Ascent Investment Partners is based in St. Louis and was formed to meet the unique needs of fixed income investors. Because safety and stability are the primary reasons investors include a fixed income allocation in their portfolios, we carefully balance risk and after-tax return in every investment decision.
Ascent Investment Partners was formed by veterans of the A.G. Edwards internal money management firm, Gallatin Asset Management (A.G. Edwards & Sons is a predecessor firm of Wells Fargo Advisors). Gallatin served as a discretionary fixed income advisor to conservative brokerage clients looking for disciplined investment management.
While at Gallatin, Sandy and Jeff offered strategies using both taxable and tax-exempt securities, focusing on principal preservation and prudent trading. Gallatin grew substantially during their tenure in part because the firm offered advisors and their clients personalized service and peace of mind in a rapidly shifting environment. Ascent Investment Partners continues that legacy as a more accessible entity.
Sandra Pourcillie, CFA
Sandra is a Principal of Ascent Investment Partners, LLC.
Prior to forming Ascent, Sandra oversaw the management of $1.7 billion in separately managed bond accounts for high net worth and institutional clients at Evergreen Investments (successor firm to Gallatin Asset Management, and A.G. Edwards Asset Management). She was responsible for helping formulate, implement and monitor investment strategy across approximately 2,100 individual accounts. Prior to the Wachovia and Wells Fargo mergers, she was the manager of the Gallatin fixed income group within A.G. Edwards, Inc. She also served on the A.G. Edwards & Sons Investment Strategy Committee, which developed the firm’s asset allocation for its managed ETF portfolios (assets totaling approximately $7 billion).
Prior to joining A.G. Edwards in 1997, Sandra served as a municipal credit analyst at Boatmen’s Trust Company, where she evaluated the credit quality and trend of municipal issuers in support of their municipal mutual funds, trust portfolios and tax-exempt money market funds. Sandra joined Boatmen’s after her tenure with the State of Missouri budget office, where she analyzed, made recommendations on, and tracked Department of Public Safety and Revenue budget requests and legislative/policy initiatives for the Governor of Missouri.
Sandra has been a CFA Charter holder since 1999, and holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in political science and economics from the University of Missouri at Columbia.
Jeffrey Ladd, CFA
Jeffrey is a Principal of Ascent Investment Partners, LLC.
Prior to forming Ascent, Jeffrey served as a senior fixed income portfolio manager within Evergreen Investments (successor firm to Gallatin Asset Management, and A.G. Edwards Asset Management). His responsibilities included the management of more than $1 billion in separately managed tax-exempt portfolios as well as the development of customized fixed income strategies. Previously, he served as a Senior Fixed Income Credit Analyst within the bond department of A.G. Edwards & Sons. He was responsible for analyzing the financial status of various fixed income issuers and identifying new opportunities for investment.
Before joining A.G. Edwards in 1998, Jeffrey served as a Senior Financial Analyst for GE Capital, responsible for the financial management of a $3.5 billion mortgage retention business. Prior to GE Capital, Jeffrey served as a Senior Financial Analyst with The May Department Stores Company, where he focused on profit improvement, expense analysis and budgeting.
Jeffrey received a BS BA with an emphasis in Finance and Banking from the University of Missouri at Columbia. He has been awarded the use of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation by the CFA Institute and he is a member of the CFA Society of St. Louis.
Director of Research, Ascent Investment Partners
Brian Tournier is the director of research at Ascent Investment Partners. He is responsible for reviewing credit quality and investor suitability of the bonds purchased for Ascent’s clients and for the surveillance of investor portfolios.
Prior to joining Ascent, Brian was the director of credit analysis at Stern Brothers & Co., where he managed all aspects of credit evaluation for a rapidly growing regional public finance investment bank. Before working at Stern Brothers, Brian was a vice president and group leader of municipal research at A.G. Edwards & Sons, where he managed an award- winning research team responsible for analyzing credit quality and deal structure, identifying market opportunities and publishing action-oriented research for retail and institutional investors. He also served as a municipal analyst at A.G. Edwards for more than 15 years.
Brian is a former member of the board of governors of the National Federation of Municipal Analysts (NFMA) and a former co-chair of the NFMA Disclosure Committee. He was named an All-Star Municipal Analyst by Smith’s Research and Gradings 12 times from 2001 through 2010 in the Water and Sewer Revenue Bond and Special Revenue Bond categories. He served on the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s (SIFMA) Municipal Credit Research, Strategy and Analysis Committee from 2004 to 2007.
Brian has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Washington University in St. Louis. He has also completed coursework toward a master’s of business administration and a master’s of public administration from the University of Missouri – St. Louis. He has passed the Series 7, 24, 53, 63 and 79 and has over two decades of industry experience.
Ross Maynard, CFA
Director of Client portfolio management, Ascent Investment Partners
Ross Maynard is the Director of Client Portfolio Management at Ascent Investment Partners. He is responsible for building new relationships for the firm as well as servicing existing mandates.
Prior to joining Ascent, Ross was with Pacific Investment Management Company (“PIMCO”) where he most recently was a Senior Portfolio Associate on the Emerging Markets Desk. Prior to that, Ross worked on PIMCO’s Institutional Business Development Group, where he focused on servicing investment consultants as well as building new business across multiple institutional channels.
