We are a relationship-first firm led by a team of talented, knowledgeable and values-driven professionals with decades of extensive experience committed to being “partners in your prosperity.”
When working with Vardhan, you can expect a superior experience driven by highly personal attention, tailored advice and open access to top-tier resources, tools and technologies. You will also benefit from access to Summit’s Professional Strategy Team which will be an extension of your Vardhan Wealth team to provide complete and tailored planning, strategies and wealth management to achieve your goals across every aspect of financial life.
Monish Verma is Managing Partner at Vardhan Wealth Management.
He is a Chartered Retirement Plans SpecialistSM with more than 25 years in the wealth management business.
Prior to founding Vardhan Wealth Management, Monish was a Senior Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager at UBS Financial Services Inc. – running the Verma Wealth Management Group. Monish previously worked at Smith Barney and Morgan Stanley. He graduated Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Pre-Law and a minor in Business.
Away from the office, Monish is active in the local community. He is past president and current member of the INDO American Chamber of Commerce and charter member of the Indus Entrepreneurs, Michigan Chapter. He is an avid tennis player. Monish and his wife, Roshnee, reside in Novi, Michigan and are the proud parents of three wonderful boys.
Kory is Director of Planning & Strategy at Vardhan Wealth Management.
He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ with 10 years of wealth management experience. Kory works closely with clients to implement customized financial plans, facilitate investment decisions and coordinate trading and execution coverage for clients’ managed portfolios. He also monitors current trends in the economic environment to help gain perspective on how investments may be affected.
Prior to Vardhan Wealth Management, Kory was a Wealth Strategy Associate at UBS Financial Services Inc. – working with Monish and team at the Verma Wealth Management Group. Before that he worked as a Financial Services Representative at Flagstar Bank. Kory is a graduate of the University of Michigan where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Finance.
Kory enjoys watching sports, especially taking a trip to Ann Arbor, Michigan to watch the Wolverines play football and basketball.
Renee is Director of Operations at Vardhan Wealth Management.
She has over 10 years in the wealth management business and holds Series 7 and 66 licenses. Renee is a dedicated relationship builder committed to creating excellent experiences for each client – including onboarding, managing daily requests and responding to ongoing needs in a timely manner.
Prior to Vardhan Wealth Management, Renee worked at UBS Financial Services Inc. – working with Monish and team as Team Administrator at the Verma Wealth Management Group. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering.
In her free time, Renee enjoys yoga, reading and cooking. She lives in Beverly Hills, Michigan with her husband, David. They have five children.
Jeane brings almost 20 years of experience in the finance industry and started her career at Smith Barney in 2002. She has also worked at Raymond James & Associates, Ameriprise Financial, and Nemes Rush Family Wealth Management. She joined Vardhan Wealth Management this year and is excited to work with and become more acquainted with our clients. She is committed to providing excellent service and eager to assist clients.
She lives in Pleasant Ridge, MI with her husband, Marshall and in her free time, Jeane enjoys yoga, trying new restaurants and travel.
Brandon Smith joined Summit Financial as the Director of Integrated Planning Group. Brandon will lead the Integrated Planning Group and continue to develop strategies and expertise for our Financial Advisors. Brandon served as an Executive Officer for Grayhill LLC cumulatively for over 18 years which allowed him to partner with established Financial Advisors to develop advanced wealth transfer plans and perform comprehensive financial planning for clients.
Prior to Grayhill, Brandon was at Financial Designs Ltd for several years. Brandon earned a B.A. from Emory University, his J.D. from Washburn University of Law and his LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Denver College of Law. Brandon has moved to New Jersey after living in Denver, CO for over 25 years.
Barbara Hawkesworth joined Summit Financial LLC as the Chief Legal Officer in April 2019. Most recently, Barbara had been consulting with her private practice. Prior to that, she was Managing Counsel at BNY Mellon/Pershing, Executive Director at JPMorgan Chase, and EVP-Deputy General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at Rochdale Investment Management. While at Rochdale, she was responsible for overseeing all legal and compliance matters related to the firm’s SEC registered investment companies, investment advisors, and affiliated registered FINRA broker dealers. She also worked with the CEO and the senior leadership team on new business strategies and initiatives. Barbara attended New York Law School where she earned her J.D.
Noreen Brown is Director of Portfolio Management at Summit Financial LLC. Noreen is responsible for the development and ongoing oversight of Summit’s investment offerings. She also works with the investment team to create newsletters, whitepapers and portfolio updates and is a resource for advisors on client portfolio design and investment strategies.
With more than two decades of investment advisory and asset management experience, Noreen’s areas of specialization include alternative investments, investment research, asset allocation, portfolio construction, and manager due diligence. Prior to Summit, she focused on economic and capital market research for an independent wealth management firm. She was also responsible for business strategy and product management at two rapidly growing alternative investment businesses at Citigroup and AllianceBernstein. Previously, Noreen was an investment consultant to employee benefit plans and endowments/foundations at Mercer Investment Consulting where she provided advice on asset allocation, portfolio construction and investment policy.
