Joseph Deitch, Founder and Chairman
Joe formed Commonwealth in 1979 to offer superior, independent investment brokerage services to the burgeoning ranks of financial advisors like him. Since then, Joe and Commonwealth have remained true to the original vision of providing indispensable service and cultivating a supportive environment where all affiliated professionals can thrive.
In creating the firm, Joe recalls, "We wanted our service to be so good that advisors would break out in a cold sweat if they had to go somewhere else." That service is the underpinning of what makes Commonwealth special.
Joe is also the founder of The Elevate Prize, a global organization dedicated to dramatically amplifying the impact of innovators, activists, and problem-solvers; catalyzing positive change; and ultimately awakening the hero in all of us.
Joe divides his time primarily between Miami, Boston, and Cape Cod, depending on the weather.
Education: Bachelor's degree in international relations from the University of Pennsylvania
Industry recognitions: Chosen in 2015 by Investment Advisor magazine as one of the 35 most influential people in the financial planning industry
Wayne Bloom, CEO
Wayne began his career at Commonwealth in 1989 in the firm's Compensation area. Since then, he has gained experience in virtually every facet of the firm. As CEO, Wayne spends each day relentlessly managing our primary objective of providing indispensable service to our network of independent financial advisors and their investors.
Wayne's favorite element of the firm is our unique culture that allows everyone to make a genuine difference through a collaborative relationship with our advisors. They challenge the team to be better every day with new ideas and suggestions—it's this collaboration that's the secret sauce of Commonwealth!
Outside of work, Wayne enjoys spending time with his wife, Veronica, and their four not-really-kids-anymore, Kevin, Molly, Aidan, and Callahan. He also enjoys playing and watching almost all sports—including as a diehard Boston Red Sox fan and his new passion of becoming a fan of the Essendon Bombers of the Australian Football League. His hobbies include digging clams, windsurfing, and kayaking on Cape Cod.
Education: Bachelor's degree in business management from Northeastern University; graduate of Harvard Business School's Owner/President Management program
Industry designations: FINRA Series 7, 24, 63, and 65 securities registrations
Wayne is a part of: Commonwealth Cares board of directors; Old Colony YMCA board of directors
Trap Kloman, President and COO
Trap joined Commonwealth in 2015. He works to strengthen the success of our company and our advisors by ensuring that all members of our community have the resources, tools, and opportunities they need to remain competitive. That starts by building relationships, lending an ear, and keeping abreast of future opportunities and industry trends.
To Trap, it's the people that make Commonwealth stand out as a great place to work. "The sincerity, the authenticity, the energy, the caring, the knowledge," he says, "the appreciation that together we are creating something unique and of great value."
An outdoorsman at heart, Trap loves hiking, golfing, mountain biking, practicing yoga, and gardening, but his favorite moments are those spent with his wife and three daughters, whether outside or in. He also enjoys teaching, coaching, and spending time on the Cape.
Education: Bachelor's degree in economics and foreign affairs from the University of Virginia
Industry designations: FINRA Series 7, 24, 27, and 63 securities registrations
Kol Chu Birke, Managing Principal, Community & Technology Engagement
Kol has been with Commonwealth since 1999. He oversees efforts to connect all that Commonwealth offers—including each other—to help our community of advisors and home office staff thrive. In addition, he is passionate about financial behavior with a hunger for making financial planning easier and more effective by helping advisors leverage the latest behavioral insights and techniques.
Values are the backbone of what makes Commonwealth so special. "In short, this place is driven by deeply held values of humility, hard work, and not being greedy," Kol says. "In a world that is so concerned about maintaining a polished image, it's refreshing to be able to be human."
Kol enjoys adventures with his family, playing sports of any kind, and doing mundane chores, such as chopping wood.
Education: Bachelor's degree in economics from Brandeis University; MA in applied positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania
Industry designations: Certified Usability Analyst; FINRA Series 7, 24, and 66 securities registrations; CFP®
Industry recognitions: Named to Investment Advisor magazine's IA25 list of the most influential people in our industry in 2016
Rory Barratt, SVP, Corporate Strategy
Rory joined Commonwealth in January 2020. As senior vice president of corporate strategy, his role is to identify prevailing industry trends and to ensure that Commonwealth’s day-to-day work is connected to and supportive of its long-term goals. He also supports other senior executives and their departments by providing structures, processes, and analyses when needed.
