Steve is a Founding Partner and Private Wealth Advisor at Advocus Private Wealth.
In this role, Steve works closely with professional athletes, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and other individuals with complex financial situations, helping them discern the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities that can accompany significant wealth.
For over twenty years, Steve was First Vice President and a financial advisor in the Private Wealth division of Merrill Lynch on one of the largest teams in the country. He brings the knowledge and insight he has gained from advising an accomplished clientele, helping them make informed decisions about multiple aspects of their wealth: investments, cash flow analysis, long-term planning, income preservation, pre-and post-liquidity event strategies, trust, and estate planning services, and access to customized lending. Steve recognizes that each client has unique priorities, concerns, and aspirations.
He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University in Columbus where he was a member of the Varsity Football team.
Deeply committed to his community, Steve is active with several charitable organizations in the Columbus and Pittsburgh areas. He and his family have a special affinity with a Columbus- based charity, that supports technology enhancements for pediatric patients undergoing radiation treatment at The James at Ohio State University Hospital. In the Pittsburgh area, his family established the Angels fund which, in partnership with Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, The Highmark Caring Place, and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, provides financial assistance to children and families with exceptional medical needs. He also supports the Wounded Warrior Project and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Ohio.
Matthew is a Founding Partner and Private Wealth Advisor at Advocus Private Wealth.
As a Founding Partner and Private Wealth Advisor at Advocus, Matthew provides customized advice to assist clients in strategically navigating a broad array of opportunities and complexities associated with significant wealth. He provides holistic guidance to help clients gain confidence and comfort in evaluating financial decisions relative to their personal preferences and goals. Matthew strives to empower clients to be informed, capable stewards of their wealth over multiple generations. He is experienced in providing integrated wealth advisory services to C-suite corporate executives, entrepreneurs, professional athletes, and high net worth clientele with distinctive needs and priorities.
He began his financial services career in 2002 and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP®) practitioner and a Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA®) professional, a designation issued by the Investments & Wealth Institute in conjunction with The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Matthew is a member of the Financial Planning Association, the Investments & Wealth Institute, and the Professional Council of the Columbus Foundation. He is a two-time graduate of Capital University, earning a BA in Business Administration and an MBA, both with concentrations in Finance.
Matthew is active with numerous charitable endeavors. He lives in Upper Arlington, Ohio with his wife and two children.
Charles is a Private Wealth Advisor at Advocus Private Wealth.
He brings nearly 15 years of experience advising high net worth/taxable investors on topics such as: cash flow, risk management, tax planning, investment management and estate planning. He is especially focused on building unparalleled, personal relationships with clients to best help them define, navigate, preserve and optimize a comprehensive wealth management plan.
Charles was associated with Cornerstone Wealth Group, LLC, where he was a Financial Advisor from and was a Registered Representative with LPL Financial, LLC from May of 2013 through November 2017.
While playing Varsity Football, Charles earned a B.S. in Exercise Physiology/Pre-Med from East Carolina University. Charles recently graduated Cum Laude with a Master of Science in Financial Planning at the University of Georgia from the renowned College of Family and Consumer Sciences. Charles has completed all necessary requirements and is now pursuing his Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) designation.
As a proud graduate and former scholar athlete at East Carolina University, Charles is an active member of the ECU Pirate Club supporting all athletic scholarships, facility, and programmatic endeavors. He also passionately supports Mission Stadiums for Multiple Sclerosis (MS4MS), a unique organization whose mission is to raise funds for MS research in hopes of finding a cure while spreading awareness about MS at all sports stadiums. Charles, his wife and their three daughters reside outside of Charlotte, NC.
Kevin is responsible for portfolio oversight, construction and administration. He works closely with Summit’s investment committee and our custodial partners to ensure allocations and portfolio objectives are aligned and on track for long term success.
Kevin began his career in 2003 in Huntington Bank’s Trust and Asset Management Department where he worked for 14 years. In 2017 he became Director of Investment Operations for Wealthstone, an RIA based in Columbus OH.
