Our highest goal is to deliver exceptional results to thrilled clients. Our professionals are leaders in the industry sectors we cover – dedicated to creating unique and powerful solutions for our clients. Each has earned a reputation for integrity, trust, and taking a professional approach to the transaction and advisory services we offer.
Our objective is to have long-standing relationships with our clients, so it is only natural that we advise with their long-term interests at heart. We know it takes great people to build great financial services companies. ECHELON’s professionals are dedicated to helping you build yours.
Dan B. Seivert, CEO and Managing Partner
Dan Seivert is the CEO and founder of ECHELON Partners – one of the leading investment banks and consulting firms to the wealth and investment management industries. Prior to starting ECHELON, Mr. Seivert was one of the initial principals of Lovell Minnick Partners, where he helped invest over $100MM in venture capital across 15 companies. Before his involvement in private equity, Mr. Seivert was a buy-side analyst at The Capital Group (American Funds) where he valued firms in the asset management and securities brokerage industries. Mr. Seivert’s initial job at Capital was in the capacity of strategic planning and marketing research, where he worked directly for several chairmen of the company as well as the fund boards. Mr. Seivert began his career in the M&A department of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
Over the past 20 years, Mr. Seivert has worked with over 300 executive teams and boards to help them envision, initiate, and execute a diversity of complex business strategies and transactions. As their trusted advisor, Mr. Seivert has helped these clients make the tough decisions with respect to acquisitions, sales/divestitures, investments, mergers, valuation, M&A strategy, new ventures, management buyouts, capital raising, equity sharing, and succession planning. In his various roles, Mr. Seivert has conducted detailed valuations on over 500 companies, evaluated more than 2,000 acquisition targets, and authored 25 reports dealing with the wealth and investment management industries. During this time Mr. Seivert has served on the Board of Directors of AssetMark Investment Services, BridgePortfolio and Occidental College.
Mr. Seivert is a frequent keynote speaker for corporate clients and at industry events. Mr. Seivert has been quoted extensively as a leading authority in the private wealth market by several top industry publications. Mr. Seivert is the President and founder of ECHELON’s FINRA-registered broker dealer (Echelon Capital, LLC). He has an Advanced Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Occidental College and a Master of Business Administration from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. Mr. Seivert is a native of Los Angeles and currently resides in Manhattan Beach, California.
Carolyn A. Armitage, CFP®, CIMA®, Managing Director
Carolyn Armitage is a Managing Director for ECHELON Partners and has more than 30 years of experience being a change management catalyst. She improves market share, profitability, people, processes and team dynamics for RIAs, Broker Dealers and Hybrid RIAs.
Over her distinguished financial services career, Ms. Armitage was an OSJ Branch Manager, a Sales and Marketing Manager for HD Vest Financial Services, a Managing Director for Western International Securities, Head of Advisory Services for ING Advisors Network (Voya) and Head of Enterprise Business Management Consulting for LPL Financial. This extensive experience affords her a rare and valuable command of the wealth advisory and investment management value chains.
Her service expertise includes:
Strategic business planning, positioning and implementation
Applying practice management process improvements, effective use of resources and growth strategies
Designing and implementing continuity and succession plans
Measuring valuation drivers and key performance indicators
Integrating processes and teams
Building high-performance teams and driving measurable results
Enhancing communication and relations among team members
Supporting board members and CEOs as a sounding board, adviser and coach
Ms. Armitage is devoted to continuous learning and improvement. She is LEAN Certified, a Six Sigma Green Belt, a CA Life and Variable Contracts Agent and holds numerous FINRA licenses. She is a CFP® CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER Professional, CIMA® Certified Investment Management Analyst, CLU Chartered Life Underwriter and ChFC Chartered Financial Consultant.
In addition to growing numerous financial services organizations, Ms. Armitage founded and runs a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, True Circle Organization, helping to feed, clothe and improve the lives of homeless people throughout Southern California. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Minnesota and a Masters in Management from The American College, Bryn Mawr, PA. She resides with her husband in Palos Verdes Estates, CA.
Michael A. Wunderli, Managing Director
Mike Wunderli is a Managing Director at ECHELON Partners and is integrally involved in all aspects of the firm’s activities. Prior to joining ECHELON, Mr. Wunderli founded Connect Capital Group (CCG) where he advises private, middle-market companies on pre-transaction planning, growth financing options and the development and execution of exit strategies. He also works closely with the private-equity and venture-capital communities to evaluate acquisition & investment targets and source proprietary deal flow.
Before founding CCG, Mr. Wunderli spent 12 years at Lehman Brothers and UBS as a Senior Vice President in the Private Wealth Management division. There he pioneered one of the industry’s most successful cross-divisional business practices, in which he first helped entrepreneurs and business owners engineer liquidity events for their companies, then helped them strategically redeploy their transaction proceeds into long-term, globally diversified investment portfolios. During his time at Lehman Brothers and UBS, Mr. Wunderli helped his clients execute over $2 billion in investment-banking and private-equity transactions, and he managed over $400 million of investments for his high-net-worth clients.
