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Our Clients are Uncommonly Successful 

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

Navigating Complexity.

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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.

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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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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.

Our Team

Brendan Connaughton Photo

Brendan Connaughton

Founder - Managing Director, Catalyst Private Wealth
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Brendan Connaughton

Founder - Managing Director, Catalyst Private Wealth

brendan@catalystprivatewealth.com

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.

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Mitch Sands

Founder – Wealth Advisor
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Mitch Sands

Founder – Wealth Advisor

mitch@catalystprivatewealth.com

Working as a Wealth Advisor, Mitch collaborates with the Catalyst team to deliver comprehensive planning & investment management to clients. He holds the Series 65 and is licensed to provide investment advisory services.

Before starting Catalyst Private Wealth, Mitch worked as a Senior Wealth Advisor at ClearPath Capital Partners.  In addition, Mitch is an investor and advisor to a number of early stage tech startups in the Ed-tech, Sports Tech, and Augmented Reality Space. Mitch graduated Cum Laude from the University of San Diego, where he earned Bachelor Degrees in Finance and Business Administration.  Mitch earned Dean's List First Honors and was a four-year member of the USD NCAA D1-AA Football Team.  Playing football, he was recognized on the Academic Honor Roll by the Pioneer Football League and was an active member of the Autism Tree Project Foundation.  He was also a Kappa Gamma Pi member and a member of the National Catholic College Graduate Honor Society.

Mitch was born and raised in Southern California but has lived in San Francisco for the last five years, where he spends his free time golfing, traveling or on the water whenever he can - wake boarding, water skiing or fishing. Mitch is a Young Professionals Board Member for Best Buddies California, an organization he's been involved with since high school.

Bryan Wilson Photo

Bryan Wilson

Founder – Wealth Advisor
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Bryan Wilson

Founder – Wealth Advisor

bryan@catalystprivatewealth.com

Working as a Wealth Advisor, Bryan collaborates with the Catalyst team to deliver comprehensive planning & investment management to clients. He holds the 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 currently lives in the Marina, San Francisco. 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.

Areas of Focus: Relationship Management, Stock Option Planning, Venture, Secondary Market, & Startups.

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Brad Herman, CFP®, ChFC®

FOUNDER – WEALTH STRATEGIST
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Brad A. Herman, CFP®, ChFC®

FOUNDER – WEALTH STRATEGIST

brad@catalystprivatewealth.com

While in college, Brad was asked to be an intern at a large financial services company. The rest is history, as they say. He found his perfect spot in the financial services industry, one that allows him to use his interest and skills in finance along with his desire to truly help others. 

For nearly two decades, Brad has specialized in working with ultra high net worth individuals. The reward for Brad is being able to help clients reduce the complexities of managing their wealth, preserving what they have created, and finding the right long-term solutions. He believes that through a deep understanding of each client’s situation and comprehensive goal development, customized strategies can be designed to help each client achieve their life’s objectives. 

Prior to Catalyst Private Wealth, Brad served as Vice President at a large brokerage firm and prior oversaw all wealth planning operations in the Pacific Northwest at Union Bank in the Private Bank division. Brad began his career in the financial planning division of one of the largest, U.S.-based, insurance companies. 

Brad focuses on wealth transfer planning, tax minimization and planning strategies, estate planning, business succession planning, retirement planning, asset protection, and risk mitigation strategies. 

Brad received a Bachelor of Science from San Diego State University, with an emphasis in Finance. There, he completed the Executive Financial Planner Advanced Certificate program for personal planning. In addition, he holds a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional (CFP®) designation from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, and a Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) designation from The American College.

In his free time, Brad enjoys traveling, working out, snowboarding, and experiencing wines of the world. He loves winter in the mountains and summer in the waves. 

Brad and his fiancé are getting married in June 2018 in the Sonoma Valley. The couple met at “Some Random Bar” - a real place in Seattle. 


CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM and CFP® (with flame logo) are certification marks owned by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. These marks are awarded to individuals who successfully complete the CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements. 

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John Dodd

Founder – Chief Investment Officer
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John Dodd

Founder – Chief Investment Officer

john@catalystprivatewealth.com

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 portfolios. Previously, John was the Director of Research at another large wealth management firm as well as an Analyst at Franklin Templeton Investments.

He graduated cum laude from the University of California, Davis (B.S., Managerial Economics) and is an Accredited Wealth Management AdvisorSM designee. He is also a Level III candidate in the CFA Program and holds his Series 65 securities registration.

In his spare time, John is an avid home 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 also having any excuse he can find to go to the coast.