Ross received a BS BA with an emphasis in Finance and Banking from the University of Missouri. He is a CFA ® charterholder.
Chief Executive Officer
Marty Bicknell is the chief executive officer and president of Mariner and Mariner Wealth Advisors. He also serves on the board of directors for all of Mariner’s subsidiaries.
Prior to forming the firm in 2006, Marty was senior vice president of investments at A.G. Edwards & Sons, where he led a staff of professional financial consultants in providing customized wealth management solutions for public and private corporations, high-net-worth individuals and their families, and charitable organizations. Marty has provided counseling on a wide range of financial matters to small and medium-sized businesses.
As a recognized leader in the field of financial problem solving for companies and their executives, Marty has been a valuable resource for other successful entrepreneurs. He has extensive personal and professional experience in the realm of closely held family businesses and the unique complexities within those types of organizations. From strategic planning for long-term goals, to succession planning and wealth transfer, he brings with him a breadth of knowledge that encourages creative thought and visionary solutions.
Marty has a bachelor’s degree from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kan.
He serves on the board of directors for the KU Advancement Board for the University of Kansas Medical Center and on the MRIGlobal Board of Trustees. He is a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and is a board member for the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City. He is also involved in supporting several organizations through his sponsorship and committee participation, including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), KU Med Cancer Care, Youth Entrepreneurs, Global Orphan, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kansas City, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and Marillac.
Marty was named in Investment Advisor’s 2016 Top 25 Influential People in the investment/financial industry, theﾠKansas City Business Journal’s 2016 and 2015 Power 100 List and, under Marty’s leadership, Mariner Wealth Advisors ranked #8 onﾠwealthmanagement.com’s Top 10 RIAs of 2015. In 2016,ﾠBarron’sﾠranked Mariner #1 on its inaugural Top 20 Independent Advisory Firms ranking.
Timothy M. Connealy, CPA
Chief Financial Officer
Timothy Connealy is the chief financial officer at Mariner. He has more than 30 years of experience in banking and accounting.ﾠ Prior to joining Mariner, Tim was most recently the executive vice president and chief operating officer at Dickinson Financial Corporation/Bank Midwest. In that role, he was responsible for the operational, administrative and risk management activities for the multi-bank holding company. Tim has also served as executive vice president and chief financial officer with CNB Financial Corporation/Commercial National Bank and UMB Financial Corporation/UMB Bank. Earlier in his career, Tim spent 10 years in the auditing department of KPMG, Certified Public Accountants.
Tim has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri. He is a Certified Public Accountant.
Chief OPERATING OFFICER / CHIEF Strategy Officer
Cheryl Vohland is the chief operating officer and chief strategy officer of Mariner. She supports the CEO with developing, communicating and executing on strategic initiatives. Cheryl leads the execution of organizational vision and oversees strategies developed by key leaders. She ensures any decisions made regarding potential opportunities are aligned with the firm’s strategy and are creating the desired results. Cheryl is a member of the firm’s five-person executive committee and is charged with the legal and regulatory oversight of the firm as well as leading all acquisitions.
Prior to her role as chief operating officer and chief strategy officer, Cheryl served as both chief of staff and chief compliance officer.
Cheryl has a bachelor’s degree in finance from Arizona State University and a juris doctorate from the University of Kansas-School of Law. She also has an LL.M. degree in taxation from the University of San Diego.
Senior Vice President of Human Resources
Kara Stoecklein is the senior vice president of human resources at Mariner Holdings. She is responsible for driving the human resources strategy and execution of a shared-HR service function for the firm, including Mariner Wealth Advisors and Montage Investments. Kara has over 17 years of human resources experience within the professional services industry and is recognized as a strategic HR leader with strong business operations and financial acumen.
Prior to joining Mariner, Kara served in human resources leadership roles at AdamsGabbert & Associates and McGladrey. She began her career with Arthur Andersen LLP.
Kara has a bachelor’s degree from William Jewell College and has attained the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and Society for Human Resource Management-Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) professional designations. She is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management and the Human Resources Management Association of Greater Kansas City. She is also a member of the Financial Planners Association. Kara is actively involved with the MS Society, the Lee’s Summit PTA and Girls on the Run. Kara is passionate about helping people reach their greatest potential, family, travel, physical fitness and wellbeing.
Senior Vice President of Technology
Jeff Foley is the senior vice president of technology at Mariner Holdings. He is responsible for overseeing the planning and organizational structure of the technology functions for Mariner Wealth Advisors and Montage Investments. Since he joined Mariner, Jeff has been directing the continued implementation of the firm’s cutting-edge technology platform.
Jeff has nearly 30 years of technology experience within the financial services industry. Prior to joining Mariner Holdings, he was responsible for the development of the Reuters Plus financial services product for Reuters America (now Thomson Reuters). Before working at Reuters, Jeff was responsible for product development at Instinet Research & Analytics. He began his career as a computer programmer at Knight-Ridder Financial and quickly ascended into technology leadership roles.
Jeff has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science, magna cum laude, from William Jewell College. He is actively involved with the Catholic Youth Organization as athletic director and coach.