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Client Advisory

Biography

Christian is a Partner in the Mill Valley office.

Prior to joining Cerity Partners, Christian was Chief Investment Officer for Brouwer & Janachowski. He oversaw the company’s Portfolio Management Group, which is responsible for research, strategy, and investment management of all client portfolios. He was also responsible for the specialty law firm client practice group Smart Counsel. Christian was a Principal of the firm, and a member of the senior management team and the company’s Investment Committee. He also published the company’s weekly blog of economic and market insights. Christian currently serves on the Investment Adviser Association’s (IAA) Nominating Committee for a three-year term from 2020-2023.

Prior to joining Brouwer & Janachowski, Christian was President and Chief Executive Officer of Sentinel Investments, which managed more than $28 billion in fixed income and equities for institutional and retail clients. He was the lead portfolio manager for Sentinel’s multi-strategy funds. Christian has worked in the international and U.S. investment management industry for five decades in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, starting his career as an analyst and portfolio manager with Samuel Montagu & Co. in London.

Education

  • MBA in Finance and a Baker Scholar, Harvard Business School
  • First Class Honours degree in History, Courtauld Institute, London University

Highlights

  • Has written for InvestmentNews, Forbes, Advisor Perspectives, and Ignites
  • Has appeared regularly on CNBC, Bloomberg TV, and radio
  • Serves on the board of directors of the Marin Economic Forum, which promotes Marin County’s economic vitality while seeking to increase social equity and protect the environment
  • Serves on the board of TeenSmart, a teen health program in Costa Rica

Q & A

Q:

What inspired you to pursue your career in financial management?

I graduated university in 1981. The UK had come off a period of high inflation and high unemployment. The most common career paths back then were working in either the government treasury or the foreign office. A friend of my father said if you want to travel the world and have some fun, try investment banking. He set me on my course. I started in London at Samuel Montagu & Co. I was mentored by one of the smartest people there. He was brutal but very nice to me at the same time. As an analyst, I’d write up a company report, and he’d say, “I’m not accepting this.” I had to figure out what was wrong with it and try again. It got me on my feet very quickly. I raise a glass to him now and then.

Was there a specific incident in your life that made it clear you were made for this career?

My first failure. I had made a stock recommendation that went wrong. A senior manager stepped me through what I had missed, how to correct it and how to talk candidly to the client. It taught me you can't always be right but you can learn from mistakes. Later in my career, a friend was a Madoff victim. I realized then how devastating bad financial advice can be.

Why is your work important, especially today?

Making sense of the financial world can be difficult. There's a confusing array of jargon, products and firms just trying to separate investors from their money. We can cut through the details and explain how things works and what to expect.

What do clients expect from you most?

Honesty. Take someone who is about to retire. There is a real risk for people who worked for 40 years to come to a dead stop. My job is to guide them to the right decision for what’s next. For example, there are some who say they want travel. That’s great but what about when you’re 75? People’s patience and the ability for travel wanes quickly when they’re older. You must think about how, why, and when you do it. That’s what they come to expect. One client is 58 and I told him, “Given your lifestyle you can retire anytime you want.” His wife agreed. He said, “I’ll retire at 60.” Sixty came and went. He said, “I’ll retire when I make $20 million.” He hit $20 million. Then he wanted his portfolio to generate $1 million a year. I knew what he was doing. He was setting arbitrary goals, so he didn’t have to make the decision to stop working. I had to have a frank conversation with him about this. We’re not about telling you what to do, but we’ll figure out what you want to do. With us, you’re getting into realms of discussion that has nothing to do with outperforming the S&P 500.

What do you outside of work that helps you in your job?

Cave diving. It requires concentration, calm and attention to detail. It's adventurous but it's not for the thrill seeker. I strive to bring the same level of effort to clients so they know we've explored all the options and have come to the right decisions for them.

How would you describe your best day doing what you do?

A client meeting in the morning where we review their changes in life and their goals and aspirations. And then we provide ideas and actions to start the journey. But generally, a good day is whenever we help clients to feel assured, confident and happy that we're getting them to their goals. Then I always like to talk with my colleagues. I always learn something from them that hopefully makes me a little better every day.

Meet Our  Client Advisory Colleagues

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David Aaron

Partner & Market Leader

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Louis P. Abel, CFA, CAIA

Partner

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Rozeta Abovian, CTFA

Partner

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Lloyd Abramowitz

Partner & Practice Leader

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Larry Adams, CPFA, AIF®

Partner

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Samuel Afari-Aikins, CFP®, CKA

Partner

Maria Aguirre

Associate

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Karim Ahamed, CFA

Partner

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Chris Akamine, CFP®

Partner

Mark Andersen

Partner

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Helen Anderson

Principal

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Sean Angelis, CFP®

Principal

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Karen Angrisano

Principal

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Lynne Anicete

Associate

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Gary Arakawa, CFA, CFP®

Partner

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Christopher Arotin, AIF®, CFP®

Principal

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Cheryl Athas

Senior Associate

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Barbara Attardo, AEP®, CFP®

Partner

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Richard Azarloza, CFA, CFP®

Partner & Market Leader

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Chris Bagileo

Associate

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Ian Bai, CFP®

Principal

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Samuel Bain, Jr.

