Chief Compliance Officer
Ragnar joined FFT in March 2022 and is Chief Compliance Officer for Optima Asset Management and FFT. Ragnar has over a decade of experience in financial services compliance and was most recently CCO and AML Officer at Boenning & Scattergood Inc.; his past experience also includes a position as a Regulatory Analyst with FINRA. Ragnar has extensive knowledge of compliance and regulatory requirements and his experience encompasses investment banking, brokerage and advisory compliance, operations, audit, complaint settlement and FINRA filings. Ragnar graduated from Hamilton College in 2004 with a BA in Biology.
Katie Casey, CFA, CAIA
Managing Director, Portfolio Manager
Katie is a Managing Director and a senior member of the investment team with over 20 years of experience in the investment management industry. Prior to joining FFT, Katie served in similar roles at Zeke Capital and Abbot Downing, Wells Fargo’s Family Office.
Earlier in her career, Katie worked in Institutional Client Relations at Turner Investments and CDO Asset Management at Cohen & Company. She completed the Investment Associate program at the University of Pennsylvania where she supported the CIO of the endowment. Katie started her career in Institutional Equity Sales at Citigroup.
She received a bachelor’s degree in finance from Loyola University Maryland. She holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and is a member of the CFA Society Philadelphia. She is also a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) and a member of the CAIA Association Pennsylvania where she serves as a Chapter Executive.
Paul Barkus, CFA
Prior to joining FFT in 2022, Mr. Barkus co-founded and was President of Atlantic Peak Capital, an independent wealth management firm based in New York City focused on individuals, families, and institutional clients. Similar to FFT, Atlantic Peak Capital employed a wholly open architecture investment approach, evaluating and recommending high conviction investment opportunities uniquely suited to meet the needs and goals of each individual client. Mr. Barkus brings extensive experience and industry knowledge in legacy planning, working with clients to optimize the efficiency of wealth transfer.
Prior to establishing Atlantic Peak Capital Mr. Barkus was a Managing Director and Senior Client Advisor at Bessemer Trust Company for 19 years where he was responsible for overseeing the investments and wealth planning strategies for many of the firm's largest and most complex relationships. Mr. Barkus holds a Chartered Financial Analyst and Chartered Investment Counselor designation.
Teresa Principe, JD
Prior to joining FFT in 2022, Ms. Principe was founder of Atlantic Peak Capital and Senior Vice President and Senior Wealth Advisor at Bessemer Trust Company, where she was responsible for identifying new client relationships, developing asset allocation strategies, risk management, and managing the firm’s relationships with external partners. Ms. Principe worked with families around the world on matters relating to cross-border investments.
Prior to joining Bessemer, Ms. Principe was a Private Wealth Advisor at Goldman Sachs & Co., where she and her team managed several billion dollars in assets. In addition to directing the investment of capital, Ms. Principe advised on wealth and corporate planning strategies and matters relating to family governance for closely held family businesses. Ms. Principe received an AB in English and a Certificate in Theater and Dance from Princeton University, a JD from The University of Pennsylvania Law School, and a Certificate in Business and Public Policy from The Wharton School. She is a member of the New York and Connecticut State Bar Associations.
Sean Boner, CFA
Director of Portfolio Management
Sean is a Director of Portfolio Management with the firm. He is responsible for manager due diligence, portfolio management, market research, investment sourcing, and quantitative analysis; carrying out these tasks in close collaboration with the investment team and Co-CIO’s.
Prior to joining FFT, Sean served in a similar role at AM Global Family Investment Office. Previously, Sean worked as a Valuation Analyst for Moore, Ellrich & Neal, PA where he focused on the valuation of privately held businesses, assets and various other securities.
Sean graduated from Florida State University, cum laude, earning a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Real Estate from Florida State University. He is a CFA® Charter Holder.
Melissa E. (McBrearty) Ciro, CFP®, CAIA
Director of Private Investments
Melissa has been with the firm since 2009. She participates in manager sourcing and due diligence for all alternative investments, is actively engaged in portfolio analysis and rebalancing, and supports the firm’s proprietary quantitative analysis technology. Prior to joining, she was selected for Ameriprise Financial’s marketing and financial services program.
Melissa graduated cum laude from Saint Joseph’s University, earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Finance, with a minor in Psychology. Melissa obtained the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification in 2014, as well as the CAIA designation in 2016.
Maria Pia Leon Angell
Director Client Advisory Services
Pia is the Director, Client Advisory Services of the firm.
