Clients can expect a high standard from the Focus 1 team.

“Focus 1 Associates isn’t just a vendor or an outsourcing services firm; they are a valued partner with our company, and the value they contribute directly impacts our clients.  Focus 1 Associates’ professionals are knowledgeable, experienced, and most of all trustworthy.  I often think my biggest mistake as a stakeholder of my firm is not partnering with them sooner.  Whether I need advice on firm policies and procedures, an internal compliance issue or navigation through an SEC examination, Focus 1 Associates is there to provide expert guidance.”

Chad Cook
Partner, Chief Compliance and Financial Officer
Old West Investment Management, LLC

 

Our team of professionals is direct, honest and objective and has experience in the areas of:

  • SEC compliance,
  • GIPS® compliance and verification,
  • attestation engagements,
  • third-party compliance reviews,
  • buy-side trading and operations, and
  • SAS 70 (now known as an SSAE 16) policy and procedure audits.

We also hold a variety of credentials, including CFA , CIPM, CPA, CSCP, and IACCP®.

We have worked together, as a team, for over 10 years. Our size and focus allows us to spend the bulk of our time serving clients, rather than fulfilling management or administrative functions.

 

Biographies

Tobin S. Cochran, IACCP®Tobin S. Cochran, IACCP®

V-Card  LinkedIn

Managing Member/President
toby@focus1associates.com
Direct: (541) 200-7001
Mobile: (541) 944-1109

Tobin has over 22 years of experience working with investment advisers of all sizes, across all asset classes, within the United States, Asia and Europe. He currently manages several on-going client relationships pertaining to quarterly and annual compliance reviews and mock SEC examinations.

As a member of the Management Committee, Tobin works closely with other committee members to uphold Focus 1’s values and service-level objectives through an entrepreneurial decision-making structure that is fair, transparent, and aligns the interests of the firm with those of its clients. Tobin serves as the Chair of Focus 1’s Executive Committee where he helps establish the operational, financial and growth objectives of the firm.

Prior to July 2010 Tobin served as Partner and President of an internationally recognized specialist CPA firm for nearly 10 years, overseeing over 100 GIPS® client relationships within the United States, Asia and Europe. Tobin also served as a member of the Executive Committee where he helped set strategy and implement operational and growth objectives. Tobin was instrumental in helping to develop several significant strategic alliances with other key providers within the investment management industry. Tobin also served as a Managing Director for the international entity under common ownership, and was instrumental in negotiating and establishing joint venture businesses in Seoul, South Korea and Tokyo, Japan, and in securing and developing client relationships throughout Asia and Continental Europe.

Tobin earned the Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional (IACCP) designation in 2013. Tobin is also a Certificate of Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM) candidate, having already passed the Principles level of the examination, he anticipates sitting for the Expert level in late 2018.

Tobin graduated from Southern Oregon University with a BA in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting and a Minor in Economics.

 

Accreditation

  • Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional (IACCP®) 2013
  • Certificate of Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM) candidate
    • Passed the Principles level and anticipates sitting for the Expert level in late 2018.

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration
    (emphasis in Accounting and minor in Economics)
    Southern Oregon University
    Ashland, Oregon

Linda F. Beckmann, CSCPLinda F. Beckmann, CSCP

V-Card  LinkedIn

Member
linda@focus1associates.com
Direct: (541) 200-7004
Mobile: (541) 944-0658

Linda has over 40 years of experience working in the financial industry, most recently serving as a Member with FOCUS 1, where she works with many clients consulting on regulatory, compliance and internal control issues. Linda is also a valued resource when conducting mock SEC examinations on investment advisers.

Linda began her career in 1978 with Loeb, Rhoades & Hornblower. Within two years, PaineWebber took over the branch and she was promoted to Assistant Vice President/Operations Manager for PaineWebber. During her 10 years with PaineWebber, she passed the Series 7 and Series 8 exams, enabling her to act as Assistant Branch Manager, in addition to her operational responsibilities. She was a member of the operations advisory committees on both the regional and national levels. Linda spent 17 years as the Head Equity Trader and Trading Compliance Officer with a Registered Investment Advisory firm. She has been involved in the examination process on both the firm and regulatory level at PaineWebber and with the SEC during her tenure with the RIA. Linda has a thorough understanding of compliance, fiduciary responsibilities, back office procedures and a variety of trading systems.

 

Accreditation

  • Certified Securities Compliance Professional® (CSCP)
  • Member of the National Society of Compliance Professionals

Education

  • Linda graduated Cum Laude from Southern Oregon University with a BS in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management and an enrichment perspective in the international arena. She completed her International Business courses while attending the Hochschule Harz University in Wernigerode, Germany during the summer of 2007.

Timothy M. Simons, CFA, CIPM, CSCPTimothy M. Simons, CFA, CIPM, CSCP

V-Card  LinkedIn

Member
tsimons@focus1associates.com
Direct: (267) 254-1506

Tim has nearly 30 years of SEC compliance experience working with investment advisers of all sizes, across all asset classes.  Prior to joining FOCUS 1, Tim was a Chief Compliance Examiner in the SEC’s Philadelphia Office where he also supervised a Branch of Investment Adviser/Investment Company Examiners and participated in over 200 examinations between 1988 and 2000. In addition to being a regular speaker at several regional industry conferences, he was an instructor at SEC national training for new examiners for many years.

In 2001, Tim became a Partner with an internationally recognized GIPS® compliance and verification specialist firm, performing and managing GIPS® verifications for clients and integrating the review of client presentations for SEC disclosures as well as GIPS® disclosures. When FOCUS 1’s predecessor firm was first established, Tim became its first Managing Director, and eventually as he serves today, Senior Managing Member.

He currently works with many of FOCUS 1’s clients, assisting the firm and the CCO with updating policies and procedures, assisting with regulatory filings, designing and implementing testing for the firm’s annual review, reviewing marketing materials, and conducting Mock SEC examinations.  Tim conducts training webinars for FOCUS 1’s clients and the financial industry at large and is regularly invited to speak at industry conferences.  His column, “Simons Says,” which provides commentary on the changes in the compliance environment and a seasoned perspective, is published in a variety of industry publications, including Emerging Manager Monthly and NSCP Currents as well as in FOCUS 1’s newsletter and blog.

Tim enjoys the change from the SEC and the opportunity to assist advisers in resolving their deficiencies, rather than just informing advisers that they have deficiencies.

Accreditation

  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) 1998
  • Certified Securities Compliance Professional (CSCP) 2007
  • Certificate in Performance Measurement (CIPM) 2008

Professional Affiliations

  • Financial Planning Association, Member since 1990
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Member 1992-2015
  • CPA Societies of Pennsylvania and Tennessee, Member 1992-2015
  • Chartered Financial Analysts Institute, Member since 1998
  • Financial Analysts of Philadelphia
    • Member since 1998
    • Director 2000-2003
  • National Society of Compliance Professionals
    • Member since 2000
    • Director 2004-2007
    • Finance Committee 2006-2017
    • Investment Committee 2006-2017
    • Chairman of Board of Governors for CSCP Designation 2008-2010
  • Memphis Society of Financial Analysts, Member since 2004
  • GIPS® Interpretations Subcommittee, U.S. representative 2004 – 2009
  • North American Investment Performance Committee, U.S. representative 2005 – 2009
  • CIPM Association, Member since 2008

Education

  • Masters Degree in Business Administration
    (emphasis in Accounting and Finance)
    George Mason University
    Fairfax, Virginia
  • Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering
    Rutgers University
    New Brunswick, New Jersey

 Military Experience

  • U.S. Army
  • Tours of duty in Germany and Vietnam

Victoria A. Luiten, IACCP®Victoria A. Luiten, IACCP®

V-Card  LinkedIn

Director
victoria@focus1associates.com
Direct: (626) 507-6139

Victoria has over 25 years of investment industry experience. In her current role as a Director, she is responsible for oversight of the firm’s regulatory compliance services. She works closely with several clients consulting on compliance matters and assists with compliance testing and review including: gap analyses; ADV and marketing material reviews; forensic testing; and mock SEC examinations.

