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Our Clients are Uncommonly Successful 

Founders, early employees, developers, executives, risk takers, serial entrepreneurs, and innovators.

Navigating Complexity.

Our team’s comprehensive expertise and diverse skill sets work together to manage, plan, and adjust the financial picture of our clients. Our hands on approach to wealth management provides clients confidence that their personal finances are in order while giving them the flexibility to build, disrupt, and develop their respective ecosystems whether it’s venture, startup, or tech world.


Wealth Management

Looking at the Full Picture with a Planning-First Approach

Managing Risk

Stock Option Planning, Startups, and Satellite Investments 

Secondary Market

Liquidity Solutions & Access Vehicle to Private Stock

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About Us

Our Firm

Catalyst Private Wealth was formed to solve the unique wealth management needs of innovators and leaders. Our clients often carry outsized risks, concentrated stock positions, and the need for comprehensive planning to navigate liquidity before, during, and after an event.

Next Generation of Wealth

Catalyst Private Wealth is the next generation wealth advisory firm for the next generation of wealth. We’re a boutique team of experts who each focus on a specific area in the financial picture of our clients. We combine our varying specialties to build a holistic wealth plan and a unique client experience that evolves alongside our clients’ lives.  

Wealth Management

Our Approach

The common characteristic amongst the individuals we work with is that at some point in their career, they have an over-weighted exposure to idiosyncratic risk.  Outsized risk directly impacts the way we address wealth planning and investment management.

When concentrated risk makes up a large portion of an individual’s net worth, it needs to be managed in correlation with the rest of their financial picture. In our truly holistic strategy, we work to create a balance between wealth generation, capital preservation, and asset protection, while taking into account the outsized risk of the individual situation.

Our Services

Wealth Planning (Asset Protection)
Outsized Risk (Wealth Generation)
Investment Management (Capital Preservation)


Concentrated Equity Planning

Preserving wealth after an IPO, acquisition, merger, or other liquidity event can be challenging. However, working with an unbiased, knowledgeable financial advisory team before, during, and after a liquidity event, can position you and your family for the rest of your life.

Tax Strategies
Hedging & Structured Liquidation
Lending Solutions

Client Experience

A Unique Experience

Our clients receive a customized approach that constantly evolves along with their lives both proactively (retirement, first home purchase, starting a family, etc.), and reactively (new job, exercising equity, acquisitions, etc.). A second tier of what we deliver is a naturally progressing relationship with clients depending where they are on the risk spectrum, in the startup cycle, and from a liquidity standpoint.

The Catalyst Network

Our niche has required the Catalyst Private Wealth team to build meaningful relationships to support our clients and culture. We have cultivated an amazing network of clients, business partners, and investors. Our network serves as an important resource that connects people with similar interests, and is a vehicle for future partnerships and collaborations.

Our Team

Mitch Sands Photo

Mitch Sands

Founding Partner – Lead Advisor
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Mitch Sands



Mitch Sands is a Founding Partner and Lead Advisor at Catalyst Private Wealth. As a Lead Advisor, Mitch works directly with high-net-worth families and spearheads the execution of their comprehensive financial and investment management plans. He has a specialty in working with clients with concentrated equity positions in both the private and public markets and takes great pride in his team’s ability to navigate the complexities of their client's financial picture. He holds Series 7, 63, and 65, licensing him to provide investment advisory services. 

Mitch lives in the Bay Area with his lovely wife, Anne, and their young son, Will – one of the newest members of Catalyst. Born and raised in Southern California, Mitch graduated Cum Laude with degrees in both Finance and Business Administration, from the University of San Diego.  While a student at USD, Mitch earned Dean’s List First Honors, played for the USD football team all four years, and met his wife, Anne, a fellow Torero!

Mitch remains active in his community having served on the board of the Northern California branch of the Best Buddies Organization, a non-profit dedicated to ending the isolation of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

Mitch and Anne love the joys of parenting and exposing Will to new life experiences.  Their trips usually involve boating, fishing, golfing, or playing on the beach, but some of their favorite nights are simply hosting barbecues in their backyard with their friends and family! 

Bryan Wilson Photo

Bryan Wilson

Founding Partner – Lead Advisor
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Bryan Wilson



Bryan is a Founding Partner and a Lead Advisor at Catalyst Private Wealth. Working as an advisor, Bryan collaborates with the Catalyst team to deliver comprehensive planning & investment management to clients. He holds the Series 7, Series 63 & Series 65 and is licensed to provide investment advisory services.

Before starting Catalyst Private Wealth, Bryan worked as a Senior Wealth Advisor at ClearPath Capital Partners. Other professional experiences include working for Boston Private, E3 Healthcare, Sonus, and Borel Bank. In addition, Bryan is an investor and advisor to a number of early stage tech startups. He obtained his undergraduate degree from the Lundquist College of Business at the University of Oregon where he was a Dean’s List scholar.

Born and raised in San Mateo, Bryan attended Saint Francis High School. He, along with his wife Laura, relocated to his hometown along with their beloved French Bulldog, Drake. Recently, they welcomed their daughter, Olivia, into their lives. In his spare time, Bryan can be found on the golf course, binge watching the most recent Netflix documentary, and supporting all Bay Area local sports teams... except the Raiders.

