Nichole Ake, CAMS
SVP, BBVA Compass
Nichole Ake is the SVP, SR Mgr BSA/AML for BBVA Compass. She is the 2018 President of the BBVA Houston Volunteer Chapter. She is actively involved in BBVA’s LeaderLink initiative and a founding executive of Women in Leadership at BBVA. She has been recognized by BBVA’s Top Talent Program.
Previously, she was the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Compliance Officer of an investment adviser/broker dealer firm that focused on alternative investments, fund to funds, due diligence on hedge funds and traditional wealth management. She started her career at Lehman Brothers in Boston and eventually moved to Texas.
She has over 20 years of financial services experience in operations, trading and compliance with startup firms as well as large international firms.
She’s been a speaker, panelist and moderator at Thomson Reuters, HFBOA, DSTA, and STA on operational risk management, industry and regulatory focused initiatives. She holds a BS in Finance from Boston College, an MBA from Southern Methodist University and completed the three year Securities Industry Institute program through Wharton/SIFMA as well as other notable management certificates from University of Texas, University of Dallas and University of North Carolina executive programs.
Nichole is a past-President of the Dallas Security Traders Association (DSTA) and served as Co-Chair of the national Securities Traders Association (STA) Compliance Committee. She currently is the chair of the Houston TXWSW Education Committee and serves on the Board. She actively volunteers as a mentor for BBVA employees as well as Boston College students.
Christine Breck, CFA
Managing Partner, Longstone Capital Advisors
President & Founder, Texas Wall Street Women
Christine Breck, CFA has over 25 years of experience in the financial industry. In 2000, she joined Source Trading, a broker/dealer that served institutional investors including hedge funds, state agencies, mutual funds, and family offices. In addition to business development for the trading business, Christine raised over $1 billion in assets for a select few of the firm’s hedge fund clients. Prior to joining Source, Christine was a Relationship Manager group head for 5 years at the Bank of New York. While in New York, she ran the Endowment and Foundation Group, and then in London she was responsible for the insurance industry team. Previously, she held positions in commercial finance at Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken and the Bank of Darien.
In 2008, she founded Texas Wall Street Women, a not-for-profit networking and philanthropic group for women in the financial industry in Texas (www.txwsw.com). The organization has over 1,500 members across the state and hosts events in Dallas, Austin, and Houston each month using an all-volunteer staff. On the philanthropy side, the organization supports the college readiness programs at the schools founded by the Foundation for the Education of Young Women across Texas through both financial contributions and volunteerism.
Christine received a BA in French from Connecticut College and is a CFA charterholder. She is also a Registered Yoga Teacher. Christine holds the following FINRA licenses: 7, 24, 55, 63 & 79. She served for 2 years as the co-chairman of the Trader / Portfolio Manager Peer Advisory Committee for 100 Women in Hedge Funds in New York and started the Texas Chapter of 100 WHF. She is an avid golfer and lives in Austin, TX.
Brittyn Russell Brender
Senior Vice President and Director of Private Trust Fort Worth
Tolleson Private Bank
Brittyn Russell Brender, JD, CFP®, CPWA®, is Senior Vice President and Director of Private Trust Fort Worth for Tolleson Private Bank. Her responsibilities include oversight and management of the Trust Department and all Trust relationships. She currently serves on the firm’s Executive Committee, the Trust Committee and the Trust Investment Committee.
Prior to joining Tolleson’s Private Trust Group, Brittyn was a manager on the Tolleson Wealth Management Client Advisory Team. She managed the comprehensive financial planning and oversight process for client families by identifying, implementing and monitoring strategies to meet each client’s investment, financial, tax and wealth transfer needs. Before joining Tolleson Wealth Management, Brittyn was a Financial Analyst at The Ayco Company, a Goldman Sachs Company.
Brittyn graduated from Baylor University School of Business with a degree in Economics and received her Juris Doctorate from Baylor University School of Law in 2004, with a concentration in Estate Planning and Probate. She is actively involved in the Junior League of Fort Worth, serving on various committees and leadership roles within the League.