He attended Otterbein College where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. He received his Master of Business Administration with a focus in Finance from Franklin University. Kevin is also a CPA and CFA® Charter holder.
Trey Chapman is a Client Relationship Manager at Advocus Private Wealth.
Trey brings a wealth of knowledge from his prior roles at Kontent Incubator, ADP and Norfolk Southern. He was instrumental in the formation of the College Basketball Parents Association, an organization created to protect and empower the parents of college basketball athletes. Trey is particularly proud of the relationships he has cultivated with players, their families, colleagues, and professionals within collegiate and professional sports.
Raised in North Carolina, Trey attended the distinguished Wesleyan Christian Academy where he perfected his basketball game. While in high school, he lost a close friend who underwent cardiac arrest. Trey has kept his legacy alive by serving on the board of the SmileForJosh Foundation, which organizes the Josh Level Classic. The tournament is now revered as a top 10 basketball showcase in the country, with 100+ participants going on to attend Division 1 schools and 16 players going to the NBA.
As a Dean’s List student athlete at Virginia Military Institute, Trey earned a Bachelor of Sciences in Applied Mathematics. He was a member of the Men’s Basketball Team.
Trey currently resides in the Atlanta-metro area and will be relocating to Charlotte as part of joining Advocus Private Wealth.
Lynn Beach is a Senior Client Service Associate at Advocus Private Wealth.
In this role, Lynn provides financial concierge service for affluent clients to simplify their complex financial needs and mitigate risk.
Prior to Advocus, Lynn was a client relationship specialist at Charles Schwab from August 2018 through November 2021. Over Lynn’s 16 years with Huntington Financial Advisors, she worked in various roles commercial and retail investments, operations, and regional supervision support.
Lynn attended The Ohio State University and Ohio Dominican University with a major in Business Administration. She is currently attending Ohio University with a major in Applied Management.
Lynn, her husband and four children are active within their church, volunteering for various programs throughout the year. Lynn is also active in the community group Game Changing Women, which supports local businesswomen.
Dewy Adolph is a Client Service Associate at Advocus Private Wealth.
In this role, Dewy provides support to the advisors by managing administrative duties in addition to proactively providing excellent service to the firm’s high net worth clients.
Prior to joining Advocus, Dewy was an analyst at Morgan Stanley in Columbus, partnering with corporate clients to manage equity compensation plans. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business with a specialization in Finance and a Spanish for Business minor.
Dewy spends his free time actively, in the gym or on the golf course.
Chief Investment Officer
Steven Weinman is the Chief Investment Officer of Summit Financial. He was affiliated with Summit’s predecessor and affiliated entities (Summit Equities, Inc. (“SE”), Summit Financial Resources, Inc., Summit Risk Management, Inc., and their affiliates) since 1982. Steven runs the Investment Management Committee for Summit and has general management oversight for the company.
He serves as the CEO of Summit Risk Management, LLC (“SRM”), an affiliated company licensed to sell various insurance products and operates as the insurance vehicle for Summit. Steven is also the CEO of a limited purpose broker-dealer, LS Securities LLC (“LSS”). He received his BS from Fairleigh Dickinson University and his MBA from NYU. Steven is also a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) in the state of New Jersey.
Director of Integrated Planning Group
Brandon Smith joined Summit Financial as the Director of Integrated Planning Group. Brandon will lead the Integrated Planning Group and continue to develop strategies and expertise for our Financial Advisors. Brandon served as an Executive Officer for Grayhill LLC cumulatively for over 18 years which allowed him to partner with established Financial Advisors to develop advanced wealth transfer plans and perform comprehensive financial planning for clients.
Prior to Grayhill, Brandon was at Financial Designs Ltd for several years. Brandon earned a B.A. from Emory University, his J.D. from Washburn University of Law and his LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Denver College of Law. Brandon has moved to New Jersey after living in Denver, CO for over 25 years.
Chief Wealth Strategist
Noreen Brown is Director of Portfolio Management at Summit Financial LLC. Noreen is responsible for the development and ongoing oversight of Summit’s investment offerings. She also works with the investment team to create newsletters, whitepapers and portfolio updates and is a resource for advisors on client portfolio design and investment strategies.
