the Financial Planning Committee. She has previously chaired BRF’s Financial Planning Committee and been a member of the Investment Strategy Committee. Working with many corporate executives and CEOs, Kate has become an expert at deciphering diverse employee compensation plans.

Prior to joining BRF, Kate worked for an e-business solutions company and a business training company. Previously she was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the Rockford Symphony Orchestra.

Kate received an MM in Violin Performance from the University of Michigan and a BM in Violin Performance from Northwestern University. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner. Kate has served on the board of the CFA Society of Chicago. She serves on the board of the Grant Park Orchestra Association and is a member of the Founders Council at the Field Museum of Natural History.

Rick Doppelt Stanford MBA, Harvard JD, UC Berkeley BS
Rick Doppelt

Rick co-chairs BRF’s Private Equity Committee. He serves also on BRF’s Public Markets Committee. He has been responsible for developing several of the firm’s private equity and venture capital investment opportunities.

Prior to joining BRF, Rick served as a Partner and Director with Allstate Private Equity, a large venture capital and buyout fund. He had responsibility for originating and evaluating investments, negotiating financings, participating on Boards of Directors, and advising management teams. He invested successfully in numerous sectors including business and consumer services, telecommunications, healthcare services, retail, and technology. Previously Rick was a corporate, tax and estate planning attorney for the international law firm of Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco.

Rick received an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a JD cum laude from Harvard Law School, and a BS with highest honors from the University of California-Berkeley. He is a member of the California and Massachusetts Bar Associations.

Adam Durfee Wharton MBA, Stanford MS, BS, CFP®
Adam Durfee

Adam serves on the firm’s Public Markets and Impact Investing Committees.

Prior to joining BRF in 2008, Adam held product management roles at a number of consumer internet companies, including Netflix and Yahoo!. Adam earlier worked in the enterprise software space holding a variety of roles including product management, product marketing, and Asia Pacific market development. Adam started his career with Accenture, working in Accenture’s Palo Alto technology R&D center.

Adam received an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BS and MS in Materials Science from Stanford University. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ practitioner.

Zack Herlick Stanford MBA, JD, BA
Zack Herlick

Zack serves on BRF’s Investment Strategy, Public Markets, and Real Estate Committees. He contributes substantially to firm research on macroeconomics, markets, asset allocation, and manager selection.

Prior to joining BRF in 2006, Zack was a Director and Client Advisor at UBS Wealth Management Australia where he was part of a carefully-selected team that worked exclusively with UBS’s largest Australian private clients. Previously, Zack was a General Partner of Maveron LLC, a Seattle-based venture capital firm with $1 billion under management that he helped start with Howard Schultz, the Chairman and former CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company. Zack also served as an Associate with Mayfield Fund, a top-tier Silicon Valley-based firm with over $2 billion under management. Prior to his venture capital career, Zack co-founded Red Herring Communications, publisher of The Red Herring Magazine and Redherring.com. The Red Herring served as the leading monthly magazine focused on venture capital and the business of technology with over 350,000 subscribers at its peak.

Zack received an MBA, JD and BA from Stanford University. Zack was admitted as a member of the California Bar. For the Nueva School, he chairs the Endowment Committee and serves as a Trustee.  He is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute.

Barney Ireland Dartmouth Tuck MBA, Williams BA
Barney Ireland

Barney has been a member of the firm’s Private Equity, Marketable Securities, and Investment Strategy Committees. Barney has particular expertise in creating investment strategies and customized analysis/reporting for wealthy families with complex investments and/or multiple entities/family members.

Prior to joining BRF, Barney was the founder and President of Taconic Capital Corporation, a private equity firm focused on small leveraged buyouts. Taconic Capital acquired a non-ferrous forging company, a steel heat treating company, a recreational vehicle manufacturer and a company that makes instrumentation for measuring bulk powders and solids. Three of these four transactions realized extremely attractive rates of return for the investment group, and one transaction resulted in a loss of the invested capital. Barney negotiated the acquisition and sale of these businesses, arranged the financing for the businesses, and served on their boards of directors. Before starting Taconic Capital, Barney held corporate development positions with FMC Corporation and Quixote Corporation.

