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  • We represent a different approach to wealth creation and preservation.

  • Our unique LifeCycle Approach to advisory was created over years of research and development with business builders. We have created a model that matches the very unique life of an entrepreneur.

  • We understand why you work so hard. Our services focus on what matters to you.

  • A uniquely unbiased approach to Venture Services.

  • Through our rigorous process and intense diligence we put the street in competition to serve you.

About Us

Our name reflects the dynamism of the clients we advise. We work with a network of accomplished clientele—people who make a mark on the world through their intellect.

“Intellect” is defined as the ability to come to the correct conclusion about what is true and to solve problems. We are privileged to work with people who marry their intellect and ingenuity, creating lasting value for themselves, their families, their companies, and their societies.

Intellectus combines “intellect” and “us.” But it’s not just our intellect. It’s the talent and substance, connectivity and passion of the people we advise. When you become a client of Intellectus, you not only gain an advisory team that is utterly focused on you and your needs. You also gain a broad and diversified circle of like-minded peers who share ideas, experiences and opportunities, generating connection and insight across an elite group of innovative leaders.

Intellectus Partners represents a different approach to wealth creation and preservation. We work with entrepreneurs and successful executives —people who expect and demand something beyond “business as usual.” We are much more than investment advisors or relationship managers. We are integrally involved in the financial, professional, and familial lifecycle of the clients we serve. Entrepreneurs ourselves, we embrace our ability to innovate, create value, quantify risks, and help clients capitalize on the fat pitch of opportunity.

Born in Silicon Valley but now headquartered in San Francisco, Intellectus Partners is an on-the-ground resource for the clients we serve, with deep roots and widespread connections in this vibrant and intense community. We are not all things to all people. We bring a deep domain expertise that results in a different caliber of experience for our clients.

We believe that the traditional wealth management model is broken. Most clients are underserved because of the Big Banks’ embedded conflicts of interest. Entrepreneurs and executives are particularly ill served. Traditional wealth managers view clients in terms of their investment assets alone. For entrepreneurs and executives, their wealth is typically not only in their investment portfolios, but also in the businesses they have built or are running. Intellectus changes the paradigm. We help our clients address key issues of creating and preserving self-made wealth, spanning a lifecycle of needs, from formation all the way through impact investing:
  • How to navigate the evolution of a business, from incipient idea through sale or transfer.
  • How to optimize a business structure relative to investment, tax, and wealth transfer objectives.
  • How to source, evaluate, implement and manage diverse investment managers, strategies and opportunities.
  • How to strategize for equity ownership, relative to planning, hedging, liquidity, and sale.
  • How to assemble the best experts to achieve professional, personal, and philanthropic goals.
  • How to turn your success and wealth into a positive catalyst for the world around you.

Intellectus Partners offers a new paradigm of wealth creation and preservation. Within this new beginning stands a solid foundation. David La Placa and Jay Casey, our founders, have worked together since 2000. They offer a seasoned maturity infused with a collaborative ethos and innovative mindset that drives their lifecycle advisory approach. David and Jay are joined by our Vice President of Client Financial Planning, Kelly Morton, and our Vice President of Operations & Administration, Tina Chan, and who have been with the team since 2000 and 2010 respectively. Our continuity, longevity, and harmony as a team confer benefits to our clients; they know that we have the processes and systems in place to ensure robust coverage for their needs. Our internal operations are sound, and our new partnership with Dynasty Financial Partners significantly enhances that scale and stability, freeing us to devote our energy to the more important concerns of our clients.

Our People

“Entrepreneurs know that people drive the difference. The foundation of any successful enterprise is talent. We’re as selective in our team as our clients are in partnering with us.”

David J. La Placa, Founder, Chairman, and CEO

David J La Placa

Founder, Chairman, CEO

David La Placa has led Intellectus Partners since its founding in 2015, keeping client-centric solutions, relationship banking, and innovation at the forefront of his leadership. He leads the Global Executive Investment & Operating committees and oversees all investment strategies. David’s energy, vision, and hands-on experience in multiple ventures solidify his connection to entrepreneurs. He speaks not from a distant removal to their needs, but a vital understanding of the satisfactions and challenges of entrepreneurship today.