“What I find most inspiring about Commonwealth is our commitment to the success of our advisors,” says Rory. “We’re deeply connected to them and their lives, which is rare. And it’s much easier to build collaborative relationships with my colleagues as we work together for what’s best for our community as a whole.”
In his free time, Rory runs a local rugby club on the South Shore, and he also enjoys skiing and hiking.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in management science from the University of Manchester; MBA from Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College
Jon Bohs, Managing Principal, Brokerage Operations
Jon joined Commonwealth in 1996 as a trader and now leads Commonwealth's Trading, Service Center, New Accounts, Transfer of Assets, Retirement Operations, Asset Management Operations, Cashiering, and Direct Investments teams. Jon's main responsibility is to identify ways to improve how Commonwealth serves its advisors and their clients.
"I love working with all the great people in the Commonwealth community," says Jon. "Many close friends of mine are either employees of Commonwealth or advisors at Commonwealth. It is a joy getting to collaborate with such an energetic group of individuals with a common goal of being the best."
Jon enjoys golfing, skiing, and tennis, as well as traveling and visiting wineries.
Education: Bachelor's degree in economics and finance from Bentley University
Industry designations: FINRA Series 4, 7, 24, 53, 55, and 63 securities registrations
Matt Chisholm, SVP, RIA Services and Practice Management
Matt joined Commonwealth in 2020 after spending nearly 14 years at Fidelity Investments. His primary focus is to ensure that we provide actionable insights and support for our advisors as they advance and grow their businesses.
Matt says he appreciates Commonwealth's emphasis on community. "My favorite part about Commonwealth is to be able to participate in the tangible benefits our advisors bring to their clients," he says. "Our cultural attributes of quality and community are demonstrated through the meaningful impact they have on advisors' relationships with their clients."
In his free time, Matt enjoys fly fishing, golfing, and playing hockey with his two sons.
Education: Bachelor's degree in economics from Colby College
Industry designations: FINRA Series 7, 24, and 63 securities registrations
Scarlett Abraham Clarke, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer
Scarlett joined Commonwealth in October 2020 as chief diversity and inclusion officer. She is dedicated to planning and directing all aspects of Commonwealth's diversity commitments, which involve employee engagement; inclusive hiring; retaining and training a talented, diverse workforce; and ensuring that diversity, equity, and inclusion are embedded in the DNA of the organization.
This work is personal for Scarlett and needs to be personal for all of Commonwealth in order to ignite meaningful actions. "Commonwealth's mission for doing business the right way, as well as for serving the communities in which we live, work, and visit, align with my professional and personal values," she says. "I'm excited and proud to work for a company that puts an emphasis on people."
Scarlett enjoys spending her free time with her husband, Jason, and their two children, Joshua and Milan.
Education: Bachelor's degree in developmental psychology from Suffolk University
Scarlett is a part of: New England Human Resources Association as a board member and MEDIAGIRLS as a board member
Jon Cleasby, CFO
Jon joined Commonwealth in June 2020 as senior vice president and chief financial officer. He is responsible for the financial health of Commonwealth, ensuring our continued growth and success across market cycles. Jon oversees finance and accounting, and he partners with departments to ensure that they have the resources and financial analysis they need to manage the business thoughtfully and provide indispensable service to our advisors.
Jon says Commonwealth's biggest differentiator is its people. "Everyone is extremely supportive and willing to go the extra mile for anyone in the Commonwealth community."
Jon enjoys traveling, boating, and spending time with his wife, their three daughters, and their dog.
Education: Bachelor's degree in economics and MBA from Boston College
Industry designations: FINRA Series 27 securities registration
Andrew Daniels, Managing Principal, Advisor Engagement
Andrew brought his enthusiasm and outgoing personality to Commonwealth in 1998. After initially working in Operations, overseeing the predecessor of the Service Center, Andrew moved to the business development side of the firm where he oversaw Field Development for 21 years and Marketing for eight years. In these roles, he led the charge in sharing Commonwealth’s unique culture, exceptional skills and resources, and uncommon approach with prospective advisors.
Andrew is passionate about Commonwealth’s sense of community. He describes the firm as “a haven―a place that when I enter it, I feel safe.” He views the home office staff and the firm’s advisors as extended family who have helped maintain this sanctuary at Commonwealth. Today, as managing principal for community engagement, Andrew is working to actively cultivate the personal connections of Commonwealth’s home office and advisor communities.