Barney received MBA with a concentration in Finance from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College and a BA in Economics from Williams College.

Elizabeth Roob Ireland Wisconsin MBA, BA, CFP®
Elizabeth Roob Ireland

Liz serves on the Investment Strategy Committee and the Risk Management Committee. She is a former Chief Compliance Officer.

Prior to joining BRF, Liz worked in corporate finance for Bank One, N.A. in Milwaukee, WI.

Liz received an MBA in Finance and International Business from the University of Wisconsin and a BA in Economics and International Relations from the University of Wisconsin. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner. She has served for many years as the investment advisor to the Jane Austen Society of North America.

Allison Kollar Illinois BS, CFP®
Allison Kollar

Allison joined the Chicago office of Brownson, Rehmus & Foxworth, Inc. in February 2008.  She currently serves on the firm’s Financial Planning, Real Estate, and Impact Investing Committees. 

Prior to joining BRF, Allison worked for the Family Wealth Management division of Credit Suisse where she was part of a team providing financial planning services to high net worth families. Prior to her four years at Credit Suisse, she worked for two fee-only financial planners providing comprehensive planning services to families and individuals.

Allison received her BS in Economics from the University of Illinois. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner.

John Lafferty SUNY Buffalo MBA, BA, CFA, CPA, CFP®
John Lafferty

John Lafferty co-chairs BRF’s Public Markets Committee and serves on the firm’s Executive, Financial Planning, Investment Strategy, Risk Management, and Technology Committees.

Prior to BRF, John was Managing Director of Silver Ventures, a family office in San Antonio Texas. Prior to joining Silver Ventures he served as the Chief Investment Officer for Market Street Trust Company, a family office in Corning, New York for 11 years. John has spent over 20 years advising individuals in the areas of tax and investments and 15 years operationally in Forbes 400) family offices.

John received his BS and MBA degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo, with specialties in Accounting, Finance, and Operations Research. John is a Chartered Financial Analyst, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner, and a Certified Public Accountant. John has published articles for the AICPA and Trusts & Estates magazine. He has been an invited speaker on a variety of topics related to wealth management. He has served on a number of non-profit boards, with a particular focus on strategic planning.

Hal Leavell Texas MPA, BBA, CPA, CFP®
Hal Leavell

Hal serves on BRF’s Financial Planning, Real Estate, and Private Equity Committees.

Prior to joining BRF, Hal provided financial and tax planning services for executives and high net worth individuals and families as a manager in Ernst & Young, LLP’s Human Capital Practice.

Hal received his Masters in Professional Accounting and BBA from The University of Texas at Austin. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Hal is a member of the Financial Planning Association.

Jeff Lin Johns Hopkins BS
Jeff Lin

Jeff serves on BRF’s Risk Management, Knowledge Management and Technology Committees.

Prior to joining BRF in 2008, Jeff worked at Dell, analyzing and implementing marketing strategies for Maryland-based account executives.

Jeff received a BS from Johns Hopkins University.  While at Johns Hopkins, Jeff received a grant from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance and researched stem cells at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.  He currently serves on the board of a Bay Area non-profit museum.

Bob Loveman Chicago MBA, Princeton AB, CPA, CFP®
Bob Loveman

After twenty-four years with BRF, including ten years as its President, Bob has retired but remains in a consulting capacity with BRF.  Previously, Bob chaired the firm’s Executive Committee and served on the firm’s Investment Strategy, Private Equity, Financial Planning, Knowledge Management, Real Estate, Risk Management, and Public Markets Committees.

Bob received an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business and an AB from Princeton University with honors. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner and a Certified Public Accountant. Bob remains involved in numerous charity boards such as the Field Museum of Natural History (as a Life Trustee), two University of Colorado boards, a Chicago social service agency board, the Boulder Mountain Fire Protection District, the Pine Brook Hills Water District, and the PBH Homeowners Association.

