HighTower Texas Teams


HighTower Texas's teams have robust experiences and broad skill sets that allow us to adapt to evolving opportunities and market cycles. Individually, our investment professionals bring varied academic and career experience, with degrees ranging from business and finance to liberal arts, and roles that span the financial, real estate and education sectors. Their tenure, experience and intellectual curiosity inform HighTower Texas's distinct perspective, and drive our portfolio construction and risk management processes.

Leadership Team and Relationship Managers

Founded in 2002, our teams have decades of experience and combine a distinct, sophisticated perspective with a high-touch approach to client service.

Team Trailblazers

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Stephen D. Strake

Stephen D. Strake

Managing Director and CEO of HighTower Turst Services, LTA, HighTower Texas

Stephen D. Strake is a Managing Director and CEO of HighTower Trust Services, LTA at HighTower Texas. He has more than three decades of experience in trust, banking and financial services. His focus is in marketing and relationship management for high-net-worth individuals and families, and their related businesses. Stephen co-founded Pinnacle Management & Trust, Co. in 1994, which was subsequently acquired in 2004 by Salient. In 2018, Salient was acquired by HighTower and became HighTower Texas.

During his career, Stephen has worked in corporate finance, oil and gas exploration and production lending, cash management, and trust and investment activities.

A fourth-generation Houstonian, Stephen serves on the boards of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston, the CHRISTUS Foundation for Healthcare, the Sam Houston Area Council Boy Scouts of America, the Memorial Hermann Audit and Quality Control Boards, the Texas Treasury Safekeeping Trust Company, the Strake Foundation, and formerly the West Houston Young Life and the Yellowstone Academy.

Stephen earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame, and is a graduate of the Texas School of Trust Banking at Southern Methodist University. Stephen holds the Series 6, 63, 65 and 82 licenses. He resides in Houston with his wife, Carla, and four children, Stephen, Vince, Brooke and Brad.

Matthew P. Summers

Matthew P. Summers

Director

Matthew P. Summers is a Director at HighTower Texas, where he directs the development, creation, and execution of custom wealth plans for high and ultra-high-net-worth individuals, families, foundations and endowments.  

In 2011, Matthew joined Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018. Previously, he worked for RDG Capital, LLC, a Houston-based registered investment advisor. Prior to that, he worked in investment banking at both Houlihan Lokey and Growth Capital Partners.

Matthew earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration undergraduate degree from the University of Richmond and a Master of Science in Accounting graduate degree from Southern Methodist University. Matthew holds the 7, 63, and 65 licenses, and is licensed by the Texas Department of Insurance as a Life Insurance Agent.

Matthew currently serves as a member of the St. John's School Quadrangle Committee. He previously served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Houston Center for Literacy. He resides in Houston with his wife, Alicia, and his sons, Grant, Brett, and Reid.

Matthew H. H. Moncrief

Matthew H. H. Moncrief

Director

Matthew Moncrief is a Director and Advisor at HighTower Texas. He and his team direct the development, creation, and execution of custom wealth plans for high-and ultra-high-net-worth individuals, families and institutions, utilizing HighTower’s investment platform.

In 2012, Matthew joined Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018. Previously, he served as a Vice President at Amegy Bank of Texas in their private banking wealth management group. Prior to that, he served as an Investment Analyst and Trader for Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co.

 Matthew earned a degree from University of Texas at Austin. He holds the Series 7 and 66 licenses. Matthew serves on the Board of Directors for St. Martins Episcopal Preschool and is the current Chair of the HighTower Texas Investment Committee. He resides in Houston with his wife, Lauren, sons, Henry and Lucas, and daughter, Clara.

Pamela S. Caloway

Pamela S. Caloway

Client Services Manager

Pamela S. Caloway is a Client Services Manager at HighTower Texas, assisting with client relationships and providing direct project support to various managing directors. She has more than 25 years of experience in the banking and financial services industry.

Pamela is a founding member of Pinnacle Management & Trust, Co., established in 1994. Pinnacle was subsequently acquired in 2014 by Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018.

