Meet The Team

Fred Taylor President and Co-Founder

Fred’s responsibilities include working with Northstar clients to build portfolios that meet their investment and income objectives and serving on the firm’s investment committee. He also leads Northstar’s business development efforts.

Fred began his investment career in 1984 on the municipal bond trading desk of Mabon Nugent in New York City. Over the next decade, he worked at various financial institutions analyzing, trading, and selling equities and fixed income investments to institutional and retail clients. This experience provided him with invaluable market
knowledge and a keen ability to evaluate both equities and bonds.

Fred took a risk and left the security of working in the brokerage industry in 1995 to co-found Northstar. At the time, the RIA business was in its infancy. Most people had their money managed by stock brokers, invested directly in mutual funds or had bank trust departments advise them. His motivation was pretty simple: He had grown tired of selling products on a commission basis. Instead, he wanted to offer a service that was customized to meet an individual’s specific needs, free of any conflict of interest. It was an alternative to the typical way investors received financial advice and it resonated with many individuals, who he continues to serve today

Fred has also used his 36 years of investment experience to help some of Denver’s largest nonprofits improve their financial futures. He serves as chairman of the Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation board and vice chair of CollegeInvest, Colorado’s 529 college savings plan.

Fred is past board member and chairman of the investment committees of The Children’s Hospital Colorado, The Denver Foundation, the Colorado Zoological Trust, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado and Kent Denver School.

In recognition of his work with Denver’s non-profits, Fred was named a recipient of The Denver Foundation’s 2017 Philanthropic Leadership Award and was in the first class of the Denver Business Journal’s 40 under 40 Awards in 1997. Recently, he was named a national finalist for Investment News’ Invest In Others Lifetime Achievement award for his service to Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation.

From 2008 to 2010, Fred served as an economic advisor to Colorado Governor Bill Ritter. He is also a member of the Colorado Forum, a collection of business leaders focused on critical policy issues facing the state. Fred is a Colorado native and graduated cum laude from Middlebury College with honors in American History. He lives in Denver with his wife Claudia, and stepdaughter Isabella. He has two grown children: Caroline and Moses; and a granddaughter, Ray Marie.

Bob Van Wetter Bob Van Wetter Co-Founder, COO and CCO

A graduate of Dartmouth College, Bob is a co-founder of Northstar, in charge of day-to-day operations and compliance at the firm. Bob is energized by the challenge of helping clients make sense of a changing world and developing strategies to build and preserve wealth.

Bob’s first investment industry exposure was as a runner on the floor of the Pacific Stock Exchange starting in 1983. Having witnessed many ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ market events firsthand over the years, Bob appreciates the importance of consistency in portfolio management. For longevity and success, especially in challenging markets, process trumps fear and luck, every time.

When Bob co-founded Northstar in 1995 there weren’t many options open to individuals and families looking for help in managing their portfolios. Bank trust departments and home-grown Denver mutual funds like Janus and Founders were selling investors on one size fits all solutions that were profitable to manage but offered little to clients in terms of transparency, tax efficiency or price. Northstar’s founders realized early on that for most people it is a daunting task to successfully navigate a financial life from accumulation through retirement. You only get one chance to do it right and the stakes are pretty high. Bob loves having the opportunity to help guide people along this important journey.

Bob has served on a number of nonprofit boards, including the Colorado Ski Museum, the Children’s Museum of Denver, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado and the finance committee of the Colorado Health Foundation. He currently serves on the boards of Denver B-Cycle and the Lutheran Medical Center Foundation.

A Colorado resident since 1989 and a native of Lake Tahoe California, Bob and his family have a special affinity for outdoor activities and the beauty of mountains. Bob is married to Dr. Betsy Brew, a general surgeon and partner at Surgical Specialists of Colorado. They have three grown children.

Charlie Farrell, J.D., LL. M. Charlie Farrell, J.D., LL. M. CEO

As Chief Executive Officer of Northstar Investment Advisors, LLC, Charlie guides the firm’s investment philosophy and business strategies.

