Experience

Makes all the difference

A strategic partnership

Keith Apton, Nick Francia, and Robert Allred work together as strategic partners, striving to deliver complementary advice and solutions across all areas of their client’s financial lives.

Private Wealth Management

Keith Apton

Nick Francia

Wealth Management

Robert Allred

Keith Apton, CEPA

Managing Director–Wealth Management

Private Wealth Advisor

Keith has over 21 years of experience in the financial services industry, with an extensive background in corporate finance with entrepreneurs and business owners. As the founding partner, he heads the team's Private Wealth practice, where he works to determine client needs and match them with the proper resources of UBS, a leading global bank. Keith focuses on solutions encompassing asset allocation, as well as wealth and liability management to create tailored financial plans for his clients. His process entails a disciplined approach to help business owners with sell-side advisory solutions and post-sale financial planning to include holistic wealth management, including tax and estate planning strategies through strategic partnerships. Keith is a nationally recognized leader on ESOPs and Internal Revenue Code §1042 rollovers.

As an active member in the ESOP community, Keith's total participation in ESOP transactions has exceeded $3.5 billion in transaction value across various sectors and industries. Additionally, Keith frequently speaks at national conferences on topics including ESOPs, §1042 rollovers and business succession planning.

Keith is a member of the National Center for Employee Ownership and the finance committee for the ESOP Association. He coauthored the book Selling Your Business to an ESOP, now in its ninth edition. After becoming a Certified Exit Planning Advisor® (CEPA®) in 2018, he was asked to be an instructor for the Exit Planning Institute.

Keith previously sat on the board of Patriot Farmers of America, a nonprofit teaching entrepreneurship and sustainability to veterans seeking a future in farming. Outside the office he enjoys traveling, fly-fishing, reading, and spending time at his family farm in Virginia. Mostly, he loves being a dad to his daughters Lyla and Sutton, who he lives with in Washington, DC.

 

CA License #0H82204

Registered States:
  • AK
  • AR
  • AZ
  • CA
  • CO
  • CT
  • DC
  • DE
  • FL
  • GA
  • HI
  • IA
  • ID
  • IL
  • IN
  • KS
  • KY
  • LA
  • MA
  • MD
  • ME
  • MI
  • MN
  • MO
  • MT
  • NC
  • NJ
  • NM
  • NV
  • NY
  • OH
  • OK
  • OR
  • PA
  • RI
  • SC
  • TN
  • TX
  • UT
  • VA
  • WA
  • WI
  • WV
  • WY

Recognized as an industry leader:

  • Barron's Top 1,000 Financial Advisors, 2012, 2013The Barron's rating is awarded annually in March and is based on information from the prior year Q3. 
  • Barron's Top 1,200 Financial Advisors, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
    The Barron's rating is awarded annually in March and is based on information from the prior year Q3. 
  • Forbes America's Top Wealth Advisors, 2021, 2022The Forbes rating is compiled by Shook Research and awarded annually in April based on information from a 12 month period ending June of the prior year.
  • Forbes Best-in-State Wealth Advisors, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022The Forbes rating is compiled by Shook Research and awarded annually in April based on information from a 12 month period ending June of the prior year.
  • On Wall Street – Top 40 Advisors Under 40, 2016, 2017The Financial Planning rating is awarded annually in January or February and is based on information from October to December of the award year.

Eligibility is based on quantitative factors and is not necessarily related to the quality of the investment advice. For more information on third party rating methodologies, please visit ubs.com/us/en/designation-disclosures

Education

  • National Center for Employee Ownership, Member
  • Finance Committee ESOP Association

Credentials

  • Private Wealth Advisor
  • Certified Exit Planning Advisor
1501 K Street North West
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005

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Nick Francia, CEPA

Managing Director–Wealth Management

Private Wealth Advisor

Nick joined UBS in 2011. Prior to his tenure at UBS, he worked with high net worth individuals at a hedge fund in Greenwich, CT.

As a partner of The Capital ESOP Group, Nick focuses on educating business owners on tax-efficient exit strategies. He is committed to helping clients recognize their options, understand the pros and cons of each strategy and choose the best succession plan for themselves and their families. Nick also creates tailored cash flow models comparing the taxable sale of privately held businesses and a tax-deferred sale to an ESOP under § 1042 of the Internal Revenue Code.

With a consultative approach, Nick seeks to earn his clients' trust through open, transparent communication and by working with clients' tax and legal advisors to construct an overarching strategy.