During her time at Pinnacle, Pamela served as Secretary to the Board and Corporate Secretary. Prior to returning to Salient in 2009, Pamela served as Assistant Corporate Secretary for Sanders Morris Harris LLC, acting as a liaison between the company’s shareholders and its transfer agent. Pamela holds the Series 7 and 63 licenses.

Pamela is active in several charities and civic organizations within the community. She is a life member and lifetime committeeman for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™. She previously served on the Board of the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals (Houston Chapter).

Kimberly Walling

Kimberly Walling

Director, Client Services

Kimberly Walling is a Director of Client Services at HighTower Texas, responsible for the administration of key client relationships.

Kimberly joined Pinnacle Management & Trust, Co. in 1998, which was acquired by Salient in 2004. In 2018, Salient was acquired by HighTower and became HighTower Texas.

Kimberly has worked in various positions, including Receptionist, Assistant in the human resources, IT and accounting departments, and an Assistant to four investment advisors. Later, she became the Trust Assistant and then a Trust Officer.

Kimberly graduated from the Cannon Trust School in August 2008. She enjoys volunteering for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™.

Alexandra Kantalis

Alexandra Kantalis

Associate

Alexandra Kantalis is an Associate at HighTower Texas. She is responsible for managing the investment portfolios of high-net-worth individuals and institutions. In 2011, she joined Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018.

Alexandra is a member of the Junior League of Houston and volunteers for Kids’ Meals of Houston.

Alexandra earned a Bachelor of Science degree in International Business from the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. Alexandra holds the Series 65 license.

Shelby Soule

Shelby Soule

Portfolio Analyst

Shelby Soule is a Portfolio Analyst at HighTower Texas. In 2016, she joined Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018.

Shelby earned an undergraduate degree from Montana State University, and holds the Series 7 license.

Team Legacy

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Fred L. Williams, Jr.

Fred L. Williams, Jr.

Managing Director & President of HighTower Trust Services, LTA, HighTower Texas

Fred L. Williams, Jr. is a Managing Director at HighTower Texas and the President of HighTower Trust Services, LTA, HighTower Texas. He focuses on wealth management and trust services for high-net-worth individuals and their related businesses, as well as foundations. In 2009, Fred joined Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018.

During his nearly 40-year career, Fred has worked in both public and corporate accounting, commercial and private banking, and trust and investment services.

Fred has been a member of Second Baptist Church for nearly 40 years, where he has served in many capacities, including as a Deacon and past Chairman of the Deacons. In addition, he serves on the Board of Trustees of Star of Hope, a Christ-centered community dedicated to meeting the needs of homeless men, women and their children; Co-Chairman of Rebuilding Together—Houston, a non-profit home repair organization that restores hope and revitalizes neighborhoods by repairing homes at no cost for elderly, low-income Houston homeowners; and the board of Unlimited Potential, Inc., a Christ-centered ministry to Major League Baseball players. He is also a graduate of Center For Houston’s Future.

Previously, Fred served on the Boards of Aspiring Youth of Houston and the Houston Texas Exes.

Fred earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He holds the Series 63, 65 and 82 licenses.

Cole Dawson

Cole Dawson

Managing Director

J. Cole Dawson is a Managing Director at HighTower Texas.

Previously, Cole served as a Founder and President of RDG Capital, LLC, a Houston-based asset management firm specializing in MLP investments. In 2011, RDG was acquired by Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018. Earlier in his career, he served as a Senior Vice President of Merrill Lynch, a Vice President with Goldman Sachs and a Financial Analyst with Salomon Brothers Inc. in the mid-1980s.

Cole is a member of the Gulf States Chapter of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and is very active in his community through involvement in various charitable organizations.

Cole graduated from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business with a Master of Business Administration degree. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, cum laude, from Washington & Lee University, where he was President of the student body and Chairman of the honor system. He is a third-generation Houstonian and graduated from St. John’s High School.

Craig C. Dawson

Craig C. Dawson

Director

Craig C. Dawson is a Director at HighTower Texas.

