Our People

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Neil Finestone


CEO

Jeff Gutovich


Partner

Michael Anderson


Executive Vice President

Mark Jaffe


Consultant

 
 
 

Kathleen Murphy


VP of Health & Welfare Benefits

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Neil Finestone

CEO, Finestone Partners
neil@finestonepartners.com
310-432-7020

Mr. Finestone is primarily responsible for overseeing the direction of the firm, as well as developing client strategies. He holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) & Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) licenses, the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF) designation He also holds the Series 3, 7, 24, 63, and 65 securities registrations, as well as licenses for variable annuities, life & health & disability insurance in 25 states and Canada. He has more than 30 years of experience in financial planning and life insurance. His key areas of expertise include business succession strategies, financial planning, insurance, life settlement, disability and long term care.

Originally from Montreal, Canada, Mr. Finestone's business experience includes insurance brokerage training with A.F.I. Insurance Brokers; finance and administration with Procter and Gamble, where his areas of responsibility included the supervision of Western Canada; and international sales and marketing of citrus commodities and manufactured products with Sunkist Growers, Inc. Mr. Finestone entered the Financial Services Industry as a Financial Planner in 1983.

Mr. Finestone has been awarded the professional designations of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) from the College for Financial Planning, and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) & Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) from the American College. Neil has qualified under both the American College's Professional Achievement in Continuing Education (PACE) program, and the IBCFP continuing education curriculum. In 2010 he completed the FI360 ® training from the Center of Fiduciary Studies and holds the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF) designation.

Mr. Finestone has been a member of several organizations and boards such as the Beverly Hills Estate Planning Council (past president), International Board of Standards for Certified Financial Planners, American Society of Chartered Financial Consultants & Chartered Life Underwriters, National Association of Life Underwriters, International Association of Financial Planners, Canadian Association of Financial Service Professionals, and Advocis, the Canadian Association for Financial Planners.

Mr. Finestone is one of less than 50 life insurance advisors who have been granted the Life & Disability Insurance Analyst license from the California Department of Insurance indicating fiduciary and recognized expert status expertise in this field. He has helped design life and variable insurance products for insurance companies as well as created programs and strategies for brokerage firms. Through his former financing company RNR Life Investments LLC, Mr. Finestone has financed over $235,000,000.00 of coverage for insureds.

Mr. Finestone has also taught and lectured on Financial Planning, Insurance, and Investments. He provides consulting and in the areas of Insurance, Financial and Benefit Planning. He has taught the Pension, Risk Management and Investment sections of the CFP designation for the College for Financial Planning and has taught financial planning for California Lutheran University, Loyola Marymount University and California State University at Northridge.

He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Economics from Concordia University Business School in Montreal, Canada, where he was admitted to the Concordia University Garnet Key Honors Society. He earned his certificate in Financial Planning from the University of Southern California (CCE) Financial Planning Program.

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Kathleen Murphy

Vice President of Health and Welfare Benefits
kat@finestonepartners.com
310-432-7016

Ms. Murphy is originally from Manchester, NH and was raised in Holyoke, MA. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Westfield State College, Westfield, MA. In 1983, she moved from Holyoke to San Francisco, where she remained for 9 years working as the Management Information Systems Analyst for Bank America Travelers Cheque Corporation where she earned the Exceptional Performance Award for outstanding service.

In 1989, Kat was offered the position of General Manager for the El Drisco Hotel in Pacific Heights, where she managed a 42 guest room hotel. In 1992, Kat moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles and began working in the insurance industry.

From 1992 to 2003, Ms. Murphy worked for two independent producers for Aetna Life Insurance Company and later Lincoln Financial Corporation, handling all aspects of their individual life and group health insurance business. During this time, she became a licensed life agent in California.

Kat has remained in the insurance industry for the past 19 years and in 2003 she accepted the position of Insurance Manager for Finestone Partners. Her expertise lies in individual life and group benefits, including medical, dental, vision, long term care, long and short term disability as well as Employee Assistance plans. Her customer service skills are unparalleled in handling all inquiries from benefit issues to claims issues. In addition, she also handles all aspects of individual insurance from obtaining quotes to following through with the application to delivery of the policy.

In 2007 Kat returned to New Hampshire to assist her aging parents and remains there today working remotely for Finestone Partners. Kathleen Murphy is not affiliated with Four Points Capital Partners LLC.

Nadya Bendik


VP Investment Management

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Jeff Gutovich

Partner
jeff@fgsp.global
214-377-1711

Mr. Gutovich has served as a director and Co-Chair of the Board of Origo Acquisition Corp from June 2016 – July 2018. He brings over 30 years of entrepreneurial and executive experience that includes financial services, aviation and aerospace buy-out and operations.