As a member of the Management Committee, Victoria works closely with other committee members to uphold Focus 1’s values and service-level objectives through an entrepreneurial decision-making structure that is fair, transparent, and aligns the interests of the firm with those of its clients.  Victoria is also a member of the Executive Committee where she helps establish the operational, financial and growth objectives of the firm.

Prior to joining the FOCUS 1 team in July 2016 Victoria held a variety of positions with investment firms located in Southern California. Most recently, she was Managing Director, Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) for Lombardia Capital Partners. Prior to being appointed CCO she held a compliance and operations position. As CCO she was responsible for managing the firm’s investment adviser compliance program and managed the firm’s compliance coding within Charles River Investment Management System (CRIMS). Before joining Lombardia Capital Partners she held the position of Vice President, Marketing & Performance Analysis for 300 North Capital (formerly known as Provident Investment Counsel). During her 23 years with Provident Investment Counsel / 300 North Capital she worked with long-only domestic equity strategies (separate accounts, mutual funds, private placement funds) and hedge funds with responsibilities including compliance, GIPS®, performance measurement, marketing, client support, and management. She was a director at a Southern California non-profit organization prior to entering the investment industry in 1990.

Accreditation

  • NRS Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional® (IACCP®), June 2016
  • Charles River Investment Management System (CRIMS) Level 1 Compliance Certification , September 2014

Professional Affiliations

  • Alpha Gamma Sigma (The California Community College Honor Scholarship Society) Member
  • Southern California Compliance Group (SCCG) Board Member

Education

  • Bachelor of Science in Communication Arts
    (emphasis in Public Relations)
    California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
    Pomona, California
  • Associate of Science in Business, Gold Seal Graduate
    Citrus College
    Azusa, California

Nikola A. Feliz, CPA, CIPMNikola A. Feliz, CPA, CIPM

V-Card  LinkedIn

Director
nikola@focus1associates.com
Direct: (813) 544-0018

Nikola has over 15 years of SEC and GIPS® compliance experience within the investment industry. She has worked with investment advisers of all sizes and asset classes, both domestically and internationally. As a Director, Nikola conducts forensic testing for annual compliance reviews, mock SEC examinations, marketing, website and social media reviews, and assists the CCO to incorporate a GIPS® oversight program as part of the advisors risk assessment and annual review process. Nikola also reviews key compliance documents for consistency and best practice.

As a member of the Management Committee, Nikola works closely with other committee members to uphold Focus 1’s values and service-level objectives through an entrepreneurial decision-making structure that is fair, transparent, and aligns the interests of the firm with those of its clients.

Prior to working with Focus 1, Nikola served as Partner of an internationally recognized GIPS® compliance and verification specialist firm, where she had executive responsibility for over a hundred GIPS® Verification clients, ranging from small individual advisors to some of the firm’s largest clients. In addition to her GIPS® consulting responsibilities, Nikola also oversaw the firm’s Quality Control process, giving her insight to hundreds of clients across the firm’s service lines. Both roles provided her significant exposure to the complex scenarios investment advisers face. Nikola was instrumental in the firms focus on growth, education and compliance with regulation. Nikola has conducted various internal and national training sessions on GIPS® compliance as well as speaking at industry conferences nationwide.

Accreditation

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA) since 2005
  • Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM) since 2009

Education

  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration (emphasis in Accounting and minor in Cultural Diversity) Southern Oregon University Ashland, OR

Joseph F. Stowell IIIJoseph F. Stowell III

V-Card  LinkedIn

Director
joe@focus1associates.com
Direct: (617) 752-3330

Joe has over 20 years of compliance experience working in the investment management industry.  As an outsourced Chief Compliance Officer for the CCO Outsource Division of Focus 1 Associates (“Focus 1”), he serves as the designated CCO for a limited number of SEC registered investment advisers while working in conjunction with a supporting team from Focus 1.