Craig has worked in the investment management business since 2008. In 2011, he joined Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018. His experience has focused on marketing and relationship management for high-net-worth individuals and their related businesses. With deep experience in the non-profit sector, Craig regularly works with foundations and endowments. He is responsible for analyzing and executing asset allocations for client portfolios, while developing and managing key client relationships. Previously, Craig worked in ministry, serving the youth of Houston’s Third Ward.

Craig graduated cum laude from the University of Texas Plan II Honors Program in 1994. He holds the Series 7 and 66 licenses.

Craig is a third-generation Houstonian and has four children.

Jennifer Halper

Jennifer Halper

Client Services Manager

Jennifer Halper is a Client Services Manager at HighTower Texas. She is the liaison between clients and the team, and an initial point of contact for client inquiries. In 2014, Jennifer joined Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018.

Jennifer is a native Houstonian with more than two decades of experience in the financial industry. She has provided support in several areas, including banking, lending, trust and wealth management.

Brian Joiner

Brian Joiner

Associate

Brian Joiner is an Associate at HighTower Texas. His mission is to help entrepreneurs, business owners and individuals find financial independence through investing, budgeting and managing what they have worked hard to earn.

In 2011, Brian joined Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018. He has worked in various roles focused on client service, portfolio analysis and performance reporting. Previously, he was in ministry, serving as an associate pastor at a start-up church in Sugar Land, Texas.

Brian is active in his church community, and currently taking on leadership roles within the congregation. He values integrity, transparency, efficiency and spending time with his family.

Brian earned his degree from Texas A&M University and holds the Series 7 and 66 licenses.

Team Reliant

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Mike Conway

Mike Conway

Managing Director

Mike Conway is a Managing Director at HighTower Texas. With more than 30 years of experience in finance and corporate management, Mike directs the development and implementation of wealth management programs for clients.

In 2013, Mike joined Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018. Previously, Mike was a Senior Vice President and Financial Advisor with Kanaly Trust, where he implemented comprehensive portfolio reviews and incorporated strategies that addressed all facets of personal finance. Mike previously headed the business transition services division for BBVA Compass Bank, in which he specialized in the planning and implementation of succession plans and exit strategies for high-net-worth business owners. Prior to joining BBVA Compass Bank, Mike was the Vice President at a financial planning and asset management firm in Houston.

Mike is a graduate of Southern Methodist University, with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance and Real Estate. In addition, Mike earned a Financial Advisor’s Certification from the Center for Fiduciary Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. He is also a graduate of Texas Bankers Association Regional Trust School at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Mike is an active member of the Houston community, currently serving as a trustee of Bo’s Place and a trustee of Goodwill Industries of Houston. Mike holds the Series 7 and 66 licenses.

W. Scott Hill, CFA®, CFP®

W. Scott Hill, CFA®, CFP®

Director

Scott Hill serves as a Director at HighTower Texas. He has more than 20 years of experience in capital markets working with high-net-worth families and institutions to design investment programs constructed around a financial planning approach. Scott has a strong technical proficiency with an ability to clearly articulate sophisticated strategies and concepts to clients. Scott also values coordination with clients’ other professional advisors, key to constructing a family’s comprehensive financial program.

In 2014, Scott joined Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018. Previously, he was an Executive Director in the Private Bank at J.P. Morgan. He also served as a Senior Vice President at Kanaly Trust Company.

Scott holds a degree in Economics from Texas A&M University and an MBA from the University of Houston. Scott holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) and Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) practitioner designations. Scott holds the Series 7 and 63 licenses.

Scott is active in the community, and currently serves as an Officer or Director on the boards of the River Oaks Baptist School Endowment, Glasstire and Houston Arts Alliance.

James G. McGinness

James G. McGinness

Director

James G. McGinness is a Director at HighTower Texas. He is focused on developing and managing client relationships for high-net-worth individuals, endowments and foundations.

In 2011, James joined Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018. Previously, he served as an Investment Associate on Salient’s MLP team, where he focused on investor relations, trading and operations. He has also served as a Portfolio Analyst at RDG Capital, LLC and an investments intern at Telemus Capital Partners.