In his work with clients, Charlie focuses on managing wealth for individuals and families. Charlie works with clients on the full continuum of personal and family wealth management, from the accumulation to the retirement income and legacy phases of clients’ financial lives. His services include: Portfolio investment management, retirement income management, portfolio tax management, and estate and legacy planning.

Charlie started his career working as a tax attorney helping business owners establish and fund corporate retirement plans. While working with owners who eventually retired, Charlie often received questions from clients about how to live off their money during retirement.

What he recognized was that most money management strategies were focused on accumulating assets, but there wasn’t much about strategies for living off your money. Advice like “just wait out bad markets” wouldn’t work well for retired investors who needed money every month. Conversely, some strategies for retired investors were too conservative, and did not adequately take into account the real risks of longevity and inflation, both of which require investors to invest for growth even when retired.
While working with clients on these retirement challenges, Charlie became more interested in how to manage portfolios for retirement income. He eventually switched his focus from tax and legal work to investment management. His tax and legal background have helped him both construct tax efficient and multi-disciplinary investment strategies for accumulating and living off your wealth.

He is the author of the book Your Money Ratios: 8 Simple Tools for Financial Security, cited as, “one of the best financial books to cross our desks this year” by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ, 12/19/09). Charlie writes the monthly column, the “Road to Retirement” for The Denver Post and also authored the “Retirement Roadmap” column for CBS MoneyWatch.com.

His research on personal and business finance has been cited in such industry publications as, The Wall Street Journal, Smart Money, Money Magazine, Consumer Reports Money Advisor, the Denver Business Journal and the Chicago Tribune.

Charlie has a bachelor’s degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, and received his law degree from The American University Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C., where he graduated summa cum laude and was an editor of the American University Law Review. He also holds a master of laws (LLM) in taxation from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

Charlie and his wife live in Golden, Colorado and enjoy fly fishing and their horses. Charlie also spent a few years performing amateur stand-up comedy.

Dan McGilvray, CFA Dan McGilvray, CFA Director of Portfolio Management

Dan guides each step of the portfolio management for Northstar – from asset allocation model development and portfolio tracking to account rebalancing and security trading. He also directly manages client portfolios and is a member of the firm’s Investment Committee.

Before joining Northstar; Dan served as the Director of Investment Management for Highland Private Wealth Management in Bellevue, WA, where he focused on asset allocation, fund manager due diligence, individual stock and bond research, and overall portfolio management. He previously worked as an Equity Analyst at Kirr, Marbach, and Co., LLC, in Columbus, IN and as a Financial Manager and Team Lead for the Air Force Space and Missile Center; where his work earned him the Financial Management Civilian of the Year Award and an Air Force Commendation Award.

Raised in Fort Collins, Dan attended the University of Colorado at Boulder; graduating with a degree in Business Administration and a minor in Economics. While earning his degree, he worked as an intern at the Center for Responsible Investing. He later received an MBA in Finance from Indiana University along with minors in Strategic Accounting Analysis and Economic Consulting. While attending IU he was a faculty-selected member of the Investment Management Academy and a graduate assistant in International Finance.

Dan has earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and is a graduate of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce Impact Denver Program, which provides up-and-coming professionals with the knowledge, network and skills needed to enhance their impact in the community. He also recently graduated from Schwab’s Executive Leadership Program, a program focused on developing leaders in the Registered Investment Advisory business.

Dan serves on the finance committee for Cross Purpose, a Denver-based non-profit that provides job training and personal development programs. He is also a volunteer in his children’s schools. In his spare time, Dan enjoys spending time with his wife, Heather, and four sons; playing tennis, golf, and other outdoor activities, and traveling.

Jackie Mendoza Jackie Mendoza Senior Client Service Manager

Jackie brings more than a decade of client service experience to her role. The most senior member of Northstar’s Client Service Team, she oversees all aspects of new account administration, including processing client requests and communicating with accountants and attorneys. She also handles estate and trust issues.