A former deck officer on two ocean-going tall ships, Andrew's passions are surfing and family. He is a proud waterman, spending as much time in, on, and near the ocean as he can. He has been married 25 years to his wife, Laura, and is the father of two sons, Cheyne and Lincoln.
Education: Bachelor's degree in religion from Dartmouth College; graduate of Harvard Business School's Owner/President Management program
Matt Deitch, Principal, Corporate Strategy
Matt joined Commonwealth full-time in 2018 to help launch and steward our strategic function. He supports Commonwealth on a range of new project and product launches and oversees the firm's long-range planning efforts in addition to overseeing the Marketing team.
"As someone who grew up around Commonwealth my whole life," says Matt, "it truly feels special to know our advisors as part of an extended family, where everyone has the best interests of those around them at heart."
In his free time, Matt is an avid skier, an aspiring kite surfer, and a mediocre golfer.
Education: Bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Industry designations: FINRA Series 7 securities registration
Nancy DiBattista, SVP, Transition and Field Development Operations
Nancy began her Commonwealth career in 1999 and had a brief fling with Charles Schwab in California before returning in 2002. She has worn many hats during her tenure at Commonwealth, and that experience has been invaluable in her quest to streamline processes and gain efficiencies. She oversees the bicoastal Transition and Field Development Operations teams responsible for the entire advisor onboarding experience and ensures that advisors and prospective advisors alike receive the highest level of service and support.
Nancy cites the people, culture, and community as the top reasons why she loves being at Commonwealth. "Having the opportunity to work with amazing people who are supportive, hardworking, and fun is such a privilege and I am grateful to have found this firm," she says. "The way the company comes together in good times as well as in sad times is truly unique."
Education: Bachelor's degree in business administration from Southern New Hampshire State University
Industry designations: FINRA Series 7, 24, and 63 securities registrations
Peter Essele, SVP, Investment Management and Research
Peter has been with Commonwealth since 2004. He is responsible for the oversight of Commonwealth’s discretionary investment management platform, Preferred Portfolio Services (PPS) Select. His team is tasked with helping clients achieve their investment goals.
“Commonwealth is a distinctive kind of firm,” says Peter. “Very rarely do you encounter an environment where everyone genuinely wants to make a difference, whether that’s helping a co-worker, a financial advisor, or making the world a better place.”
Peter has an insatiable desire to travel the world and experience new cultures and cuisine. When not spending time with family and friends, he’s often kiteboarding, biking, or skiing. He is also a member of the Boston Security Analysts Society.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in economics from Union College
Industry designations: FINRA Series 7, 24, 31, 53, and 66 securities registrations; CFP®; CAIA®; CFA® charterholder
Jessica Fougere, SVP, Community
Jessica joined Commonwealth in 2004. As senior vice president of community, she leads an exceptional team dedicated to creating meaningful connections within the Commonwealth family through memorable events, networking experiences, and shared learning. She is passionate about helping people feel fulfilled and connected to something bigger than themselves.
Jessica is inspired by her team and the lasting impact they make in the lives of others. “At Commonwealth, we understand that by fostering fulfilling connections, we also elevate the personal and professional success of everyone within the Commonwealth family,” she says. “I am grateful to be at an organization that is committed to always doing right by our advisors and their clients.”
Jessica is the chair of the Women of Commonwealth (WoC) community, which aims to amplify the voices and support the development of all who identify with WoC, both professionally and personally. She is also a certified yoga instructor and spends much of her free time chasing around her two children, Niamh and Cian.
Education: Bachelor's degree from Boston College; Certified Meeting Management (CMM) designation from Meeting Professionals International (MPI)
Industry designations: FINRA Series 7 and 63 securities registrations
Jessica is a part of: Commonwealth Cares board of directors; the Council for Women of Boston College
John Hagberg, SVP, Project Management Office
With Commonwealth since 2000, John's main responsibility is to coordinate resources to ensure that employees are working together on the initiatives that bring the most value to our advisors and home office teams.
"In my 20 years at Commonwealth, the firm has demonstrated time and time again its unwavering approach to doing what is right for advisors, their clients, and our staff," John says. "While I love this consistency, there is also a deep culture that drives innovation and progress. This collaboration occurs both within the home office but also in real time with our advisors and their staff—regardless of tenure and ranks."