James is a native Houstonian and an active member of Houston’s First Baptist Church. He enjoys volunteering in the community and abroad with his church and various international mission organizations.

James earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Houston—Downtown, and completed the Texas Trust School at Southern Methodist University. James holds the Series 7, 63 and 65 licenses.

Wendy Wright

Wendy Wright

Client Services Manager

Wendy Wright is a Client Services Manager at HighTower Texas. She works to help ensure client satisfaction and provides administrative support to several relationship managers.

In 2014, Wendy joined Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018. She has more than 10 years of experience working in both custodian and investment functions in the industry.

Barrett Conway

Barrett Conway

Associate

Barrett Conway is an Associate at HighTower Texas. He is focused on developing and maintaining relationships with current and prospective clients. Barrett also provides support to business development teams by performing fund research, portfolio construction, trading and performance reporting.

In 2015, Barrett joined Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018. Previously, Barrett worked as an analyst intern at Houston Trust Company in Houston, Texas, and as an investment intern at Turner Investments in Berwyn, Pennsylvania.

Barrett is involved with various organizations in Houston, including YES Prep and Casa de Esperanza. He is also a member of the Young Professionals in Finance group.

Barrett graduated from Texas A&M with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance. He holds the Series 7 and 66 licenses.

Jerry Ann Cunningham

Jerry Ann Cunningham

Senior Client Services Manager

Jerry Ann Cunningham is a Senior Client Services Manager at HighTower Texas, where she provides relationship management services to private wealth clients and directly supports James McGinness.

For over 25 years, Jerry Ann has provided personal service for ultra-high-net-worth clients in various capacities during her career at Ameriprise Financial, Next Financial Group, Oppenheimer, Dean Witter Reynolds, Bank of New York, AT&T, Salient, and now HighTower Texas.

Jerry Ann is the Chairperson and Founding Officer for Sisters of Faith Covered by Grace Ministries, which provides leadership for the annual Woman’s Spiritual Retreats and organizes volunteer opportunities to sew heart shaped pillows for breast cancer and heart patients in conjunction with Methodist and Texas Children’s Hospitals. She regularly attends The Church of St. John the Divine Episcopal Church.

Jerry Ann earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Christian Leadership from the College of Biblical Studies in 2010. Jerry Ann holds the Series 7 and 66 licenses.

Brian Joiner

Brian Joiner

Associate

Brian Joiner is an Associate at HighTower Texas. His mission is to help entrepreneurs, business owners and individuals find financial independence through investing, budgeting and managing what they have worked hard to earn.

In 2011, Brian joined Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018. He has worked in various roles focused on client service, portfolio analysis and performance reporting. Previously, he was in ministry, serving as an associate pastor at a start-up church in Sugar Land, Texas.

Brian is active in his church community, and currently taking on leadership roles within the congregation. He values integrity, transparency, efficiency and spending time with his family.

Brian earned his degree from Texas A&M University and holds the Series 7 and 66 licenses.

Team Agape

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J. Matthew Newtown

J. Matthew Newtown

Managing Director

J. Matthew Newtown is a Managing Director at HighTower Texas and leads the family office group. With nearly two decades of experience in the wealth management, trust and advisory business, Matt focuses on relationship management for high- and ultra-high-net-worth families.

During his career, Matt has worked in the live music industry, education and financial services. In 2002, he joined Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018. Before joining Salient, Matt was a Director at The Redstone Companies, L.P., a Houston-based investment firm. Prior to that, he served as an Associate in the private wealth management group at PaineWebber, Inc.

Matt has served in different capacities for several organizations, including The Children’s Assessment Center, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Episcopal High School Alumni Council and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Matt earned an undergraduate degree from Texas Christian University and later attained the Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) designation through the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Matt holds the Series 7, 63 and 65 licenses.

Jimmy R. Moffett

Jimmy R. Moffett

Director

Jimmy R. Moffett is a Director at HighTower Texas, focused primarily on ultra-high-net-worth families.

