Summit’s Consultants are consistently recognized for client satisfaction and results. They have extensive experience across investment specialties and bring a wealth of knowledge and perspective to every relationship. The Consultant is the primary contact for clients and leads a firm-wide team of experts who collectively seek the best investment ideas specifically tailored to meet the needs of their clients. To maintain a productive client/consultant relationship, each Summit Consultant serves a maximum of 10 clients.
Traditional Consulting Team
Stephen P. Holmes, CFA
Investment Experience: 27 years
Firm Tenure: 27 years
Steve was a founder of Summit Strategies Group in 1995 and has served as its President since 1996. He began his consulting career in 1987 and was a founding member of Asset Consulting Group in 1990. Steve is a graduate of Georgetown University’s Graduate School of Business and Creighton University. He earned his CFA charter in 1991 and became the youngest President ever of the St. Louis Society of Financial Analysts in 1993. He has served on the Board of the Richmond Heights Police & Firemen’s Pension Fund for more than 20 years. When not working, Steve loves to duck hunt with his buddies, fly fish in Montana with anybody, and hang out at his farm in St. James, Missouri with his wife, Betsy, and their four children.
Thomas P. Pollihan, CFA
Investment Experience: 26 years
Firm Tenure: 17 years
Tom is a Managing Director and significant firm shareholder, and serves as lead consultant to several of Summit’s largest premier clients; specializing in consulting to corporate plans and hospital assets. Prior to joining Summit, Tom spent nine years at Ralston Purina Company, where his last position was Director of Financial Services, overseeing the investment of the US and Canadian defined benefit plans and the US LTD plan. In addition, he managed the fixed income portfolio within Ralston’s US defined benefit plan. Tom graduated summa cum laude from Southeast Missouri State University with a BS in Business Administration and received his MS in Finance from Purdue University. Tom is a CFA charter holder and member of the CFA Society of St. Louis. For over fifteen years, Tom continues to serve on the Finance Committee of Family Resource Center, which is a non-profit agency that treats abused children. When not working or taking his two boys to their hockey games, Tom enjoys trout fishing with his family, traveling, reading, and collecting antiquities.
Jessica N. Portis, CFA
Senior Vice President,
Director of Consulting
Investment Experience: 14 years
Firm Tenure: 14 years
Jessica is a Senior Vice President and lead consultant, and also serves as Director of Summit’s Consulting group. As a member of the investment consulting team, Jess is actively involved in the daily management and administration of client relationships. Her clients include public funds, corporations, and nonprofits. Jessica joined Summit in 2000, and prior to her transition to consultant, served as a valued member of the firm’s Manager Research group, where she was responsible for conducting manager due diligence and all aspects of manager search/research for both domestic and international equity asset classes. Jessica received her BS in Accounting from the University of Missouri–St. Louis, and she is a CFA charterholder and member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of St. Louis. In addition, Jess is a member of NASP (National Association of Securities Professionals) and serves on the Board of Directors of the St. Louis Area Foodbank. Jess enjoys following the Dallas Cowboys and St. Louis Cardinals, golfing, and spending time with her family.
Daniel J. Holmes, JD
Investment Experience: 24 years
Firm Tenure: 24 years
Dan is a Managing Director of Summit Strategies Group, a founding member of the firm, and a firm shareholder. Dan has over 20 years of experience working with multiple client types including: endowments/foundations; health care systems; and corporate, public, and Taft-Hartley pension funds. Serving in the capacity of Senior Consultant, Dan is responsible for all aspects of consulting service delivery including: asset allocation and modeling, investment policy development, investment program implementation, manager and custody searches, and performance monitoring. Prior to joining Summit, Dan served as legal counsel for Landmark Bancshares, serving its broker-dealer and forming its trust company, and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s office. Dan received his BBA-Finance from the University of Notre Dame and his Juris Doctor from Creighton University School of Law. Dan is a member of the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys and the Missouri Bar Association. He currently serves on the Board of Directors as Treasurer of Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of St. Louis.
Eric J. Ralph, CFA
Investment Experience: 23 years
Firm Tenure: 15 years
Eric is a Managing Director, shareholder, and a consultant to several of Summit’s pension, foundation, and healthcare clients. He contributes to Summit’s Investment Committee for alternative investments including private equity, hedge funds, and real assets. Prior to joining Summit, Eric worked for Sabre, Inc., performing financial modeling and real option valuation; Consolidated Rail Corporation, managing product and regional markets; and Bunge Corporation, performing risk management through futures and commodities markets. Eric graduated from Boston University, cum laude, with distinction in international relations; completed his MBA in finance and strategy at Washington University’s John M. Olin School of Business; and is a CFA charterholder. He is a member of the CFA Society of St. Louis, the Olin Alumni Association Board, and the Investment Committee of Community School. Eric and his wife, Julie, enjoy spending weekends at the sporting events of their two sons, Walter and Philip.
