Behind the world-class research Cetera offers is a world-class team of dedicated industry experts. The Cetera Research team has an average of 21 years of industry experience; three members of the team have earned advanced degrees and three are Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA). They are frequently sought out as media experts whose insights and commentaries have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and on CNBC, Fox News, Marketwatch, and others.
Research Team: Behind Your Advisor
Proactive. Responsive. Consistent.
Cetera Research is available exclusively to you through your financial advisor and their broker/dealer’s affiliation with Tower Square Investment Management. The Cetera Research Team provides your financial advisor — and you — with tools, resources and insights to help you pursue your goals and carefully manage risk.
Through Cetera Research, your advisor has access to outstanding resources to deliver sound investment advice and insights to you. These include thought leadership on the latest detailed market information as well as investment perspectives, asset allocation strategies, and investment ideas and recommendations.
Why Cetera Research
The Cetera Research team is dedicated to producing unbiased research. Your financial advisor benefits from this high level of independent research to help identify the best means for you to reach your financial goals. Cetera Research supports financial advisors by giving them the power to access a large-scale, regimented body of research, including:
- In-depth market perspectives
- Timely economic insights
- Asset allocation recommendations
- Manager guidance
- Model portfolios
Here’s how the cornerstones of Cetera’s Research philosophy help you and your advisor:
Proactive: We provide your advisor with research that uses, forward-looking macroeconomic assessment of the market climate. This allows us to determine which areas of the market hold the greatest opportunity. Cetera’s Research team members cover multiple areas of expertise, to ensure that your advisor has access to a broad range of research resources to fit the individual needs of you and their other clients.
Responsive: Cetera Research’s team of experts is here as a partner, to help financial professionals understand the complexities of the market by supporting them with a structured process focused on their clients’ long-term goals. In addition to numerous publications for advisors and monthly conference calls, the Research team is available for one-on-one conference calls with all Cetera advisors.
Consistent: Cetera Research uses a disciplined, regimented process to support clear long-term goals for your advisor and you. By evaluating a broad range of market indicators, including economic growth projections, market liquidity, volatility, political environment, secular growth cycles as well as potential investment horizon, Cetera Research is able to offer consistent portfolio advice for our advisors to use with you.
Focus on Clients
Cetera’s Research is focused on giving advisors the tools they need to help their clients meet their financial objectives. As a Cetera client, your advisor can provide you with access to a variety of market commentaries, educational materials from Cetera and its strategic partners, and thought leadership on up-to-the-minute investment topics.
Cetera Research is offered through Tower Square Investment Management LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser.
Tower Square Investment Management
We leverage technology and sophisticated quantitative processes to help clients reach their investment goals. With this rich infrastructure, our managers objectively filter and process large amounts of disparate global information.
However, it’s just the starting point in our investment process. Our people are the intellectual foundation of the firm, and their skill and judgment is the essential ingredient in investment decisions.The team has been assembled with a multi-disciplinary focus, drawing on strengths in diverse areas such as global macro, technical analysis, forensic accounting, derivatives, manager due diligence, hard assets and valuation.
We challenge conventional thinking in our approach to investing, and we select high achievers and critical thinkers from different backgrounds. They hold themselves to high standards in a demanding environment, but most importantly, they invest their energy, commitment, and shared values to collaborate effectively and serve our clients.
Craig E. Columbus
President & CEO
Craig Columbus is the President & CEO of Tower Square Investment Management, an SEC-registered investment adviser owned by Cetera Financial Group. Mr. Columbus leads the firm, which oversees more than $5 billion in assets for independent financial advisors and their clients. A frequent guest on financial television and a popular conference speaker, Mr. Columbus shares his macroeconomic insights across a variety of leading platforms.
Mr. Columbus served as President at First Allied Asset Management. He spent the first 10 years of his career working for some of the largest information and research firms in the financial industry, creating buy-side research and innovative analytics. At Primark Corp., he served as the Vice President of Research for the Financial Information Division and later the President of Primarkâ€™s Lancer Analytics unit, overseeing teams of analysts and researchers creating market commentary and building proprietary models for use by institutional investors. Later, Mr. Columbus was the founder and CEO of Scorelab, Inc., an international financial algorithm and research firm venture backed by Primark and ultimately acquired by Thomson Financial. He went on to serve as Executive Vice President and Chief Market Strategist for Thomsonâ€™s Wealth Management unit, overseeing research and analytic product development. Throughout these roles, Mr. Columbus became a recognizable Wall Street commentator, appearing as a special contributor every week on CNBCâ€™s Power Lunch for seven years.