 During his career, Jimmy has worked in sales, action sports and banking and in 2011, Jimmy joined Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018. Before joining the Family Office group as an analyst, he worked with Salient’s Chief Investment Officer on an outsourced CIO client. Since then, Jimmy has worked alongside Matt Newtown focused on portfolio management. 

Jimmy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Texas A&M University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University. Jimmy holds the Series 7 and 66 licenses. Jimmy is active in the community and currently serves as President-Elect of the Jones Graduate School of Business Alumni Association and is a guest lecturer at Rice University.

David Moriniere

David Moriniere

Director

David Moriniere is a Director at HighTower Texas and a member of the family office group. David focuses on relationship management for high- and ultra-high-net-worth families.

In 2017, David joined Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018. Prior to Salient, David worked at Alloy Merchant Finance, a cross-border finance company focused on small- and medium-sized companies in Mexico and the United States. Prior to the launch of Alloy, David held various client management positions at two banks in Houston, Texas; first at Amegy Bank, then BBVA Compass. Before joining Amegy, he worked in Lima, Peru for The Maple Gas Corporation.

David’s current and previous civic activities include roles with the Menil Collection, Citizen Schools Texas, Texas Exes Houston Chapter, and Episcopal High School of Houston.

David earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from the University of Texas at Austin.

Monica Ford

Monica Ford

Portfolio Analyst

Monica Ford is a Portfolio Analyst at HighTower Texas.

In 2017, Monica joined Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018. Previously, she was a Team Support Associate at Global Financial Services, where she provided analytical, pre- and post-trade support and account performance analysis to clients.

Monica is fluent in Spanish and studied in Barcelona, Spain at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra. She earned both a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies and a Master of Science degree in Business from Texas A&M University.

Jeiccy J. Hakim

Jeiccy J. Hakim

Associate

Jeiccy J. Hakim is an Associate at HighTower Texas. He concentrates on client relationship management, analysis and portfolio reporting for high-net-worth Latin American clients.

In 2015, Jeiccy joined Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018. Previously, he served as a Financial Advisor with AXA Equitable. His responsibilities included helping clients develop financial plans, executing proper portfolio asset allocations and other client-related activities.

Jeiccy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Science from Texas A&M University. He holds the Series 7 and 66 licenses, and is also registered with the Texas Department of Insurance as a General Lines Agent (Life, Accident, Health and HMO).

Kathy Amendt

Kathy Amendt

Executive Assistant to J. Matthew Newtown

Kathy Amendt is the Executive Assistant to J. Mathew Newtown at HighTower Texas. She provides administrative and personal support to Matt, and works with the family office team.

In 2006, Kathy joined Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018. She has more than 20 years of experience in banking and financial services.

Kathy is active with several charities within the community. She serves as charter and board member, as well as a life member and lifetime committeeman of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™.

Katie Clements

Katie Clements

Client Services Manager

Katie Clements is a Client Services Manager at HighTower Texas.

In 2011, Katie joined Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018. She is responsible for maintaining client relationships and supporting a portfolio of Matt Newtown’s high-net-worth clients.

Katie graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in English.

Nancy Joyner

Nancy Joyner

Director, Family Office

Nancy Joyner is a Director for the family office division at HighTower Texas. She has worked in this division for the last 20 years, assisting high-net-worth individuals and their families. 

 

Nancy assists clients with their corporate, partnership and personal accounting and financial needs, inclusive of financial reporting, bill pay processing, and tax planning and preparation.  Nancy’s experience includes working with clients’ active and passive investments, as well as clients’ household employees, inclusive of setting up new entities, development of processes, HR management, insurance and payroll. 

 

Nancy works closely with various clients’ tax, legal and banking teams to help ensure that clients’ needs are met. Additionally, she has provided lifestyle management, concierge, and travel and entertainment services.

 

Nancy has developed a personalized support system to help meet each client’s distinct needs and allows her to be the “go-to” person for clients’ personal and family needs. Nancy has also supported clients’ philanthropy endeavors, providing accounting and administration for families’ private foundations, managing donor directed funds, and researching charitable organizations. 