Prior to joining FFT, she served in a similar capacity at AM Global Family Investment Office. Previously, Pia was a partner at GenSpring Family Offices International. During her seven years with GenSpring, Pia advised families with over $3 billion of assets. Prior to GenSpring, Pia had an 18-year career in banking with Standard Chartered and Citibank. During her banking career, Pia worked across various banking units, including Investment Banking, Corporate Finance, and Private Banking, taking her to live in seven different countries. Pia decided to leave the banking industry to advise wealthy individuals and families more broadly on their financial and non-financial wealth management decisions.
With more than two decades of experience working in the financial industry, Pia strongly believes in helping her clients to understand the relationship between their financial and family decisions and helping them to navigate the opportunities and challenges associated with a life with wealth.
Pia graduated from Universidad del Pacifico (Lima, Peru) earning a Bachelor of Economics and the University of Miami earning a Master of International Politics. She holds a post graduate degree from Bowen Center for the Study of the Family at Georgetown University.
Pia is fluent in Spanish, English and Portuguese. She is also a Board Member of the Miami Music Project.
Natalia T. Zager, CFP®
Director, Client Service
Natalia has been with the firm since 2013, supporting all aspects of client relationship management, including financial planning, portfolio monitoring and rebalancing, reporting, and routine account servicing. She often coordinates with insurance, legal, and tax advisors on behalf of clients. In addition, she supports the executive team in advancing firm operations. Previously, Natalia spent four years as an Assistant Portfolio Manager at Veritable, LP, where she assisted in the design, implementation, performance reporting, and day-to-day servicing of investment portfolios for ultra-high net worth families and foundations.
Natalia holds a B.S. in Finance from The Pennsylvania State University. She obtained the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification in 2014.
Victoria Karasin, CTFA
Director, Advisory Services
Victoria is the Director – Advisory Services of the firm.
Prior to joining FFT, Victoria served in the same role at AM Global Family Investment Office. With more than two decades of experience working in the family office space, she advises families on the sustainability of wealth along generations. She works with clients across a broad spectrum of wealth management topics, including coordination with their outside advisors to ensure investments are aligned across multifaceted tax and legal structures. Victoria has extensive experience working with family-owned businesses, family offices, wealth creators, and inheritors and brings a thorough understanding of complex investment, tax and estate planning strategies.
Victoria graduated from Fordham University, cum laude, earning a Bachelor of Science in Economics. Victoria holds the Chartered Trust and Financial Advisor designation, and the FINRA Series 65 securities registration.
John S. Tassone, CAIA, JD
John has over 25 years of experience across multiple disciplines within the investment advisory, family office, and financial services industries. At Forbes, John is senior member of the investment team responsible for manager due diligence and monitoring of both public and private investments, as well as asset allocation, portfolio construction, and risk management for client families.
During his career, John has held senior roles at various wealth management firms including GenSpring Family Offices, as well as founding an investment advisory firm focused on ultra-high net worth client families. Prior to GenSpring, John was an investment banker at Deutsche Bank in New York, where he helped originate and execute over 25 merger advisory, debt and private equity capital raises and public offerings worth in excess of $12 billion for family offices and institutions.
John received a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from The Dyson School at Cornell University, his law degree from Albany Law School and an MBA in Accounting from the Union College Graduate School of Management. He is also a Board Member and Treasurer of the Wounded Veterans Relief Fund charitable organization.
Thomas LaFauci, CFA
Tom is a Portfolio Manager and member of the FFT Investment Team. He is responsible for portfolio management, manager due diligence and sourcing, and market research.
Prior to joining FFT in 2023, Tom was a member of the investment team for over five years serving the Pew Charitable Trusts within Glenmede’s Endowment & Foundation Investments group. In this role, he was responsible for asset allocation, portfolio construction and manager due diligence. Previously, Tom served as a Business Consultant for Eze Software, where he implemented investment management software solutions for asset manager clients.
Tom received a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance & International Business from Villanova University. He is a CFA Charterholder and member of the CFA Society of Philadelphia.
Elliott is an Investment Analyst at FFT. Originally an intern in summer of 2019 and the winter of 2020, Elliott rejoined the firm in June 2020 as an Investment Analyst. Among other assignments, Elliott participates in both traditional and non-traditional manager due diligence reviews, provides portfolio and market level research and performs regular risk exposure analyses of portfolios including liquidity, overlap, allocation exposure and capacity analyses. He also supports the FFT-Palm Beach client operations. Elliott graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic University, where he earned a B.S. in International Business.
Senior Client Associate
Diana is a Senior Client Associate at the firm.