With more than two decades of investment advisory and asset management experience, Noreen’s areas of specialization include alternative investments, investment research, asset allocation, portfolio construction, and manager due diligence. Prior to Summit, she focused on economic and capital market research for an independent wealth management firm. She was also responsible for business strategy and product management at two rapidly growing alternative investment businesses at Citigroup and AllianceBernstein. Previously, Noreen was an investment consultant to employee benefit plans and endowments/foundations at Mercer Investment Consulting where she provided advice on asset allocation, portfolio construction and investment policy.
Chief Legal Officer
Barbara Hawkesworth joined Summit Financial LLC as the Chief Legal Officer in April 2019. Most recently, Barbara had been consulting with her private practice. Prior to that, she was Managing Counsel at BNY Mellon/Pershing, Executive Director at JPMorgan Chase, and EVP-Deputy General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at Rochdale Investment Management. While at Rochdale, she was responsible for overseeing all legal and compliance matters related to the firm’s SEC registered investment companies, investment advisors, and affiliated registered FINRA broker dealers. She also worked with the CEO and the senior leadership team on new business strategies and initiatives. Barbara attended New York Law School where she earned her J.D.
Chief Compliance Officer
Craig Weiss is the Chief Compliance Officer at Summit Financial LLC. He joined Summit’s predecessor firm in this role in 2017. Craig is responsible for the overall development and implementation of Summit’s compliance program. He is also the Chief Compliance Officer of an affiliated limited purpose broker-dealer, LS Securities LLC. With almost three decades of industry experience, Craig’s areas of specialization include compliance and supervision. Prior to joining Summit, he was the chief compliance officer for other investment advisory firms and broker dealers including R. Seelaus & Co. and Belle Haven Investments. Craig earned his Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University. He lives in Livingston, New Jersey with his wife, two daughters, three stepchildren, and their dog Rambo.
Director of Marketing
Jenna Bloomgarden joined Summit Financial as a Director of Marketing and Advisor Development, in 2020. Previously Jenna had been with Dynasty Financial Partners most recently as a Vice President, Relationship Management supporting multiple independent advisory firm clients. Prior to Dynasty, Jenna worked at Morgan Stanley’s Graystone Consulting in client service for their institutional business. Jenna has spent the majority of her career working with advisors on marketing initiatives to create effective messaging and brand positioning for current and prospective clients as well as the broader marketplace. Jenna also has extensive experience with practice development and business planning, helping advisors to enhance team processes and increase effectiveness. Jenna has a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Cornell University and a Master of Business Administration with a dual major in Finance and Strategic Management from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Jenna lives in Chappaqua, NY with her husband and three children.
Senior Tax Specialist
James Rabasca is a Senior Tax Specialist in the Integrated Planning Group of Summit Financial LLC. Jim provides guidance on estate, tax, retirement, charitable, and business planning. Prior to joining Summit, he was a Vice President/Account Manager at Ayco, a Goldman Sachs Company, where he provided comprehensive financial and tax counseling to corporate executives and high net worth individuals. Before Ayco, Jim worked as an attorney, and focused his practice on taxation, business planning, and estate planning. He graduated from Rider University with a B.S. in Business Administration and earned his J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law.
Chief Operations Officer
Michael Bremer joined Summit Financial LLC in 2007 as Chief Operating Officer and Vice President, and is responsible for providing the leadership, management, and vision necessary to ensure that the company has the proper operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures, and people systems in place to effectively grow the organization and ensure operating efficiency. He is a 30-year veteran in the insurance and financial services industry with experience in various executive and management roles. Prior to joining Summit, Michael spent 18 years at MetLife working across multiple disciplines such as running sales offices, annuity departments and marketing.
Michael is a Rutgers graduate and holds 9 FINRA licenses, including the Series 7, 24 and 4. He lives in Hillsborough, NJ with his wife and dog while his younger son attends college in South Carolina. Michael’s older son is a resident of Charlotte, NC.