Cosmin Lucaci Chicago MBA, Northwestern BA, CFA
Cosmin Lucaci

Cosmin is a member of the firm’s Real Estate, Private Equity, Public Markets, Impact Investing, Knowledge Management, and Investment Strategy Committees. As a member of the research department, Cosmin helps in designing and implementing the company’s investment strategies as well as identifying investment managers.

Prior to joining BRF, Cosmin was at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. In his time there he worked on several projects, including co-authoring a study with senior economists that was presented at the Federal Reserve’s annual Bank Structure Conference and subsequently published in the Journal of Financial Services Research.

Cosmin received his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and his BA in Economics and Political Science from Northwestern University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst. Cosmin is a member of the Union League Club of Chicago where he serves on the House Rules committee. He is a Board member for the UL Boys and Girls Club and Chicago Engineers’ Foundation and is a part of The CFA Chicago’s Distinguished Speaker Series Committee. Cosmin has also served on various committees for The Logos School of Music and Northwestern University.

Justin Mandly Wharton MBA, UMass Amherst BBA
Justin Mandly

Justin joined the Menlo Park office of BRF in 2006. Justin has served on the firm’s Financial Planning Committee.

Prior to joining BRF, Justin was a founding member of Wealth & Tax Advisory Services Inc. (WTAS) and served as a senior manager in the firm’s San Francisco office. While at WTAS, Justin was directly responsible for providing advisory and compliance services to a client base of high net worth individuals and family groups. Justin has advised clients on a number of planning issues including: stock option planning, small business stock planning, family office solutions, charitable gift planning, charitable foundation management, and small business consulting.

Previously, Justin was a senior associate at Arthur Andersen LLP. During his time at Andersen, Justin served in the firm’s Private Client Service group where he gained extensive experience working with high net worth family groups. In addition to his client responsibilities at Andersen, Justin served as the primary instructor for the firm’s transactional planning and individual taxation courses.

Justin received an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a BBA with concentrations in Finance and Accounting from University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Doris McTyre Princeton AB, CFP®
Doris McTyre

Doris serves on BRF’s Public Markets, Impact Investing, and Risk Management Committees.  She previously served on the Real Estate Committee and as Compliance Officer for the Chicago office. As Compliance Officer, she oversaw employee registration and reporting as well as the firm-wide rollout of compliance tracking software.

Prior to joining BRF in 2007, Doris managed client relationships and contract administration for a top-producing residential real estate agent in Chicago. Previously, she worked as a project coordinator in the bankruptcy department of a corporate law firm. 

Doris received an AB in Politics from Princeton University. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM practitioner.

Jan Mortensen Capital University MBA, Trevecca BS
Jan Mortensen

Jan serves on BRF’s Risk Management and Technology Committees.  She serves also as Chief Compliance Officer and as Chief Administrative Officer of the Chicago Office.

Before joining BRF in 2015, Jan held management positions in financial and professional services organizations, including Family Office Exchange, Balasa Dinverno Foltz LLC, and National Tax Search, LLC.  In those roles, her responsibilities included areas of human resources, finance and administration, technology, compliance, contract management and legal liaison, operations, marketing, and sales.

Jan received an MBA in Business Administration from the Capital University School of Management and a BS from Trevecca University.  She is a founding member of Vistage Key group and longstanding member of the Society for Human Resources Management.  She has developed and presented numerous training modules for management and adminstrative teams focusing on operational excellence.

Bob Patterson Northwestern Kellogg MBA, Williams BA
Bob Patterson

Bob co-chairs BRF’s Investment Strategy Committee. He serves also on the BRF’s Knowledge Management and Public Markets Committees. Bob has previously co-chaired BRF’s Public Markets Committee.

Prior to joining BRF, Bob held various senior management positions at Bank One and its predecessor organizations. These positions included Executive Vice President and Head of Credit Portfolio Management, Vice Chairman of Bank One Capital Markets and Head of Corporate Finance, Head of Large Corporate Banking, Head of Mid Corporate Banking, and Head of Europe Middle East and Africa. Bob started his career as a First Scholar at First National Bank of Chicago.

