John Hill CFP
Chief Executive Officer
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John is founding principal and Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle Advisory Group Inc. As CEO, John’s responsibilities include strategic planning, management of key personnel, as well working with members of the client advisory team.
He began practicing financial planning in 1985 and became a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) in 1988. John has a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business Administration, and has completed graduate work in MBA and Masters Financial Planning programs. He has been active in the Financial Planning Association (FPA) since 1987, and is a past President of the Maryland Chapter. John has spent several years developing an expertise in the business of medicine, including a significant involvement in physician merger, sale and acquisition planning.
Peter McGratty CFA
Vice President Strategic Partnerships
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Peter is Vice President, Strategic Partnerships of Pinnacle Advisor Solutions. Peter is responsible for all aspects of the business including sales and marketing and business development.
McGratty has more than twenty years of experience in finance starting his career at Montgomery Securities as a Research Analyst, where he was named a Wall Street Journal All Star Bank Analyst. After returning to the east coast, Peter continued his career as a money manager at Principled Capital Management and Calcine Management before setting out on his own.
In 2009, McGratty founded Precursor Research, the first independent research and advisory firm serving independent financial advisors nationwide. In 2011, Precursor Research teamed with Pinnacle Advisory Group to form Pinnacle Advisor Solutions.
Peter graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in Finance and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Associate Director, Strategic Partnerships
As Associate Director of Strategic Partnerships, Tim’s mission is to guide advisors through the complexities of continuity and succession planning – providing tailored solutions to transition practices in the event of long-term disability, death, or a planned retirement.
Tim has also been working with advisors and clients on financial planning and investment solutions since joining Pinnacle Advisory Group in 2009. After starting his career in the financial services industry at Legg Mason in 2005 he has worked in various roles for RIAs including operations, trading, marketing, and business development. The progression of his career within the RIA space has given him a unique understanding of the RIA business model which enables him to better serve advisors in search of viable continuity or succession planning.
Rick Vollaro CPA
Chief Investment Officer
Rick is Chief Investment Officer of Pinnacle Advisor Solutions. As Chief Investment Officer, Vollaro is responsible for the research direction and management of Pinnacle’s investment analysts, as well as the philosophy, tactics and trading strategy. Rick’s work includes top-down macro-economic research, domestic equity sector analysis, market capitalization strategy and porfolio risk management.
Vollaro joined the firm in 2000 and became a partner in 2008. He works with the investment team as Pinnacle’s Portfolio Manager. Rick briefs the Pinnacle Investment Committee on changes in investment strategy, and writes investment articles for the Pinnacle website. Rick has been featured in a variety of publications, including the Wall Street Transcript. He has bachelor’s degree in accounting from Fairfield University and is a non-practicing Certified Public Accountant in the State of New York.
Ken Solow CFP, CLU, ChFC
Chair of Investment Committee
Ken is one of the three founding partners of Pinnacle Advisory Group and is Chair of the Investment Committee. Ken is also author of Buy and Hold is Still Dead (Again): The Case For Active Management in Dangerous Markets considered to be the definitive work on Tactical Asset Allocation.
Sauro Locatelli CFA, FRM
Director of Quantitative Research
As Pinnacle’s Quantitative Analyst, Sauro is primarily responsible for the management and development of Pinnacle’s in-house quantitative research models, which support the firm’s investment decisions. He also serves on Pinnacle’s Investment Committee, which makes the firm’s asset allocation and security selection decisions, with a focus in international markets.
Locatelli joined Pinnacle full-time in January 2011 after completing an internship with the firm over the previous summer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a master’s degree in Finance from Bocconi University, in Italy. Sauro is a CFA charter holder and a certified Financial Risk Manager (FRM).
Carl Noble CFA
In his role as Senior Investment Analyst, Noble is involved in a variety of different research and analysis efforts, ranging from broad macro-economic topics to individual security selection issues, across different asset classes and markets. He helped develop Pinnacle’s Tactical Asset Allocation investment strategy from its beginnings in 2002, and remains actively involved in its ongoing execution. Carl is an integral part of Pinnacle’s Investment Team, which handles the day-to-day portfolio management activities.
Carl joined Pinnacle in 2001 after graduating with honors with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Maryland. Carl is a CFA charterholder.
Sean Dillon CMT, CFTe
Sean Dillon’s primary responsibilities include daily trading of client portfolios and performance management. He also serves on Pinnacle’s Investment Committee, which is responsible for making asset allocation and security selection decisions, and has become the firm’s Technical Analyst, analyzing and reporting technical conditions to the Investment Team.
Sean graduated with honors from Neumann College with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. After graduating, he worked in sales for a major financial institution, where he obtained his Series 7 and 66 certifications. He joined Pinnacle Advisory Group in October 2005 as the company’s Portfolio Trader. Sean is a Chartered Market Technician (CMT) and a Certified Financial Technician (CFTe).
Zimmermann graduated from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 2005. Shortly thereafter, he accepted a sales position for a global financial services firm in Albuquerque, where he obtained his Series 7 and 66 licenses. Two years later, Joe moved to Maryland to take a position in operations for the same company’s institutional trading arm. In 2013, he joined Pinnacle as our in-house trader.
Ross joined Pinnacle in 2017 as a trader for the Investment Team. He graduated from the Indiana Institute of Technology with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 2006. Prior to joining Pinnacle, he worked for Galecki Financial Management as the asset operations manager for 7 years. Ross lives in Millersville, MD and enjoys spending time with his family in the Washington, DC area.