David has extensive experience at the intersection of entrepreneurial advisory, wealth creation, and investment management. He has been recognized as a "Top Advisor" by Fortune and Research Magazine. Barron’s has named him one of the “Top Advisors in America” for several years.

Prior to founding Intellectus Partners, David was a member of the Client Advisor Executive Committee and a Managing Director with Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown. He joined Deutsche Bank in 2004 and quickly became one of the top Financial Advisors in Silicon Valley. Within Deutsche Bank, David served as a portfolio manager, led the firm’s Private Wealth Management West Coast effort within Venture Services, and was the lead advisor for its Internet & Digital Media outreach. Previously, David was Senior Vice President, Private Wealth Management, and co-head of the Venture Services Group at Lehman Brothers in Menlo Park, California. He was responsible for coverage of ultra-high-net-worth entrepreneurs, as well as trading and distribution of venture capital and private equity fund portfolio securities. David graduated from Temple University’s Fox School of Business, with a concentration in Real Estate, Finance, and International Marketing.

David is extremely active in the venture community within Silicon Valley. He sits on boards, advises and invests in start-up companies and growth companies. Current and past associations include Orbital Insight , The Climate Corp (acquired by MON), Scientific Revenue, CareCloud, Circa, Navdy, TheHintBox!, Concept.io (Apple, Inc.), Moon Express, Jukely, Hovee, Gaga Sports & Entertainment, among others.

Jay Casey

Co-Founder, President

Jay Casey is a co-founder and President of Intellectus Partners. He specializes in advising entrepreneurs, executives, venture capitalists, and family offices. Jay serves on the Global Executive Committee and the Global Investment & Operating Committees. Within Intellectus, he is responsible for day-to-day oversight of key operating units, including Investment Planning & Analytics, Strategic Product Management, and Risk & Quantitative Analysis.

Prior to founding Intellectus Partners, Jay served as a Director at Deutsche Bank, where he was an Advisor and Portfolio Manager for more than a decade, leading a team with his partner, David La Placa. He had oversight of the team’s investment strategies, including its fixed income, equity, liquidity, and alternative investment offerings. Prior to Deutsche Bank, Jay served as Vice President in the Private Wealth Division of Lehman Brothers.

Jay earned his MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and his undergraduate degree from Appalachian State University. He also studied International Finance at Sasin of Chulalongkorn University in Thailand.

Jay has earned a number of national accolades. On Wall Street recognized him as one of the Top 40 Advisors Under 40 in 2009 and Barron’s has named him one of the Top Advisors in America in multiple years.

Kelly Morton

Vice President of Client Planning, Associate Partner

Kelly Morton is Vice President of Client Planning and an Associate Partner with Intellectus Partners. She applies her quantitative skills and analytical insights to help clients pursue a range of financial goals. She holds a number of responsibilities within the team related to financial planning, modeling financial returns and cash-flows, reviewing client portfolios, implementing asset allocation, interfacing with our Trust & Estate processes, designing customized reports, assessing investment opportunities and answering client inquiries.

Prior to joining Intellectus, Kelly was an Analyst with David La Placa and Jay Casey at Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, where she spent five years. Previously, she worked at leading international law firms in San Diego, where she provided paralegal support to patent and intellectual property litigation attorneys.

Kelly earned her B.A. in Political Science, Legal Studies, and a Paralegal Certificate from California State University in Chico and an M.A. in Business Communications from Schiller University in London.

Tina Chan

Vice President of Operations & Administration, Associate Partner

Tina Chan is Vice President of Operations & Administration and an Associate Partner with Intellectus Partners. She oversees all client service and operational functions for the team. Organized, diligent, and responsive, Tina is a central hub for client needs and inquiries. She enjoys helping clients streamline their financial lives, whatever the issue. Tina offers a personalized and proactive approach that prioritizes client comfort and satisfaction. She prides herself on delivering a client experience that exceeds expectations, consistently and reliably. Her responsibilities include oversight of all administrative functions and operations.