 

Prior to joining Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018, Nancy served as the Controller for an international manufacturing and export company, where she handled the accounting, tax, banking, insurance, and international financing and documentation aspects of the company. While there, she dealt with transactions in the Middle East, Taiwan, United Kingdom and U.S.

 

Nancy graduated with honors from Texas A&M University with both a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance.

Cole Dawson Team

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Cole Dawson

Cole Dawson

Managing Director

J. Cole Dawson is a Managing Director at HighTower Texas.

Previously, Cole served as a Founder and President of RDG Capital, LLC, a Houston-based asset management firm specializing in MLP investments. In 2011, RDG was acquired by Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018. Earlier in his career, he served as a Senior Vice President of Merrill Lynch, a Vice President with Goldman Sachs and a Financial Analyst with Salomon Brothers Inc. in the mid-1980s.

Cole is a member of the Gulf States Chapter of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and is very active in his community through involvement in various charitable organizations.

Cole graduated from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business with a Master of Business Administration degree. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, cum laude, from Washington & Lee University, where he was President of the student body and Chairman of the honor system. He is a third-generation Houstonian and graduated from St. John’s High School.

Amy Lancaster

Amy Lancaster

Senior Client Services Manager

Amy Lancaster is a Senior Client Services Manager at HighTower Texas. In this role, she is the liaison between the client and the team, and an initial point of contact for client inquiries.

Amy is a native Houstonian. She has a decade of experience in the financial industry, and has worked in multiple areas, including banking, lending, trust and wealth management. In 2014, she joined Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018.

Amy holds the Series 7 and 66 licenses.

Operations & Portfolio Management

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Heinrich Grobler

Heinrich Grobler

Chief Operating Officer, HighTower Texas

Heinrich Grobler is Chief Operating Officer of the HighTower Texas. He has overseen the operations of this business since 2013.

In 2009, Heinrich joined Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018. He served as the Vice President of Accounting and Fund Operations, and was responsible for accounting and financial reporting for the firm and its investment funds. Previously, Heinrich was an Audit Senior Manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he was part of the asset management group focused on registered investment companies, private equity funds and banking.

Heinrich is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and a member of the America Institute for Certified Public Accountants. He is also qualified as a Chartered Accountant in South Africa. He holds a Bachelor and honors degree in Accounting from the University of Pretoria. Heinrich holds the Series 7, 24, 63 and 65 licenses.

Anil Khawaja

Anil Khawaja

Vice President, Operations

Anil Khawaja is the Vice President of Operations at HighTower Texas.

In 2014, he joined Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018.

Anil earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Houston in Accounting and Finance.

James M. Maida

James M. Maida

Porfolio Manager

James M. Maida is a Portfolio Manager at HighTower Texas. He is responsible for managing the business’s taxable and non-taxable fixed income investment-grade bond strategies. James has nearly two decades of experience in portfolio analysis and relationship management for high-net-worth individuals and institutions. He joined Pinnacle Management & Trust, Co. in 2001, which was subsequently acquired in 2004 by Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018.

James earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of St. Thomas and an MBA in Finance from the Cameron School of Business at the University of St. Thomas. James holds the Series 65 license.

Sharde' Henly

Sharde' Henly

Senior Operations Analyst

Sharde’ Henley is a Senior Operations Analyst in the Private Client Operations department at HighTower Texas. Ms. Henley is responsible for the reconciliation of accounts and trades, fund valuation updates, and assisting in the management of day-to-day operational requests and duties. Ms. Henley has worked in the financial industry for more than 11 years.

Prior to joining Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018, Ms. Henley was employed by CAZ Investments, L.P., where she served as the Account Administrator. In her role, she worked very closely with the Chief Operating Officer to streamline processes and perform account reconciliation. Prior to CAZ Investments, Ms. Henley was a Senior Operations Analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Commodities, where she assisted in streamlining processes, reconciliation and settlements.

Ms. Henley is very active in the community, both as a mentor for local up-and-coming cake decorators and an assistant teacher at her church. Ms. Henley received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Abilene Christian University. 

Ali Irfan

Ali Irfan

Operations Analyst

Ali was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. He attended the University of Massachusetts Boston where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance with a minor in Economics.

Ali interned at State Street his senior year of college as a Pricing Specialist and became a full-time employee upon completion of his undergraduate education. After State Street, Ali served as an Operations Specialist at Acadian Asset Management, where he primarily worked with corporate actions. In March of 2016, Ali moved from Massachusetts to Houston, TX. There, he worked for Invesco as a Trade Operations Specialist. After spending a little over a year at Invesco, Ali made the move to Salient Partners as a Fund Accountant. Eventually, he became an Operations Analyst with Salient Private Client, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018.

Outside of work, Ali enjoys spending time with family and friends, as well as traveling. He is also a huge sports enthusiast and food connoisseur.

HighTower Trust Services

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Fred L. Williams, Jr.

Fred L. Williams, Jr.

Managing Director and President of HighTower Trust Services, LTA, HighTower Texas

Fred L. Williams, Jr. is a Managing Director at HighTower Texas and the President of HighTower Trust Services, LTA, HighTower Texas. He focuses on wealth management and trust services for high-net-worth individuals and their related businesses, as well as foundations. In 2009, Fred joined Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018.

During his nearly 40-year career, Fred has worked in both public and corporate accounting, commercial and private banking, and trust and investment services.

Fred has been a member of Second Baptist Church for nearly 40 years, where he has served in many capacities, including as a Deacon and past Chairman of the Deacons. In addition, he serves on the Board of Trustees of Star of Hope, a Christ-centered community dedicated to meeting the needs of homeless men, women and their children; Co-Chairman of Rebuilding Together—Houston, a non-profit home repair organization that restores hope and revitalizes neighborhoods by repairing homes at no cost for elderly, low-income Houston homeowners; and the board of Unlimited Potential, Inc., a Christ-centered ministry to Major League Baseball players. He is also a graduate of Center For Houston’s Future.

Previously, Fred served on the Boards of Aspiring Youth of Houston and the Houston Texas Exes.

Fred earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He holds the Series 63, 65 and 82 licenses.

Stephen D. Strake

Stephen D. Strake

Managing Director and CEO of HighTower Trust Services, LTA at HighTower Texas

Stephen D. Strake is a Managing Director and CEO of HighTower Trust Services, LTA at HighTower Texas. He has more than three decades of experience in trust, banking and financial services. His focus is in marketing and relationship management for high-net-worth individuals and families, and their related businesses. Stephen co-founded Pinnacle Management & Trust, Co. in 1994, which was subsequently acquired in 2004 by Salient. In 2018, Salient was acquired by HighTower and became HighTower Texas.

 During his career, Stephen has worked in corporate finance, oil and gas exploration and production lending, cash management, and trust and investment activities.

 A fourth-generation Houstonian, Stephen serves on the boards of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston, the CHRISTUS Foundation for Healthcare, the Sam Houston Area Council Boy Scouts of America, the Memorial Hermann Audit and Quality Control Boards, the Texas Treasury Safekeeping Trust Company, the Strake Foundation, and formerly the West Houston Young Life and the Yellowstone Academy.

Stephen earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame, and is a graduate of the Texas School of Trust Banking at Southern Methodist University. Stephen holds the Series 6, 63, 65 and 82 licenses. He resides in Houston with his wife, Carla, and four children, Stephen, Vince, Brooke and Brad.

Heinrich Grobler

Heinrich Grobler

Chief Operating Officer, HighTower Texas

Heinrich Grobler is Chief Operating Officer of the HighTower Texas practice. He has overseen the operations of this business since 2013.

In 2009, Heinrich joined Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018. He served as the Vice President of Accounting and Fund Operations, and was responsible for accounting and financial reporting for the firm and its investment funds. Previously, Heinrich was an Audit Senior Manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he was part of the asset management group focused on registered investment companies, private equity funds and banking.

