Founding Partners

Brad R. Balter, CFA
Chief Executive Officer & Portfolio Manager
Brad Balter

Brad R. Balter, CFA

Chief Executive Officer & Portfolio Manager

Brad has experience in the financial services industry beginning in 1992. He is managing partner and founder of both Balter Capital Management (BCM) and Balter Liquid Alternatives (BLA). At Balter Liquid Alternatives, Brad is responsible for managing the firm’s mutual fund products and setting the strategic direction of the mutual fund company. He is also a portfolio manager of each BLA Fund. Prior to forming Balter Capital Management in 2006, Brad was a Managing Director, Institutional Investor Group at Citigroup Global Markets where he held primary responsibility for multi-strategy hedge fund relationships from 2002-2005. From 1992 to 2001 Brad was with PaineWebber Inc. (and subsequently UBS) where he was a leading member of the firms middle markets hedge fund coverage program with primary responsibility for early stage hedge fund relationships. He is a graduate of Williams College and a Chartered Financial Analyst.

References to other mutual funds or products should not be interpreted as an offer of these securities.

Jay C. Warner, CFA
Chief Investment Officer & Portfolio Manager

Jay C. Warner, CFA

Chief Investment Officer & Portfolio Manager

Since beginning his career in 1999, Jay has had extensive experience in both mutual fund and hedge fund investing. At Balter Liquid Alternatives (BLA), Jay is responsible for managing the firm’s mutual fund products and is also the Chief Investment Officer of the firm. He is a portfolio manager of each BLA Fund. Jay is a founding member of Balter Capital Management (BCM) having previously served as a Financial Analyst for Citigroup Global Markets, with responsibility for idea generation and facilitation of access to research related resources for hedge fund clients of the bank. From 2000 to 2004 Jay was an Investment Analyst and member of the Investment Committee at The Segalas Group, a New Canaan, CT based hedge fund. Prior to his work at The Segalas Group, Jay was a Private Placement Analyst at Citigroup’s Traveler Insurance Unit, where he focused on a broad number of sectors as it pertained to credit investments for Travelers portfolios. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a B.A. in Finance and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Jay enjoys spending time with his wife, son and daughter who graciously accommodate his love/hate relationship with Ironman triathlons.  Jay enjoys watching both the athletic and academic endeavors of his children, while savoring the consumption of fine IPAs in his downtime.

References to other mutual funds or products should not be interpreted as an offer of these securities.

Research Team

Benjamin R. Deschaine, CAIA
Partner & Portfolio Manager

Benjamin R. Deschaine, CAIA

Partner & Portfolio Manager

Ben began his investment career in 1998 and has experience in both mutual fund and hedge fund investing. At Balter Liquid Alternatives (BLA), Ben is responsible for managing the firm’s mutual fund products and is a portfolio manager of each BLA Fund. Ben has experience working for hedge fund allocators as well as directly within a hedge fund, which provides him a differentiated perspective of seeing hedge funds from both sides of the business. Prior to joining Balter Capital Management (BCM) in 2012, Ben was a Managing Director at Sabretooth Capital Management, LLC, a global multi-strategy hedge fund affiliated with Tiger Management. Prior to Ben’s time at Sabretooth he spent 10 years at Federal Street Advisors, a Boston based wealth management firm, leading their alternative investment research. At Federal Street, Ben was the portfolio manager for Federal Street’s Saltbox Partners, LP, an internal long/short equity hedge fund of funds. Prior to Federal Street Ben was an Analyst at Principal Financial Group and NQP Administration Services. He is a graduate of Bentley University with a B.S. and M.S. in Finance. Ben has earned the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designation.

When not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife and three boys.  He is an accomplished youth soccer coach spending most weekends on the soccer field helping develop youth players.

References to other mutual funds or products should not be interpreted as an offer of these securities.

Celicia C. Zhao
Partner & Senior Investment Analyst

Celicia C. Zhao

Partner & Senior Investment Analyst

Celicia is a Partner for Balter Liquid Alternatives (BLA), and is charged with identifying and sourcing ideas for potential sub-advisory relationships. Celicia has extensive experience conducting investment manager research across a wide variety of geographies and strategies since 2004. Prior to joining Balter Capital Management (BCM) in 2009, Celicia was responsible for hedge fund analysis at SCS Financial LLC, a Boston-based private wealth management firm and multi-family office. Celicia was dedicated to hedge fund research at SCS across all strategies and geographies. From 2004-2008, Celicia worked at Capital Management Advisors, a Geneva, Switzerland based hedge fund advisory and fund of hedge funds where she held primary responsibility for research of equity long/short, merger arbitrage and event driven hedge fund strategies. She is a graduate of Brandeis University, with a B.A. in Economics and has a degree from the Brandeis International Business School, with a M.A. in International Economics and Finance. Celicia is fluent in Chinese and Spanish.

Celicia enjoys traveling and is an avid snowboarder. She enjoys spending time with her family, and she and her husband are excited to get their two children on a snowboard so that they can resume chasing snow globally. She is constantly seeking new gastronomic experiences, is not shy about her love of sci-fi, and appreciates finding the silver lining in situations.

David M. Achterhof, CFA
Senior Hedge Fund Analyst, Investment Manager Research

David M. Achterhof, CFA

Senior Hedge Fund Analyst, Investment Manager Research

David is a Senior Hedge Fund Analyst for Balter Liquid Alternatives (BLA) and has been researching investment managers since 2006. Dave is responsible for identifying and sourcing ideas for sub-advisory relationships as well as quantitative analytics on the firm’s products. David joined Balter Capital Management (BCM) in 2011 as a Senior Analyst. Prior to BCM, David was an Associate Director of Research and Analytics at Tuckerbrook, where he played an integral role in manager selection and due diligence performed on hedge fund and private equity investments for the firm’s fund of fund business. Prior to Tuckerbrook, David was an Associate Director at Thomson Financial in the Capital Markets Intelligence Group. Prior to his employment at Thomson Financial, David worked as a Senior Examiner in the Corporate Banking Division at the Bank of New York. David holds a B.A. in Economics from Trinity College (CT) and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

David spends most of his free time with his wife and two young children, with occasional attempts each year to get back into shape through running and cycling.

Compliance & Operations

Jim Fricano
Chief Compliance Officer

Jim Fricano

Chief Compliance Officer

Jim Fricano is the Chief Compliance Officer for Balter Capital Management and its subsidiary, Balter Liquid Alternatives. From 2010 to 2015, he was at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, most recently as an examiner of State Street Corporation and its asset management division, State Street Global Advisors (SSGA). From 1999 to 2010, he was an Economic Litigation Consultant with Charles River Associates and Analysis Group, where he directed teams to assess risk and compliance practices, and estimate litigation damages for firms providing asset management, investment banking, trading, credit, clearing and settlement services. Prior to graduate school, he was an Actuarial Analyst for Towers Watson. Jim received his B.S.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis. In addition, he has a JD and MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Ian H. Grimm
Director of Operations

Ian H. Grimm

Director of Operations

Ian began his career in Financial Services and brings over 20 years of experience as the Director of Operations for BLA and BCM.  He is responsible for day-to-day leadership and general management of the firm.  At Balter Liquid Alternatives (BLA), Ian is responsible for operations in managing the firm’s mutual fund products.  BLA’s operational team provide coordination with all Sub-Advisers for their daily trading, pricing and valuation and compliance oversight.  Ian oversees all third party providers including fund administration, fund accounting, legal, transfer agent and distribution.  At BCM Ian is responsible for all operations functions and oversight of the BCM Discovery Fund, BCM Credit Opportunities Fund and the Balter ’40 Act Capital Alternatives Fund.  Prior to BCM, Ian was Director of Operations and CCO for Alydar Capital, LLC and before that worked in prime brokerage for Fidelity Capital Markets.  Prior to Fidelity he covered middle and major markets at Instinet, CFRA Research, and Thomson Reuters-Street Events.  Ian is a graduate of Middlebury College and holds an MBA from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College, and the IACCP designation.

Ian is a Massachusetts native, now residing on the south shore.  He spends as much time as he can with his four children and loves to take them on adventures skiing and anyplace involving the ocean and water sports.  He is a patient soccer coach, is known for his pancake breakfasts and grilling skills, and would love to continue worldwide travel whenever he gets the time.

Julie E. Giller
Senior Operations Associate

Julie E. Giller

Senior Operations Associate

At Balter Liquid Alternatives (BLA), Julie is responsible for investor and prospect servicing for the firm’s mutual fund products. Julie also supports requests from fund administration, fund accounting, custody and transfer agents. Prior to joining the firm in 2014, Julie was an Investment Operations Associate at Panagora Asset Management where she maintained the cash and share reconciliation, corporate action processing, and monthly reconciliation of complex funds. She interacted daily with portfolio managers, coordinating trade processing, as well as resolving any equity or futures trade settlement issues. Before Panagora, Julie worked as a Fund Accountant at State Street Bank and Trust supporting a private equity client. She is a graduate of St. Lawrence University (NY) with a B.S. in Economics-Mathematics Combined and Minors in Spanish and Statistics.