Prior to joining Intellectus, Tina worked for five years with David LaPlaca and Jay Casey at Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management as lead sales assistant primarily focused on our Venture & Administrative Services initiatives. Previously, she was a Sales Associate at Thomas Weisel in its Venture Capital Group. Her experience also includes a tenure with Matrix Asset Management Group as a Branch Marketing Associate.

Tina earned her B.S. in Finance and International Business Marketing from San Francisco State University.

Ben Emons

Chief Economist and Head of Credit Portfolio Management

Ben Emons is Chief Economist and Head of Credit Portfolio Management for Intellectus Partners. Prior to joining Intellectus, he was a Senior Vice President and Portfolio Manager at Pacific Investment Company (PIMCO), in Newport Beach, California. At PIMCO, Ben studied under and helped manage credit portfolios as a Portfolio Manager with the legendary Bill Gross.

Prior to PIMCO, he was a Portfolio Manager at Nuveen Investments in Los Angeles, focusing on emerging markets, derivatives and government bonds. He also served as Senior Fixed Income Strategist and Derivatives Trading at ABN AMRO in London.

He has 20 years of investment experience and holds an MBA from the University of Southern California and a Masters Degree in International Finance from the University of Amsterdam.

He is a published author of the NY Times reviewed book The Financial Domino Effect, as well as The End of the Risk Free Rate and Mastering Stocks and Bonds.

Brian Zeck

Vice President of New Products and Services

Brian Zeck is Vice President of New Products and Services with Intellectus Partners. Within Intellectus Partners, he is responsible for new product & services that drive business development as well as the implementation and discovery of client solutions. Brian’s keen eye for innovation and client needs powers his ambitious goal oriented approach.

Prior to joining Intellectus Partners, Brian spent roughly a decade as the Head of Leader Capital’s Wholesaling Division. Brian’s time at Leader provided him with an in-depth knowledge of the challenges surrounding startup ventures. On his 1st day at Leader he was handed just a phone book and told good luck. Through a combination of a positive attitude, a great deal of hard work and sheer perseverance, Brian was able to turn that phone book into a nationwide distribution network and roughly 1.5 billion dollars of assets under management. Brian shares the entrepreneurial spirit of Intellectus Partners and thrives as a builder and connector.

Brian earned his B.S. in Finance from San Diego State University. He has been in the financial industry for 17 years and currently lives in Portland, OR with his wife and 3 children.

Spencer Mitchell

Senior Equity Analyst

Spencer Mitchell is a financial analyst with 20 years’ experience on Wall Street specializing in disruptive technologies, with expertise in Software, SaaS, Networking and Semiconductors.  He possesses a robust understanding of, and network of contacts within, multiple software and hardware distribution networks, and has experience navigating VAR/partner recruitment, channel programs (distributors, VARs), partner strategy and sales, OEM/Alliances, and commercial verticals.

Prior to joining Intellectus Partners, Spencer Co-Founded the Murcer Technology Group (a boutique technology focused research firm). Previously worked with Sierra Tech Research and The Churchill Fund (a semiconductor focused research group and hedge fund respectively).

Your Lifecycle

We launched Intellectus Partners to address the needs of entrepreneurs and executives. We believe that “wealth management” is too constrictive a term for what we offer. Our slate of services is broad, yet strategic. We are not all things to all people, but we do have an acute understanding of the pivotal issues that entrepreneurs encounter in their personal lifecycle. We recognize that the lines dividing personal and professional wealth are often blurred; we help our clients manage risk in their businesses and in their portfolios. We seek opportunities in the capital markets and in ventures throughout Silicon Valley and beyond.

