Our role

The world's wealthiest individuals establish family offices in order to have a professional team solely dedicated to serving their family's best interests. Vernal Point Advisors was founded by former family office executives to bring this level of transparency, alignment, and focus to its clients.

Our clients typically use us as their outsourced family office. In this role, we become our clients' most knowledgeable trusted advisor, and are charged with leading the family's other team members to deliver consistent, high quality service.

Our Leadership Team

Paul Morelli / Managing Partner
Kevin Goldstein / Chief Investment Officer
Leigh Shimamoto / Managing Director of Wealth Management
Richard Faw / Director of Quantitative Research
Michael Lewis / Director of Wealth Strategies
Angeles Gottheil / Chief Operating Officer
Liz Wu / Director of Financial Operations


Paul Morelli, CFA, CFP, CAIA
Managing Partner

Email Paul at pm@vernalpoint.com

Paul Morelli founded Vernal Point Advisors. He previously established and ran a single-family office in San Francisco for the family of a top ranked investment manager. Paul has also worked as a family office specialist at Silver Bridge Family Office Partners, and as a strategy consultant to start-ups and private foundations.

In previous roles, Paul was the lead investment advisor to families, trusts, and foundations with complex portfolios. Paul has continued this focus at Vernal Point by leading relationships with the firm’s most complex clients and those undergoing significant transitions such as liquidity events. His areas of investment research include custom indexing strategies, after-tax asset allocation frameworks, and portfolio volatility management. He collaborates with the wealth strategy team to structure the integration of tax and investment strategies, and to implement goals based portfolio management.

Paul is a Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst and a CFA charter holder. He received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. His volunteer time is dedicated to developing educational content on financial topics, both for the Redwoods Initiative, and as chair of the Financial Services Alliance of San Francisco.


Kevin Goldstein
Chief Investment Officer

Kevin Goldstein is the Chief Investment Officer at Vernal Point Advisors. Kevin has over 20 years of experience building and managing portfolios, as both a direct investor and as an allocator of capital to other managers. 

Kevin was previously a Director at Stanford Management Company, which is the organization that oversees the university’s $26 billion in endowment assets. At Stanford, he sourced and underwrote investment opportunities across the portfolio, reported to an internal asset allocation team, and launched a successful co-invest program. He was also part of a small team that re-underwrote and restructured the portfolio following a CIO transition in 2014. Kevin was an Investment Fellow at the University of California Regents, which manages approximately $115 billion in assets on behalf of the 10 UC universities. In this role, Kevin helped the Public Equity team identify, strengthen, and scale its best partnership opportunities worldwide. 

Previously, Kevin was a direct investor and founding partner at two hedge funds, Great Gable Partners in San Francisco, and Arcanum Capital in Chicago. The limited partners in both funds were large families from around the globe. Kevin started his career as an equity analyst at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) in New York and London, where he was recognized as a top-ranked analyst in the Reuters 2000 Institutional Analyst Poll. 

Kevin holds a B.A. in American Studies, cum laude, from Amherst College and a M.B.A. from Stanford University.


Leigh Shimamoto, JD, CFP®
Managing Director of Wealth Management

Email Leigh at leigh@vernalpoint.com

Leigh is a principal and the Director of Planning at Vernal Point Advisors. Leigh is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) and California Bar licensed attorney with 15 years of experience in the financial services industry.

Most recently, Leigh spent over 8 years at Aspiriant, an $8+ billion independent wealth management firm in San Francisco. She worked with high net worth individuals and their families, most of whom are corporate executives of companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, entrepreneurs and professionals. Much of her focus was on assisting executives with concentrated stock positions, implementing 10b5-1 stock sales plans and executive compensation. While at Aspiriant, she also managed one of their corporate engagements with a Fortune 500 company, overseeing the firm’s wealth management services to the Company’s top-level executives.

Before joining Aspiriant, Leigh worked at Merrill Lynch as a financial planning specialist. She worked with financial advisors, introducing and implementing financial planning into their practices. She eventually joined a team of advisors to provide comprehensive wealth management to the team’s clients.

In addition to working at Vernal Point Advisors, Leigh is active with the Financial Planning Association (FPA). She has served on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco chapter and is currently serving as the Chair of the FPA Northern California Conference, a nationally recognized professional conference.


Richard Faw, CFA, CAIA, FSA
Director of Quantitative Research

Email rfaw@vernalpoint.com

Richard has nearly two decades of experience in the consulting and investment advisory business. Before joining Vernal Point Advisors, he founded Setarcos Investment Advisors in 2011 to work with families, trusts, and other taxable clients. Prior to then he worked for Mercer, a major multinational consulting firm, serving as the lead investment advisor to institutional investors with assets totaling more than $3 billion.

Richard's role at Vernal Point is to lead the development of the firm's capital market forecasts and its core asset allocation strategies. His varied professional training and experience allows the firm to bring quantitative rigor and consistency to the construction of the highly customized portfolios characteristically required by Vernal Point's client base.

Richard earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the University of the South, is a CFA Charterholder, a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst, a Certified Financial Risk Manager, and a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries. His volunteer time is focused on the arts as a board member of Green Art Workshop.


Michael J. Lewis, CFP®
Director of Wealth Strategies

Email Michael at mlewis@vernalpoint.com

Michael is the Director of Wealth Strategies at Vernal Point Advisors, and also serves as a client advisor. Michael previously worked at Aspiriant, where he served as a wealth manager for over 50 high net worth and family office clients, and was deeply involved in developing the firm’s systems and intellectual property. Michael is also contributing author of the book “Managing Concentrated Stock Wealth: An Advisor’s Guide to Building Customized Solutions, 2nd Edition,” published in January 2016.

In his role as a client advisor, Michael focuses on clients with needs in the areas of concentrated wealth management, executive compensation optimization, and family office services. As Director of Wealth Strategies, he’s involved in the development of the firm’s financial decision making tools, customized portfolio construction methods, and systems. He is instrumental in helping Vernal Point deliver deep customization cost-efficiently to our client base.

Michael graduated from UC San Diego with a BA in Literature in 1997. He also attended the UC Berkeley, Personal Financial Planning program, and earned a Certificate Awarded with Distinction in 2009. He is a Certified Financial Planner as well, and has created leading educational programs for the local financial planning community through his volunteer work at the Financial Planning Association.


Angeles Gottheil
Chief Operating Officer

Email Angeles at coo@vernalpoint.com

Angeles has 6 years'€™ experience managing operations for boutique wealth advisors. She previously worked as an analyst and client service associate for high-net worth clients, moving to a director role once her prior firm doubled in size. Her focus is implementing investment management technology solutions and working with other financial service providers to improve clients' experiences. Separately, she is the volunteer CFO for Land Action, a local nonprofit focused on mobilizing unused property for social benefit, including a current campaign to construct urban microfarms. She received her B.S. in International Economics from Georgetown University.

Liz Wu
Director of Financial Operations

Liz is the Director of Financial Operations at Vernal Point Advisors. She began her career in the financial services industry over 10 years ago as an independent advisor to individual and small business clients. Liz worked with clients to develop comprehensive financial plans, addressing areas such as concentrated stock positions, tax efficiency, and retirement and estate planning strategies. Over time, she shifted her focus to operations, where she could help effectively execute complex plans and transactions.

Prior to joining Vernal Point, Liz worked in Investment Operations at Aspiriant, collaborating closely with over 60 households and their Wealth Managers. She also helped manage the internal trading platform and innovate operational workflows for greater efficiency. She received her B.A. in Economics from UC Berkeley and is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®).