Director of Investment Operations
Tara Pizzutillo is the Director of Investment Operations at Summit Financial LLC. She is responsible for leading the strategic development and operational oversight of the Investment Operations teams and functions. Tara provides guidance and structure to ensure consistent and superior execution while maintaining an environment of continuous optimization of team performance, systems, and processes.
Tara is seasoned in a variety of Investment Operations roles with over 25 years in Finance and Banking. She has been awarded with recognition for excellence from Summit’s predecessor, Summit Equities. Tara has a B.S. in Business Administration with a focus in Management from Centenary College. She holds her FINRA Series 7, 24, 55, and 63 licenses. Tara has two sons and lives in Long Valley, NJ.
Director of Insurance
David is the Director of Insurance and has been with Summit Financial, LLC for 14 Years. He earned a B.S. from Boston University. David specializes in the design and implementation of insurance strategies to enhance the overall protection within a client’s financial plan by working closely with the Summit team of Attorney’s, CPA’s and Financial Planners. He has extensive knowledge of Life, Disability and Long-Term Care insurance in today’s world and how it can be leveraged to cover many of the unforeseen changes that may occur in the future.
Outside of work, David likes to stay active by running, playing tennis, and riding his vintage motorcycle.
Chief Administrative Office
Sarah Rich is the Chief Administrative Officer at Summit Financial LLC. Sarah is responsible for the oversight of Human Resources and acts as a key advisor to Senior Leadership and other valued stakeholders. She guides management and employee actions by communicating and enforcing organizational values while working closely with business heads and advisors to hire and develop talent and consults in areas of training, employee relations and career coaching. Sarah has over 15 years of experience in Human Resources with most of her career spent in financial services. She specializes in employee relations and talent recruitment.
Prior to Summit, Sarah worked as a consultant for Société Générale, a business partner for Mylan Pharmaceuticals, and a business partner and generalist for Soros Fund Management LLC. At Mylan, she concentrated her expertise in employee relations, onboarding, talent recruitment, and benefits consultation. While at Soros, Sarah concentrated her expertise in recruiting, benefits platform development, and employee relations. She also acted as the Administrative Manager for all Executive Assistants and the Reception department including recruiting/terminations, daily oversight, and employee relations. Sarah has a B.S in Human Development and Family Studies from The Pennsylvania State University. She lives in Cedar Knolls with her husband and three daughters.
Associate Director Investment Management
Craig Amico has spent his entire career in the Wealth Advisor space, most recently at Bank of America Merrill Lynch where he was a Vice President, Overlay Portfolio Manager and Product Specialist. Craig focused on providing insight on several equity portfolios, provided guidance to Financial Advisors as well as account management and rebalancing of accounts. Prior to Bank of America, he was at PNC Global Investment Services. Craig assists the Investment team with newsletter writing and due diligence, and serves as a resource to Advisors looking to grow their business as well as learning the Risk Monitor system. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Applied Mathematics from William Paterson University. Craig is also a CFA and CIPM Charter holder.
Associate Director Investment Management
Steve Melnick has close to 10 years of investment experience within the RIA space, most recently from Brown Advisory. At Brown Advisory, he was a Senior Research and Portfolio Analyst and worked on several investment related activities at the firm. Prior to Brown, Steven was at Dyson Capital Advisors and Cambridge Associates. Steven assists the Investment team with due diligence, newsletter writing, and serves as a resource to Advisors looking to grow their business as well as learning the Risk Monitor system. Steven holds a Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance from George Washington University and is also a CFA Charter holder.
Chief Technology Officer
Steve Pfundstein is the Chief Technology Officer at Summit Financial LLC. He joined Summit’s predecessor firm in 2010 and is responsible for oversight of the technology department. With over 15 years of experience in managing teams of IT professionals in the implementation and management of enterprise networks, large scale migrations, and system implementations, Steve and his team have built a robust technology platform consisting of some of the industry’s best systems with a focus on a simple yet powerful user experience. Steve earned his Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Science with a minor in Marketing from Franciscan University. He lives in Randolph with his wife and five children.
Let’s discuss how we can empower you to make informed decisions about your wealth with confidence and comfort.Connect