Bob received an MBA in Finance from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management and a BA (Phi Beta Kappa) from Williams College. He currently serves as a member of the Chicago Community Trust Professional Advisory Committee and as a member of the Investment Committee of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. Bob has served on numerous other non-profit boards including The Hinsdale Public Library and Foundation, Court Theatre and, the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana.

Anne Petty Michigan BA, CFP®
Anne Petty

Anne serves on BRF’s Public Markets, Private Equity, and Knowledge Management Committees. 

Prior to joining BRF in 2015, Anne worked at two independent, fee-only RIAs in Chicago where she provided comprehensive holistic financial planning services to a wide range of clients. She began her career as a financial advisor with A.G. Edwards in Atlanta. Previously, Anne worked in non-profit development at the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust in Oak Park, Illinois.

Anne received a BA from the University of Michigan. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner. 

Cathy Pitts Harvard MBA, Brown AB, CFP®
Cathy Pitts

Cathy serves on BRF’s Financial Planning and Public Markets Committees.

Prior to joining BRF in 2009, Cathy was a Vice President at Keystone Strategy, a global strategy and expert consulting firm whose clients include leading Fortune 100 companies in science- and technology-driven industries. Previously, she was an Associate Partner at the Trium Group, a leadership consulting firm focused on strategy execution and corporate culture. Cathy started her career at Bain & Company, working for seven years in Bain’s Boston, London and Hong Kong offices, focused primarily on consumer products and retail strategy. While at Bain she also helped run global MBA recruiting and Boston analyst training.

Cathy received an MBA from Harvard and an AB with honors in Business Economics from Brown University. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ practitioner.

Fred Putney Stanford PhD, Washington BBA
Fred Putney

Fred co-founded Brownson & Associates (BRF’s predecessor organization) in 1969. Fred developed the proprietary forecasting software still used today by BRF in its updated version. Fred became an active principal in BRF in 1981 after leaving full-time academic positions at Columbia University. He currently publishes frequent Market Perspectives commentary for BRF in addition to his client service duties which include advising a large portion of the Harvard Business School faculty.

In 1975, Fred co-founded the Riverside Group, a corporate training and development firm serving major financial institutions and non-profit organizations. On behalf of Riverside Group, he tailors custom programs for Columbia University Executive Programs and other corporate clients including Citigroup, American Express, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Prudential. Fred has authored and uses with clients two proprietary simulation programs (Asset Allocation and Macroeconomics) for training investment and private banking professionals.

From 1968 to present, Fred has been a member of the Columbia Business School faculty where he was previously a Professor and where he has originated courses in Investment Strategy. Today, he remains a part-time senior lecturer at the Columbia Business School.

Fred received a PhD from Stanford University and a BBA from the University of Washington.

Dave Rehmus Stanford MBA, Cornell BA
Dave Rehmus

Dave serves on BRF’s Impact Investing Committee.

Prior to joining BRF in 2008, Dave spent 20 years as a successful entrepreneur involved as CEO and/or CFO with three companies in California and Virginia. Prior to his entrepreneurial career, Dave worked as a strategic planner for The Walt Disney Company, as an investment banker for the LBO group of The First Boston Company, and as an equity analyst for the Bass Family. During his 30-year business career, Dave has become an expert in business valuation, finance, operations and family office issues. He manages his family office and serves as executor and trustee for his extended family.

Dave received an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BA with honors from Cornell University.

Steve Rehmus Stanford MBA, Harvard BA
Steve Rehmus

Steve serves on BRF’s Executive, Private Equity, Public Markets, Impact Investing, and Technology Committees. He has helped lead BRF’s initiatives in private equity and Socially Responsible and Impact Investing. He has spoken on a variety of topics related to investment strategy and asset allocation.