Heinrich is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and a member of the America Institute for Certified Public Accountants. He is also qualified as a Chartered Accountant in South Africa. He holds a Bachelor and honors degree in Accounting from the University of Pretoria. Heinrich holds the Series 7, 24, 63 and 65 licenses.

Sari P. Kronzer

Sari P. Kronzer

Director

Sari P. Kronzer is a Director for HighTower Trust Services, LTA at HighTower Texas with more than a decade of experience working with trusts and estates.  She joined Salient in 2018, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018, to oversee all aspects of trust administration and ensure compliance with governing trust laws. 

Sari started her career as a practicing attorney in the areas of estate planning and probate.  Drafting and reviewing wills and various types of trust agreements gave her a strong foundation for her current role at HighTower.  She later worked in the trust department of a family office and private trust company, where she administered hundreds of trust funds and assisted ultra-high-net-worth clients with their private foundations and business and investment endeavors.
 
Sari earned her undergraduate degree at The University of Texas at Austin and her Doctor of Jurisprudence at South Texas College of Law.  She is a licensed attorney, eligible to practice in the State of Texas.  She is a native Houstonian residing there with her husband and two sons. 
 
Joanna Puente

Joanna Puente

Trust Administrator

Joanna Puente is a Trust Administrator at HighTower Trust Services, with nearly five years of experience in the trust and financial services industry. In 2012, she joined Salient Trust Co., LTA, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018, to offer administrative support to trust officers with management activities.

Joanna received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a minor in Communications, from the University of Houston—Downtown.

Gracie Guel-Guerra

Gracie Guel-Guerra

Trust Associate

Gracie Guel-Guerra is a Trust Associate at HighTower Trust Services. In 2017, she joined Salient Trust Co., LTA, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018, to offer administrative support to trust officers with management activities.

Previously, Gracie worked for State Farm Insurance, one of the largest insurers in the United States. At State Farm, she participated in insurance product sales while providing quality customer service to both new and existing clients.

HighTower Select (Family Office Services)

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Anthonie Badenhorst

Anthonie Badenhorst

Controller, Family Office

Anthonie Badenhorst is the Controller of the family office division at HighTower Texas.

Anthonie has nearly a decade of professional financial and accounting experience. In 2014, he joined Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018, as a Corporate Accounting Manager, responsible for accounting and financial reporting for the firm, and later joined the private client division.

Prior to HighTower Texas, Anthonie worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG, where he was part of the asset management group focused on registered investment companies and insurance companies.

Anthonie is a licensed Chartered Accountant and an active member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants, as well as an international member of the America Institute for Certified Public Accountants. He earned a Bachelor and honors degree in Accounting from the University of Stellenbosch.

Stephen Gunter

Stephen Gunter

Tax Manager, Family Office

Stephen Gunter is a Tax Manager at HighTower Texas. He brings nearly 40 years of experience in tax management, preparation and coordination to the team.

Stephen focuses on tax management for both the practice and our clients. His responsibilities include reviewing tax returns for trusts, partnerships and corporations, tax planning and coordinating tax preparation efforts with our CPA firm.

Prior to Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018, Stephen served as the Tax Manager at Altazano Management, LLC, a private wealth management advisory firm. He has also held positions at KPMG, Borm & Berry CPA, and International Presort of America.

Stephen earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from Lamar University. 

Rabeesah Sheikh

Rabeesah Sheikh

Accounting Associate, Family Office

Rabeesah Sheikh is the Accounting Associate of the Family Office division at HighTower Texas.

Rabeesah earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting (magna cum laude) from the University of Houston, where she also completed her Master of Business Administration degree in Accounting.

Prior to Salient, which was acquired by HighTower in 2018, Rabeesah worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers as a Tax Associate. She also worked as an Accounting Assistant at Wylie Consulting Engineers before PwC. Rabeesah has deep experience in the accounting field, including experience in tax preparation, handling account payables and receivables, preparation of financial reports, and other day-to-day accounting related tasks.