Partner & Market Leader

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Julie Banda

Senior Associate

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Chelle Barberena

Principal

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Carrie Barlow

Associate

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Tony Basalla

Principal

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John Basford

Partner & Market Leader

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David Beatty, CFP®

Partner & Market Leader

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Laurie Belew, CFP®

Partner & Market Leader

Abigail Bell

Associate

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Joshua Berdet, CFP®

Principal

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Jeffrey Blanchard, CFA

Principal

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Andrew Blumenthal, CFP®

Partner

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Debra Boerger, CFP®

Principal

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Doug Bonaquist

Partner

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Hugues Le Bras

Principal

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Amanda Brummel

Principal

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Kevin Buckley, CFP®

Partner

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Brenda Bujanauskaite

Associate

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Erica Bunnell, CFP®

Principal

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Craig Burger, CFA

Partner

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Christopher Burrows

Partner

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Azaian Cagalingan

Associate

Megan Caldarelli

Associate

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Erica Cameron, CFP®

Partner

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Matthew Canner

Partner

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Dawn M. Carpenter

Associate

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Vonny Carrington

Partner

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Andrea Casas

Associate

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Mark Castell, CPA

Partner

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Ricardo Castro

Senior Associate

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Onari Tariah, CFP®

Principal

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Eric Chang, CFA

Principal

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Cecilia Chen, CFA

Principal

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Paul Chmielewski

Partner

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Jake Clemens, CFA, CFP®

Principal

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Tom Cohn, CFA

Partner & Deputy Chief Investment Officer

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JD Costello

Associate

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Meghan Cottrell

Associate

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Ralph Coutant, CFA, CMT

Principal

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Brendan Cunningham

Associate

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William T. Curran, CIMA®

Partner

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Paul D’Elia, CFP®

Partner

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Darlene Dahl, AEP®, CDFA®, CPA, PFS

Partner

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Elizabeth Dawson, CFA, CFP®

Principal

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Brett Dearing

Partner

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Elizabeth Delude, CFA

Principal

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Joel DeMaria, CFP®

Partner

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Lauren Desforge, AEP®, CDFA®, CFP®, CPA/PFS

Partner

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Joseph DiGregorio

Associate

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Michael Disharoon, CFA

Partner

Cheryl Donaldson

Principal

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Kevin Dorwin

Partner & Market Leader

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Katrin Doyle

Principal

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Mimi Drake

Partner & Market Leader

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Sarah Dudack

Associate

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Justin DuMouchelle, CFA, CFP®

Partner

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Pierre duPont

Partner

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Rebecca Dutka, CFA

Partner

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Jennifer Ellison, CFA

Partner

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Megan Endersby

Senior Associate

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Cecilia Fajardo

Principal

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Jessica Farrell

Partner

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Kimberly Fields

Senior Associate

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Kellye Fields

Associate

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Patrick Fischbach

Principal

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Andrew Fisher, CFA, CPA

Partner

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Victoria Flores-Manrique, CTFA

Senior Associate

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Jessica Foley

Principal

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Kent Forkner

Partner

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Candice Frank

Senior Associate

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Kathy Freed, CFP®

Principal

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Shadrack Frempong

Senior Associate

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Virginia Frisch

Associate

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Sam Garcia, CFP®

Principal

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Doug Garrison, CFP®

Partner

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Stephanie Gervacio

Associate

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Thomas Giddings

Partner

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Garrett Gillett

Senior Associate

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Jeffrey Glassman

Partner

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Richard Golinski, CFA

Partner

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Caroline Good

Associate

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John Goott, AIF®, CFP®

Partner

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Daniel Goott, CFP®, CIMA®

Partner & Market Leader

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Judith Gordon

Principal

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Dajion Grant

Senior Associate

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Shelia Gray

Principal

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Cameron Grimm

Associate

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Alexander Gross, CFP®, AEP®, CPA/PFS

Partner

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Theresa Guinto

Associate

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Hunter Haley, CFP®, CPA

Principal

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Jill Hardesty

Associate

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Rick Harris

Principal

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Lissa Harris

Principal

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Susan Hartley-Moss, CTFA

Partner

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Erica Hartog, CPA

Partner

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Matthew Heath, CFP®

Principal

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Andrew Helfont, CFA

Partner

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Delia Hernandez

Principal

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Elizabeth Hicks

Senior Associate

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Rachel Highbarger

Senior Associate

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Rebecca Hilchey

Associate

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Ann Marie Hindley

Associate

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Caren Holzhauer

Associate

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George Hubbard

Partner

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Connor Hufer

Associate

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John Hyman, CIMA®

Partner

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James Izard II, CFP®

Partner

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Jack H. Scaff III

Partner

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Henry “Sandy” Harris III, CFA

