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Mesa Financial Group and Buckingham Strategic Partners

Together We

Apply the insights of leading academics & Nobel Laureates

Alfredo Mesa CFP®, President and CEO

You have an interesting background, tell us about it.

When I was 9 years old, my family and I escaped Socialist Cuba on a boat in the middle of the night in search for a better life. After surviving a storm and many delays, we finally reached US soil 19 hours later.

My Dad, a Minister with the Episcopalian Church, was able to help serve a congregation in New Orleans, La, and my Mom, a school teacher, went back to school to get her second Doctorate degree in Math. She eventually earned tenure at Xavier University in New Orleans.

My desire to serve others comes from my incredibly courageous and giving parents.

Read more about my family’s escape from Cuba »

Many times the “Why” is as important, if not more so, than the “How”. Why do you have such a passion for what you do?

As I continued my studies at Tulane University, I was interested in learning more about understanding how to create wealth. Perhaps it was a way to “ repay” my parents for all they sacrificed to give me a better opportunity in life.

I soon learned that the industry was fraught with conflicts of interest and companies were more interested in making money for their bottom line versus actually helping people. As long as I was working for “ the company”, I would never truly be in a position to always act in my clients’ best interest. After 10 years of exhaustive research, I became a CFP® and finally launched my independent financial planning and investment company.

Now, I not only get to help my clients build their wealth but can also protect them from an industry full of conflicts and false information.

What are your other passions?

I’m incredibly grateful to have a healthy, beautiful family who loves to travel, whether to the beaches of Costa Rica or the ski slopes of Colorado.

I have always loved being active and playing sports. I absolutely love playing tennis and golf, specially if I also get to share that time with clients.

Investment Policy Committee and Investment Policy Committee Advisors

For over two decades, Buckingham Strategic Partners has provided portfolio management and back-office services to a select group of America’s most knowledgeable and successful Independent Financial Advisors and their clients. Buckingham Strategic Partners helps Independent Wealth Management Groups like Mesa Financial Group, LLC manage more than $60 billion in assets as of September 2021. Buckingham Strategic Partners is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.

Jared Kizer, CFA

Chief Investment Officer

Jared Kizer and his team evaluate findings from academic research and apply that learning to develop investment strategy recommendations. Jared collaborates daily with advisors and clients, helping investors better understand the complicated concepts that can have a tangible effect on their financial lives. Jared holds a master’s degree in finance from Washington University in St. Louis.

Kevin Grogan, CFA, CFP®

Director of Investment Strategy

Kevin analyzes the latest research in investment and finance to draw practical applications and apply findings to help clients improve the structure of their portfolios and achieve their goals. He has co-authored two books about investing and holds an MBA from Saint Louis University and a bachelor’s of science in finance from Missouri State University in Springfield.

Larry Swedroe

Chief Research Officer

As chief research officer for Buckingham Larry regularly reviews the findings published in dozens of peer-reviewed financial journals, evaluates the outcomes and uses the result to inform the firm’s formal investment strategy recommendations. Larry has authored or co-authored over a dozen books and is regularly published on Advisor Perspectives. He holds an MBA in finance and investment from New York University and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Baruch College in New York.

Jonathan Scheid, CFA, AIF®

Vice President, Portfolio Strategy & Education

Jonathan is responsible for developing and implementing
wealth management services and solutions for our advisors and their clients. He received his bachelor’s of science in commerce, with an emphasis in finance, and a minor in computer engineering from Santa Clara University. Jonathan has also earned his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Accredited Investment Fiduciary® designations.

Sheldon P. McFarland

Vice President, Portfolio Strategy & Research

Sheldon manages the portfolio strategy group, oversees the investment planning center and develops tools to support advisors at Buckingham. McFarland earned his MBA from Santa Clara University and a bachelor’s of science in business management from Brigham Young University.

Tim Jost, CFA

Institutional Services Advisor

Tim is responsible for the day-to-day management of institutional portfolios, providing customized analysis and supporting all of Buckingham’s institutional clients in addition to advising clients. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Saint Louis University. Tim currently holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

Brian Haywood

Investment Strategy Advisor

Brian and his team spend their time customizing portfolios on behalf of Buckingham clients and upholding their fiduciary responsibility by doing what’s in the best interest of each client. Brian holds a bachelor’s degree from Saint Louis University.

Susan Chesson

Susan Chesson, CFP®, CPWA®

Wealth Advisor

Susan uses the skills she honed managing multi-billion-dollar portfolios at Fortune 500 companies to offer sound financial advice and professional investment management to clients to make a positive difference in their lives. Originally from England, Susan has a bachelor’s degree in French and Russian literature from Oxford University and an MBA in finance from the University of Texas at Austin. She also holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification and Certified Private Wealth AdvisorSM designations.


Investment Policy Committee Advisors

Harry M. Markowitz, PhD

Research Advisor

Harry M. Markowitz is best known for winning the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1990 for his work on portfolio selection. In his distinguished career, Dr. Markowitz has served in various academic posts at many universities, including Rutgers University and UCLA. Recognized as the father of Modern Portfolio Theory, Dr. Markowitz is a professor of finance in the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago.

Meir Statman, PhD

Research Advisor

Meir Statman is the Glenn Klimek Professor of Finance at the Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University. His research focuses on how investors and money managers make financial decisions and how these decisions are reflected in financial markets. His research has been published in many publications, including The Journal of Finance and The Journal of Financial Economics. Dr. Statman received his Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Alex Potts

Chairman, Advisor Services

Alex Potts is the chairman of advisor services for Buckingham Strategic Partners. Previously, he was president and CEO of Loring Ward and before that, he was the chief operating officer of LWI Financial Inc. Potts earned a bachelor’s of science in economics from Santa Clara University.

Bob Bannon

Bob Bannon, CFA, FRM

Research Advisor

Bob Bannon’s investment career spans more than 30 years across portfolio construction, risk management, economic analysis and statistical modeling. He currently serves as the president and founder of Bannon Consulting. Bob holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Financial Risk Manager (FRM) designations and he received a master’s degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles.