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Practice Optimization
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Meet The Team

Michael Silver, Founder and Senior Managing Partner


Michael is a speaker, coach and consultant who has worked with financial services firms and financial professionals (individually or in teams) for the past 19 years. After transitioning from being a financial advisor for over 13 years, Michael has now coached some of the most successful advisory practices in the industry. He has also presented at workshops and conferences to thousands of advisors around the country.

The Focus Partners approach to Practice Optimization enables him to leverage his extensive experience in the financial services sector. He focuses his coaching and consulting engagements on many areas, including: business development, marketing, practice management, team development and client service. Michael was a financial advisor with Prudential Securities, Wachovia Securities and Ryan Beck, where he learned first-hand the power of creative networking, referral programs and relationship management. Michael received a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Ithaca College and has his Certification in Organizational and Executive Coaching from New York University. He is a member of NFTE, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, in New York City.

Eric Sheikowitz, Founder and Senior Managing Partner


Eric is a dynamic, in-demand speaker, coach and consultant with over 20 years experience in sales and marketing. For over 6 years he has been coaching and consulting with some of the top Financial Advisors and teams in the country. He began his career in banking at Republic National Bank, servicing high net worth individuals and commodities clients. Most recently, he was a manager for a Big Four professional services firm where he was responsible for leading a team in the development and execution of marketing and communication programs for technology initiatives. Eric holds a Bachelors degree from the University of Rhode Island, a Masters Degree from Long Island University and has received coach training from one of the leaders of the modern coaching movement. Eric is a regular contributor to Registered Rep, Financial Planning, On Wall Street and other industry publications and he can be regularly seen on Advisor TV.

David Leo, Strategic Partner/Senior Coach


David is a coach and consultant to financial advisors, planners and managers. He has decades of financial services industry experiences including over 7 years in PaineWebber’s Private Client Group where he focused his expertise on productivity solutions for financial advisors. He retired from IBM after a successful 30-year career that included positions in sales, marketing, management, and business process reengineering consulting serving the Financial Services Industry. He has been coaching Financial Advisors for 12 years.

David is a proven team leader with highly developed analytical, organizational, communications and strategy skills. As a business coach, strategist and planner he has extensive experience in financial services marketplace. Among his experiences, he is a creative business and process analyst and reengineering consultant bringing common sense, organizational skills, logical decision-making, and methodology experience for problem solving. As a productivity specialist he brings extensive knowledge of business and sales processes and the application of productivity enhancement processes and technologies to his clients.

In addition to coaching David facilitates meetings, trains advisors and managers, performs strategy and planning exercises, Financial Advisory Process Improvement, marketing and sales effectiveness, client loyalty, and improved time management consulting.

Mr. Leo holds an MBA in Management from New York University and a BS in Commerce and Engineering from Drexel University.

Joel Soren, Strategic Partner/Senior Coach


For over 15 years, Joel has been coaching sales and financial service professionals in developing competencies to drive business growth and revenues. His background includes sales and branch management, product development and human resources. As Director of Training of Development and Divisional Human Resources Director, Mr. Soren built and developed a highly productive sales force which was recognized as one of the premier retail teams on Wall Street. During his tenure with Herbert J. Sims & Company, a boutique investment firm, he grew the retail sales force over 100% in two years, increasing revenue 60% in one year. Joel has served as in-house consultant to numerous investment banks, conceiving and implementing growth strategies to drive revenue. He has also spearheaded the startup of numerous brokerage subsidiaries and branch offices and developed a reputation as a successful Wall Street turnaround specialist.

He received his M.B. A. in Finance and B.A. in Psychology from Long Island University. He subsequently joined the US Army and was honorably discharged as a 1st Lieutenant. Mr. Soren is currently a FINRA arbitrator and Chairperson, and was a former President of the Wall Street Training Directors Association.

Josh Feinberg, Strategic Partner/Senior Coach


Josh's past 15 years of experience has allowed him the opportunity to work with over 2500 Financial Advisors across the United States. Josh's clients include industry giants such UBS, Oppenheimer, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, RBC Wealth Management, Wells Fargo Advisors, Merrill Lynch, and Raymond James, and his financial advisors' production range from $250,000 to $15,000,000 per year.

He excels at assisting Financial Advisors and Branch Managers to realistically identify and determine a course to reach their goals. Josh is committed to over-servicing his clients to achieve maximum results and goal attainment for each participant therefore maintaining an outstanding rate in client longevity. He uses a hands on approach that includes role playing and teaching his clients how to be prepared for client and prospect communication.

Josh graduated from Florida State University with a B.S. in Communications and has worked in the sales/consulting/training field for more than 15 years.

Joy Tornillo, Strategic Partner/Senior Coach


Joy Tornillo has been working as a coach in the financial services industry for over 15 years. She has worked with hundreds of financial advisors and teams, at major firms, regional firms and independent advisors, ranging from trainees up to $15 million in production. She specializes in business development and marketing and particularly enjoys the complexities and personal dynamics of working with and structuring teams. Joy’s background as an attorney lends itself to identifying and developing specific action steps and procedures to help keep her clients focused and accountable.