In February 2004, Mr. Gutovich founded Sentry Financial Services Group, Inc., a Los Angeles-based firm specialized in wealth preservation, tax minimization, and insurance strategies across a broad asset spectrum that includes aviation and aerospace, and has served as its Chief Executive Officer since its founding.

From 1991 – 2004 Mr. Gutovich was Instrumental in the development of two benefits consulting and insurance brokerage firms focused on the design, implementation, funding and administration of nonqualified benefit plans. The firms also provided actuarial and financial services to business owners in the areas of business continuity arrangements and estate funding. Clients included over 50 of the Fortune 1000 companies.

In 1986 Mr. Gutovich co-founded Financial Resources Group, a professional services practice specialized in insurance, retirement and estate planning, employee benefits, and asset management. Also in 1986, Mr. Gutovich was a partner in the leverage buyout team that acquired four operating companies from Lear Siegler, a Fortune 500 industrial conglomerate.

He served as an executive officer of the new entity, BFM Aerospace Corporation, where he was responsible for corporate human resources and risk management. BFM Aerospace was sold in 1992.

Mr. Gutovich began his career in 1975 as a corporate pilot. He currently maintains his commercial pilot credentials and consults with other families that have an interest in aviation related assets or activities.

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Nadya Bendik, CFA

VP, Investment Management
nadya@finestonepartners.com
310-432-7019

Ms. Bendik joined Finestone Partners in 2016 and is currently the Vice President of Investment Management, where she is primarily responsible for designing and managing portfolios. Her investment decisions rely heavily on research of current economic conditions, different investment vehicles, and alternative investments that give the portfolios strategic and tactical components. She researches all investment vehicles for current and new investments for the whole firm. Additionally, she conducts reviews on clients’ portfolios and produces proposals for new corporate and individual wealth management clients. Ms. Bendik completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Economics and Marketing at Belarus State Economic University. She graduated with honors. She holds the Chartered Financial Analyst ® designation and is currently a member of CFA Society Los Angeles. She also holds the Series 7, 63 and 65 securities licenses.

Previously, Ms. Bendik was a Financial Analyst at Options 4 You Financial Services in Los Angeles, CA where she evaluated and sourced different investment opportunities. She performed financial analysis including cash flow projections, real estate valuation and credit analysis. She assisted with financial underwriting of potential property acquisitions and supported the transaction due diligence and closing processes. The business plan of the investment was supported by her ongoing quantitative and qualitative analyses.

Ala Smochinsky


Chief Operating Officer

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Michael Anderson

Vice President of Retirement Planning
manderson@finestonepartners.com
310-432-7018

Mr. Anderson is primarily responsible for forming retirement plan solutions, servicing retirement plans and managing private managed money accounts. He holds Series 6,7,24 and 66 securities licenses, as well as a life and health insurance producers’ license in California, Iowa and Florida. Mr. Anderson holds the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) professional designation. He has more than 30 years in retirement plan administration, securities management, brokerage and corporate finance.

Prior to joining Finestone Partners, Mr. Anderson was Executive Vice President of REACH Financial Group, LLC. As a Senior Finance and Investment Analyst for Bergen Brunswig Corporation, a Fortune 100 company, now known as AmerisourceBergen, ranked 12th in the 2017 Fortune 500, he managed the investments of a $165- million, 5000 employee qualified retirement plan. Additionally, he managed that firm’s $200-million corporate cash portfolio and was the corporate finance staff’s lead analyst. He also was with a Pasadena, CA-based mutual fund manager as an Associate Portfolio Manager and as an Operations and Marketing Administrator.

Currently, Mr. Anderson serves on four boards of directors: as a Past President of the Western Pension and Benefits Council Los Angeles (WP&BCLA), as President Emeritus and a Founder of the UCLA Alumni Association’s Bruin Professionals (BP), as a Board Governor of The UCLA John Wooden Center (JWC), and as a Board Director- Business Advisory Board of the Small Business Council of America (SBCA). He is a member of the Los Angeles based ProVisors Network, BP, the WPBC, the SBCA, the UCLA Fund’s Chancellor’s Society and is a Life/Gold member of the UCLA Alumni Association. In 2017, he was elected a Life member of the UCLA Order of the Golden Bruin (OGB), for exemplary service to the University.

Mr. Anderson served as the 2010 WP&BC National Program Chairman for the Western Benefits Conference. The WBC is one of the two major national pension, retirement and benefits conferences held annually in the United States. Previously, Mr. Anderson served from 2006 to 2010 on the WP&BC Joint Council of Presidents, as 2009 WBC Program Committee Member and served as the 2007/2008 President of WP&BC Los Angeles. From 1998-2006, he served in various executive officer positions with WP&BC-Los Angeles.

He served as a Managing Executive Director (2002-2010) and President (2011-2013) of the UCLA Alumni Association’s Bruin Professionals (BP). He also served on the Board of Directors (2014-2016) of the Associated Students of UCLA (ASUCLA). ASUCLA is a $200-million enterprise providing services to the UCLA student community. Mr. Anderson is host of Finestone Partners’ Local Leaders Beverly Hills, an Internet radio program on the Big Media USA Network, focused on business leaders, commerce trends, investments and retirement issues. www.bmbc.tv/episodes/762. He also serves, at the request of the U.S. State Department, as a liaison to educate foreign government officials on the U.S. pension and retirement system.

Mr. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). While at UCLA, he studied international finance through Boston University in London. He crewed three years both Junior Varsity and Varsity on the NCAA Division 1 UCLA Rowing Team. Mr. Anderson is also a graduate of the Executive Program of the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

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Angela Knott

Customer Relations/Event Planning
angela@finestonepartners.com
310-432-7012

Ms. Knott brings over 30 years of experience as customer relations and event planning to Finestone Partners. Ms. Knotts creativity and attention to detail are one of the keys to a superior client experience.

Ms. Knott has developed, managed and successfully sold retail boutiques in the mid-west and California as well as working in specialist positions for companies such as Giorgio Armani and Bloomingdales.

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Ala Smochinsky, MBA

Chief Operating Officer
ala@finestonepartners.com
310-432-7014

Ms. Smochinsky joined Finestone Partners in 2016 and is currently the Client Operations Manager, where she is primarily responsible for overseeing production and ensuring the businesses runs efficiently. Her tasks include analyzing key areas of daily operations in order to ensure accuracy and compliance with procedures and controls, preparation of monthly, quarterly, half yearly and annual reports for clients. She is also responsible for client presentations and meetings and ensures monthly account performance accuracy. Additionally, she assists portfolio managers in comprehensive investment policy review and development, investment implementation/rebalancing, and evaluation and asset allocations.

Prior to joining Finestone partners, Ms. Smochinsky was a property manager at Habibi Properties, LLC and held bottom-line responsibility for end-to-end property management functions, including tenant relations, facility security / maintenance, and oversight of contracted services. While there she maintained proactive focus on sustaining full occupancy levels, interfaced internally and externally with legal and finance departments as well as third-party vendors. She successfully turned around high delinquency rate by effectively communicating with tenants and improving process for collecting and tracking lease payments. Ms. Smochinsky earned recognition for maintaining properties at high capacity with low turnover through on-target advertising, professional networking, and excellent tenant relations.

Ms. Smochinsky holds a Bachelor Degree in Business Management as well as a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance and Global Business from the Graziadio School of Business Management at Pepperdine University, where she received a partial academic scholarship. As one of top students, she was admitted to the Beta Gamma Sigma International Honor Society. She also holds FINRA Series 7 and Series 66 securities registration.

Angela Knott


Customer Relations

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Mark Jaffe

Consultant
mark@markjaffe.com

Mark has successfully served as a catalyst for growth in the industries of technology, entertainment and consumer products for over thirty years.  Now, he has translated that expertise into a successful practice enabling CEOs to strategically grow their companies by realizing and leveraging their company’s true, core value propositions into new and multiple revenue streams.  In addition, he has helped his clients restructure their organizations to achieve maximum strategic effectiveness in generating momentum and results.

Before consulting, his track record of corporate leadership spanned the entertainment/consumer products industries including many of the major entertainment companies and studios, as well as successful new ventures in technology and financial services.

While head of Walt Disney Records, Mark capitalized upon his knowledge of the pop and family entertainment marketplace to grow the company’s revenue line from $30 million to $120 million over a five-year period.  He was also intimately involved in the rollout and expansion of The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Little Mermaid franchises during this time.

Prior to Disney, Mark Introduced high quality music programming for children to America with recording artists such as Raffi and grew the A&M Records children’s entertainment business from start-up to $14 million within five years.  More recently, he held senior level positions at Warner Bros, DreamWorks and EMI. He also founded and grew Ecadia, a company that successfully developed and sold enterprise software focused upon buying decision systems technology for internet-based B2C and B2B commerce.  Subsequently, he spearheaded the growth of Audit Integrity, a financial services software company that assesses the accuracy of corporate financial disclosures for accounting firms, governmental regulatory agencies, D&O insurance companies, and the investment community. Mark received his Bachelors of Arts Degree in Communications from UCLA and his Masters of Business Administration in Marketing/Finance from the University of Southern California.