J.P. Morgan, Banker
Kristen Cobb joined the J.P. Morgan Private Bank in 2010, where she serves as an advisor to wealthy families. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, she spent six years at Goldman Sachs in their Private Wealth Management Group counseling high net worth families and foundations throughout the Southwest. A native of Chicago, Kristen graduated cum laude from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University. In addition to serving on the Board of Texas Wall Street Women, she is actively involved with the ChildCareGroup. Kristen resides in Dallas with her husband and two children.
Claire Hetherington Darr, Esq.
Managing Director, Newhouse + Noblin
Director, Texas Wall Street Women
Claire Darr is a Managing Director with Newhouse + Noblin, a national full service legal and executive recruiting firm. Claire leads Newhouse + Noblin’s financial services division, in addition to recruiting in other industries. Prior to joining Newhouse + Noblin, Claire was an Assistant General Counsel of Jasper Ridge Partners, a private wealth management firm with over $10 billion in assets under management. Prior to joining Jasper Ridge Partners, Claire was a Senior Associate in the Corporate and Investment Funds Practice Group of Haynes and Boone, LLP. Claire Darr is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas, holds a J.D. degree from Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law and an LLB (Hons) degree from the University of Northumbria, United Kingdom.
Senior Equity Institutional Securities Trader – USAA Asset Management Company
Gina is a senior institutional equity trader for the USAA equity mutual funds, totaling $30 billion in equity assets under management. Gina applies expert knowledge of equity strategies to determine appropriate buy/sell opportunities, assists in developing various options, futures and ETF hedging strategies; while ensuring USAA remains in compliance with policies, practices, and regulatory requirements. Gina has been with USAA for twenty-three years, where she has held various positions in the Investment Management Company. During her tenure at USAA, Gina has held the FINRA Series 7, 63, 55, 24 and 4 regulatory licenses.
Gina found her way to Wall Street, after working as an intern for Frost National Bank in the Trust Department. She earned her B.B.A, with a concentration in management, from The University of the Incarnate Word and is currently pursuing her M.B.A. in Asset Allocation, at U.I.W.
Gina is a member of Women in ETF’s, Texas Women in Public Finance, Women in Money and Texas Wall Street Women – San Antonio. She mentors at San Antonio’s Young Women’s Leadership School. In her spare time, Gina enjoys reading, running and traveling with her husband.
Mindy Legler Jones
Pyxis Care Management, Managing Principal
Ms. Jones founded Pyxis Care Management, a healthcare advocacy firm. She brings over 18 years of management and corporate experience with extensive senior management background in business analysis, sales, and marketing. With masters’ degrees from Purdue University and the University of Texas at Dallas, her emphasis has been on strategic planning, market research, and business plan proposals. Mindy is a Texas Certified Guardian, a Certified Senior Advisor, and was named a “Healthcare Hero” by the Fort Worth Business Press. Community service plays an important role in her life. Not only is she a mother, she is also a lifetime member of Girl Scouts of America and a member of National Alliance on Mental Illness. She and her husband are active in their church and in scouting as well as in their children’s schools.
Investment Due Diligence Analyst – Sendero Wealth Management
Kokila is the Due Diligence Analyst at Sendero Wealth Management. She is responsible for supporting the oversight of investment management relationships and ongoing manager due diligence. As part of the research and due diligence team, Kokila is also responsible for helping with asset allocation and client relationships. She is a non- voting member of the Sendero Investment Committee. She has a passion for understanding market behavior and embraces the chance to understand the art of translating market behaviors into investable opportunities.
Prior to joining Sendero Wealth Management in 2014, Kokila worked at a financial technology services company as an Investment Management Consultant working with firms in Houston and Austin. She earned her B.B.A. in Finance and a B.A. in Biochemistry from the University of Texas at Austin. Kokila holds the Series 65 license and is a Level III CFA Candidate. She serves on the Investment Committee for the Texas Exes Endowment and is a Director and Mentor at the Young Women’s Leadership Academy through the Texas Wall Street Women San Antonio Chapter.
