The Berthel Fisher Companies, full-service independent financial services firm, announced that Tom Berthel, the firm’s co-founder, has stepped down as president and chief executive officer of the firms two broker-dealers, registered investment advisor and insurance company subsidiaries. He remains president, CEO and chairman of the holding company and will now focus his efforts on “capitalization and strategic initiatives.”
Andrew Christofferson, who previously served as chief operating officer, has been promoted to fill Berthel’s vacated executive roles with the company’s subsidiaries.
The company announced three other executive promotions to its subsidiaries, including the elevation of Paige Swartzendruber to chief business development officer, Brian Rupp to treasurer and chief financial officer, and Joanna Schaul to chief administrative officer.
“I am thrilled that Andy is taking over as my successor in overseeing day-to-day operations of our subsidiaries, and I congratulate Paige, Brian and Joanna on their promotions,” Berthel said. “These moves have been in the works for some time, so I’m proud that this day has finally come and relieved that our financial professionals will be in great hands going forward. Not only are these leaders uniquely prepared for their new responsibilities, but the appointments enable me to accelerate Berthel Fisher’s long-term growth plans while giving me the opportunity to closely collaborate with the senior leadership team going forward.”
Founded in 1985, the diversified financial services firm supports more than 360 financial professionals who oversee approximately $9.8 billion in assets under advisement through an array of wealth management business models. The company provides a wide range of traditional and alternative investments, income solutions and portfolio strategies, as well as holistic planning services for financial professionals and their clients.
Christofferson has more than 23 years of financial services experience. He joined Berthel Fisher in 2012, rising from senior vice president of business development to chief business development officer, before becoming chief operating officer in 2018. Prior to joining Berthel Fisher, Christofferson served as chief investment officer at Securian Advisors MidAmerica. He began his career with InterSecurities, now part of Transamerica Financial Advisors.
The company says the promotions of Swartzendruber, Rupp and Schaul – who all possess financial services experience and “extensive institutional knowledge” of Berthel Fisher – further “enhance support for the firm’s financial professionals and ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities for Christofferson and Mr. Berthel.”
Swartzendruber joined Berthel Fisher in 2007. Previously, she served as a registered representative, financial planner and vice president, advisor relationships & strategy consulting. Most recently, Swartzendruber served as senior vice president business development and director for Berthel Fisher subsidiaries.
Rupp joined Berthel Fisher in 2016. Previously, he served as vice president, controller, treasurer and director for Berthel Fisher. Prior to Berthel Fisher, Rupp served as an accounting manager at Sourcemedia/Gazette and before that at AEGON. Earlier in his career, Rupp was a controller at Waste Management.
Before her promotion, Schaul was senior vice president administration and secretary for Berthel Fisher subsidiaries, she joined the firm in 2005 after spending nearly five years with GE Capital, where she filled a variety of key roles.
“Paige, Brian, Joanna and I are humbled and eager to embark up the next stage of our careers with Berthel Fisher,” Christofferson said. “Over the years, Tom has done an unbelievable job of providing our financial professionals with everything they need to help their clients reach their life goals and aspirations. We have a very strong leadership team in place, and all of us look forward to continuing to work with Tom closely as he focuses on other strategic priorities for the company, as well as to building upon his impressive legacy of supporting our financial professionals.”
As The DI Wire previously reported, the company recently announced the recruitment of MP Butterworth & Associates, a Reading, Pennsylvania-based firm with approximately $85 million in assets under management.
Berthel Fisher Companies is a national financial services firm which supports four companies that together provide comprehensive investment management as well as financial products and services to financial advisors and their clients.