As a Director of Focus 1, Joe is also responsible for conducting GAP analyses; ADV, marketing material, and email reviews; forensic testing for annual compliance reviews; and supporting mock SEC examinations for existing Focus 1 clients.

As a member of the Management Committee, Joe works closely with other committee members to uphold Focus 1’s values and service-level objectives through an entrepreneurial decision-making structure that is fair, transparent, and aligns the interests of the firm with those of its clients.

Prior to joining Focus 1, Joe served as Global Chief Compliance Officer for Oechsle International Advisors (“Oechsle”), formerly an SEC registered investment adviser domiciled in Boston, MA with additional offices in Asia and Europe.  For the past 14 years, Joe was responsible for administering the firm’s global compliance program in jurisdictions in and outside of the United States, which encompassed working under the guidance of several regulatory entities including:  the SEC, SFC, FCA, BaFin, and the BCSC.

In addition to Joe’s role as CCO, he served as Oechsle’s Director of Operations, where he was responsible for managing the firm’s vendors, front/middle/back-office systems, and the outsourcing of technology and legal.  Prior to being appointed Oechsle’s Global Chief Compliance Officer, he held a Senior Compliance Officer position where he helped support the overall compliance function.

Before joining Oechsle in 2004, Joe held the position of Compliance Manager for Putnam Investments, and Compliance Analyst for State Street, and Scudder Stevens and Clark.  Joe’s investment management experience includes working with long-only and long-short strategies for both equity and fixed income mandates in a variety of account structures including separate accounts, mutual funds, private funds, and wrap and UMA platforms; responsibilities ranging from compliance, GIPS® compliance, internal audit, technology, legal, and business management.

Accreditation

  • NRS Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional® (IACCP®) – Expected completion October 2018

Education

  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting, 1993
    Plymouth State College

Krista S. Zipfel, CFAKrista S. Zipfel, CFA

V-Card  LinkedIn

Director
krista@focus1associates.com
Direct: (949) 250-1855

Krista has over 20 years of experience working with investment advisers across all sizes, asset classes, and types of clients served. She currently manages several client relationships providing annual compliance reviews and consulting on regulatory, compliance, and internal control matters. She is a regular speaker at numerous regional and national conferences.

As a member of the Management Committee, Krista works closely with other committee members to uphold Focus 1’s values and service-level objectives through an entrepreneurial decision-making structure that is fair, transparent, and aligns the interests of the firm with those of its clients.

Krista began her career in 1994 with Palley-Needelman Asset Management, Inc. During her 8 years at Palley-Needelman, she went from serving as a portfolio administrator and database administrator to completing her MBA, earning the CFA designation, passing the Series 7 and 65 exams, and becoming a Portfolio Manager and Director-Managed Account Operations. She later served as Managing Director for Finance 500 Advisory Services, Inc. and was responsible for all aspects of the firm’s operations and compliance program.

In 2003 Krista founded Advisor Solutions Group, Inc. (ASG) and has been the firm’s President and CEO for more than 15 years. She grew the firm from a solo practice to a team of 9 and supported over 200 RIA firms with their compliance programs. She helped advisers get registered, create compliance programs, and keep their programs current with changes in the business or regulations. In 2018 Krista joined Focus 1 as Director to focus her time on serving the compliance needs of investment advisers.

During her career she has been involved in in the examination process in both a firm and consultant role. She has prepared and submitted hundreds of regulatory filings. She has worked in the areas of compliance, portfolio management, client service, marketing, research, portfolio administration, operations, trading, and accounting. She has provided valuable advice to CEOs, Presidents, CIOs, portfolio managers, analysts, and administrative and operational staff and understands an RIA’s organization and compliance needs.

Accreditation

  • Charted Financial Analyst (CFA®) 2000

Professional Affiliations

  • National Society of Compliance Professionals
    • Board of Directors (2014 – Present)
    • Finance Committee Chair/Treasurer (2016 – Present)
    • Member (2004 – Present)
  • Southern California Compliance Group
    • Vice President (2009)
    • Regulatory Affairs Committee (2009)
    • Speakers Bureau Chair (2008)
    • Membership Committee Chair (2007)
    • Membership Committee (2006)
    • Member (2003 – Present)
  • CFA Society of Orange County
    • Past-President (2002 – 2003)
    • President (2001 – 2002)
    • Vice-President, Program Chair (2000 – 2001)
    • Brochure & Directory Committee Chair (1999 – 2000)
    • Member (1999 – Present)
  • CFA Society of Orange County Foundation
    • Founder and Chair (2002 – 2008)
    • Board Member (2002 – Present)
  • CFA Institute
    • Member (1998 – Present)

Education

  • Krista graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Management and Business Administration from Pacific Christian College. She holds an MBA with a Finance emphasis from California State University, Fullerton. She holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation from the CFA Institute.

Mark D. ComishMark D. Comish

V-Card  LinkedIn

Director
mark@focus1associates.com
Direct: (541) 200-7005

Mark has over 30 years of business experience in the computer and technology industry, including Information Technology, Corporate Management, Marketing and Web Services. He currently heads Focus 1’s operations.

As a member of the Management Committee, Mark works closely with other committee members to uphold Focus 1’s values and service-level objectives through an entrepreneurial decision-making structure that is fair, transparent, and aligns the interests of the firm with those of its clients. Mark is also a member of the Executive Committee where he helps establish the operational, financial and growth objectives of the firm.

Prior to joining Focus 1, Mark was the Operations Manager and President of an internet based business domiciled on the West Coast. He managed the daily operations including Human Resources, shipping and customer service, while also maintaining the company’s website, work stations and internal servers. During his time in the technology industry, Mark has also managed customer lists, inventory systems and lead the company’s business development and sales activities. Mark was instrumental in the growth of the company, evolving from a two-person operation working from a garage, to a multi-million dollar company with over 50 employees.

As co-owner of a game development company in the late 1990’s, Mark not only assisted with game development, but he also managed the catalog design, production and distribution, and lead all email marketing and promotional campaigns. The company was later sold to a well-known publicly traded technology company.

Christopher S. GelinasChristopher S. Gelinas

V-Card  LinkedIn

Senior Compliance Manager
chris@focus1associates.com
Direct: (617) 752-3752

Chris has over 20 years of compliance experience working in the investment management industry. Serving as the Deputy CCO for the CCO Outsource Division of Focus 1 Associates (“Focus 1”), he is responsible for supporting the CCO and associated Clients.

As a Senior Compliance Manager at Focus 1, Chris conducts GAP analyses; ADV, marketing material, and email reviews; forensic testing for annual compliance reviews; and supports mock SEC examinations for existing Focus 1 clients.

Prior to joining Focus 1, Chris was a Senior Advisor at Fidelity Investments responsible for establishing and maintaining client, regulatory, and internal limitations within the Compliance rules-based system. Chris also spent 13 years working as the Director of Compliance (“DOC”) at Oechsle International Advisors (“Oechsle”), formerly an SEC registered investment adviser domiciled in Boston, MA with additional offices in Asia and Europe. While at Oechsle, Chris was responsible for assisting the Chief Compliance Officer in administering the firm’s global compliance program.

In addition to Chris’ role as DOC, he served as Oechsle’s Chief Compliance Officer of Canada as well as the designated Compliance Officer for their German Branch responsible for oversight and legal adherence to BCSC and BaFIN regulations. He also served as Oechsle’s Code of Ethics Officer charged with ensuring compliance with the Firm’s Code of Ethics policies. Before joining Oechsle in 2004, Chris held the position of Assistant Vice President for Putnam Investments responsible for ensuring investment compliance for Putnam Retail and Institutional Accounts.

Chris’ investment management experience includes working with long-only and long-short strategies for both equity and fixed income mandates in a variety of account structures including separate accounts, mutual funds, private funds, and wrap and UMA platforms; responsibilities ranging from compliance, GIPS® compliance, internal audit, technology, legal, and business management.

Education

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, 1992
    University of New Hampshire
  • Canadian Chief Compliance Officers Qualifying Exam 2017

Jesse J. Case, CFEJesse J. Case, CFE

V-Card  LinkedIn

Compliance Associate
jesse@focus1associates.com
Direct: (541) 200-7006

Jesse has over five years of industry experience, including SEC and GIPS® compliance consulting. As a Compliance Associate, Jesse assists with forensic testing on several on-going client relationships pertaining to quarterly and annual compliance reviews and mock SEC examinations.

 

Prior to joining Focus 1, Jesse worked for an internationally recognized specialist CPA firm where he provided audit and consulting services to hedge funds, private equity and real estate firms, RIAs, investment companies, and insurance companies. His duties included maintaining client relationships while providing compliance consulting for advisers who had engaged in third-party verification for compliance with the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS®), as well as assisting with the completion of any verification related testing and review items. Jesse’s duties expanded into financial audits, fund audits, and SEC custody examinations.

Accreditation

  • Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)

Education

  • Master’s Degree in Accounting
    (emphasis in Audit and Fraud Examination)
    Graduated with Distinctions
    Keller Graduate School of Management
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Bachelor of Business Administration
    (emphasis in Managerial Accounting)
    Southern Oregon University
    Ashland, Oregon

 Military Experience

  • U.S. Navy and U.S. Army – 12 years of combined service
  • Jesse participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. His additional deployments included Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and as part of Task Force Warrior to train Free Iraqi Forces in support of Operation Free Iraq.

Kevin W. PoterackeKevin W. Poteracke

V-Card  LinkedIn

Compliance Associate
kevin@focus1associates.com
Direct: (541) 200-7003

As a recent college graduate, Kevin is beginning his professional career with Focus 1 Associates, where he serves as a Compliance Associate, assisting with forensic testing pertaining to quarterly and annual compliance reviews and mock SEC examinations.

 

 

Prior to joining Focus 1, Kevin attended Southern Oregon University located in Ashland, Oregon. Kevin completed his education as a recipient of an Outstanding Senior Award, while attaining a Bachelor of Science Degree in Financial Mathematics, with a Certificate in Applied Finance and Economics. While attending Southern Oregon University, Kevin’s focus resided primarily in applied finance and applied statistics. Under a three-year athletic scholarship, Kevin participated in cross country and track & field and was recognized as an NAIA Academic All-American three times for Track & Field and once for cross country. Kevin has five years of experience working part time in the food service industry.

Accreditation

  • Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification

Education

  • Bachelor of Science in Financial Mathematics
    Southern Oregon University
    Ashland, Oregon
  • Certificate in Applied Finance and Economics
    Southern Oregon University
    Ashland, Oregon

Thomas E. Walker, CSCPThomas E. Walker, CSCP

V-Card  LinkedIn

Compliance Associate
twalker@focus1associates.com

Tom has over 10 years of investment industry experience, including SEC and GIPS® Compliance experience. He currently assists with forensic testing on several on-going client relationships pertaining to quarterly and annual compliance reviews and mock SEC examinations.

 

 

Prior to joining Focus 1, Tom served as Director of Quality Control for an internationally recognized specialty CPA firm that worked exclusively within the investment industry by performing various services including GIPS® verifications and performance examinations, custody examinations, SOC internal controls examinations, QPAM exemption audits, and strategy exams. In this role, Tom helped to ensure a high standard of accuracy and consistency in the firm’s work product by overseeing the firm’s internal review process, conducting internal training, and continually working to improve the quality control process, as well as reviewing various contracts.

As an attorney, Tom began his career conducting a variety of legal related work.

Accreditation

  • Certified Securities Compliance Professional® (CSCP)
  • Certificate of Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM) candidate
    • Passed the Principles level and anticipates sitting for the Expert level in late 2018.

Education

  • Juris Doctorate (with an additional certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution), Willamette University, Salem, Oregon
  • Bachelor of Arts in History, George Fox University, Newberg, Oregon