Over the years Joy has also worked at the Branch level on strategic planning including recruiting. A business owner herself, Joy has been affiliated with Focus Partners since 2006 and consults with select clients on a contract basis.

 

Originally from Minnesota, Joy and her husband live in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. Joy has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology / Family Studies from St. Olaf College and a Juris Doctorate from Drake University Law School in Des Moines, Iowa.

Jay Feldman, Strategic Partner/Senior Coach


Jay Feldman has worked in the financial services field for over 30 years, training, coaching and consulting with the industries firms and advisors. Jay has built branch offices from inception and used his business development skills to enhance advisors skill sets in areas such as client acquisition, marketing and other branding initiatives.

Jay’s experience in branch management has recently been incorporated into creating and developing coaching programs for firms and advisors. Using his process of “clarity, focus and structure” he has helped to provide a clear path and accountability for advisors and teams to break through their plateaus.

Mr. Feldman holds an MBA in marketing from Baruch College and a BA from Hunter College in liberal arts. He has taught marketing and developed training programs for Florida International University and Miami-Dade College. He resides in South Florida with his wife, Darlene.

Bill Maynard, Strategic Partner/Senior Coach


Bill has trained and coached Financial Advisors since 1986. He has personally coached some of the largest producers in the industry and is a regularly featured speaker at industry events. His background includes retail and institutional sales, fixed income, commodity and equity trading, investment banking and branch management. He has held series 7, 3, 4, 24, 30, 53, and 55 Securities Licenses, as well as Insurance.

Bill is also the founder and Executive Director of The International Cultural Exchange, a non-profit organization that provides instruction in various percussion, dance and martial arts from around the world to “at risk” youths.

Vivian Mastrangelo, Strategic Partner/Senior Coach


Vivian specializes in coaching managers, top advisors and teams to achieve peak performance in their business. She has worked with over 1000 advisors since 2007 to realize outstanding business results. She acts as a sounding board and is a point of clear accountability to create a path to change. She has been coaching in the Financial Services industry at various firms including Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo and UBS.

Prior to coaching, she had a successful career as a Senior Vice President and Division Manager in Financial Services .She has expertise in leadership development, team dynamics, business development, marketing and time management.

Vivian has a BS in Clinical Psychology from Fordham University and an Executive MBA from Claremont Drucker School of Management. She is a Board Certified Coach, a Professional Certified Coach and a member of the International Coaching Federation.

Larry Hayes, Strategic Partner/Senior Coach


Larry Hayes, CPC, ACC is an experienced coach and trainer with more than 27 years experience helping people develop themselves to achieve their own and their employers’ goals.

In the coaching world, Larry was awarded the credential Certified Professional Coach (CPC) from the International Coach Academy and Associate Certified Coach (ACC) from the International Coaching Federation. He studied extensively with Harvard University professors Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey and is certified in their “Immunity To Change” coaching model, He also holds certifications with the Darden School of Business ”360-Degree Feedback coaching”, and with “ Raising the Bar” in London, England. Each experience focused on separate and complementary aspects of coaching that serve to provide an outstanding client experience.

Larry has coached leaders, executives and top performing Financial Advisors in the US and in Europe. As Master Coach and Coaching Team Head at UBS USA, he was responsible for the talent development of others in their coaching organization. During a multi-year assignment at UBS home office in Zürich, Switzerland he was co-facilitator of Senior Leadership Development Programs in their Wealth Management and Business Banking Division. Previously, he was First Vice President and Group Manager of Advanced Financial Advisor Development, Team Development and Practice Management at UBS Financial Services, Inc.

Larry is certified in Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Kolbe Index, which he uses as assessment.

Suzanne Levy, Strategic Partner/Senior Coach


Suzanne works multi-million dollar producers as well as with senior leaders of Fortune 500 companies.

She partners with financial advisors, their teams and senior executives to help catalyze positive change. Her guidance is directed toward gaining new perspectives and taking bold actions to achieve outstanding—and measurable—results. Suzanne’s straightforward, insightful approach shepherds clients in identifying behaviors that promote productivity, enhance client relationships, sharpen operations and management skills, empower teams, facilitate strategic thinking and generate action plans for goals achievement.

Suzanne’s clients include Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Deutsche Bank, Accenture, Barclays, RBC Wealth Management, Travelers/Metlife, Red Bull, T-Mobile, Starbucks, Kraft, Diageo, and Mars.

Before her coaching career, Suzanne launched and managed a division of The Walt Disney Co. overseeing all publishing, marketing, consumer goods, online, new business development and promotion for many television properties. Prior to Disney, she worked in production management at HBO and in advertising at Ammirati and Puris in New York City.