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Entrepreneurs

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Your Family

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Global Investors
  • Investment management
  • Investment strategy
  • Hedge fund diligence/resourcing
  • Financial planning & reporting
  • Open-sourced and risk-adjusted venture
  • Peer/Peer lending
  • Venture administrative services

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Venture Investors

Entrepreneur Network & Deal Flow

  • Access to Serial Entrepreneurs
  • Launch Visibility
  • Founder Liquidity Program
  • Advisory Access
  • BOD & Management placement

Administrative Services

  • Distributions
  • M&A Escrow Services
  • Research & Trading
  • Hedging & Risk Management

Portfolio Services

  • Management Advisory
  • Corporate Services
  • Pre IPO & M/A Advisory
  • Founder Services

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Philanthropy

Our emphasis on our clients’ Lifecycle is very much aligned with each client’s passion. Sometimes that passion is building a business, often it is his or her family, but increasingly our clients also want to learn how give. For this reason, we focus on what clients will do in the future as opposed to what they have done in the past. We offer the following philanthropic services:

  • Investing for an impact
  • Managing the giving process
  • Optimizing the flow of capital to causes
  • Selecting proper charities and causes
  • Building a legacy

Our Process

We ground our approach in goals-oriented advisory. Client goals shape everything we do—from long-term strategy to day-to-day tactics. But goals are just our starting point or springboard. Attaining those goals is our focus, and that’s where our knowledge and experience take flight.

When people speak with us, they quickly perceive that we offer something different. Many advisors pay lip service to customization. For us, it is the lifeblood of what we do. We thrive on the nuances of each client, each family, and each business. We welcome the intricacies and special circumstances that underlie each relationship.

Our process begins with extended conversations. We delve deeply into a client’s background, makeup, needs, and desires, so that we can develop a cohesive plan to reach their goals. The more we know, the more effective we are.

Our Partners

“Entrepreneurs recognize that you can’t be the best at everything; it’s far easier to be the best at one thing. We channel that mindset in selecting our partners, each of whom is outstanding in a particular area. Together, we unleash the force of targeted expertise to advance the needs of our clients.”

Jay Casey, Co-Founder and President

Harnessing the Power of Precision

The clients we serve have distinctive and refined needs. They don’t want “good enough.” They want the best available. Our position as independent advisors allows us to seek out the resources that best fulfill the niche needs of our clients. We don’t tether clients to average resources from a broad-based provider. Rather, we winnow out the all-stars within each field, identifying the providers with clear advantages and unifying the whole through precise collaboration.

Some of our Key Partners include:


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HPM Partners, Paul McGloin
Paul is a Partner and the Head of HPM Partners’ wealth planning practice in New York. Paul has over 25 years of experience in helping families create and optimize their wealth planning structures. His experience extends beyond traditional trust and estate planning to areas such as asset protection planning, income tax strategies, charitable and philanthropic structuring, and planning for international families and individuals. Paul has worked with the Intellectus team for over 10 years at Deutsche Bank where he served as the Managing Director and Head of the Americas for Wealth Planning. Paul practiced law in New York City for 11 years, representing both U.S. and international clients in their trust, estate and tax planning needs. He also has special expertise in the areas of planning for owners and executives of private companies prior to liquidity events, planning for hedge fund and private equity principals, and planning for international clients who are investing in U.S.-based assets. Paul is a graduate of Harvard Law School.

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Dynasty Financial Partners
Dynasty Financial Partners is the premier integrated platform provider for the wealth management industry’s top independent advisors. We selected Dynasty because they are established leaders and innovators, assembling the operational resources, technological solutions, and broad selection of products and services needed to deliver a seamless experience to our clients. As a network of independent investment firms, Dynasty enables us to leverage our collective size to secure advantageous pricing and execution. Moreover, Dynasty allows us to preserve our autonomy, flexibility, and entrepreneurial vision.

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Fidelity
We offer custodian services through Fidelity Investments, a family-managed, privately held company with more than 70 years of financial services experience. They are a leading provider of trading, custody, and brokerage services to registered investment advisory firms, trust institutions, and third-party administrators. They are able to leverage the capital, resources, and expertise of the Fidelity organization, one of the world’s largest financial services companies, on behalf of their clients.

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Addepar
Addepar is a financial technology company that provides comprehensive analytics and reporting. Located in Silicon Valley, Addepar prioritizes the same entrepreneurial values we admire: transparency, efficiency, and accuracy. We use Addepar to aggregate portfolio position, run investment analytics, and assess risk so that clients have a realistic view of their holdings and exposure.

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