Julie is a native of the Pacific Northwest, but now calls Boston home, rooting for all the Boston sports teams. When not watching any of the local professional teams, Julie can be found playing sports herself. She is a skier and avid soccer player, playing in many different intramural coed leagues. She is also a volunteer soccer coach with the non-profit organization, Soccer Without Borders.

Jack W. Ryerson
Operations Associate

Jack W. Ryerson

Operations Associate

Jack joined the operations team at BLA in 2015. Prior to joining BLA, Jack worked as an Analyst in the Complex Accounting Administration Group at The Bank of New York Mellon. Before Bank of New York Mellon, Jack worked as a Fund Accountant at State Street Bank and Trust supporting a private equity client. He is a graduate of The State University of New York at Geneseo with a B.A. in Economics, and holds an MBA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Originally from Upstate New York, Jack participated in many outdoor activities including fishing, skiing, football and lacrosse. He continued playing lacrosse throughout college and still plays in a local men’s league.  Most of his free time is spent with his wife and two daughters.

Mark Cunningham
Junior Operations Associate

Mark Cunningham

Junior Operations Associate

Mark joined the operations team at BLA in March 2017.  Prior to joining BLA, Mark worked as a Hedge Fund Accountant at ALPS Alternative Investment Services supporting several boutique hedge funds.  Mark is a graduate of Bates College (ME) with a B.A. in Economics and Applied Mathematics concentrations.  While at Bates, he was a relief pitcher on the baseball team for four years and helped jumpstart a Special Olympics initiative on campus.

Originally from the greater Boston area, Mark is a big Boston sports fan who loves traveling to see his teams play all over the country.  Outside of work, he enjoys staying active and spending time with his friends and large extended family in the area.

Internal & External Sales Team

Robert A. Marx
Director of Sales

Robert A. Marx

Director of Sales

Bob began his career in the financial services industry in 2000.  At Balter Liquid Alternatives (BLA), Bob is responsible for managing the Regional Directors for sales distribution into the RIA, family office, and other institutional channels as well as the Product Specialist Group, which focuses on bespoke investment and industry research on behalf of our clients. Most recently Bob was a sales manager at Wells Fargo Asset Management working within multiple channels focused on mutual funds and separate account strategies. Prior to that, he served as a financial advisor at CUNA Mutual managing client assets in 4 branches throughout Southern Massachusetts. In addition, Bob worked as a Regional Vice President in Texas with Evergreen Investments and New England with Transamerica. Bob received his Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in Business and Communications from Arizona State University. He is a CAIA Level 1 candidate holds his FINRA series 6, 7, 24, and 63 licenses.

When he’s not working, Bob loves spending time with his twin son and daughter, wife and Boston Terrier. He is an avid but not good golfer, a better skier and still thinks he can lace them up for a good run on the courts.

 

 

Timothy Yan
Senior Relationship Manager

Timothy Yan

Senior Relationship Manager

Tim Yan joined Balter Liquid Alternatives (BLA) in August 2016 as Regional Sales Director for the Northeast Region. He is focused on cultivating relationships with Registered Investment Advisors (RIA’s), Family Offices and other Institutions in the Northeast.  Most recently, Tim worked at Sincere & Co. as a regional director overseeing marketing and distribution strategy for the Eastern United States.  Previously, he worked with Wescott Financial Advisory Group, and RIA, based in Philadelphia as an assistant financial advisor and a special project consultant.  Before that, Tim spent a number of years working at an actuarial consulting firm in New York City, specializing in the design and administration of retirement plans.  Tim graduated Cum Laude from the CUNY – Baruch College, with a B.A. in Actuarial Science and holds FINRA Series 6 & 63 licenses.

Growing up near blue ribbon trout streams, Tim took up fly fishing early in life.  Ironically, he now lives outside Chicago, where there isn’t trout stream within a three hour radius.  He does still try to stay active, playing hockey a couple of times a week.  Tim developed a love for cooking in high school and on most days can be found in the kitchen sharing his passion with his wife, two kids and dog, Franklin.

Janielle Lucas
Senior Relationship Manager

Janielle Lucas

Senior Relationship Manager

Janielle joined Balter Liquid Alternatives (BLA) in January 2017 as a Senior Relationship Manager.  Her duties are primarily client facing, and range from business development and prospecting to managing client relationships with Registered Investment Advisors (RIA’s), Family Offices and other institutions.