Prior to joining BRF in 2002, Steve was a private equity investor. He worked in different capacities in Silicon Valley as a venture capitalist and private investor focused on the software and Internet sectors. Steve earlier made buyout and growth equity investments as part of the Principal Investment Area of Goldman Sachs in both New York and Singapore. Previously Steve worked as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company in New York and with the Boston Consulting Group in Boston. While with McKinsey, Steve co-authored a book on bank risk management. He earlier worked on Federal education policy both for the US Office of Management and Budget and for the Education and Labor Committee of the US House of Representatives.

Steve received an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BA with honors from Harvard College. He is co-founding Director and CFO of the Spotlight Foundation, which provides financial and organization-building resources to social entrepreneurs serving at-risk youth.

Phil Ridolphi Iowa BA, CFP®
Phil Ridolphi

Phil serves on the firm’s Financial Planning and Public Markets Committees.

Prior to joining BRF in 2016, Phil spent eight years at Balasa Dinverno Foltz LLC, a boutique Chicago wealth management firm. Phil provided comprehensive financial planning advice to clients and served as a member of the firm’s Wealth Management Committee, Women’s Service Team and Business Owner Team. Phil began his career as a Licensed Personal Banker with J.P. Morgan Chase in Chicago.

Phil earned his BA in Finance from the University of Iowa. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner. In 2016, Phil received the Five Star Wealth Manager Award from Chicago magazine.

Susan Shacklette Michigan MBA, Carleton BA, CFP®
Susan Shacklette

Susan co-chairs BRF’s Risk Management Committee and serves as BRF’s President. She serves also as a member of BRF’s Executive and Technology Committees and as an ex officio member of all other BRF committees.

Prior to joining BRF, Susan led corporate planning for the Walgreen Company advising executive management on a wide range of strategic and operational issues. Prior to Walgreen’s she was a client services director for a Chicago-based technology start-up and also worked as a management consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers. Previously she helped found for Carleton College a donor stewardship program in non-profit development.

Susan received an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and a BA from Carleton College. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner.

Laura Stern Northwestern Kellogg MBA, Chicago BA, CFA, CFP®
Laura Stern

Laura joined the Chicago office of BRF in 2014. She currently chairs the Financial Planning Committee, co-chairs the Public Markets Committee, and serves on the Impact Investing and Private Equity Committees.

Prior to joining BRF, Laura consulted on several projects as principal and owner of Ellestar Consulting, completing engagements at JP Morgan and University of Chicago. Previously, Laura worked for over 10 years at Prudential Retirement Services in Chicago, where she started as an investment consultant in 2001 and progressed to Vice President, leading the Investment Advisory Services unit. Prior to joining Prudential, Laura founded an asset management firm in 1991 servicing high net worth individuals, foundations, endowments and pension plans in Rochester NY and continued to manage her clients and business after relocating back to Chicago in 1994. Laura started her career as an investment analyst overseeing numerous family trusts in the Trust and Estates unit of Chapman and Cutler, a Chicago law firm.

A Chartered Financial Analyst and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner, Laura earned an MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management and a BA with honors from the University of Chicago. She joined the board and the investment committee of VNA Foundation in 2013. Laura has also served the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago since 2007, currently as chair of the Retirement Sub-Committee and as a member of the Finance Committee. An active member of the CFA Society of Chicago, she served on the board from 1998-2004, holding the role of President in 2002-2003.

Ruth Uress Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign BA, CFP®
Ruth Uress

Ruth serves on the firm’s Financial Planning, Impact Investing, and Investment Strategy Committees.

Prior to joining BRF in 2015, Ruth spent seven years at Kovitz Investment Group, a boutique Chicago wealth management firm. Ruth provided comprehensive financial planning advice to clients and chaired the firm’s 401(k) group to implement and monitor corporate retirement plans. Ruth started her career as a Financial Representative at the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.

Ruth earned her BA in Finance with a minor in French from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner. In 2013 and 2014, Ruth received the Five Star Wealth Manager Award from Chicago magazine, placing her among the top 3% of wealth managers in the Chicago area. Ruth is a member of Legacy Partners of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation and the Junior League of Chicago, where she has served on its Board of Directors.