Senior Managing Director & Chairman, Management Committee
Rob Herman plays a leadership role on the firm’s management and investment committees. He is also the Managing Partner of Day Hagan Logix LLC, a joint venture of Gries Financial Partners and Day Hagan Asset Management. His experience prior to joining Gries Financial Partners includes serving as President of Logix Investment Management and as a lead equity analyst for Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research. In addition, Rob previously worked as an engagement leader for strategy consultancy Monitor Company, as Chief Strategy Officer for Away.com (later acquired by Orbitz), and early in his career as a Congressional Communications Director. He has a B.A. from the University of Michigan and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Rob sits on several philanthropic boards, including the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Foundation, the FAMILY Fund at Hamilton County Job & Family Services (Chairman), the Transition and Access Program (TAP) – University of Cincinnati, and the Cedar Village and Maltz Museum Investment Committees.
Senior Managing Director, Wealth Management Services
Ed Bell has led Gries Financial’s wealth management practice since 1994. In addition to his leadership role on the firm’s management committee, his responsibilities include serving the financial needs of the firm’s high net worth and institutional clients. Prior to joining Gries Financial, Ed served in client management roles with Coopers & Lybrand (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers) and International Management Group (IMG). Ed is an attorney who received his Juris Doctor from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law and his Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy from Miami University. Ed has the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation and is a CPA (inactive). He is active in the community, currently serving on the boards of Global Cleveland and Friends of Breakthrough Schools, as well as the Audit and Finance Committee of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. He also previously served as the Chair of the Providence House, a crisis nursery located on Cleveland’s near west side.
Senior Managing Director, Operations and Strategy
Jeff Palmer leads the firm’s operations, technology and compliance functions and is a senior member of the firm’s management committee. He is a key member of the firm’s investment committee, more specifically, providing implementation oversight. He is also a Senior Partner of DH Logix, LLC. Jeff was a successful entrepreneur before joining Gries Financial in 1989, and served as a senior equity analyst and portfolio manager at the firm for several years. Jeff has completed the CIPM Principles exam in Global Investment Performance Measurements and has a degree in computer science. Jeff is actively involved in local educational and community nonprofit boards.
Managing Director, Investment Management Services
Lauren Rich Fine joined Gries Financial Partners in 2016 to help drive business development and strategy and work directly with clients on their investment portfolios. Lauren was previously a Managing Director at Merrill Lynch in equity research for nearly two decades, where she was named to the Institutional Investor All-American Research team, holding the number one position in her coverage universe for 11 years. More recently, Lauren was an Executive Search consultant at Howard & O’Brien, focused on C-Suite and board searches. She has a B.A. from Tufts University and an M.B.A. from the Stern School of Management at New York University. Lauren sits on the board of the Ahuja Medical Center at University Hospitals (UH), Cleveland International Film Festival, Cleveland Museum of Art, College Now, E.W. Scripps (SSP), ideastream, Private Trust Co. and is the Leadership Chair of the Connor Integrative Health Network at UH. She is actively involved in the Cleveland start-up community.
Chief Investment Officer
Ken Brodkowitz is an experienced investment professional and joined Gries Financial in 2016. Earlier in his career, working for Goldman Sachs, Ken worked in institutional sales and later served as co-head of Proprietary Trading. Subsequently, he was a long/short equity portfolio manager for Galleon Group followed by Balyasny Asset Management. Prior to joining Gries Financial, he was co-founder and Managing Partner of Newland Capital Management, a $1.3B long/short and event driven hedge fund. Ken received his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University, where he was a member of the baseball team, and his M.B.A. from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He is currently an adjunct Professor of Finance at the University of Maryland and on the board of crowdjoy, a location proximity internet company; he was previously on the board of So What Else, an organization helping lower income children and families.