Prior to joining FFT, she served as Operations Manager at AM Global Family Investment Office where she was responsible for the firm’s day-to-day operation functions including account reconciliation, custodial relationship management and client reporting.
Previously, Diana served as Human Resources Associate for GenSpring Family Offices. In this role she performed human resources functions including facilitation of the annual compensation process, partnering with the internal recruiter to identify candidates, interviewing and facilitating new hires, maintaining personnel files, managing special projects as needed by firm executives, and managing administrative staff. Prior to her role at GenSpring Family Offices, Diana was a Senior Underwriting Administrator for Associated Industries Insurance Services, Inc.
Senior Client Associate
Felicia has over 20 years of financial services and client management expertise. She joined the firm in 2010 and is responsible for managing and servicing client relationships. She has been a primary point of contact for clients. Prior to joining, Felicia was a Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley in Boca Raton, Florida, where she was instrumental in managing high net worth client relationships. Previously, she was a Senior Registered Associate at Perry Financial Group.
Felicia attends Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA and earned an A.A. degree from Centenary College, in Hackettstown, New Jersey.
Jacob is a Portfolio Advisor and a member of the FFT Investment Team. He is responsible for ensuring the investment strategies of the firm are employed to the greatest possible extent to meet the specific goals and objectives of each client.
Prior to joining FFT, Jacob served in a similar role at Boston Private Wealth and Silicon Valley Bank. Previously Jacob worked as a Trader at Banyan Partners as well as Gelber Group Securities at the Chicago Board of Trade.
Jacob holds a bachelors of science from Milwaukee School of Engineering and has over 16 years of Trading and Operations experience in the wealth management industry.
Jeanne joined the firm in 2022 and currently serves as a Senior Accountant. She oversees all accounting functions, provides internal financial reporting and is responsible for benefits administration for all firm employees. Jeanne facilitates tax preparation for external accountants and contributes to the annual audit.
Jeanne’s experience stems from the retail import/export industry owning and operating four stores over a seventeen-year period which concluded in 2012. She sought a new challenge in the real estate industry, including property leasing, management, and accounting for 5 years and most recently working with Hornick & Associates LLC as a senior bookkeeper handling accounting and payroll functions for numerous individual and small business clients.
Michael T. McDermott
Michael McDermott joined the firm in 2017 and currently serves as an Operations Associate. Michael provides dedicated operational support to client associates and partners, administers the firm's CRM and portfolio accounting databases, maintains clients’ alternative investment data, assists in the improvement of the firm’s business processes, and prepares reporting packages for our clients.
Michael graduated summa cum laude from Temple University, where he was a Presidential Scholar and a member of the Temple Honors program. He earned a B.A. with distinction in Economics and Spanish, and completed minors in Business and Political Science.
Jordyn (Wagner) Ballegeer
Jordyn Wagner joined the firm in 2021 as a Client Analyst. Jordyn provides operational support to both the client associates and the operations teams.
Prior to joining LGL, Jordyn has worked in the financial services industry since 2015 at both American Century Investments and then Rassler Financial LLC. She holds the Pennsylvania Life, Accident and Health insurance license as well as a Series 7 and 63.
Jordyn graduated with a Master of Business Administration from MidAmerica Nazarene University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with dual majors in Finance and Marketing from Kansas State University.
Janet Nicholson is an Administrative Assistant at FFT. She joined our team in the beginning of 2022 bringing with her over 15 years of experience in business management. She currently assists in the area of business operations with a focus on office organization and structure. Janet has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience in managing client relationships over the years with previous employers such as Nordstrom, Jensen Hughes and Radnor Financial Advisors. Along with other duties, Janet continues to support all FFT office locations, staff and the client services teams across the firm.
Prior to joining FFT, Shyanne was a Senior Associate at SS&C where she served as a dedicated resource to Lighthouse Investment Partners. As a part of the multi-dimensional Lighthouse Operations team, Shyanne was responsible for providing operational support for a basket of managed accounts and worked in close liaison with portfolio managers, the fund administrator, and counterparties.
Shyanne graduated from Rollins College, magna cum laude, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a minor in Business Management.
Alexandra joined the firm as a Client Analyst at the start of 2023. She assists the client associate and operations teams in handling client related reporting, special projects, and inquiries. Additionally, she is responsible for preparing investment documents and reconciling client information.
Alexandra graduated summa cum laude from Union College, earning a Bachelor of Arts with honors in both English and Political Science and completing a minor in Women’s Studies. Following graduation, Alexandra was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in Athens, Greece, where she taught English to high school students and served as a cultural ambassador.