In 2021, Nick was promoted to Managing Director-Wealth Management. He is frequently asked to speak on a national level regarding employee stock ownership plans and § 1042 rollovers. He is an associate member of the finance committee for the ESOP Association and a member of the National Center for Employee Ownership. Nick was also appointed vice president of Business Networking International in DC.

In September 2022, Nick, his wife Mary Elizabeth, and their sons Sebastian (“Baz”) and Ramsey Jay (“RJ”) welcomed the newest member of their family: Trip Clayton Francia. Outside of the office, Nick enjoys spending time with his family, reading, fly-fishing and traveling with his wife.

 

CA License #0I84884

Registered States:
  • AK
  • AR
  • AZ
  • CA
  • CO
  • CT
  • DC
  • DE
  • FL
  • GA
  • HI
  • IA
  • ID
  • IL
  • IN
  • KS
  • KY
  • LA
  • MA
  • MD
  • ME
  • MI
  • MN
  • MO
  • NC
  • NJ
  • NM
  • NV
  • NY
  • OH
  • OK
  • OR
  • PA
  • RI
  • SC
  • TN
  • TX
  • UT
  • VA
  • WA
  • WI
  • WV
  • WY

Recognized as an industry leader:

  • Barron's Top 1,200 Financial Advisors, 2021, 2022
    The Barron's rating is awarded annually in March and is based on information from the prior year Q3. 
  • Financial Planning Top 40 Financial Advisors Under 40, 2021, 2022The Financial Planning rating is awarded annually in Q1 based on information from a 12 month period ending in Septermber of the prior year.
  • Forbes America’s Top Next-Gen (Generation) Wealth Advisors, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022The Forbes rating is compiled by Shook Research and awarded annually between June and September based on information from a 12 month period ending in March of the award year.
  • Forbes America’s Top Next-Gen (Generation) Wealth Advisors Best-in-State, 2018, 2019, 2022The Forbes rating is compiled by Shook Research and awarded annually between June and September based on information from a 12 month period ending in March of the award year.
  • Forbes Best-in-State Wealth Advisors, 2020, 2021, 2022The Forbes rating is compiled by Shook Research and awarded annually in April based on information from a 12 month period ending June of the prior year.

Eligibility is based on quantitative factors and is not necessarily related to the quality of the investment advice. For more information on third party rating methodologies, please visit ubs.com/us/en/designation-disclosures

Credentials

  • Private Wealth Advisor
  • Certified Exit Planning Advisor
1501 K Street North West
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005

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Robert Allred, CFP, CPWA, Strategic Partner

Managing Director–Wealth Management

Wealth Advisor

With a focus on post-ESOP financial planning, Rob Allred has significant experience in creating customized financial plans that take into consideration the specific needs of business owners who have sold their stock to an ESOP. Rob incorporates the amortization of the seller note, the interest paid on the seller note and any nonqualified deferred compensation into his financial planning decisions. He also focuses on developing personal relationships with clients so he can successfully implement tailored asset management strategies, insurance, tax and estate planning solutions.

Over his more than 20-year career at UBS, Rob has joined the elite group of UBS Financial Advisors who have earned the designation of Certified Private Wealth Advisor®. He also holds the CERTIFIED FINNANCIAL PLANNER™ professional designation.

Rob graduated from Randolph-Macon College with a degree in business and economics. Rob lives in Vienna, VA with his wife, Molly, and four children, Lilly, Annie, Reece and Carly. Outside of the office, Rob enjoys outdoor activities, competing in triathlons and spending time with his family.

CA License #0F87954

Registered States:
  • AL
  • AZ
  • CA
  • CO
  • CT
  • DC
  • DE
  • FL
  • GA
  • HI
  • ID
  • IL
  • LA
  • MA
  • MD
  • ME
  • MI
  • MN
  • NC
  • NH
  • NJ
  • NM
  • NV
  • NY
  • OH
  • OK
  • OR
  • PA
  • RI
  • SC
  • TN
  • TX
  • VA
  • WA
  • WV

Recognized as an industry leader:

  • Forbes Best-in-State Wealth Advisors, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022The Forbes rating is compiled by Shook Research and awarded annually in April based on information from a 12 month period ending June of the prior year.

