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
Liz Wu / Director of Financial Operations
John Turcik / Director of Portfolio Management
Alexis Middle / Director of Client Operations
Heidi Johnson / Chief Compliance Officer
Paul Morelli, CFA, CFP, CAIA
Paul Morelli is the Managing Partner of Vernal Point Advisors and founded the firm in 2012. In this role he leads the design of custom family offices for clients and is involved in the design and integration of their tax and investment strategies. Since founding Vernal Point, he has advised on over $3 billion of family wealth.
Paul previously established and managed a single-family office in San Francisco, worked as an ultra-high net worth advisor at a bicoastal multi-family office, and worked as a management consultant. He is a Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst and a Chartered Financial Analyst. He received his B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.
Philanthropy for Paul over the course of his career has focused on developing educational programs on advanced wealth management topics. From 2011 to 2017 he established and chaired a regional alliance of non-profit professional associations focused on training wealth advisors to better serve the public. He has also trained the next generation of over thirty ultra-high net worth families to be better stewards of their financial and philanthropic resources.
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. At Vernal Point, Kevin leads the firm’s investment strategy, manager research, and portfolio construction efforts.
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 U.C. 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
Leigh is a principal and Director of Wealth Management at Vernal Point Advisors. As Director of Wealth Management, Leigh oversees the financial planning processes the firm implements for each client and serves as an advisor on client teams.
Prior to joining Vernal Point Advisors, Leigh was an advisor at Aspiriant, a $12+ 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 C-suite and other top level executives.
Leigh graduated with a B.A. from University of California, San Diego andJ.D. from Santa Clara University, School of Law.She also attended Oxford University and received an International Law Certificate in Comparative Law.Leigh is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®).
Richard Faw, CFA, CAIA, FSA
Director of Quantitative Research
Richard has over two decades of experience in the consulting and investment advisory business. Richard's role at Vernal Point is to lead the development of the firm's capital market forecasts and its core asset allocation modelling. His varied professional training and experience allows the firm to bring quantitative rigor and consistency to the construction of highly customized portfolios.
Previously Richard 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 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, a Certified Financial Planner 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
Michael Lewis is the Director of Wealth Strategies at Vernal Point Advisors and joined the firm in 2015. In this role he works with our most complex clients (multi-generational families, GPs of elite investment firms, founders of public and private companies) to help provide decision context and strategic organization around their wealth planning objectives. He is also involved in the development of the firm's financial decision-making tools, portfolio construction methods, and systems. He is instrumental in helping Vernal Point deliver cost-efficient customization and wealth planning services to our client base.
From 2008 to 2015, Michael worked at Aspiriant, where he served as a wealth manager to over 50 high net worth and family office clients, and was deeply involved in developing the firm's wealth planning tools and intellectual property.
Michael was the contributing author of the book "Managing Concentrated Stock Wealth: An Advisor's Guide to Building Customized Solutions, 2nd Edition," published in 2016. He received his B.A. in Literature from the UC San Diego. In 2009, he attended the UC Berkeley, Personal Financial Planning program, and earned a Certificate Awarded with Distinction. He is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®).
Liz Wu, CFP®
Director of Financial Operations
Liz is the Director of Financial Operations at Vernal Point Advisors. She handles all operational tasks necessary to implement and maintain client investments, assists with portfolio reporting, executes security transactions and cashiering requests, and supports clients in all other administrative matters.
Liz 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®).
John Turcik, MBA
Director of Portfolio Management
John is a Principal and the Director of Portfolio Management at Vernal Point Advisors. As Director of Portfolio Management, John leads the day-to-day implementation of each client’s tax-optimized custom investment strategy. He works closely with the firm’s wealth strategy, investment research, and financial operations teams to ensure that client portfolios are invested thoughtfully to address each aspect of their holistic wealth picture.
Prior to joining Vernal Point, John was the head of the San Francisco office of Veritable, LP, a $15 billion independent wealth advisory firm serving ultra-high net worth individuals and families. In over 13 years with Veritable, John worked with many of their largest and most complex client engagements, including multiple Forbes 400 families and their associated foundations. John has been involved with all aspects of the wealth management process, with particular emphasis on developing customized, after-tax asset allocation strategy and coordinating multi-generational wealth transfer and giving strategies.
John graduated from Swarthmore College in 2005 with a B.A. in Economics. He earned his MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania with majors in Finance and Marketing & Operations Strategy. He graduated with highest honors and was named a Palmer Scholar for outstanding academic achievement.
Director of Client Operations
As Director of Client Operations, Alexis orchestrates all aspects of client service in complement to the technical service delivery teams at Vernal Point. Drawing on her background as an operations executive, she also plays an integral role in the administration of the firm.
Alexis has over 20 years of industry experience working closely with high net worth individuals and their teams. Most recently, Alexis spent over 7 years at Evercore ISI, a leading global independent investment bank, where she joined the sales team and assisted in growing the San Francisco office. Prior to joining Evercore ISI, Alexis was the Director of Operations for Willow Creek Capital Management, a hedge fund, for over 10 years. She was an integral part of the management team that helped the fund assets grow from $200 million to over $1 Billion. Alexis was the primary contact for all investor related enquiries and was responsible for all accounting, legal, prime broker, compliance and back office operations.
She received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of Michigan. She currently sits on the Executive and Grants Committees for Help For Children San Francisco, a charity whose mission is prevention and treatment of child abuse.
Chief Compliance Officer
As Chief Compliance Officer, Heidi is responsible for developing and implementing the firm's regulatory compliance program.
Heidi has twenty years of experience in the financial services industry focusing on both operations and compliance. Since 2014 she has also been a Senior Compliance Consultant with Gordian Compliance Solutions providing compliance consulting services to registered investment advisors and broker-dealers. Prior to joining Vernal Point and Gordian, she spent seven years with Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management in London and San Francisco where she was a Vice President and held roles in Strategic Planning/Cost Management and Divisional Administration. Prior to that, she spent five years at JPMorgan Private Bank (formerly Hambrecht & Quist) as a Vice President and Administrative Manager. While there she was an integral member of the team responsible for migrating Hambrecht and Quist private clients onto the JPMorgan operational model.
She received her B.A. in History and B.S. in Anthropology from the University of Utah and her Masters of Accountancy from Golden Gate University.