You can catch John working on home improvement projects in his spare time, and when he's not busy with that, he loves to just be outside with his family.
Education: Bachelor's degree in environmental studies from Bates College
Industry designations: FINRA Series 4, 7, 24, 31, 53, and 66 securities registrations
Becca Hajjar, Managing Principal, Chief Business Development Officer
Becca joined Commonwealth in 2000. As chief business development officer, she sets the strategic direction of the Field Development team, which oversees advisor recruitment. She shares the Commonwealth story with prospective advisors and works with her team to bring the best ones to the firm. She leads and participates in departmental and company-wide initiatives to drive Commonwealth forward and protect the community we love.
Becca’s favorite thing about working at Commonwealth is that the home office employees are empowered to be the best at everything they do. She also appreciates the community of wonderful people, which includes advisors, their staff, and our home office.
Becca enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, taking part in outdoor activities (especially golf and hiking), and cheering for the Red Sox.
Education: Bachelor's degree in business administration from St. Michael's College
Industry designations: FINRA Series 7 and 66 securities registrations
Alex Hansen, SVP, RIA Compliance
Alex joined Commonwealth in September 2021 as senior vice president of RIA compliance. Bringing extensive leadership and expertise in investment advisory compliance, he supervises all aspects of RIA compliance, ensuring Commonwealth stays ahead of all financial industry developments and SEC regulations, while also responding to the evolving needs of our advisors and staff.
For Alex, it is the unwavering desire to support our advisors that sets Commonwealth apart. "As someone who has spent the majority of my career helping independent advisors with compliance considerations related to managing and growing their practices, Commonwealth’s reputation for service and dedication to helping our advisors is really what inspired me to join."
Outside of work, Alex enjoys spending time with his son, exploring the outdoors, cooking, and hosting house gatherings with his wife.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Marist College; JD from Stetson University College of Law
Industry designations: AIF®; FINRA Series 7, 24, and 66 securities registrations
Peggy Ho, SVP, General Counsel and Chief Risk Officer
Peggy joined Commonwealth in April 2021. She oversees the legal, anti-money laundering, and risk management functions for the firm and its related companies, bringing leadership, strategic acumen, and a deep understanding of the business to drive positive outcomes. Among her many responsibilities, she also guides our executive management team on strategic initiatives and regulatory issues, represents the firm before regulatory oversight bodies, and supervises a team of professionals responsible for all aspects of legal and risk management.
Peggy came to Commonwealth with 14 years of experience in similar roles within the independent channel and was previously a corporate associate in private law practice at Ropes & Gray LLP. Peggy brings with her a passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion: "my goal is to ensure that everyone has a seat at the table and that all voices are heard."
Outside of work, Peggy enjoys travel, theater, and music with her husband and their two teenage sons. She unwinds by reading, baking, cooking, crafting cocktails, and racing her friends on the Peloton.
Education: Bachelor's degree in East Asian studies from Harvard University; MS in foreign service and a JD from Georgetown as part of the university's dual-degree program
Industry designations: FINRA Series 7 and 24 securities registrations
David Kelly, Managing Principal, Trading and Operations
Dave has been with Commonwealth since 1991 and became a managing principal in 1999. He leads the firm's trading and operations, areas that support our advisors' transaction processing and workflow in their brokerage and fee-based business. Dave also serves on a number of executive committees.
"I love the fact that the people who seem to gravitate to Commonwealth, both the employees and our advisors in the field, are great people, many of whom I consider best friends," says Dave. "I enjoy the entrepreneurial and collaborative spirit that works across the entire organization."
Dave enjoys spending time with his three children and playing golf and hockey. He is an avid sports fan and loves traveling, dining, wine tasting, and live music.
Education: Bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst
Industry designations: FINRA Series 4, 6, 7, 24, 53, 55, 63, and 65 securities registrations
Michelle Kelley, SVP, Deputy General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer
Michelle joined Commonwealth in August 2022. In her dual role, she provides guiding counsel on enterprise-level strategic initiatives and regulatory matters. She also collaborates with the firm’s chief information security officer and the Information Security team on efforts to enhance Commonwealth’s privacy and data security. With more than 16 years working in various capacities in the independent channel prior to Commonwealth, Michelle brings a depth of advisory knowledge and proven experience in the cybersecurity arena, helping to keep Commonwealth at the forefront of the continually evolving regulatory and privacy landscapes.