Eligibility is based on quantitative factors and is not necessarily related to the quality of the investment advice. For more information on third party rating methodologies, please visit ubs.com/us/en/designation-disclosures

Education

  • Randolph-Macon College, Business and Economics

Credentials

  • Wealth Advisor
  • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™
1501 K Street North West
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005

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Joanne Pronk, CFA

Senior Wealth Strategy Associate

Chartered Financial Analyst®

Joanne serves as the team’s primary investment consultant, leveraging her knowledge across asset classes and investment vehicles to provide clients with customized portfolio solutions to meet their cash-flow needs, planning goals and risk tolerance in a tax-efficient manner. She examines top-down economic research and performs in-depth investment manager due diligence to help shape the team’s view on portfolio construction and implementation. Apart from her role on the wealth management side, Joanne is also intricately involved with the ESOP arm of the business. On that front, she assists with qualified replacement property implementation and cash flow analysis.

Prior to joining The Capital ESOP Group, Joanne worked with an independent investment advisory firm. She had previously worked as a financial analyst in the private wealth management division at Goldman Sachs. Her experience in the financial services industry has been focused exclusively on helping high net worth individuals and families navigate their financial lives.

Joanne graduated summa cum laude from the George Washington University with a B.B.A. in finance and international business. Outside of the office, she enjoys traveling, spending time on the water, and taking weekend trips to the nearby Shenandoah Valley.

Registered States:
  • AL
  • AR
  • AZ
  • CA
  • CO
  • CT
  • DC
  • DE
  • FL
  • GA
  • HI
  • ID
  • IL
  • IN
  • KY
  • MA
  • MD
  • MI
  • MN
  • MO
  • MT
  • NC
  • NJ
  • NV
  • NY
  • OH
  • OR
  • PA
  • RI
  • SC
  • TN
  • TX
  • UT
  • VA
  • WA
  • WY

Education

  • The George Washington University, B.B.A. Finance and International Business, summa cum laude

Credentials

  • Chartered Financial Analyst®
1501 K Street North West
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005

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Sarah Bothner, CEPA

Senior Wealth Strategy Associate

Certified Exit Planning Advisor

Sarah is responsible for managing the team’s tailored cash flow modeling function. Through detailed analyses, she helps business owners compare the taxable sale of privately held businesses with §1042 tax-deferred sales to employee stock ownership plans. She also leads the team’s marketing campaigns and creates original content regarding ESOPs. Prior to officially joining The Capital ESOP Group, Sarah worked at UBS and gained experience in both the wealth management and business solutions fields.

Sarah graduated with a B.S.B.A. from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, where she majored in operations and information management and finance. She is originally from Rochester, NY. Outside the office, she enjoys reading, playing golf and attending concerts in the DC area.

Registered States:
  • AZ
  • CA
  • CT
  • DC
  • FL
  • HI
  • IN
  • MD
  • MO
  • NJ
  • NY
  • OH
  • PA
  • TX
  • VA
  • WA

Education

  • McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, B.S.B.A.

Credentials

  • Certified Exit Planning Advisor
1501 K Street North West
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005

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Steve Brinckhaus

Senior Client Associate

In successfully managing all service needs for clients of The Capital ESOP Group, Steve Brinckhaus leverages the vast experience he’s gained over his nearly 15-year financial services career. He also helps to keep the team operating in an organized and efficient manner.

Steve holds a B.A from the University of Mary Washington. He resides in Severna Park, MD and enjoys traveling with his wife and kids, playing sports and rooting for the Washington Redskins.

Registered States:
  • CA
  • DC
  • MD
  • NJ
  • NY
  • TN
  • VA

Education

  • University of Mary Washington, B.A.
1501 K Street North West
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005

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Sharlene Samuel

Director

Market Supervisory Officer

Beginning her career nearly 30 years ago on the foreign currency options trading desk of a Wall Street investment banking firm, Sharlene Samuel now leads a team of supervisory officers who ensure that all industry and firm policy changes are clearly communicated and implemented. She and her team focus on proactive risk management and supervision of the UBS Washington, D.C. market. Sharlene graduated from Pace University with a bachelor‘s degree in international management with a minor in french. She is an avid potter who spends much of her spare time creating wheel-thrown functional pots for daily use.

