January 4, 2024
You can download a PDF copy of this update here.
In the thirty-five years since its founding, Clearstead has become a leading nationally recognized financial advisory firm serving wealthy families and prominent institutions. We are headquartered in Cleveland OH, serve clients in 46 states, and have over 170 employees. Importantly, almost 50 of our employees are shareholders in the firm.
Our private client team provides integrated wealth management – investments, tax planning and compliance, financial planning, family office services, and trust services – for hundreds of individuals, families, and related entities and nearly $8 billion in assets. Clearstead institutional client services provide investment consulting to about 200 institutions and $22 billion in assets. Our institutional clients include endowments and foundations, colleges and universities, hospitals, and retirement plans. Clearstead Trust is a wholly-owned subsidiary in Portland ME providing trust services and wealth management.
In 2023, Clearstead expanded its trust capabilities with the acquisition of two firms. The first is Avalon Trust, a New Mexico-chartered trust company located in Santa Fe. Avalon advises approximately $1.7 billion for clients across the nation and, in addition to Santa Fe, has offices in Portland OR and New Jersey. We also acquired the business of CLS Consulting, a Northeastern Ohio firm specializing in advising families on the formation of family offices and single-family trust companies. The founder of CLS Consulting, Cindy Steeb, has expertise in trust company governance and is the author of a forthcoming book, Preserving Multigenerational Wealth: How a Private Family Trust Company Can Promote Family Harmony & Positive Family Dynamics.
As our firm grows, we continuously seek top quality people to meet our clients’ needs. In 2023 we added 18 professionals – across all areas of the firm – from top universities, other firms, and acquisitions.
Notably, we had several senior professionals join our private client team:
- Ken Morgan, CFP®, CIMA®, CTFA, AEP®, CEPA, Senior Managing Director, Head of Private Client Sales & Strategy
- Ron Ulle, CFA, Senior Managing Director
- Cara Wood, CFA, CAIA, Senior Managing Director
In December 2023, a team of eight professionals joined us and opened an office in Hudson, OH. These individuals, listed below, have experience in both institutional consulting and private wealth management.
- Douglas Krapf, Senior Managing Director
- James Barsella, Senior Managing Director
- Matthew Shannon, CIMA®, Senior Managing Director
- David Wohlabaugh, CFS®, Managing Director
- Sharon Whitacre, CFP®, CIMA®, Managing Director
- Alexander Shannon, Director, Business Development
- Kristin Light, Senior Client Service Associate
- Patti Noel, Senior Performance Analyst
We also made organizational changes as part of a long-term management succession program. Dave Fulton and Carl Tippit have been named Co-Chairmen, though Dave will continue as CEO. In addition, the following organizational changes have been made:
- Brad Knapp was named President and was elected to the Clearstead Board of Directors and the governance and fiduciary boards of our subsidiaries.
- Trent Meyerhoefer, Chief Financial Officer, continues to oversee financial and operations functions for the firm. He also serves on the Clearstead Board of Directors and the governance and fiduciary boards of our subsidiaries.
- Aneet Deshpande was named Executive Managing Director, Investment Strategy and took an active role on our Leadership Committee.
- Mike Shebak was named Executive Managing Director, Institutional Consulting Services.
- Satricia Rice was named Executive Managing Director, Private Client Services.
- Mike Moss was named Senior Managing Director, Corporate Development, which reflects his role in mergers, acquisitions, and their integration.
Leadership succession has been a longstanding priority and is central to client service and firm growth. We are fortunate to have strong next generation talent who will lead Clearstead to future success.
Expansion of Client Services
To better serve our clients, we invested in several technology platforms throughout 2023 that enhance the services we offer, as well as continued to build on the platforms we currently utilize.
We entered a partnership with Addepar, a company that offers portfolio management solutions to our Family Office clients. Addepar allows us to optimize investments for these clients, based on other elements of their finances.
We also partnered with Summitas, a company we leverage to provide client portals to our Family Office and Family Trust Company clients. Summitas allows us to offer a secure and centralized place to share and access relevant documents and financial data between our advisors and clients.
Late in 2023, we entered a third partnership with Smartleaf Asset Management, a firm that provides direct indexing services for our clients. Smartleaf allows us to help clients achieve personalized, tax-sensitive investing strategies aligned with their financial objectives.
Additionally, we continued to build upon the successful relationship we began in 2022 with eCIO to leverage their eVestech platform as a portal for our institutional clients. The portal serves as a central hub for client materials, video updates, meeting information, and other relevant deliverables, which is a significant extension and differentiator of our Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO) offering.
This year we produced our third Sustainable Clearstead Impact Report, which summarizes our activities of our Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Council; EmpowHER, our women’s initiative; the Clearstead Scholarship; the Clearstead Foundation; Clearstead Emerging Leaders, an employee resource group for young professionals; and several other initiatives.
As always, thank you. We are grateful to our clients, friends, and colleagues for their support and remain committed to objectivity and a high standard of quality in service to our clients.
 Includes employees of Clearstead Trust and Avalon Trust, which are not registered by the SEC.
YOUR FUTURE IN FOCUS
At Clearstead, we create integrated, prudent, and custom strategies that bring clarity to you or your organization’s financial future.
Clearstead is an independent financial advisory firm serving wealthy families and leading institutions across the country. As a fiduciary, it provides wealth management services and investment consulting to help clients meet their financial objectives, achieve their aspirations, and build stronger futures.
1100 Superior Avenue East
Suite 700 | Cleveland, Ohio 44114