For Michelle, having the drive to be the best at what you do comes down to the company you keep. “The talent and vibrance of the Commonwealth community are striking. It’s genuinely thrilling to be partnering with colleagues and advisors who challenge and inspire me daily.”
Outside of work, Michelle enjoys running and spending time outdoors with her husband, two daughters, and their dog. She loves history, books, and coffee.
Education: Bachelor's degree in history from Colgate University; JD from Boston College Law School
Memberships: Massachusetts Bar since 1999
Miriam Manning, Chief Information Officer
Miriam joined Commonwealth in November 2018. She defines and executes on Commonwealth's IT strategy and drives the executive governance of our technology investment portfolio. Miriam also oversees Commonwealth's Technology team, which is responsible for implementing innovative technology solutions and managing our application portfolio, IT operations, advisor technology solutions, technology support, information security, and infrastructure.
Miriam appreciates how Commonwealth values its employees and focuses on doing the right thing for our advisors and staff. "One aspect of Commonwealth that I've found to be truly inspiring is the emphasis the company places on treating everyone with respect."
Originally from Ireland, Miriam enjoys spending time with her husband and three teenage sons; traveling; playing acoustic guitar and piano accordion; watching her sons play soccer, lacrosse, football, and Gaelic sports; and spending time with friends at cooking and book clubs.
Education: Bachelor's degree in education from Dublin City University and post-graduate degree from Dublin Institute of Technology's College of Marketing and Design
Industry recognitions: Named one of top 15 women in wealth management technology by ThinkAdvisor magazine; finalist for the 2020 Boston CIO of the Year enterprise category award
Karen McColl, SVP, Wealth Management
Karen joined Commonwealth in February 2021 as senior vice president, wealth management. In this role, she oversees the Advanced Planning, Annuity Research, Insurance, Investment Consulting Services, and Retirement Consulting Services teams, ensuring that we consistently provide our advisors with the indispensable support and resources they need. In addition, she works with senior leadership to help identify and solve the biggest wealth management industry challenges Commonwealth faces.
Karen has seen firsthand the impact that sound financial advice and decisions can have on people's lives, and she believes that sticking to a disciplined investment approach is what helps people achieve their goals. "I have seen the power of this throughout my life from immigrants who came to the U.S. with little and became wealthy, entrepreneurs who launched successful businesses, and parents who sent their kids to the best schools and still retired early, all because they had the right advisor as a partner," she says.
Karen spends much of her free time with her husband, John, and their two daughters, Reagan and Finley. She enjoys strength training, traveling, trying different cuisines, reading psychological thrillers, and listening to music, specifically Latin pop rock, reggaeton, and salsa. Karen was born in Colombia, a country rich in food, culture, music, and natural beauty.
Education: Bachelor's degree in international relations and Latin American studies from Boston University and MBA from MIT's Sloan School of Management
Industry designations: CFA® charterholder, FINRA Series 7, 24, 26, and 63 securities registrations
Jim McDermott, SVP, Operations
Jim has been with Commonwealth since 1999. He is responsible for overseeing all operational departments in our San Diego office, as well as maintaining a culture that values individual thought and creative solutions. He also leads initiatives to make Commonwealth more efficient for advisors, their clients, and our home office employees.
Commonwealth employees are genuinely energized to work here. "The culture is one in which no one wakes up in the morning and says, 'Ugh, I have to go to work today,'" Jim says. "By and large, people want to come into the office because they enjoy it; their friends are there, they feel like a part of something that is not just a job, and they are recognized for going above and beyond—which people do on a daily basis."
Jim, one of the first nine employees in our San Diego office, enjoys baseball, rugby, and not golfing.
Education: Bachelor's degree in economics from Middlebury College and MBA from San Diego State University
Industry designations: FINRA Series 3, 4, 7, 24, 53, 55, 63, and 66 securities registrations
Jim is a part of: Financial Services Institute as an operations board member
Brad McMillan, Chief Investment Officer
Brad started at Commonwealth in 2006. As chief investment officer, he oversees Commonwealth's investment and asset management groups and is a frequent commentator on the financial markets, U.S. economic policy, and the global economy for national media outlets. Brad is viewed as our "wise counselor," helping advisors understand and navigate unexpected events and volatile markets to better protect and guide their clients.