Director, Wealth Management Services
Brent Horvath works closely with Gries Financial clients on all aspects of personal and family financial planning. This includes retirement planning, estate planning, tax planning, and asset allocation. Prior to joining Gries Financial in 2003, he was an Investment Consultant at Charles Schwab. Brent has a B.B.A. in Finance from Ohio University with a minor in History and is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). He is a member of the Financial Planning Association, the Estate Planning Council of Cleveland and is an alumnus of the Cleveland Bridge Builders program. Brent also serves as the Treasurer of The Center for Principled Family Advocacy and S.T.A.R.T. (Support To At-Risk Teens), and is a member of the Twinsburg Baseball League Board of Trustees.
Director, Research and Portfolio Management
Kris Jarosz joined Gries Financial in 2002. He is a member of the firm’s Investment Committee leadership team with a focus on global asset allocation, due diligence and investment strategy. Previously, he was an investment consultant at Morgan Stanley working with a diverse high net worth and institutional client base. He has nearly 20 years of experience in financial services and investment management. Kris has a B.S. in Finance from Wright State University where he was a member of the baseball team, later playing professionally. He is also a councilperson in the City of Euclid where he chairs the City Planning and Commercial Development Committees, is a graduate of the Civic Leadership Institute at the Cleveland Leadership Center, and a member of his parish’s (Our Lady of the Lake) Advisory Council.
Sally Gries founded Gries Financial in 1978 as a single family office. She began her financial services career in the late 1960’s at Goodbody & Company in Philadelphia in municipal bonds and has also worked as an investment banker and a venture capitalist during her career. She is on the investment committee of several large institutions. Sally is the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Cleveland Foundation and a trustee of Holden Forest and Gardens. In addition, she is a Life Trustee of Hawken School and Trustee Emeritus of Case Western Reserve University. She has a B.A. from Northwestern University and has the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation.
Steve Zimmerman is Research Manager of Day Hagan Logix, a joint venture of Gries Financial Partners and Day Hagan Asset Management. Steve is a seasoned equity analyst, experienced in traditional fundamental analysis as well as quantitative research. He was formerly a research analyst at Touchstone Mutual Funds and later served as Director of Research at Robert Leshner Associates. He also previously held the role of Managing Director at Quanta Research. Most recently, Steve was Quantitative Sales Director at Zacks Investment Research. He has a B.A. from Miami University and an M.B.A. from the University of Cincinnati.
Liz Griffiths joined Gries Financial LLC as a Client Advisor in 2011 and holds the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation along with numerous other certificates in the fields of negotiating, organizing and interpersonal relationship skills. In addition to providing financial planning and investment counsel, she serves our clients with assistance in six principal areas of expertise: Estate resolution, personal/life/family management, family office services and issues surrounding government agencies, healthcare/senior care and insurance. She is a member of the Financial Planning Association, the Estate Planning Council of Cleveland and is active in her community of Avon Lake, St. Joseph Parish, and Junior Achievement. Liz has a B.A. from Kent State University.
Mary Ann constructs and manages client portfolios consistent with the strategies determined by the Investment Committee. Her duties also include financial planning and tax preparation and projections as part of the Wealth Management team as well as working on compliance/regulatory filing issues. She has been in the financial services industry for more than 30 years, having been with Gries Financial since 2004. Previously, Mary Ann was a Senior Vice President of NASDAQ Trading at the McDonald Division of Keycorp. She began her career at Gradison & Company in Cincinnati. Mary Ann has a B.A. from the University of Cincinnati and holds the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation.
Financial Planning Associate
Irenee Nkera is a financial planning associate for Gries Financial Partners. He is graduate of John Carroll University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and a concentration in Wealth Management/Financial Planning. He previously was an intern for Stratos Wealth Partners. While completing his studies, he was also actively involved in extracurriculars including the John Carroll investment club and the men’s volleyball club. He enjoys watching sports and volunteering in different communities. Irenee was involved in two immersion trips, one in New Orleans, Louisiana and the other in Mandeville, Jamaica. During those trips he volunteered in clinics, orphanages and assisted AmeriCorps in building houses.