Charla Parette, CPA
Tax Director, Deloitte Tax LLP Treasurer
Founder, Texas Wall Street Women
Charla Parette is a Tax Director in the Dallas office of Deloitte Tax LLP. She currently serves as the Lead Tax Director for her firm’s Dallas Investment Management Practice.
With over sixteen years of experience, Ms. Parette has served a wide variety of clients in the alternative investment industry, including hedge funds, fund of funds, private equity funds and venture capital funds. Ms. Parette provides a variety of services, including tax compliance and tax consulting and has managed numerous tax engagements and special projects for clients of all sizes.
Ms. Parette graduated from the William S. Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University in July 1991 with a Master of Science degree in accounting and May 1990 with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. She is an active member of the Oklahoma State University Alumni Association.
Ms. Parette is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and is licensed to practice in Oklahoma and Texas. She is a member of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants. In addition, she is a member of Commercial Real Estate Women. She has served as a board member for the Margaret Hudson Program, a Tulsa United Way agency. She is an active participant in Junior Achievement in North Texas. She has been a leader in her firm’s Dallas United Way Campaign and an active participant at the Alexis de Tocqueville level.
Director of Finance and Compliance at e360 Power, LLC
Vice President & Founder, Texas Wall Street Women
Wanda has over 20 years of experience in the hedge fund industry specifically in accounting and business administration. Previously, she was the Chief Financial Officer of Phillips Trading Group, Inc., Michael Marcus’ commodity futures and foreign exchange trading firm, and the Chief Financial Officer of Austin Capital Management, a fund-of-funds firm with over $2 billion in assets under management prior to her departure.
Wanda obtained her education at St. Edwards University, is a founding member and Vice President of Texas Wall Street Women, holds a Series 65 license, and is a member of the National Society of Compliance Professionals.
Ivana Kovacevic Rouse, Esq.
Counsel, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP
Ivana Kovacevic Rouse is an attorney in the Investment Funds Practice Group of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP. Her practice focuses on the formation and ongoing representation of private investment funds and their management.
Ms. Rouse has significant experience with hedge funds, private equity funds and hybrid funds pursuing a variety of investment strategies. She also represents fund sponsors and institutional investors investing in such funds. Ms. Rouse regularly advises management companies in connection with fundraising, registration, investment activities (including negotiating side letters, direct equity and other forms of convertible investments), marketing, ongoing compliance and operational issues. Additionally, she advises management companies on internal structuring issues such as mergers, spin-offs, profit sharing arrangements and seeding transactions.
Ms. Rouse received her B.B.A. summa cum laude and her B.A. summa cum laude in English literature in 2003 and her J.D. cum laude in 2006 from Southern Methodist University.
Associate General Counsel at First Cash, Inc.
Shoshana Thoma-Isgur is Associate General Counsel at First Cash, Inc., a public company located in Fort Worth, Texas. Prior to joining First Cash, Shoshana was a Principal Consultant at ACA Compliance Group, where she was responsible for assisting with compliance program reviews, and drafting compliance policies, procedures, and manuals for investment advisers. Prior to joining ACA, Shoshana was a partner at two international law firms, where she advised clients on investment adviser compliance, securities regulatory, and private fund formation issues. Before moving over to private practice, Shoshana spent almost eight years as an SEC Enforcement Attorney conducting securities law investigations. Shoshana was a member of the SEC’s Asset Management Unit and liaised with SEC examiners on various issues that arose during examinations. Shoshana started her career at a regional law firm before joining the SEC staff in Fort Worth.
Shoshana earned her law degree, cum laude, from St. Mary’s School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Shoshana has also served on the board of the Texas Oklahoma Plains Girl Scouts Council.”
Junior Advisory Board Members
Pegy Charlet Brimhall
Managing Director, Figurd Chairman – San Antonio
Pegy Charlet Brimhall is Managing Director at Figurd, a fully-integrated real estate investment company where she focuses on fundraising for the company’s urban infill multifamily portfolio. Prior to joining Figurd in 2017, she was Founder and CEO of Rising Barn, a construction technology company for the residential market.