Suzanne’s other experience includes serving for two years on the planning committee of the Executive Coaching Summit, a global network of senior development experts researching and integrating best practices. She worked as the career coach for Vault.com, a financial and legal industry leader in career support; has presented to the group “100 Women in Hedge Funds”; and has recently been featured as the catalyst for the book “Becoming Ginger Rogers: How Ballroom Dancing Made Me a Happier Woman, Better Partner, and Smarter CEO” by Patrice Tanaka who worked with Suzanne just after 9/11.

Suzanne earned a BA degree from Washington University in St. Louis and has completed numerous coach trainings. She has lived and studied in Paris and has practiced martial arts for six years. She recently relocated to Boulder, CO with her husband and two young children. She can be found on the running paths, the ski slopes, the dance studio or the rock climbing gym with her eight year old daughter.

Matt Vukovich, Strategic Partner/Senior Coach


An experienced consultant in the financial services industry since 2004, Matt works with a wide range of financial advisors across the country to develop and implement strategic plans for new business development, sales process, proactive service model and team building to ensure consistent growth within their practice. Matt has worked with advisors and teams from $100k to $12mm in production all over the United States. He works closely with Focus Partners as a Strategic Partner.

While attending Auburn University, Matt earned his degree in Finance. When out of the office, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Lindsey, his son, Bryce, and his twin girls, Anna Grace and Ellie. He also enjoys playing golf and guitar.

Leslie Jones, Strategic Partner/Senior Coach


Leslie has worked with financial firms and financial advisors in a coaching and training capacity since 1997. Her work has included partnering with senior leaders to create customized training programs, leading and facilitating workshops, and coaching both teams and individuals.

She specializes in training financial advisers, executives and entrepreneurs in leadership, client relations and business development. Clients of Leslie’s have included Smith Barney, UBS, Wells Fargo, Wachovia, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Vistage, Money Concepts, AXA Advisors, Guild Mortgage Company,National City Mortgage, as well as small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Leslie was spotlighted in Women’s Magazine as one of the top 10 Boulder County women to watch in 2010, www.womensmag.com/featured/10-in-10. Leslie holds a B.A. Degree in Psychology from Michigan State University.

Jerome Blum, Strategic Partner/Senior Coach


Jerry has worked in the Financial Services Industry since 1981, starting at First Investors Corporation, moving onto Bache (Prudential Securities), Merrill Lynch and UBS.

He began his career as a Financial Advisor, later becoming a Management Training Associate, Sales Manager and finally Branch Manager having been in a supervisory role since 1994.

Jerry’s area of specialty is coaching, training and developing Financial Advisors and helping them to grow their practices.

Jerry attended Queens College majoring in education and lives in Manhattan where he is active with the American Cancer Society.

Martin Kettlehut, PhD, Strategic Partner/Senior Coach


Dr. Kettelhut has been coaching since 1997. In 1998 he co-founded The Center for Excellence, a communications consulting firm specializing in training and developing financial advisors from UBS, Merrill Lynch, Smith Barney, Morgan Stanley, LPL and Wells Fargo in leadership, business development and teambuilding.

Dr. Kettelhut’s book LISTEN: The quality of your listening changes the world, comes out the summer of 2012.

Randy Kent, Strategic Partner/Senior Coach


Randy Kent has had the opportunity to work directly with some of the most respected Financial Advisors in the country over the past 10 years. From five million dollar producing teams to trainees, he has proven ability and a vast understanding of coaching financial advisors to help them achieve their optimal practice.

Utilizing his natural abilities to consult, coach, motivate and uncover dormant talent, Randy enjoys developing personal relationships with his clients, many of whom are among the premier FAs at Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, UBS, and Wells Fargo Advisors.

A graduate of the University of Georgia in Athens, GA, Randy earned a BBA in Marketing from the Terry College of Business. He is also a graduate of one the nation’s leading advertising schools, The Creative Circus. His work has been published in Atlanta Magazine. He is an active member with UGA’s Terry College of Business' Alumni Association and attends Terry’s Third Thursday and has been requested to be a guest speaker. In his free time he is an avid hiker. He has hiked most of the Georgia section of the Appalachian Trail and is very active in the trail community. One day, Randy hopes to complete the entire 2,200 mile trail from Georgia to Maine.

John R. Graff, Strategic Partner/Senior Coach


John has worked in the financial services industry since 1997. An accomplished financial advisor for 13 years, John has transitioned his expertise to help financial professionals develop, implement, and execute actions plans to improve their practice. He focuses his coaching and consulting engagements in areas, such as: business development, marketing, practice management, team development and client service. Whether it’s structuring goals for trainees, increasing annual revenue, or team building, John helps advisors at all levels of production from trainee’s to million dollar producers and teams. As an advisor, John built an advisory practice that produced $1.7 million in annual production and managed 180 million in assets under management. As the senior member of his team, John understands the importance of practice management and how to implement action plans to help advisors reach their goals.

 


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