Team - ClearPoint Financial

Real People...  Real Advice...

Paul Grutzner, Managing Partner 

Mr. Grutzner earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin. He holds FINRA Series 7, 24, and 63 with LPL Financial, Series 65 with Financial Advocates Investment Management, and Washington State Life & Disability insurance licenses. He is an investment advisor representative with Financial Advocates Investment Management. Paul is active in a number of civic and charitable organizations in the Seattle area. He resides with his wife and four children in Issaquah, WA.

Michael Brown, Managing Partner

Michael joined ClearPoint Financial as a Partner in 2006 after thirteen successful years at two national investment firms. While at Morgan Stanley, he was a Corporate Client Group Director of 401(k) plans and was instrumental in expanding the firm’s qualified plan consulting resources.

Michael takes pride in his innovative outlook on financial practice management and is an active participant in the development of multiple industry initiatives. He has authored articles on retirement benefit plans and is a sought-after industry speaker. He has been recognized as one of the most influential retirement plan advisors and ClearPoint Financial has received multiple recognitions from PlanSponsor publications.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration from the University of Alaska,  Anchorage, where his undergraduate experience included study abroad in Venezuela. Mr.Brown has earned Chartered Retirement Plan Specialist (CRPS) and Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF) designations. He holds FINRA Series 7, 63, and 65 Registered Investment Advisor licenses. He resides in Kirkland, WA with his wife and two children.

206.905.8120 | [email protected]

Alaina Ruiz, AIF | Director, Client Relations

Alaina Ruiz joined ClearPoint Financial after serving as a Registered Client Service Associate at Morgan Stanley where she provided guidance to multiple advisors on plan design features, distribution rules, and plan establishment processes. As part of the ClearPoint Financial team, Alaina’s responsibilities include client relationship management, vendor transition oversight, and participant communications.

Alaina earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in economics from Ohio State University. She holds the FINRA Series 7 registration with LPL Financial and the Series 66 registration with both LPL Financial and Financial Advocates Investment Management. She resides with her husband in Bellevue, WA and enjoys skiing and hiking in her spare time.

Phone: 206.905.8161 | Email: [email protected]

Carolyn Barbee J.D., AIF | Director, Client Relations

Carolyn Barbee has over 25 years of experience serving as the key link between operations, finance, and legal functions with respect to employee benefit plans. She worked for 10 years in San Francisco as an attorney and 15 years in the Seattle area as a consultant and relationship manager. Carolyn has served both corporate and non-profit organizations, consulting on benefit plan design and implementation with clients ranging from $1 million to over $1 billion.

Prior to joining ClearPoint Financial, Carolyn worked at BMO, TIAA-CREF, Union Bank and Mercer Consulting. Carolyn has a Juris Doctorate from the University of San Francisco and a Bachelors of Arts from Santa Clara University.

Phone: 206.905.8150 | Email: [email protected]

Peggy Ross, AIF | Director, Client Relations

Peggy Ross began her retirement planning career with Ceridian Benefits which later sold the 401(k) division to The Newport Group. While at Ceridian/The Newport Group, Peggy managed contribution and trade processing, and later she moved into plan administration. Peggy joined ClearPoint Financial after serving as an Account Manager at The Standard. Her responsibilities include assisting the advisor with plan design features, client relationship management, and participant communications.

Peggy Ross earned an Associate of Science degree in nursing from Marymount College of Virginia, and an accounting degree from St. Petersburg College. She holds FINRA Series 6 and 63 registrations with LPL Financial, and she also earned the Qualified 401(k) Plan Administrator (QKA) professional designation from the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA).

Peggy resides with her husband in Mill Creek, WA and they have 3 grown children.

Phone: 206.905.8140 | Email: [email protected]

Shelly Chinn | Office Manager

Shelly joined ClearPoint Financial in 2013 after 10 years in the IT Professional Consulting industry. She brings extensive experience in project management, client services, sales and business analysis to her role.

As Office Manager, Shelly oversees daily operations and special projects to ensure that the office runs seamlessly. This includes Human Resources, marketing, compliance, facility management, and administrative functions. In addition, Shelly plays a significant role in supporting the client relationship team during the busy reporting periods.

Shelly currently resides in Bellevue with her 4 children.

Phone: 206.905.8301 | Email: [email protected]

Chris Niemela | Chief Investment Officer

Chris Niemela began his finance career in 2002 as an analyst for an independent advisory firm in Bellevue. During his eight year tenure, he developed a unique investment discipline and supervised all trading and portfolio management resources. Chris now heads Clearpoint Financial’s investment committee and is responsible for portfolio construction and risk management.

Chris earned a Bachelors of Finance degree from University of Washington and a Bachelor of Accounting degree from Central Washington University. In addition to Life and Disability Insurance licenses, he also holds FINRA Series 7 with LPL Financial and Series 66 with both LPL Financial and Financial Advocates Investment Management. Born in the Pacific Northwest, he resides in Kirkland, WA and enjoys family time, basketball, baseball, golf, skiing, and travel.

Phone: 206.905.8180 | Email: [email protected]

Michael Tuell | Regional Director - East Coast

Michael Tuell is the Managing Director for ClearPoint Financial and works out of the firm’s Portland, Maine, office. After a time with Merrill Lynch, he joined ClearPoint Financial in June 2009 and has over 17 years of experience in providing investment advice to plan sponsors and their participants throughout Maine and New Hampshire. His service model has been successful in helping clients manage their fiduciary responsibilities and pursue their retirement plan goals.

Michael holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Maine. His community activities include Chairman of the Planning Board of his town council, youth hockey coach, and Junior Achievement volunteer. He is a former NCAA ice hockey referee and presently serves as a color analyst for WABI-TV at University of Maine hockey games.

Phone: 207.217.0859 | Email: [email protected]

Drew Schaefer, AIF

Drew Schaefer advises ClearPoint Financial's business owners and high net worth individuals to help plan their financial futures and he always provides an investment fiduciary capacity that puts the client's interests first. He holds the Accredited Investment Fiduciary designation and has conducted financial wellness events for prominent employers across the state. He is passionate about financial planning.

After a period of military service where he was awarded the Purple Heart, Drew earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in finance with a minor in economics from Eastern Washington University. He holds the Series 6, 7, and 63 with LPL Financial and a Series 65 Registered Investment Advisor with Financial Advocates Investment Management, as well as Life and Disability Insurance licenses. Drew resides in Spokane with his wife and two children, where he enjoys sports and adventurous outdoor activities.

Phone: 206.905.8100 | Email: [email protected]

Mike Grimme, Retirement Plan Consultant

Mike joined ClearPoint Financial in the spring of 2017 after many years in leadership roles at a national recordkeeping firm. He works with employers to create retirement plans that help employees achieve greater retirement readiness. His philosophy focuses on making plans easier to run while protecting fiduciaries and ensuring that fees are fair and reasonable.

After graduating from Indiana University Business School in 1992, Mike started his career in the retirement services industry as a systems analyst for a national retirement provider, learning the business from the inside out. Over his career, Mike managed regional sales and service offices in Seattle, Detroit and Indianapolis and spent five years as VP Marketing.

As an independent retirement consultant, Mike brings over 24 years of industry and field experience in working with for-profits, non-profits and municipalities to create retirement plans that work for employers and their employees.

Phone: 206.960.4743 | Email: [email protected]