Senior Operations Specialist
Traci Reynolds joined Gries Financial in 2006 and continues to play an important role in client relationships. Her responsibilities include opening new client accounts, assisting through the onboarding process, facilitating money movement requests and processing trades in clients’ accounts. Prior to joining Gries Financial LLC, Traci worked in event planning. Traci has a bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University and is a member of Delta Sigma Pi, a professional business fraternity. Traci is on the fundraising committee for Friends of the Cleveland Kennel. She also volunteers at Neighborhood Pets, which is a community outreach program providing affordable health care to Cleveland area pet owners in need of assistance.
Director of Client Services
Shannon Gallagher joined Gries Financial in 1998 and after serving in various roles of increasing responsibility is now Director of Client Services. In this role, she manages the firm’s approach to client service and also plays a significant role in the day to day operations of the firm. Shannon has been a member of the Ohio Security Traders Association since 2010 and was elected as the Secretary of the Board of Directors for 2014-15. Shannon is actively engaged in the Cleveland community and served as Co-Chair for the Providence House PHriends Young Professionals Group from 2014-2017. She was also the Membership Director for the Western Reserve Historical Society Young Professionals Group from 2014-2016. Shannon is a Positively Cleveland CLE Ambassador.
Laura Sears joined Gries Financial in 2018 as Family Office Administrator providing accounting and administrative assistance to our client families. In 2021, Laura became an Assistant Trader, responsible for opening new accounts and assisting the onboarding process, facilitating money movement requests, and processing client trades. She has 20+ years of experience in management and business administration in the entertainment, manufacturing and service industries. Her previous positions include Operations Manager and Event Coordinator for Jamie Belkin Events and Office Manager/Assistant to the CEO of Belkin Productions. Laura has a B.A. from Ursuline College.
Donna Beenken joined Gries Financial in 1991. She handles HR managing benefits including payroll, insurance and 401(k) administration as well as investment management billing, accounts payable, travel arrangements and client scheduling. She earned an associate’s degree in business administration from Lakeland College. Donna also serves as Executive Assistant to Sally Gries and assists with her business and philanthropic schedule. Prior to joining Gries Financial, Donna held multiple administrative positions at computer hardware and software firms in Ohio and Michigan.
Wealth Management Administrator
Pam Ziegan joined Gries Financial in 1997 and is responsible for Wealth Management administration as well as family office client service needs. Before joining the firm, Pam worked for Investment Advisors International (a division of IMG) and for Dawson Insurance, a large independent insurance agency on Cleveland’s west side. She is involved with her local church and helps coordinate and deliver the congregation’s monthly food and clothing donations to The City Mission.
Administrative Associate / Receptionist
Anne Weir is the Director of First Impressions and Office Administrator for the firm. She joined Gries in 2012 and assists the Office Manager with the day-to-day operation of the office, corporate travel and client meetings. Anne has over 20 years’ experience in Office Management and as an Executive Assistant. In Cleveland, she was an Executive Assistant (EA) for Heidrick & Struggles, an executive search firm, EA for the Financial Legal Secretariat of the Catholic Diocese and Office Services Supervisor for AT Kearney, a global management consulting firm. She was also an Executive Assistant and Deputy Office Manager for AT Kearney in their London, England office. She has a B.A. in English with a minor in Business Administration from Kent State University and volunteers for the Cleveland International Film Festival and Holden Arboretum.
Diane Kotara joined Gries Financial in 1989. She handles account receivables, bank reconciliations and is the back up to the Office Manager. Diane is also the Executive Assistant to Robert D. Gries, working on his personal, philanthropic, and family matters. She is involved with all aspects of the Gries Family Foundation, including contact with the recipients of its donations.
Tim Frey joined Gries Financial as the Operation Specialist in early 2017. He has over 15 years of experience in the IT field, including work at a major defense company as well as some Fortune 500 firms. Tim has been involved with numerous small local charities in Atlanta.