Dan joined Pinnacle in 2015 as a trader for the Investment Team. He graduated from James Madison University, earning a BBA with a major in Finance. After graduating, he worked in equity fund accounting at T. Rowe Price and Bank of New York Mellon. Dan has passed all three levels of the CFA Program and may be awarded the charter upon completion of the required work experience. He currently lives in Ellicott City and enjoys playing golf in his spare time.
Financial Planning Team
MSFS, MTAX, CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC, CASL
Director of Wealth Management
Michael attended Bates College in Maine, where he found himself drawn to the liberal arts. After bouncing between several fields — including theater and medicine — he eventually graduated with a degree in psychology. His introduction to finance came entirely by chance: He needed a job, and the first position he found was in insurance sales. “A lot of the people in the office were one trick ponies — they had a favorite insurance product they wanted to sell, and promoted it to clients as the solution to every problem. But there was one individual at the agency who was a certified financial planner, and he took a more holistic approach. He would first figure out what the clients’ problems were, and would then use an array of solutions to meet their needs. It seemed intuitively obvious to me that this was the right approach, so I shifted in the direction of financial planning.”
Michael received his CFP®, along with an alphabet soup of other designations and two graduate degrees. In 2002, Michael joined Pinnacle as Director of Planning and was made a partner in 2012.
“What can we do to elevate the profession of financial planning — certainly for the benefit of our clients here at Pinnacle, but also for the industry as a whole? What can we do to provide better solutions for people? That’s what interests me.”
Kelly Wright CFP
Director of Financial Planning
Kelly Wright joined Pinnacle in August 2016 as Director of Financial Planning. He has over 25 years of experience in creating financial plans and managing the development of financial planning efforts. Kelly is a member of our Management Team and primarily works with our Wealth Managers and Planning Associates in providing our planning and wealth management services. He has been a CFP® since 1992 and has an MBA with a concentration in Finance from Loyola University Maryland and a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland.
Director of Marketing
David Poulos joined Pinnacle as the Director of Marketing in 2018. He is responsible for developing strategies that drive growth and create media and industry awareness through the effective use of events, print, direct mail, radio, video, Internet, social media, and e-mail.
Dave has over thirty years of marketing experience, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing Communications from Northeastern University. He is author of the award-winning book, The Marketing Doctor’s Survival Notes, and has published over 30 articles on a variety of marketing topics in nationally-published news magazines and websites.
Kelly O’Neill joined Pinnacle Advisor Solutions in September, 2013 as Marketing Associate. She is responsible for our day to day marketing activities, the PAS website and our social media strategy. Before joining Pinnacle, she worked in international travel having been the Product Manager and then the Director of Marketing for the BritRail Pass product line and other related travel products. Kelly is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross.
Lydia Gogerty joined Pinnacle Advisor Solutions in September, 2016 as the Partner Communications Associate. Working closely our sales team, Lydia provides support to the PAS Strategic Partners. Prior to joining Pinnacle, she spent 13 years at Deloitte as a Finance Manager. Lydia has her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Virginia.
Client Relationship Group
Kristin Tucker CFP, FPQP
Director of Client Relations
Kristin came to Pinnacle Advisory Group in July 2006 with more than six years of experience in client services, and with a background in banking. She was certified as a Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional (FPQP) in February 2007, and received her CFP® in 2011. She now serves as the manager of Pinnacle’s Operations department. She has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Salisbury University.
Karima Escalona, FPQP
Senior Client Relationship Specialist
With seven years of experience in back office operations, Karima Escalona joined Pinnacle as an Operations Associate in April 2013. She received her undergraduate degree from Baruch College majoring in Operations Management, and in 2010 earned an MBA in Finance from Walden University. She is originally from Queens, New York.
Steven Ramina, ChFC, FPQP
Senior Client Relationship Specialist
Steven joined Pinnacle Advisor Solutions in June 2015 as a Client Relationship Specialist. Steven provides support for Pinnacle’s strategic partners and their clients addressing all inquiries and requests while also ensuring the accuracy of client account administrative activities.
Prior to joining Pinnacle, he worked at Morgan Stanley within the Listed Derivative operations for two years where he was responsible for account services for institutional clients in addition to handling legal documentation and commission schedules.
Steven graduated from Goucher College with a degree in Economics.
Vilas Naralakattu, FPQP
Vilas holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and a master’s degree in Applied Information Technology from Towson University. In 2014, he earned his Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional designation (FPQP). Vilas works closely with our CRG team and our Strategic Partners as they onboard to our back office technology. Vilas is also responsible for overseeing the various technological aspects of Pinnacle’s operation.
Previously, Vilas worked for eight years with Baltimore-based Erickson Retirement Communities as a Network Administrator at their corporate headquarters, an IT Site Manager at one of their Baltimore campuses, and finally in Dallas, Texas, as a Senior IT Site Manager.
Kathy Beers, FPQP
Client Relationship Specialist
Kathy Beers has over 18 years of experience in various aspects of financial planning since becoming a Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional (FPQP) in 1998. Kathy is responsible for training our Strategic Partners on Pinnacle’s technology platform. Kathy has a bachelor’s degree in Art and Education from Coe College in her home state of Iowa.