Over his career, Mr. Wunderli has worked with hundreds of private companies, helping their owners navigate the critical stages of growth and engineer the most appropriate and lucrative exit strategies such as: full and partial sales, recapitalizations, LBOs, ESOPs, IPOs, succession plans, etc. He has also worked with many top investment managers, hedge funds, private-equity funds, family offices, trading desks and a variety of capital providers. Prior to his Wall Street experience, Mr. Wunderli spent 4 years as a business development manager for Marriott International’s new ventures initiative, where he helped develop and launch two new ancillary businesses for the blue-chip company.
Mr. Wunderli has a B.A. degree from Brigham Young University and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds FINRA Series 7, 66 and 79 registrations. Mr. Wunderli currently resides in Redondo Beach with his wife and four sons.
Mark Bruno, Managing Director
Mark Bruno is a Managing Director for ECHELON Partners. Prior to joining ECHELON, Mr. Bruno was the Managing Director and Associate Publisher at InvestmentNews, where he was responsible for overseeing a wide range of businesses, including IN’s research, content strategy, digital, custom publishing and sales groups. Mr. Bruno was with InvestmentNews for 12 years and helped establish the company as the leading B2B media brand in the wealth management industry. He played an integral role in the sale of InvestmentNews from Crain Communication to Bonhill Plc in 2018.
Mr. Bruno is an award-winning journalist, author and researcher who has written and edited for a number of financial publications over the past two decades, including InvestmentNews, Financial Week, Pensions & Investments and U.S. Banker. Mr. Bruno has also been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and the Chicago Tribune for his expertise in wealth and investment management. Mr. Bruno has received numerous accolades for his writing and reporting, including the American Business Media’s prestigious Jesse H. Neal award, and for his breaking news coverage and analysis of the financial services industry by The Society of American Business Editors and Writers. Mr. Bruno is the author of Save Now or Die Trying: Achieving Long-Term Wealth In Your 20s and 30s, one of the top-selling retirement planning books of 2007.
Mr. Bruno lives in Jericho, NY, with his wife Wendy and twin daughters Emma and Layla.
Andrea W. Polizzi, Vice President
Andrea Polizzi is a Vice President at ECHELON Partners. Ms. Polizzi leads the strategic planning and execution for the team responsible for developing events for executives, registered investment advisors and industry service providers. She also coordinates the marketing strategy, branding, and messaging for the Deals & Deal Makers Summit. In association with this event, she manages the marketing budget and calendar and maintains all collateral, communications, and distribution lists. She is also responsible for cultivating and nurturing strategic partnerships throughout the RIA space and broader financial services community to enhance business development opportunities and sponsorships.
Ms. Polizzi possesses 15+ years of senior level marketing, communications, and event management experience, primarily focused on the financial services industry. She is a marketing leader with extensive experience in managing teams across a full range of hands on strategy, marketing, and communications projects and possesses a depth of experience in creating and managing conferences and events.
Barnaby R. Audsley, Associate
Barnaby Audsley is an Associate at ECHELON Partners and focuses on a diversity of M&A advisory, investment banking, consulting, and research assignments. Prior to joining ECHELON Partners, Mr. Audsley worked as an Investment Associate for Bel Air Investment Advisors, a $9bn multifamily office based in Los Angeles. During his time with Bel Air, Mr. Audsley focused on private equity and assisted in the sourcing and underwriting of fund and direct transactions. Furthermore, he conducted market research to identify attractive asset classes, industry trends, and investment opportunities.
Mr. Audsley has a B.A. in Economics from Occidental College where he was a Director on the student-run investment portfolio. He is currently furthering his education by pursuing his CFA (Level II Candidate). He is a mentor for Play Rugby USA, a non-profit focused on developing youth through rugby. Mr. Audsley grew up in London and now resides in Venice, CA.
Sam B. Sphire, Analyst
Sam Sphire is an Analyst at ECHELON Partners and focuses on a diversity of M&A advisory, investment banking, consulting, and research assignments. Before joining ECHELON, Sam worked as a Summer Analyst at Brookside Mezzanine Partners where he analyzed potential investments for the firm’s investment funds.
Mr. Sphire has a B.S. in Management with concentrations in Finance and Information Systems from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College where he was a member of the Honors Program Alumni Relations Committee and Outdoor Adventures Club. Mr. Sphire grew up in Encinitas, CA and now resides in El Segundo, CA.
Rupert C. Cox, Analyst
Rupert Cox is an Analyst at ECHELON Partners and focuses on a diversity of M&A advisory, investment banking, consulting, and research assignments. Prior to joining ECHELON, Mr. Cox worked at Intel Corporation with their Market Development Fund platform.
Mr. Cox has a B.A. in Economics and Psychology from the University of California – Los Angeles. At UCLA, Mr. Cox was both the president and treasurer of the cycling team, a nationally ranked collegiate program. Mr. Cox grew up in Redwood City, CA and now resides in Westwood, CA.
Our high-quality network of industry-specific relationships gives us the ability to conduct valuable research, make powerful introductions, and achieve greater success for our clients. The quality of our relationships allows us to meaningfully extend the magnitude of our experience with a simple meeting or phone call. The ECHELON network of relationships extends into the categories outlined below: