Leadership

Executive Management

Kenneth R. Hyman
President and Chief Executive Officer
khyman@partnervest.com

Kenneth R. Hyman founded Partnervest in 2001 and is responsible for the direction and oversight of Partnervest’s business, financial, and operational affairs. He also serves as Co-Portfolio Manager and member of the Investment Management Committee overseeing the STAR Asset Management program.

Prior to establishing Partnervest, he was the Senior Executive and Financial Officer for Integral Securities, Inc. (Predecessor of Partnervest Securities Inc.) and Integral Securities Europe Ltd. the regulated entities of software developer Integral Development Corp. (IDC). He was also the President and Sole-Proprietor of Partnervest, a financial services consulting firm specializing in operations, e-commerce, financial operations, compliance and regulatory issues, product and service development, and business strategies.

Prior to Partnervest and Integral, Mr. Hyman was the Managing Principal and Chief Operating Officer of Mercer Global Securities and the Director of Operations for Mercer Global Advisors, one of the nation’s largest fee-only financial planning and investment management firms. He was also the Vice-President of Trading for Associated Financial Group, a financial services company providing support to more than 328 representatives in over 179 branch and satellite offices.

Mr. Hyman received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics/ Business Administration from the University of Arizona in 1984. He has been in the financial services industry since 1980. From 2005-2008, he was a Member of FINRA District Committee 2 and served as Chairman in 2007-2008.  He is licensed as a Financial Operations Principal, a General Securities Principal, a Municipal Securities Principal, an Options Principal, and a General Securities Representative.

Timothy J. Mahota
Chief Compliance Officer
tmahota@partnervest.com

Timothy J. Mahota is responsible for compliance at Partnervest.

He was General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Integral Securities, Inc. (Predecessor of Partnervest Securities Inc.) and Integral Securities Europe Ltd., and currently serves as General Counsel to software developer Integral Development Corp. (IDC). Mr. Mahota provides comprehensive legal advice concerning contract, compliance, intellectual property, employment, corporate governance, ERISA, and sales and marketing issues.

Prior to joining Integral and Partnervest, he was General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Mercer Global Advisors and Mercer Global Securities, one of the nations largest fee-only financial planning and investment management firms, and he was an Enforcement Attorney with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Mr. Mahota holds a bachelors degree in economics and philosophy from John Carroll University, earned his Juris Doctor from Ohio State University College of Law, and obtained a Masters of Law from Georgetown University specializing in investment regulation, as well as a Diploma in Capital Markets Regulation and Compliance from the University of Reading in England.  He is a member of the bar in California, Ohio and the District of Columbia, was chairman of the National Labor and Employment Law and ERISA committees for the Association of Corporate  Counsel , and served during the Clinton and Bush Administrations on the ERISA Advisory Council to the U.S. Department of Labor. He is licensed as a General Securities Principal, a Municipal Securities Principal, an Options Principal, and a General Securities Representative.

Marcy Burton
Chief Marketing Officer
mburton@partnervest.com

Marcy Burton is responsible for all Sales, Marketing, and Business Development activities of Partnervest Financial Group and its affiliated companies. Marcy is a recognized expert in new product development, marketing and distribution through the independent financial planner network. She has over twenty years of executive experience building and managing effective sales teams with growing companies.

As an accomplished public speaker, she has extensive experience in designing, and delivering effective seminars and workshops for the individual planner and their clients. A graduate from University of Texas, with a Masters in Business and Organizational Psychology, she began her career at Merrill Lynch and has served as Director of Sales and Sr. Regional Vice President for Axa Financial, LLC , Fred Alger Management, Van Eck Global Inc. and Cigna Financial Services.

Jim Herrell, CFA
Director of Investments
jherrell@partnervest.com

Jim brings a wealth of investment management experience to Partnervest, having spent 21 years in the asset management industry.  He specializes in alternative assets, particularly hedged and absolute return strategies.

A 1988 graduate of UC Santa Barbara, Jim honed his knowledge of hedged strategies as a trader at Kayne, Anderson in Los Angeles. In 1991, he became a partner and head trader at Strome & Co. in Santa Monica.  In addition, he helped manage $25 million for George Soros’ Quasar Fund. Management expertise coupled with opportunistic investing across a broad spectrum of global markets enabled the fund to grow its assets from $50 million to more than $1.1 billion by the end of 1994. 

Relocating to Santa Barbara, Jim managed $250 million for the Trust & Investment division at Pacific Capital Bancorp, covering high net worth and institutional clients.  In 2003 he helped develop and manage a quantitative multi-strategy hedge fund for the Santa Barbara Market Neutral Fund. He joined Partnervest in July, 2008, and launched the Structured Target Return program shortly thereafter. 

Jim enjoys volunteering in the classroom and on the soccer fields, as well as spending time outdoors and in the ocean.  He lives with his wife and four children in the Mission Canyon area of Santa Barbara.

Gunnar Sundstrom
Chief Financial Officer
gsundstrom@partnervest.com

Gunnar Sundstrom is the Chief Financial Officer of Partnervest Financial Group and its affiliated companies. He is responsible for the day-to-day accounting and financial activities of the firm. He also provides direct support for the Business Operations and Compliance groups at Partnervest.

Prior to joining Partnervest, he was Vice President Controller at Mentor Corporation, where he spearheaded efforts to develop sales & financial analysis systems and implement manufacturing control systems. Other prior experiences include positions of VP Operations & Controller at Gold Crest, Inc., Chief Financial Officer at The Plastic Surgery Company, a Senior Manager position at Ernst & Young and a Manager position at Deloitte & Touche.

Mr. Sundstrom graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a BS and an MBA in Accounting.