John Dodd, CFA Photo

John Dodd, CFA

Founding Partner – Chief Investment Officer
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John Dodd, CFA

FoundING PARTNER – Chief Investment Officer


John serves as the Chief Investment Officer overseeing Catalyst Private Wealth’s investment process. He chairs the Catalyst Private Wealth Investment Team, which manages a diverse set of global portfolios. Previously, John was the Director of Research at ClearPath Capital Partners as well as an Analyst at Franklin Templeton Investments.

He graduated cum laude from the University of California, Davis (B.S., Managerial Economics), is a CFA® charterholder, and holds his Series 65 securities registration.

In his spare time, John is a winemaker focusing on making wines from the Santa Cruz mountains and is also active in a local Church with his wife Jen.  On the weekends, he enjoys hiking and having any excuse he can find to go to the coast.

Brendan Connaughton Photo

Brendan Connaughton

Founding Partner - Managing Partner
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Brendan Connaughton



For over 25 years Brendan has been a leader in the wealth and investment management industry. As a strategist, researcher, author, speaker, and business owner he has developed and implemented investment and wealth planning strategies that have helped thousands of investors, individuals, charitable organizations, and corporations.

As the Managing Director, he leads the Catalyst team as they build innovative and customized wealth management solutions and strategies for clients. Brendan’s years of industry experience, success as an investor, entrepreneurial passion and strong work ethic make him a valuable resource for our unique client set.

Prior to founding Catalyst Private Wealth, Brendan held sr. level positions of Chief Investment Officer, Sr. Investment Strategist, Sr. Portfolio Manager, Securities Analyst and Bond Trader at some of the world’s leading firms including Blackrock, HSBC Private Bank, Deutsche Bank Private Wealth and Wells Fargo.

Brendan holds a bachelor’s degree from Benedictine College and is licensed as an Investment Advisory Representative (he holds the Series 65 securities registration), Chartered Economist and Chartered Portfolio Manager.

He is a frequent media resource on wealth management issues having appeared on CNBC and Bloomberg Television. Brendan is a contributor for various media outlets as well including Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones’s MarketWatch, the San Francisco Chronicle, Marin Independent Journal and Houston Chronicle.

Brendan is originally from St. Louis, Missouri and has never lost his love of the Midwest or his treasured St. Louis Cardinals. Brendan has two wonderful college-age daughters he is immensely proud of and lives in Marin County, CA. Charitability, he gives his time and efforts to Catholic Charities, the St. Vincent DePaul society and the San Francisco Symphony.

Maki Kern Photo

Maki Kern

Head of Client Service
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Maki Kern joined Catalyst as Head of Client Services in 2022. She collaborates with the Catalyst team to ensure client service excellence while delivering comprehensive planning and investment management to clients. Maki holds her Series 7 and 66, and is licensed to provide investment advisory services.

Prior to joining Catalyst, Maki worked as a Client Advisor at AllianceBernstein (AB). She started at AB in New York as an associate, and in 2019, she was selected to open the Private Client office of AB’s newly-established headquarters in Nashville. In 2021, Maki was promoted to Client Advisor in AB’s San Francisco office, where she advised entrepreneurs, foundations, and families. Prior to AB, Maki worked at UBS as a Private Client Rotational Associate.

Maki was born in Honolulu and spent her teen years in Washington state before moving to New York to attend Marymount Manhattan College, where she graduated with honors, earning a Bachelor's of Science in International Business with a minor in economics. While earning her degree, she was also a student at the Atlantic Theater's conservatory, where she studied acting, directing and dramaturgy for two years. Her interests include theater, traveling, cooking, podcasts, and American history.

Maki has fallen in love with the Bay Area over the last year, and spends her weekends exploring her new hometown. She is always grateful for suggestions on local restaurants and adventures!

Stacy Sizemore Photo

Stacy Sizemore

Chief Compliance Officer
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Stacy Sizemore



Stacy is the Chief Compliance Officer of Catalyst Private Wealth.  As a compliance professional, she collaborates with the Catalyst team to preserve a culture of compliance and advise us of our regulatory responsibilities. She previously held the Series 7, 9, 10, 24 and 79 when she was associated with a broker-dealer and currently maintains her 63, and 66 and is licensed to provide investment advisory services.

Stacy has over 20 years of experience in the financial industry; 12 of which are in the field of compliance. She has worked with broker-dealers, investment advisors, and hybrids of the two at CitiGroup Smith Barney, D.A. Davidson, and M Securities.  Her strong background in compliance, regulatory audits and her passion for organization is a tremendous asset to tru.

As an Oregon native born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Stacy stayed local and attended Oregon State University where she earned a B.S. in Sociology with an emphasis on Journalism and Marketing.  Stacy, her husband Chris, and teenage daughter, Delanie are true Portlanders.  

Stacy married into an avid basketball family.  Her daughter played competitive ball on a traveling team for six years, her husband coached club ball for over ten years and currently coaches a varsity girls team for a local high school in his spare time and her father-in-law was a high school and club coach for many years. Needless to say, Stacy spends a lot of time watching hoops!   


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