She received her Masters of Business Administration from the Johnson School of Business at Cornell University, where she was the Housing and Healthcare Portfolio Manager at the Carnelian Hedge Fund. She also received her Bachelor of Architecture at The University of Texas Austin and completed a residency apprenticeship at the 2017 Pritzker Prize winning firm RCR Arquitectes of Olot, Spain.
Pegy currently serves as a director for Texas Wall Street Women and is a member of the volunteer planning team for the City of San Antonio UTSA Area Bond, Phase 1.
Michelle Ewart is a Managing Director of Meritage Capital. Utilizing more than 15 years of industry experience, she is responsible for business development for the firm. Prior to joining Meritage in 2015, Ms. Ewart served as a Director of Investor Relations and Marketing at Bocage Capital, LLC. She was also an Executive Director and member of the Capital Introduction Group at UBS Securities, LLC, a Director of Investor Relations at 2100 Xenon and an Analyst at Mesirow Advanced Strategies, Inc. Ms. Ewart received a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Accounting from Miami University. Ms. Ewart is a Registered Representative of ALPS Distributors, Inc. holding the Series 7, 24 and 63 licenses and is an Associated Person registered with the National Futures Association (NFA) holding the Series 3 license.
Brett Ashley Longoria
Senior Portfolio Analyst at Avalon Advisors, LLC
Networking Committee Chairman – Houston
Brett Ashley Longoria is a Senior Portfolio Analyst at Avalon Advisors, LLC focusing on alternatives as well as family office services. She joined Avalon in December of 2011 as a Client Advisory Assistant and in 2012 became a Client Advisory Analyst. She graduated from Barnard College of Columbia University, with a B.A. in American Studies. Brett Ashley serves as the President of the Periwinkle Foundation Friends Board and is a volunteer for the Theta Charity Antiques Show and the Houston Alumnae of Kappa Alpha Theta.
Chief Operating Officer – Renner Capital Partners LLC
Tiffany Ramirez is the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Compliance Officer for Renner Capital Partners LLC (“Renner”), a global long/short equity hedge fund manager. Renner launched its flagship fund in May 2017.
Ms. Ramirez has nearly fifteen years of investment industry experience spanning hedge funds, private equity funds, RIAs, and wealth managers. Her expertise includes legal and compliance, accounting and operations, and investor relations and marketing.
Prior to joining RGT, Ms. Ramirez worked with an independent consulting firm that provides compliance consulting services to investment advisers, hedge funds, and private equity managers across the country. She worked with clients to design, update, and restructure operations and compliance programs uniquely tailored to each firm. Ms. Ramirez advised firms with regard to fund structure and entity formation, corporate governance, operational efficiencies, service provider selection, and the expectations of institutional investors.
Ms. Ramirez was previously the Chief Compliance Officer of global private equity firm, Kildare Partners (“Kildare”), founded by international financier Ellis Short. Kildare has offices in Dallas, London, and Dublin and organizes institutional capital to invest in distressed real estate, principally in Western Europe.
From 2006 to 2013, Ms. Ramirez was the Chief Compliance Officer and Director of Operations for Paradigm Advisors, LLC, a long/short equity hedge fund manager with a 20+ year history and peak assets under management of $450 million. Previously, Ms. Ramirez worked in mergers and acquisitions for Dallas-based TRT Holdings, a privately-owned diversified holding company. Ms. Ramirez began her investment career at Carlson Capital, LP, an alternative asset management firm that manages over $22 billion across multiple hedge fund products.
Ms. Ramirez received her B.A. in English from The University of Texas at Dallas (2004), where she is currently an MBA candidate.
Ms. Ramirez is active in the Dallas investment community. She is a member of several professional organizations, including The Texas Hedge Fund Association, The DFW Compliance Roundtable, The National Society of Compliance Professionals, and Texas Wall Street Women. She currently serves on the board of Texas Wall Street Women.