Brad believes the keystone of Commonwealth is the trust that exists among everyone in the Commonwealth community, from the partners, to the home staff, to the advisors. "We trust our advisors, and they trust us. And what makes it work is that trust is universally well deserved."
Brad spends his free time with his family.
Education: Bachelor's degree in English from Dartmouth College, MS in real estate development from MIT, and MS in finance from Boston College
Industry designations: CFA® charterholder, CAIA, MAI
Rob Molinari, Chief Regulatory Affairs Officer
Rob joined Commonwealth in 2004. His main ongoing responsibility entails coordinating the firm's regulatory compliance efforts. When he isn't communicating with regulators, Rob works with home office departments on applying a reasonable, common-sense approach to their procedures.
What's the hallmark of working at Commonwealth according to Rob? "My favorite thing about working at Commonwealth is the culture—and the people who contribute to enhancing it," he says. "The bonds and friendships motivate me to do my best work."
Rob enjoys spending time with family and friends and participating in various outdoor activities.
Education: Bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Northeastern University and MBA from Babson College
Industry designations: FINRA Series 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 24, 27, 30, 31, 53, 55, 63, and 66 securities registrations; California insurance license; CRCP™
Jane Moyer, Chief Human Resources Officer
Jane joined Commonwealth in 2020 in the middle of a pandemic and immediately set to work ensuring that our employees were well taken care of. Her role is to help create an organization where people are fully heard and fairly treated—a place where people can thrive and focus on providing indispensable service to our advisors.
A strong proponent for inclusivity, Jane says what she loves most about Commonwealth is that it "is a place where you can be yourself—head, heart, and hands. It's a culture of service to others and caring for each other. We do great things together."
Jane enjoys time with friends over a good meal and well-chosen wine, traveling the world, and watching movies. Have any questions about wine? Direct them to Jane—she also happens to be a sommelier.
Education: Bachelor's degree in German from Penn State and MILR from Cornell University
Jane is a part of: Northeast HR Association as board member; Penn State's School of Labor Studies Advisory Board as cochair; International Guild of Sommeliers
Brian Price, Managing Principal, Investment Management and Research
Brian joined Commonwealth in 2003. He helps support our advisors on a variety of matters related to portfolio management and investment research. He also oversees the development and ongoing management of our Preferred Portfolio Services® Select platform.
Brian feels teamwork is Commonwealth's calling card. "I'm inspired by the daily interactions I have with colleagues and our industry partners," he says. "It's rewarding to be part of an environment where employees are driven by an unwavering focus on quality and community in all the work they do for our advisors."
Brian enjoys spending time with family and friends, coaching his children's sports teams, and squeezing in an occasional round of golf when he can.
Education: Bachelor's degree in American government from Georgetown University
Industry designations: FINRA Series 7, 63, and 65 securities registrations; CFA® charterholder
Mukund Ravipaty, Chief Information Security Officer
Mukund joined Commonwealth in December 2020 as our chief information security officer. He leads the company-wide information security management program to ensure that all assets are properly protected. Mukund works directly with business units and advisors to enhance our security posture. Mukund brings a deep passion “to create a better, safe, and secure world for our clients, their customers, and the communities they serve.”
Mukund likes playing sports, traveling, reading, cooking, and socializing, as well as spending time with his wife, Amulya, and their two daughters, Zaara and Rhea.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in computer science from Andhra University and MBA from MIT
Industry designations: Certified Information Systems Security Professional, ISC2 Certified Information Security Manager, and SABSA Chartered Security Architect
John Rooney, Managing Principal, San Diego
John started at Commonwealth in 1988 and ever since has dedicated his career to our growth without compromising his fanatical devotion to quality and community. John opened and now manages our West Coast office in San Diego, California, where he is relied upon for his advice and perspective.
John is especially vigilant about preserving Commonwealth's entrepreneurial, meritocratic culture, no matter how much the company grows.
Besides voraciously reading about the financial industry and markets, John enjoys wine, golfing, following his hometown Philadelphia sports teams (especially the Eagles), and, most of all, spending time with his wife and three kids.