Gene Goldman, CFA
Co-Chief Investment Officer & Director of Research
Gene Goldman is responsible for the strategic direction and continued growth of the firm’s research offerings. His role includes setting the vision for superior research capabilities and enabling the delivery of objective investment advice. He provides day-to-day oversight of Tower Square’s investment research offerings, which focus on providing unbiased research about the economy and financial markets, asset allocation strategies, mutual funds and other investment related topics. Mr. Goldman also helps oversee the investment committee and their commitment to delivering thought leadership on the economy, financial markets and investment strategies, as well as implementation and practice recommendations for advisors.
Mr Goldman has more than 20 years of experience in the development of investment strategies, money manager research and overseeing investment analysts. Previously, he was a vice president and market strategist with LPL Financial in the research investor strategy group, where he helped in the development and articulation of market and investment strategies. Before this role, Mr. Goldman served as lead strategist in the manager strategy group, where he supervised the research and analysis performed by the team’s analysts in the LPL Financial centrally managed and open architecture mutual fund and separately managed account platforms. Prior to joining LPL Financial in 1996, he spent two years at Liberty Financial, where he was a mutual fund product analyst within the Research Department.
Mr. Goldman received his Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA, and his Master of Business Administration with a concentration in finance from Northeastern University in Boston. He also holds a Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) certification and Series 7 and 63 securities registrations.
Lon J. Gerber
Chief Operating Officer
Lon Gerber serves as Chief Operating Officer for Tower Square Investment Management.
Mr. Gerber served as COO at First Allied Asset Management. Previously, Mr. Gerber spent more than 10 years at Thomson Financial, a leading provider of information and technology solutions to the worldwide financial community. In this capacity, he was responsible for directing analytic product development for the wealth management division. During his time at Thomson, Mr. Gerber was highly regarded for his expertise in the area of insider-trading analysis and regularly appeared in the financial media, including The Wall Street Journal, Barronâ€™s and Forbes, among many others. Mr. Gerber began his career in the banking industry as a financial analyst for Citibank, where he was responsible for revenue forecasting for its U.S. consumer and commercial lending products.
Mr. Gerber earned a Bachelor of Science in finance from Binghamton University and an MBA degree from Penn State University.
Barton T. Liro
Barton Liro is Tower Square’s Investment Director. In this role, Mr. Liro sits on the investment committee and is responsible for providing insight into the firm’s investment strategies to financial advisors and their clients. In that capacity, he meets with financial advisors to assist in the implementation of sophisticated investment strategies offered by Tower Square.
Previously, Mr. Liro served as the Director of Advisory Services at Investors Capital Corporation, an affiliated investment adviser and registered broker-dealer, where he was responsible for overseeing distribution, business development, product creation and investment advisory relationship management. Additionally, Mr. Liro acted as the lead Portfolio Strategist for Investors Capital Corporationâ€™s mutual fund and exchange traded fund wrap portfolios. Prior to those responsibilities, he held investment research and advisory sales roles.
Mr. Liro earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Bachelor of Business Administration with a minor in Finance from Saint Michael’s College. He holds Series 6, 7, and 66 securities registrations.
Brian D. Wright, CFA
Senior Portfolio Manager
Brian Wright serves as a Senior Portfolio Manager, contributing his unique fundamental analysis skills to all strategies that utilize individual stocks. He also directly oversees our longest running strategy. He also served as Senior Portfolio Manager at First Allied Asset.
Mr. Wright has more than a decade of industry experience. Previously, he served as a trader with Pinnacle Investment Advisors, where he helped oversee a family of hedge funds, institutional separate accounts, and a publicly traded mutual fund. Mr. Wright was also an Analyst with a boutique research firm where he focused on forensic accounting and earnings-quality-related research. He was one of the first analysts to raise questions about the accounting practices and viability of Krispy Kreme as early as 2003.
Mr. Wright graduated magna cum laude from Boston University and later earned the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.
Collin Martin, CFA
Collin Martin is an Portfolio Manager, working closely with clients and advisors in our Private Client Services offering†. He also served as an Assistant Portfolio Manager at First Allied Asset Management.
Prior to joining the asset management arm, Mr. Martin worked at First Allied Securities where he worked in Quality Assurance providing operational analysis and developing profitability models.
Mr. Martin graduated cum laude from the Max M. Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University and earned the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.
†Private Client Services are only available to certain firms affiliated with Cetera Financial Group. Please contact Tower Square Investment Management LLC for more details.