Partner

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Rhonda Inskeep

Associate

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Stephen Janachowski

Partner

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Alex Jimenez

Partner

Linda Jin

Principal

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Kathryn Jodon

Principal

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Blake Johnson, CFP®

Principal

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Anne Johnston, CFP®

Partner

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Nicole Joko

Principal

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André De Jong, FPQP

Associate

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Wickliffe Lyne, Jr.

Principal

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David Jumper, CFA

Partner

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Evan Kaplan, CFP®, CFA

Principal

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Tom Karsten

Partner & Market Leader

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Robert Katz, CFP®

Partner

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Carl Kaufman

Associate

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Mickey Keating, CFP®

Senior Associate

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Kathryn Kennedy, CFP®, CPA, JD

Partner

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Hannah Kim

Senior Associate

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Kate Kittinger, AEP®

Principal

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Ekaterina Klimentova, CPA, CDFA®

Partner

Jeffrey Knight

Associate

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Jessica Kobaly

Senior Associate

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Allen Kozel, CFP®

Principal

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Kati Krause

Principal

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Geoffrey Kuli, CFA

Partner

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Steve Kurosko, CSRIC®

Partner & Market Leader

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Patrick Labriola

Principal

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Jeffrey Lancaster, CFP®

Partner

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Adam B. Landau, CAIA

Partner

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Amy Lange, CFA, CFP®

Partner

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Gerry Larr

Partner

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Greg Larson, CSRIC®

Senior Associate

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Kristen LaSasso

Senior Associate

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James Lebenthal, CFA

Partner & Chief Equity Strategist

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Christine Lee, CFP®

Principal

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Rita Lee, CPA, CDFA®, CGMA®, PFS

Partner

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John Lee, CFP®

Senior Associate

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Cameron Lehrmann, CPA

Principal

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Ryan P. Leitch

Associate

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Edward Liberman

Principal

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Andy Lin

Associate

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Dwight Liu

Principal

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Richard Long, CFA

Principal

Christina Lum

Associate

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Phong Luu, CFA

Principal

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Anne Lyons

Associate

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Lyle Maasdorp, CFP®

Principal

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Steve Malbasa

Partner

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Julia Malin

Associate

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Jacqualyn Malloy

Senior Associate

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Jessica Marshall

Associate

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Samuel Martin, AIF®, CRPS®

Principal

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Peter Martin, CPA

Partner

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Joseph Matus, CFA

Senior Associate

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Ray McCarthy, CPA

Principal

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Doug McCrea

Partner

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Paul McGloin

Partner

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Timothy McNally, CPA, CIMA®

Principal

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Kelly McNerney, CFP®

Principal

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Charles McRae, CFP®, CEPA®

Principal

Sarah Meiser

Senior Associate

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Ruby Mendoza

Associate

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Patricia Mercer

Associate

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Donna Metrou

Principal

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Cooper Miller

Associate

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Eric Minnick

Principal

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Janie Monroe, CFP®

Principal

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Christine Monyak

Associate

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Sean Moore

Partner

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Panzie Morris

Senior Associate

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Jonathan Morris

Principal

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Owen Morrow

Associate

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Constantine Mulligan, CFA

Partner

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Melanie Murphy, CPA

Senior Associate

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Patrick Murray, CFP®, CFA

Partner

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Elizabeth Musarra, CPA, PFS

Partner

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Lindsey Nadel

Partner

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Douglas Nardi, CFA

Partner

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Matt Nardi

Associate

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Alan Ness, CFP®, AIF®

Partner

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Lesa Newell

Senior Associate

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Steve Nielander, CFA

Partner

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Eda Niño

Associate

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Reed Nothwang, CFP®

Principal

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JoAnne O’Connell

Principal

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Emily O’Connor

Principal

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Resmena O’Meally, CPA

Partner

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Brooklyn Ogburn

Associate

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Stephen Oliver, CFP®, CFA

Partner

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Matt Olver, CFP®, AEP®

Partner

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Javier Ordaz

Senior Associate

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Sarah Gregg Orum

Principal

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Jeffrey Paladini, CFP®

Partner

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Daniel Parillo

Principal

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Daniel Park, CFP®

Partner

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Ty Parrish, CIMA®

Partner & Practice Leader

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Nicholas Pasichuke

Associate

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Cristina Paul, CFP®

Partner

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Yelena Pelimskaya, CFA

Principal

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Blake Perkins

Senior Associate

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Walker Phillips, CFP®, CIMA®