Craig Weiss is the Chief Compliance Officer at Summit Financial LLC. He joined Summit’s predecessor firm in this role in 2017. Craig is responsible for the overall development and implementation of Summit’s compliance program. He is also the Chief Compliance Officer of an affiliated limited purpose broker-dealer, LS Securities LLC. With almost three decades of industry experience, Craig’s areas of specialization include compliance and supervision. Prior to joining Summit, he was the chief compliance officer for other investment advisory firms and broker dealers including R. Seelaus & Co. and Belle Haven Investments. Craig earned his Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University. He lives in Livingston, New Jersey with his wife, two daughters, three stepchildren, and their dog Rambo.
Jenna Bloomgarden joined Summit Financial as a Director of Marketing and Advisor Development, in 2020. Previously Jenna had been with Dynasty Financial Partners most recently as a Vice President, Relationship Management supporting multiple independent advisory firm clients. Prior to Dynasty, Jenna worked at Morgan Stanley’s Graystone Consulting in client service for their institutional business. Jenna has spent the majority of her career working with advisors on marketing initiatives to create effective messaging and brand positioning for current and prospective clients as well as the broader marketplace. Jenna also has extensive experience with practice development and business planning, helping advisors to enhance team processes and increase effectiveness. Jenna has a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Cornell University and a Master of Business Administration with a dual major in Finance and Strategic Management from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Jenna lives in Chappaqua, NY with her husband and three children.
Steve Pfundstein is the Chief Technology Officer at Summit Financial LLC. He joined Summit’s predecessor firm in 2010 and is responsible for oversight of the technology department. With over 15 years of experience in managing teams of IT professionals in the implementation and management of enterprise networks, large scale migrations, and system implementations, Steve and his team have built a robust technology platform consisting of some of the industry’s best systems with a focus on a simple yet powerful user experience. Steve earned his Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Science with a minor in Marketing from Franciscan University. He lives in Randolph with his wife and five children.
Tara Pizzutillo is the Director of Investment Operations at Summit Financial LLC. She is responsible for leading the strategic development and operational oversight of the Investment Operations teams and functions. Tara provides guidance and structure to ensure consistent and superior execution while maintaining an environment of continuous optimization of team performance, systems, and processes.
Tara is seasoned in a variety of Investment Operations roles with over 25 years in Finance and Banking. She has been awarded with recognition for excellence from Summit’s predecessor, Summit Equities. Tara has a B.S. in Business Administration with a focus in Management from Centenary College. She holds her FINRA Series 7, 24, 55, and 63 licenses. Tara has two sons and lives in Long Valley, NJ.
David is the Director of Insurance and has been with Summit Financial, LLC for 14 Years. He earned a B.S. from Boston University. David specializes in the design and implementation of insurance strategies to enhance the overall protection within a client’s financial plan by working closely with the Summit team of Attorney’s, CPA’s and Financial Planners. He has extensive knowledge of Life, Disability and Long-Term Care insurance in today’s world and how it can be leveraged to cover many of the unforeseen changes that may occur in the future.
Outside of work, David likes to stay active by running, playing tennis, and riding his vintage motorcycle.
Sarah Rich is the Chief Administrative Officer at Summit Financial LLC. Sarah is responsible for the oversight of Human Resources and acts as a key advisor to Senior Leadership and other valued stakeholders. She guides management and employee actions by communicating and enforcing organizational values while working closely with business heads and advisors to hire and develop talent and consults in areas of training, employee relations and career coaching. Sarah has over 15 years of experience in Human Resources with most of her career spent in financial services. She specializes in employee relations and talent recruitment.
Prior to Summit, Sarah worked as a consultant for Société Générale, a business partner for Mylan Pharmaceuticals, and a business partner and generalist for Soros Fund Management LLC. At Mylan, she concentrated her expertise in employee relations, onboarding, talent recruitment, and benefits consultation. While at Soros, Sarah concentrated her expertise in recruiting, benefits platform development, and employee relations. She also acted as the Administrative Manager for all Executive Assistants and the Reception department including recruiting/terminations, daily oversight, and employee relations. Sarah has a B.S in Human Development and Family Studies from The Pennsylvania State University. She lives in Cedar Knolls with her husband and three daughters.
Steve Melnick has close to 10 years of investment experience within the RIA space, most recently from Brown Advisory. At Brown Advisory, he was a Senior Research and Portfolio Analyst and worked on several investment related activities at the firm. Prior to Brown, Steven was at Dyson Capital Advisors and Cambridge Associates. Steven assists the Investment team with due diligence, newsletter writing, and serves as a resource to Advisors looking to grow their business as well as learning the Risk Monitor system. Steven holds a Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance from George Washington University and is also a CFA Charter holder.
James Rabasca is a Senior Tax Specialist in the Integrated Planning Group of Summit Financial LLC. Jim provides guidance on estate, tax, retirement, charitable, and business planning. Prior to joining Summit, he was a Vice President/Account Manager at Ayco, a Goldman Sachs Company, where he provided comprehensive financial and tax counseling to corporate executives and high net worth individuals. Before Ayco, Jim worked as an attorney, and focused his practice on taxation, business planning, and estate planning. He graduated from Rider University with a B.S. in Business Administration and earned his J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law.