Prior to joining BLA, Janielle served as the National Relationship Manager at Schooner Funds, where she was responsible for helping to build the firm from the ground up.  This included lead generation, marketing, attending conferences and managing client relationships with RIA’s, Family Offices and Institutions.  Prior to Schooner, Janielle worked with several marketing and sales firms on the East Coast before opening her own marketing and sales firm, SJM Promotions.  It was here that she realized her true passion for helping companies build a successful foundation.  She is a 2004 graduate of Rowan University with a B.A. in Psychology.  She holds FINRA Series 6, 63 and 65 licenses.

Janielle spent most of her life prior to college competing and training as a gymnast under the Junior Olympic Program in the U.S.  Now, she is an avid Bikram Yogi and enjoys anything athletic or outdoors.

Cody Weik
Product Specialist

Cody Weik

Product Specialist

Cody Weik joined Balter Liquid Alternatives (BLA) in April 2016 as a Product Specialist. He is focused on cultivating relationships with Registered Investment Advisors (RIA’s), Family Offices and other institutions primarily in the West and Southeast Regions as well as research projects focused on competitive analysis and trends in the asset management business. Most recently, Cody worked as Regional Sales Associate with Hatteras Funds where he was responsible for business development and managing client relationships. Previously, he served a Financial Analyst in the Private Wealth Management Division of Goldman Sachs, as a part of The Ayco Company. Cody obtained his Master’s degree in Business Administration at Union College and also received his Bachelors of Science in Business Management from Indiana University (Bloomington).  While at Indiana, he was two-time Olympic Trial qualifier and served two years as captain of the perennial powerhouse Swimming and Diving Team. Cody is a CAIA Level I candidate and holds his FINRA series 3, 7 & 66 licenses.

Cody is a native Pennsylvanian who has enjoyed his experiences domiciling in 5 states over the past 9 years (PA, IN, NY, NC and MA).  In his free time, Cody can be found hiking, camping and enjoying the outdoors with his wife and dog.  He has stayed involved with the sport of swimming by coaching for various club teams throughout his relocations.  In the future, Cody looks forward to bucking the “millennial” trend and buying a house to begin building a family of his own.

 

Kevin Ross
Product Specialist

Kevin Ross

Product Specialist

Kevin Ross joined Balter Liquid Alternatives (BLA) in July of 2015 as a Product Specialist. He is responsible for research projects focused on investment strategy, portfolio construction, and competitive analysis. He is focused on client relationships primarily in the Midwest and South. Prior to joining BLA, Kevin was a Regional Associate with F-Squared Investments. Previously, Kevin was a Financial Services Professional with New York Life Insurance Company and NYLIFE Securities. Kevin is a graduate of Boston College with a B.S. in Management.  He is a CAIA Level 2 candidate and holds the FINRA Series 6, 63, and 65 licenses. 

Originally from Western Massachusetts, Kevin participated in many sports growing up including baseball, basketball and golf.  He’s still getting over coming up just 1 win shy of playing in the 2006 Babe Ruth World Series.  His free time is spent with his wife, family and friends.

Adam Kelsey
Product Specialist

Adam Kelsey

Product Specialist

Adam joined Balter Liquid Alternatives (BLA) in October 2016 as a Product Specialist.  His duties are shared between client driven research requests and competitive analysis as well as managing client relationships with Registered Investment Advisors (RIA’s), Family Offices and other institutions primarily in the Northeast and Midwest.  Prior to joining BLA he served as the Associate Regional Director at Wells Fargo Asset Management where he was responsible for business development and managing client relationships in New England and upstate New York.  Adam received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Hamilton College (NY). While at Hamilton, he was a member of the Men’s Lacrosse program and a founding member of the Marathon Canoe Racing Team.  Adam has passed all three levels of the CFA Program and may be awarded the charter upon completion of the required work experience.  He holds FINRA Series 7, 63 and 65 licenses.

 

Cassandra A. Svolis
Director of Marketing

Cassandra A. Svolis

Director of Marketing

Cassandra joined the Balter Liquid Alternatives team in May of 2015 as Office Manager covering various tasks throughout all departments of the company. Cassandra’s marketing background lead her to take on the marketing needs of BLA as Director of Marketing in order to more effectively exude the message of the firm to the public while maintaining valued existing relationships. Prior to BLA, Cassandra was a member of the Administrative team with a New York-based Hedge Fund and previously worked as a Marketing Assistant in creative fields such as Photography and Architecture.

Currently, as a creative outlet Cassandra has her own Boston-based style blog. She also enjoys antiquing and restoring old furniture. Since catching the travel bug two years ago, she has been adventuring the world as a self-proclaimed foodie. Cassandra graduated from Lasell College in Newton, Massachusetts with a B.A. in Marketing

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