Partner

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Bettie Pickett

Associate

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Nina Pilgrim

Senior Associate

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Chris Pleshek, CPA

Senior Associate

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Quinn Portfolio, CFP®

Principal

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Matthew Powell

Senior Associate

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Jacqueline Price

Associate

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Hugh Quinn

Associate

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Steven L. Ramirez, CFP®, CFA

Principal

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Gerianne Raymundo

Senior Associate

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Thomas Richardson, CPA

Partner

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Timothy Ringelstein, CFA

Principal

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Jeremy Robbins, CFP®, CPA

Principal

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Rhonda Robinett

Principal

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Tristan Romo

Principal

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Melanie Ross, CFP®

Principal

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Spencer Roule

Senior Associate

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Meg Rowley

Partner & Market Leader

Veronica Rubio, CFP®

Partner

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Salvatore Russo

Partner

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Devon Ruttenberg

Partner

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Alex Saikali

Associate

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Sherman S. Salangad

Senior Associate

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Jorge Salazar, CFP®

Senior Associate

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Jonathan Salvato, CFP®

Principal

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Minnie Yao Sanford, CFP®

Principal

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Isabel Scharmer, CFA

Partner

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Leonard Schlangel, CPA, JD

Partner

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John Schnur

Associate

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Steve Schoneman, CFA

Partner

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Matthew Serkes, CFP®

Principal

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Marshall Serwitz

Partner

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Mary Shahian, CFP®, CDFA®, ChFC®, CKA

Partner

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Deborah Shaug

Principal

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LeAnn Shea

Associate

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Charmaine Sherlock

Senior Associate

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Bob Shier, JD

Partner

William Shier

Associate

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Samuel Short

Associate

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Gary Silverman, CFA

Partner

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Marcella Skenderis

Associate

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Dee Slavutin, ChFC®

Partner

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Robert C. Smith

Partner & Market Leader

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Neal Smith

Principal

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Meghan Smith

Principal

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Javier Solis, CFP®

Partner

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Paul Sommerstad, AIF®, QPFC®

Partner

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Michelle Soto, CDFA®, CFP®

Partner

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William Speciale, AEP®, JD

Partner

Judith Spencer

Associate

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Shelby Stahr, CFP®

Principal

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Ari Stanger, CPA

Principal

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Philip Steele, AIF®

Partner

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Caraline Stenslik

Senior Associate

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Kyler Stephens

Associate

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Jennifer Stott

Associate

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Robert J. Sullivan, CFP®

Partner

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Alketa Sundquist

Senior Associate

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Colleen Supran, CFA

Partner

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Howard Sussman, CFP®, JD

Principal

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Bonnie Suveerachaimontian, ChFC®

Principal

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Scott Swanson, CFA

Partner

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Pam Swenson

Senior Associate

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Michael Syer, CFP®

Principal

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Claudia Sykora, CPA

Principal

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Ayisha Tahir

Principal

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Sue Takano

Associate

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Emily Taken-Vertz, CFP®

Principal

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Jacob Talley

Senior Associate

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Matthew Taylor

Partner

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Jonathan Taylor, CFA

Partner

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Natalia Tchetchoulina

Partner

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Andres Terronez

Senior Associate

Dan Timotic, CFA

Partner

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Patrick Tobin, CFP®

Principal

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Jonatán Toledo

Associate

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Scott Toomasson, FPQP

Principal

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Justin Topping, CFA

Partner

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Brian Tu

Principal

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Brandon Tutak

Senior Associate

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Tinetta Tutt

Associate

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Amanda Ulczynski

Senior Associate

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Myles VanderWeele, CFP®

Partner

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Christine Vandrey

Senior Associate

Juan Vasquez

Associate

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Tania Vasquez

Principal

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Cynthia Venturelli, FPQP

Principal

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Daniel Vignola

Associate

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Steve Walker

Partner

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Thayer Walker

Principal

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Todd Walklett, CFA, CFP®

Partner

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Angella Wallace

Associate

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Eric Warbrick, CPA

Principal

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Jennifer Watson, CPA

Principal

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Aaron Waxman, CFP®, CPA

Partner

Gail Weiss

Senior Associate

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Larry Weissman, CFA

Partner

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Craig Wells

Partner

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Kim Wilkinson

Partner

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EmJay Williams

Associate

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Katherine Willis, CFA

Partner

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Marissa Wilson

Associate

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Matt Wojtowicz, CPA

Principal

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Susan Wolf

Partner

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Tracey Wood-Sanford, CPA

Partner

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Jon Yankee, CFP®

Partner & Market Leader

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Peter Yoon, CFA

Principal

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Brendan Yospa

Associate

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Dustan Zavatsky

Senior Associate

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Jeff Zych

Partner

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