Suehyun Kim's primary responsibility is the coverage of asset managers who focus on investment in public equities. Suehyun brings more than 15 years of investment expertise to Tower Square Investment Management, with a primary focus on equity mutual funds. Her research helps advisors sift through thousands of available funds and understand both the fundamentals of investing and the nuances of various fund classes, to help make the best decisions for their clients. Suehyun represents Tower Square Investment Management at various advisor events and meetings throughout the year, and is also sought out for one-on-one consultations.
Prior to joining Tower Square Investment Management, Suehyun was a director of research, equity analyst with Global Fund Group, LLC, and an equity research associate at Capital Investment Research Inc. Before relocating to Los Angeles, she was an investment analyst with Millgate Capital in New York, a hedge fund focused on international investment. She previously was on the Morgan Stanley Asset Management Special Value team as an investment analyst covering small- and mid-cap domestic equities. She has spent more than a decade working in financial services as a fundamental equity investment analyst on long-only, long/short and sector rotation strategies.
She earned her Master of Business Administration with a dual specialization in financial instruments and entertainment/media/technology from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Suehyun is a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts and 100 Women in Hedge Funds.
Hristo Stefanov, CFA, CAIA
Hristo Stefanov is primarily responsible for the research, selection and ongoing oversight of alternative mutual funds. His role includes generating actionable insight on a variety of broad market topics and on specific fixed income and alternative investment styles. He also focuses on providing unbiased research about the economy and financial markets, and is involved in the strategic and tactical positioning of Tower Square Investment Management’s asset allocation strategies. He assists financial advisors helping them understand how alternative investments fit into portfolio strategy, as well as how to allocate portfolios for alternative investments. Hristo is actively involved in meeting with financial advisors in person and through conference calls to address overall market outlook, mitigating risk, and portfolio construction.
Hristo has more than 12 years of experience in investment oversight, manager selection and monitoring, and investment platform positioning.
He earned his Master of Business Administration with a concentration in finance from the University of California, Riverside. He also holds a Chartered Financial Analyst certification and is a candidate for the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designation.
Brian Klimke, CFA
Brian Klimke is primarily responsible for the research, selection and ongoing oversight of fixed income mutual funds. His role includes generating actionable insight on a variety of broad market topics and on specific fixed income investment styles. He is also involved in the strategic and tactical positioning of Tower Square Investment Management’s asset allocation strategies. By helping provide the underlying research that allows for greater diversification for small accounts, Brian assists advisors to create a scalable business, navigate interest rates and bond prices, with special attention to more tax sensitive situations.
Brian has more than 10 years of experience in investment oversight, monitoring and investment platform positioning. Before joining Tower Square Investment Management, he served as director of investment research at Transamerica, where he played an integral role in the development of the Transamerica Financial Advisors’ asset allocation models and proprietary ETF portfolios. He has worked in the financial services industry since 1999.
Brian earned his bachelor of business administration degree, majoring in finance, from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He holds the Series 7, 24, 27, 63 and 87 registrations and is a CFA charterholder.
Rick helps manage many of the ETF-wrap strategies. He brings his research to both advisors and clients through commentaries customized to various broker-dealer practices, where he leverages his background in both trading and research. Rick produces the Daily Market Briefing, which is provided to all financial advisors affiliated with the firms of Cetera Financial Group. In addition, he is responsible for the Vantage Point and TowerView publications, which are available for advisors to share with their clients.
Prior to his current role, he was equity research director at PrimeVest Financial Services Inc. (now Cetera Investment Services LLC), founding the department in 1998. Rick has more than a decade of equity research experience and more than 20 years of Wall Street trading experience.
Senior Investment Analyst
Vaishali Kothari is a Senior Investment Analyst for Tower Square Investment Management. In this role, she reviews all Tower Square publications, leverages her compliance background to drive efficiencies within investment processes, and analyzes the performance of recommended funds and investment portfolios. She also oversees international equity funds.
Ms. Kothari has over a decade of industry experience. Prior to joining Tower Square Investment Management, Ms. Kothari worked for Cetera Financial Group® as a director of due diligence. In this role, she performed due diligence on mutual funds and worked collaboratively with fund sponsors, broker-dealers, and Pershing LLC. Ms. Kothari was also a member of the firm’s Advisory Services Department, where she validated data integrity and provided reconciliation methodologies. Before her tenure at Cetera Financial Group, she spent four years at National Planning Corporation (NPC)/National Planning Holdings (NPH). There, she held varied positions within Advertising Review, providing compliance with policies and procedures, and within Advisory Services to deliver value-added marketing and research services for their separately managed account program.
Vaishali earned her bachelor’s degree from University of California, Los Angeles, and holds Series 7, 24, and 66 securities registrations.