Registered States:
  • AK
  • AL
  • AR
  • AZ
  • CA
  • CO
  • CT
  • DC
  • DE
  • FL
  • GA
  • HI
  • IA
  • ID
  • IL
  • IN
  • KS
  • KY
  • LA
  • MA
  • MD
  • ME
  • MN
  • MO
  • MS
  • MT
  • NC
  • ND
  • NE
  • NH
  • NJ
  • NM
  • NV
  • NY
  • OH
  • OK
  • OR
  • PA
  • RI
  • SC
  • SD
  • TN
  • TX
  • UT
  • VA
  • VT
  • WA
  • WI
  • WV
  • WY

Education

  • Pace University, International Management, Minor in French
1501 K Street North West
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005

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Breton Laubscher, CIMA

Wealth Strategy Associate

Certified Investment Management Analyst®

As a Wealth Strategy Associate with The Capital ESOP Group, Breton Laubscher brings an extraordinary passion and care to helping clients achieve their financial goals. Breton takes a truly consultative approach to working with clients—a valuable skill he garnered over a more than 10-year career in sales before entering the financial services industry. He has a love of the markets, a knack for problem-solving and an enjoyment from seeing others succeed.

Breton completed the Investment Management Theory & Practice program from the Yale School of Management, and holds a B.S. in communication studies from Towson University. He and his wife, Samantha, live in Millersville, MD with their two sons, Maxwell and Banks. In his free time, Breton enjoys golfing, waterskiing, snow skiing, reading and photography.

Registered States:
  • AL
  • AR
  • AZ
  • CA
  • CO
  • CT
  • DC
  • DE
  • FL
  • GA
  • HI
  • ID
  • IL
  • IN
  • KS
  • KY
  • LA
  • MA
  • MD
  • MN
  • MO
  • MT
  • NC
  • NJ
  • NM
  • NV
  • NY
  • OH
  • OR
  • PA
  • RI
  • SC
  • SD
  • TN
  • TX
  • UT
  • VA
  • WA
  • WI
  • WY

Credentials

  • Certified Investment Management Analyst®
1501 K Street North West
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005

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Jake William Pantalone

Wealth Strategy Associate

Jake works to support and inform wealth management decisions and processes. He performs research, analysis and due diligence to ensure that the team is pursuing the best opportunities with up-to-date knowledge. He also generates investment allocation proposals, builds out reports to review existing client portfolios and communicates with third-party asset managers.

Originally from Philadelphia, Jake graduated with a B.S.B.A. from the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business at Duquesne University, where he majored in finance and accounting. Prior to joining The Capital ESOP Group, he had completed internships in consumer banking and tax accounting before working in small business lending for a time. Outside of the office, he enjoys soccer, spends a lot of time reading and is always looking for somewhere new to go hiking.

Registered States:
  • AK
  • AR
  • AZ
  • CA
  • CO
  • CT
  • DC
  • DE
  • FL
  • GA
  • HI
  • ID
  • IL
  • IN
  • KS
  • KY
  • MA
  • MD
  • ME
  • MI
  • MN
  • MO
  • MT
  • NC
  • NJ
  • NV
  • NY
  • OH
  • OR
  • PA
  • RI
  • SC
  • TN
  • TX
  • UT
  • VA
  • WA
  • WV
  • WY
1501 K Street North West
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005

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Alexandra Mulligan

Client Associate

As a Registered Client Service Associate, Ally focuses on providing exceptional service to our clients through all stages of the relationship. She works diligently with the team to manage account opening, perform account maintenance and resolve client inquiries. Her experience within UBS allows her to access the firm’s resources to provide the type of service experience discerning clients expect. Prior to joining UBS in 2019, Ally spent two years at Franklin Templeton Investments as a territory coordinator.

Ally earned her bachelor’s degree from University of Colorado in 2013. She holds her Series 7 and Series 63 securities licenses. Outside of the office, Ally enjoys running, practicing yoga, traveling and most importantly, spending time with her loved ones.

Registered States:
  • AK
  • CA
  • CT
  • DC
  • FL
  • GA
  • MA
  • MD
  • MN
  • MO
  • NJ
  • NV
  • NY
  • OK
  • RI
  • VA
  • WA
  • WV
  • WY
1501 K Street North West
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005

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Kaveh Gilanshah

Wealth Strategy Associate

As a member of The Capital ESOP Group, Kaveh is responsible for creating financial models comparing the taxable sale of privately held businesses with §1042 tax-deferred sales to Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs). Kaveh is committed to client service and doing whatever it takes to help clients make an educated decision on what is best for them and their families. He also assists the team in managing the 1042 QRP allocation process taking into consideration and analyzing different ESOP bond terms.

Prior to joining UBS, Kaveh worked at a private wealth management firm as a research analyst. He is a resident of Great Falls, Virginia, and a graduate of GMU with a B.S in Finance, where he was recognized for his leadership position in the GMU Student Managed Investment Fund. Kaveh is an avid tennis player and active member of the United States Tennis Association. He also has a passion for skiing and photography.

Registered States:
  • DC
1501 K Street North West
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005

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