Corporate Advisors

Carolyn S. Bishop, CFP®
Director of Financial Planning
cbishop@partnervest.com

Carolyn S. Bishop is responsible for Advanced Advice and Financial Planning and Life Planning Programs of Partnervest Financial Group and its affiliated companies. Prior to joining Partnervest, Ms. Bishop was owner of Omni Financial Advisory Services, a full-service, fee-based financial planning and consulting firm. With 20 years in the practice, her expertise includes portfolio development and design, retirement planning, insurance, estate planning, cash management, charitable trusts and foundations, business continuation, fringe benefits and income tax planning.

Ms. Bishop has served as an advisor for the USA Today Personal Finance Hotline, speaker for several organizations and is former president of the Ventura County, CA chapter of the Financial Planning Association.  She has also served on the Board of Directors of Adventure Unlimited Inc., the National Association of Sports Officials and the New West Symphony of Ventura County.   As a top ranked international basketball referee, Ms. Bishop has refereed the United States Olympic try-outs and the World University Games in Japan and Croatia. She has also lectured on sportsmanship and ethics for the National Collegiate Athletic Association at Pepperdine University.

Ms. Bishop has earned undergraduate and master degrees from Michigan State University and achieved the Certified Financial Planner designation. She is licensed as a life and health insurance agent, General Securities Representative and Uniform Investment Advisor.

Tony Purpero
Advisor
Senior Financial Officer
tpurpero@partnervest.com

Tony has conducted business in the financial services industry for the past 30 years. As a Senior Financial Advisor and Consultant for Partnervest Financial Group LLC, he specializes in retirement planning, develop 401K plans for corporations and wealth management strategies for professionals and entrepreneurs.

Prior to joining Partnervest,  Tony was a Senior Vice President-Investments, Senior Portfolio Manager and Financial Planning Specialist for Smith Barney. He assisted businesses and private clients with wealth planning strategies while specializing in retirement planning. He earned the distinction of being one of only 3% of brokers who went on to become Senior Portfolio Managers within the financial industry.

Tony’s major emphasis is to help people meet their lifetime financial goals. Integrity, character and authenticity are words which best describe how he conducts business.

Sales & Marketing

Paul Sullivan
National Relationship Manager
psullivan@partnervest.com

As National Relationship Manager for Partnervest Advisory Services LLC, Paul is responsible for the Sales and distribution of the Partnervest Advisory Platform including the STAR™ Investment Management Program. 

His areas of expertise are fee based planning, public seminars, client presentations and developing sales strategies. He works with Independent Financial Professionals, Registered Investment Advisors and Financial Institutions.  Paul began his career over 17 years ago and has served as the Santa Barbara TD Ameritrade Branch Manager for the last 7 years.  Prior to that Paul was the Division Manager of Life & Financial Wholesaling for Farmers Insurance Los Angeles Division, incorporating 300 agents and 9 district managers.  Paul started his career in financial services as an account executive at Merrill Lynch.  

Paul is originally from London, England and a graduate of Kentucky Wesleyan University with B.A in History, a M.A in history from the California State University at Northridge, and a J.D. from the Ventura College of Law. 

Mary-Lyn Hyman
Marketing Associate
mhyman@partnervest.com

Mary-Lyn joined Partnervest in 2005 as a Marketing Associate. She is responsible for Fixed Insurance contracting for advisors and Corporate contracting and licensing. She also assists in Marketing and Sales, accounting and website maintenance.

Home Office Team

Angie Chen
Director of Operations
achen@partnervest.com

Angie joined Partnervest in April 2005. She has held several back office positions such as Registered Client Services Associate, Accounting Manager, and Licensing Specialist during her years in the financial services industry.

Angie received her BA in Communications from the University of California,  Santa Barbara with a minor in Chinese.  She is a qualified general securities representative (Series 7) and registered investment advisor representative (Series 66).

Sherry Berkowitz
Client Services Manager 
sberkowitz@partnervest.com

Sherry joined Partnervest in December 2011 as Client Services Manager. She brings 10 years of experience running the back office of a broker-dealer. Prior to Partnervest, Sherry was a Manager of the Transition Department at Plan Member Services a California based broker-dealer.  She was responsible for investor relations and the movement of significant assets.

Sherry earned her BA degree in Sociology from UC Santa Barbara and her Master of Science in Management/Change Leadership from Kaplan University.

Jiang “Jimmy” Hu
Client Services Associate
jhu@partnervest.com

Jiang “Jimmy” Hu joined Partnervest in October of 2010 as a Client Services Associate.  Jimmy is responsible for assisting representatives and their clients with all aspects of managing their accounts at Partnervest.  He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.  He also holds a Series 65.

 

Rebecca “Becky” Valdez
Associate Portfolio Manager
rvaldez@partnervest.com

Rebecca joined Partnervest in 2007 and since her arrival has helped manage client accounts regarding initial investments and rebalance trading. She is knowledgeable in all strategies including STAR II models, STAR III Vega and STAR III Alpha. She works directly with advisors to help guide the clients to better understand the strategies implemented in their accounts. Rebecca also works directly with Jim Herrell to manage, enhance and reinforce management of the STAR Program.

John Lewis
Systems Developer
jlewis@partnervest.com

John joined Partnervest in October of 2007. He is responsible for Systems Development and Database Administration.


Tina Mahota
Compliance Analyst
tinamahota@partnervest.com

Tina Mahota is a member of the Compliance team. As with all compliance team members, Tina’s primary responsibility is to keep Partnervest Advisory Services, including investment advisor representatives’ practices, working within the regulations that govern the advisory business. Tina is available to work directly with investment advisor representatives to keep their practices in compliance (e.g., reviewing marketing and advertising materials, assisting with required disclosures, etc.)