People

Brenden Gebben, MBA, CIMA®

Managing Director

Portfolio Management, Research, Product Design, Operations

Brenden’s experience in navigating the financial markets spans more than 20 years, with the majority of those specifically dedicated to third party money management. He co-founded Absolute Capital in 2002. He earned an M.B.A., from the University of Illinois, Springfield, and his B.A. from Illinois Wesleyan University. He holds a Certified Investment Management Analyst, CIMA®, designation through IMCA in conjunction with the Wharton School of Business. He is an active participant in industry organizations such as IMCA.

Brenden resides in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife and two sons. He enjoys time outdoors hiking and camping with family and friends.

Alex Barned, M.A.

National Sales Director

As National Sales Director, Alex heads the national sales channel, external wholesaling efforts and oversees the internal sales desk.

In his twenty years of financial services experience, Alex has held executive level roles with firms including UBS and Allianz with responsibility for marketing, sales processes and strategy. He is passionate about working with advisors and sharing his experience and insight to help grow their businesses. Alex holds a B.A. and M.A. from the George Washington University in Washington, DC. In his spare time, Alex enjoys open water swimming, golf and tennis.

Denise Alfieri

Chief Compliance Officer

Denise is responsible for overseeing the compliance program at Absolute Capital.  Denise is a Managing Director at Hardin Compliance Consulting LLC, a firm specializing in providing compliance consulting and support services to various registered investment advisers, broker-dealers, investment companies and private funds.  She has worked in the securities industry for over twenty years and has a strong background in investment adviser regulatory compliance. Denise specializes in the development, ongoing maintenance and testing of compliance programs, drafting of policies and procedures as well as the registration of investment advisers.  Denise also counsels investment advisers and private fund managers on a wide variety of investment management topics, including risk management, compliance with SEC regulations, regulatory examinations and evaluation of compliance programs.  Denise holds Series 7 and 24 securities licenses; as well as the designation Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional (IACCP®) from National Regulatory Services, Inc.

Jayson Angus

Internal Sales

Jayson joined Absolute Capital in 2016 in Internal Sales. Previously Jayson received his Finance Degree at Lake Superior State University in Michigan where he played NCAA Division I Hockey. Jayson spends his free time golfing and working out at the gym. He also continues to keep his skills sharp by playing hockey in adult or pick-up leagues.

Joan Mackey, CPA

Senior Accountant

As a lifelong resident of Pittsburgh, PA, Joan earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She also holds a CPA License in Pennsylvania and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. After practicing for years as a CPA in the fields of Audit and Tax and also as a Financial Analyst for public and private companies, Joan joined Absolute Capital in early 2014 to work in the areas of Billing and Accounting.

Lisa Esselstyn

Director of Operations

As Director of Operations, Lisa leads Absolute Capital’s back office operations group in providing exceptional service to our partners and clients.

Lisa brings over 20 years of financial services experience in Operations and Training to Absolute Capital. Lisa earned a B.S. in Psychology, and a M. Ed. in Adult Education from Penn State University. Lisa has a passion for customer service and operational efficiencies. Outside the office, Lisa enjoys skiing, attending sporting events, and spending time with her husband and 3 children.

Mary Ann Kimball, MBA, CPA

Senior Accountant

Mary Ann joined Absolute Capital in 2016. She attended both Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana where she received a B.B.A. degree, as well as, the University of Pittsburgh where she received an M.B.A. degree. Mary Ann is a C.P.A. and was employed in the past on the audit staff at Arthur Young & Company in Pittsburgh. In addition, she was a Vice President and Division Manager at Mellon Bank, where she held various positions in the Operating Services, Human Resources, and Finance Departments. In her spare time, she volunteers as a member of both the Finance Council and Audit Committee at her church.

Matt Gioella

Director of Business Intelligence and Data Integrity.

Matt joined Absolute Capital in 2017 as Director of Business Intelligence and Data Integrity. He received his B.S. in Marketing from Penn State University. Matt brings nearly a decade of financial services experience to Absolute Capital. Outside of the office, he enjoys traveling, golfing, boating, and spending time with family and friends.

Michael Vieira

Internal Sales

Michael joined Absolute Capital in 2019 as an Internal Wholesaler. Michael attended Kutztown University where he studied Finance and served as an officer for the Kutztown University Financial Management Association (FMA). Michael has accumulated experience in a variety of fields within Construction, Real Estate, Wealth Management, Accounting, and even Supply Chain Management. In his spare time he enjoys just about anything that sounds exciting, hanging out with family, sports, and food!

Nicole McDonald

Administrative Analyst

Nicole (Niki) McDonald joined Absolute Capital as an Operations Administrative Analyst in 2017. Nicole, a Chicago native, has extensive background in Administrative and Back Office Functions, Information Technology, and Client Relations. Nicole has vast experience in the day to day running of businesses, and a great passion for improving business processes and providing solutions for our valued business partners. In her previous career, Niki worked closely with patients, doctors, healthcare companies and governmental regulatory agencies. When she’s not working, Niki enjoys spending time with her husband (who serves in the United States Army), and her son Conner.

Renee Gebben

Strategic Projects Manager

Renee utilizes her two-plus decades of experience in financial services to her role at Absolute Capital. She earned a B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross. Prior to joining Absolute Capital, she served as Vice President and Director of Insurance Marketing at Federated Investors where she was responsible for developing and implementing comprehensive marketing programs. Her programs reached tens of thousands of institutional investors and brokers each year, supporting their decisions on investment products. Renee began her career at Prudential, where she was recruited by the firm’s Executive Management Development Program.

Rick Garcia

Regional Vice President of Sales

Rick joined Absolute Capital in January, 2018 as a Regional Vice President of Sales, based in Boynton Beach, Florida. With over 30 years of financial service industry experience, Rick has vast knowledge of the products and solutions that assist advisors in growing their practice. Rick’s previous positions in banking and wholesaling have allowed him to continually demonstrate his unmatched ability to build relationships and tailor appropriate solutions for each financial advisor he serves. Rick is fluent in Spanish and enjoys travelling in his leisure time. Rick holds Series 7, 63 and 65 licenses.

Vikash Banka MBA, CPA

Director, Back Office

Vikash joined Absolute Capital in 2004. Vikash began his financial career with Prudential Financial and Waddell & Reed, Inc. A graduate of Robert Morris University, Vikash earned his B.S. in Business Administration with a major in finance. He went on at Robert Morris to earn his MBA with an emphasis in Accounting. He also holds his CPA certification.