Before joining Northstar in 2012, Jackie worked in the banking industry, serving in client-facing roles at Steele Street Bank & Trust in Denver and Valley Bank & Trust in Brighton.

Jackie is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in finance at Metropolitan State University and is a fluent Spanish speaker.

A Colorado native, Jackie enjoys hiking, running and spending time outdoors. Her favorite pastime is cheering on her active son Eric in a variety of sports.

John Riecke John Riecke Operations Administrator

John joined Northstar as Operations Administrator in 2016, with more than a decade of experience in the financial services industry.

At Northstar, he has a range of operational responsibilities, including executing trades, rebalancing client portfolios and maintaining asset allocations for the Northstar Income Indices. He also provides client service support.

Before joining Northstar, John worked for four years for the wealth management firm Envestnet, where he provided relationship management and technical support to more than 350 manager partners. He also held analyst positions at WealthTouch Inc, supervising a team dedicated to reconciling financial portfolios and performed customer service for Aurora Loan Services.

He successfully passed the Series 65 Uniform Investment Adviser Examination, which qualifies him to serve as an investment adviser representative.

John holds a degree in Political Science from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

A resident of Capitol Hill, John is a volunteer for the local neighborhood organizations, Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation & Capitol Hill United Neighborhood and enjoys studying economic systems and engaging in city planning. He has been married to his wife Susan for nine years. They have one child, a black Labrador Retriever named Remy.

Cheryl McDonald Cheryl McDonald Business Manager & Compliance Administrator

Cheryl McDonald is the Business Manager at Northstar Investment Advisors and manages all aspects of vendor relations. She also directs the visitor/client experience, assists with compliance administration, marketing and performs event planning. Her responsibilities also include oversight for human resources related work and systems management.

Cheryl brings to Northstar stellar management and customer service skills built through many years of nonprofit work. Prior to joining Northstar, Cheryl spent 12 years serving in the programs department at Rose Community Foundation. During her tenure, she worked as both a program assistant and grants manager, overseeing the organization’s grantmaking process.

Cheryl was also a program coordinator for the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver, where she managed both youth and adult programs and served as an outreach and education coordinator for the Aurora Healthy Start Initiative, a program of Metropolitan Community Provider Network.

She is a past national member of the Association of Black Foundation Executives and regional member of the Rocky Mountain Region - Grants Managers Network. Cheryl studied Elementary Education/Education Studies at Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska, where she was a member of the women’s basketball team.

Outside of work, Cheryl enjoys spending time with her family. She and husband Wayne are the parents of five adult children and have two grandchildren. They are avid sports fans and enjoy football and basketball games regularly.

Cheryl McDonald Lexi Schmidt Client Service Associate

As a client service associate for Northstar, Lexi serves as a key member of the Client Service Team, helping to meet service requests and ensuring outstanding account support. Lexi’s duties include opening new accounts, money transfers, beneficiary changes and handling other administrative requests that may arise.

She comes to Northstar with experience in account management, client relations, business support, data analytics and project management. She previously served as a product and marketing manager for an online retailer of specialty products and an account manager for a hair care brand.

Lexi holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Florida State University. In her spare time, she enjoys skiing; hiking with her dog; traveling with family and creating art and culinary masterpieces.

Luis Perez Luis Perez Operations Compliance and Client Service Associate

Luis is an experienced operations professional who has applied his skills in a variety of environments. At Northstar, he focuses on helping the firm operate more efficiently, enhances compliance efforts and assists the Client Service Team with reporting and other service tasks.

Before joining Northstar, Luis spent three years working as an operations analyst at The Milestone Group, where he maintained the firm’s portfolio accounting system. He has also worked in sales for a wholesale sign supplier and also helped manage the education department at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment in Orlando, Fla.

Luis graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He currently is the chair of the Denver alumni chapter for UCF. An avid outdoorsman, Luis enjoys spending his time away from work backpacking, camping and snowboarding.

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