Timothy S. Sant, CFA
Senior Vice President
Investment Experience: 24 years
Firm Tenure: 14 years
Tim is a Senior Vice President, shareholder, and consultant to clients representing endowments and foundations, corporate and public pension funds, and hospitals. Tim brings a broad range of plan sponsor, consulting, and trust/custody experience to Summit. Prior to joining the firm, Tim was Manager of Pension Investment at Anheuser-Busch Companies, where he oversaw the investment of DB and DC assets. Tim also gained consulting experience while at Hammond Associates Institutional Fund Consultants and also worked at Boatmen’s Trust Company. Tim received his BA in Economics from Duke University and an MBA in Finance from Washington University’s John M. Olin School of Business. He is a CFA charterholder and a member of the CFA Society of St. Louis. Tim is Treasurer and Chair of the Investment Committee of City Academy. Tim enjoys spending time with his family and rooting for the St. Louis Blues.
Phineas W. Troy, CFA
Investment Experience: 6 years
Firm Tenure: 2 years
Phinney joined Summit’s consulting team in 2012, and currently serves as a consultant to pension and insurance clients. Prior to joining the firm, Phinney worked for UBS Financial Services, where he was responsible for investment planning, asset allocation modeling, manager research, and client reviews for both high net worth and institutional clients. Phinney graduated cum laude with a BA in Finance and Banking from the University of Missouri. He also received his MBA from the same university. He is a CFA charterholder and member of the CFA Society of St. Louis. While at Mizzou, Phinney played for the university’s football team and continues to closely follow their progress. Also away from work, Phinney enjoys watching the St. Louis Cardinals, playing basketball, and spending time with family and friends.
Julie M. Brannam, CAIA
Investment Experience: 9 years
Firm Tenure: 8 years
Julie joined the firm in 2006, and currently serves as a Consulting Associate. She is responsible for assisting the firm’s consultants in all areas of client service. Previously, Julie was an analyst within Summit’s hedge fund group, where she was focused on manager/fund due diligence, data management. and client relations. Prior to joining the firm in 2006, Julie worked for Commerce Bank as a Financial Analyst in the Commercial Lending Department. Julie received her BS in Finance from the University of Missouri – St. Louis and her MBA from Lindenwood University. She is a CAIA charterholder. When not working, Julie enjoys playing volleyball, running, and spending time with her family.
Samuel O. Swofford III
Investment Experience: 9 years
Firm Tenure: 4 years
Sam came to Summit Strategies in 2010 and joined the Consulting Associate ranks in 2014. His current role calls for him to support the consultants across all areas as they service their clients’ needs. He has served as an analyst for the Modeling department and a senior analyst for the Asset Allocation and Risk department. After graduating with a BS and MS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Washington University in 2004, Sam spent six years working as a Design Engineer for Boeing Defense Space & Security. During that time he earned his MBA from Saint Louis University and an MS Finance from Washington University. At Summit, Sam has helped develop portfolio modeling and analysis tools. Additionally, all of Summit’s risk analysis and reporting is run by Sam. In his personal time, Sam enjoys Crossfit, football, and spending time with his wife, Kara, and two children, Stella and Scott.
Edija Fox, CPA
Investment Experience: 8 years
Firm Tenure: 3 years
Edija is a member of the investment consulting team at Summit Strategies Group. Previously, she worked in the manager research group, where she was responsible for leading the operational due diligence and risk assessment across all asset classes. Prior to joining Summit in 2011, Edija completed the Finance Rotational Development program and worked in the Operational and Regulatory Reporting department at Edward Jones. Edija is a Level II CFA candidate, CPA, and she graduated summa cum laude from the University of Missouri – St. Louis with a BS in Accounting. She is a classically trained violinist and has won numerous musical competitions across Eastern and Northern Europe. In addition, she has played first violin at the Saint Louis Symphony Youth and Webster University Symphony orchestras. Edija is fluent in English, Russian, and Latvian languages.
Matthew J. Jelinek
Investment Experience: 1 year
Firm Tenure: 1 year
Matt joined Summit in 2012 as an Analyst in the Manager Research group, where he assisted in all areas of traditional investment manager research, including updating and reviewing approved manager lists and product performance and supporting due diligence efforts across the traditional asset classes. In 2014, Matt transferred to the firm’s Consulting group, where he is a Consulting Associate providing significant client service support to several of the firm’s senior consultants. Matt graduated magna cum laude from the University of Missouri, receiving a BS in Mathematics with Emphasis in Actuarial Science and Mathematical Finance. In his free time, Matt loves to play golf and basketball and enjoys watching football and college basketball.