Education: Bachelor's degree in government from Colby College; graduate of Harvard Business School OPM Key Executives Program
Industry designations: FINRA Series 7, 24, 63, and 65 securities registrations
John is a part of: Financial Services Institute as chair of the board of directors
Matthew Sugden, SVP, Compliance
Matt has been with Commonwealth since April 2004. As senior vice president of compliance, he works with the home office and compliance leadership teams to ensure that Commonwealth’s business policies comply with industry regulations and, at the same time, allow for flexible solutions to address the specific circumstances of advisors and their clients.
“The home office community at Commonwealth is filled with hard-working, genuine people who have a common interest in providing the greatest experience to our advisors,” says Matt. “It’s rewarding to work with some of the best advisors in the country and help them navigate a complicated regulatory framework so they can help their clients meet their goals.”
In his free time, Matt enjoys fishing, home improvement, and spending time with his wife, Meaghan (whom he met at Commonwealth!), and his three children.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in legal studies from Quinnipiac University
Industry designations: FINRA Series 7, 24, 53, and 66 securities registrations; FINRA’s CRCP® designation
Brian Sullivan, Chief Marketing Officer
Brian joined Commonwealth as its chief marketing officer in 2018. He brings creativity and vision in developing our overall brand strategy and managing the execution of the company’s marketing and brand initiatives. These efforts include developing innovative marketing platforms, services, and strategies advisors can use to engage with their clients and achieve their business goals.
Brian considers Commonwealth's people to be truly extraordinary. "Loyalty and tradition here run deep," he says. "I have witnessed firsthand a group that doesn't take no for an answer in its mission to deliver and do better."
In his spare time, Brian enjoys playing basketball, practicing guitar, and traveling.
Education: Bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Villanova University and MBA from Duke University
Paul Tolley, Chief Compliance Officer
Paul has been chief compliance officer at Commonwealth since August 2006. He is responsible for establishing, administering, and enforcing Commonwealth's broker/dealer and investment adviser supervisory and compliance policies and procedures. He manages our Compliance and Licensing staff and steers Commonwealth's long-term compliance strategy, mission, and vision.
Paul is a vocal advocate for the independent advisor community and is actively engaged with industry regulators to support Commonwealth's business model and reputation. "I am extremely fortunate to work every day with financial advisors, home office employees, and strategic business partners who are fundamentally good people, making sound decisions, based on what's right—ethically, morally, and professionally,” he says. "Since my very first day at Commonwealth, our firm's leadership team has consistently 'walked the talk' and demonstrated a culture of compliance and 'do the right thing' mantra that, to me, is second to none."
Education: Bachelor's degree in business administration from Northeastern University
Industry designations: FINRA Series 4, 7, 24, 53, 63, and 65 securities registrations
Paul is a part of: FINRA's Membership Committee, the National Society of Compliance Professionals
Peter Wheeler, Vice Chairman
Peter started at Commonwealth as a due diligence officer in 1984. He has since worked his way up to his current position of vice chairman, where he oversees the Compliance and Legal teams and helps lead our strategic direction.
Commonwealth's strong sense of community is what Peter values most, in working with both his colleagues and our affiliated advisors. Over the years, he's enjoyed getting to know his employees and welcomes any opportunity to meet and speak with advisors both new and existing.
Peter enjoys pastimes that keep him active, including skiing, surfing, windsurfing, and mountain biking.
Education: Bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Colorado and MBA from Babson College
Industry designations: FINRA Series 4, 7, 24, 53, 63, and 65 securities registrations
Joni Youngwirth, Executive Director, Commonwealth Cares
When Joni joined Commonwealth in 1998 as director of the practice management department, it was a one-person team. In the 22 years under her leadership, Practice Management has grown to offer increasingly sophisticated services and programs to help advisors adopt best practices as small business owners. In 2020, Joni shifted gears to become executive director of the Commonwealth Cares Foundation.
Joni feels that Commonwealth has inspired her to be her best self. "Commonwealth has been there for me through thick and thin—just as a family would," she says. "Whether it is working with advisors in the field or fellow employees, the people here are the cream of the crop. We are lucky to have found Commonwealth."
Joni's new chapter will include more time for fun with family and friends, travel adventures and exploration, and enjoying a breather in her new residence in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Education: Bachelor's degree in nutrition from South Dakota State University, MS in nutrition, and MBA from Boston University; U.S. Air Force
Industry designations: FINRA Series 7, 24, and 66 securities registrations