Collectively our team has decades of investing, operational, and wealth management experience at some of the leading alternative asset managers and corporations globally.Click on a team member below to view bio
Prior to co-founding The Cynosure Group, Mr. Eccles served as Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) for the State of Utah which was responsible for statewide business, tourism and film development, international trade, rural economic development, and the Utah Health Exchange.
During his tenure, GOED facilitated the expansion or relocation of strategic anchor companies in Utah’s urban and rural counties – companies that were projected to create more than 32,500 jobs and $2.1 billion in new state revenue over the next decade. Mr. Eccles remains an advisor to the Governor on economic development issues and has been involved on numerous public and private boards, including as chair of the Governor’s Economic Council, vice-chair of the Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative, vice-chair of the STEM Action Center, and a member of the Utah Capital Investment Board (UCIB), which supports venture capital investment firms to help grow Utah’s innovative companies.
Previously, Mr. Eccles provided leadership to web-based software and materials technology companies in the U.S. and abroad. He was formerly affiliated with Wells Capital Management (Wells Fargo Bank). In 1997, the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games tapped Mr. Eccles to develop and oversee the premier Olympic downhill events as well as all of the alpine Paralympic competitions. Mr. Eccles received his MBA from BYU’s Marriott School of Management and his BA in History from the University of Utah.
H.E. “Bud” Scruggs played a key leadership role as a senior executive at Leucadia National Corporation for over a decade. He has an extensive background advising high-net-worth families and their respective companies.
Mr. Scruggs is currently a director of Crystal Peak Minerals, Linkem (an Italian internet provider) and Snowbird Ski Resort. He has extensive experience as a director of both public and private companies, including American Investment Bank, Barbados Light & Power, Conwed Plastics, Fortescue Metals Group (one of the largest mining companies in Australia), Poseidon Nickel, Deseret Morning News, Empire Insurance, and MK Gold – including experience on multiple audit and executive committees.
Previously, Mr. Scruggs served as Chief of Staff to Governor Norman Bangerter and was a co-founder and partner with Governor Michael Leavitt of the Public Affairs Advisory Group. He received his JD from BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School and a degree in Political Science from Brigham Young University.
Keith Taylor comes to Cynosure from The Carlyle Group in Washington, DC, where he was a Managing Director, having spent nine years with Carlyle’s Global Financial Services Fund Group, helping manage two private equity funds. While at Carlyle, he was responsible for a number of the firm’s financial services investments and led the firm’s sourcing of investments in the asset management and wealth advisory industries. Before joining Carlyle, Mr. Taylor was an investment banker with Goldman Sachs, working in Goldman’s Financial Institutions Group, and he worked in a similar capacity for JPMorgan Chase and J.P. Morgan.
Mr. Taylor serves as a Director of Brand Group Holdings, Inc., Avalon Advisors and Conifer Securities. He received an M.B.A. from The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a B.S. in Accounting from Washington and Lee University.
MANAGING DIRECTOR; HEAD OF INVESTOR RELATIONS
David Hunter joins The Cynosure Group as Managing Director and Head of Investor Relations. Prior to joining Cynosure, Mr. Hunter spent 11 years with Partners Group in the New York, San Francisco, and Denver offices as a member of the Investment Solutions team, most recently as a Senior Vice President.
While at Partners Group, Mr. Hunter was responsible for managing the Western Region U.S. institutional sales efforts, where he set the strategy for managing existing client relationships and sourcing new investments. Mr. Hunter was responsible for building the U.S. Consulting Relations team.
Before joining Partners Group, Mr. Hunter was a consultant with Connecticut-based Evaluation Associates where he advised institutional clientele on investment policy development, asset allocation, manager search and selection, and performance and attribution analysis. Prior to that, Mr. Hunter was an investment advisor at Bear Stearns, where he advised high-net-worth families and small institutions.
Mr. Hunter received his MBA from Brigham Young University’s Marriot School of Management and his BA in Finance from Brigham Young University, where he also played on the baseball team. He is an outdoors enthusiast, and is an avid cyclist, tennis player, golfer, and father.
Andrew Braithwaite helps lead the alternative investing efforts of Cynosure including its direct investing strategy. Mr. Braithwaite came to Cynosure from The Carlyle Group where he spent a number of years with Carlyle’s Global Financial Services Fund helping source, evaluate and manage investments across two private equity funds. While at Carlyle, Mr. Braithwaite was associated with a number of the firm’s financial services investments and focused on the firm’s investments in asset and wealth management, financial technology, insurance brokerage, specialty finance / depositories and business services. Before joining Carlyle, Mr. Braithwaite was an investment banker with Barclays Capital, working in its Financial Institutions Group focusing on mergers and acquisitions and capital markets transactions.
Mr. Braithwaite has served as a director or observer on numerous company boards or oversight committees including Brand Group Holdings, Inc., Avalon Advisors, Conifer Financial Services, and Xenith Bankshares. He also spends time overseeing Cynosure-related investments, including GPS Hospitality and Anglo International Shipping. Mr. Braithwaite graduated summa cum laude from Merrimack College where he received a B.S. in business administration – finance and economics.
Christopher V. Dodds is a Senior Advisor with The Cynosure Group. Prior to this, Dodds worked for ten years with The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, as a Senior Advisor in their Financial Services practice. Dodds also works as a private investor and serves on the Boards of The Charles Schwab Corporation, Charles Schwab Bank, N.A., and Coinbase Global, Inc. Over the past ten years, Dodds has served on the Boards of a wide variety of financial services firms, including The TCW Group, an investment management firm; ITG, Inc., an institutional securities broker; Baron Capital, an investment management firm; Avalon Advisors LLC, a high-net-worth wealth management firm; and Conifer Financial Services, a fund administration firm.
Dodds retired from The Charles Schwab Corporation in May 2007 after 21 years with the company. From 1999 through 2007, he served as Schwab’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, responsible for strategic planning; financial planning and analysis; treasury; taxation; corporate accounting; external and regulatory reporting; mergers and acquisitions; investor relations; risk management; and corporate real estate.
Prior to his position as CFO, Dodds served as Corporate Controller from 1997 to 1999, Corporate Treasurer from 1993 to 1997 and Vice President of Corporate Finance and Mergers and Acquisitions from 1989 to 1993. Dodds joined Schwab in 1986. Before joining Schwab, Dodds served in the treasury departments of Gulf Oil, Exxon, and American Hawaii Cruises.
Dodds graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in business from Clemson University, where he was captain of the men’s varsity basketball team. He earned his Master of Business Administration degree in finance from the University of Pittsburgh.
*Christopher V. Dodds is a Senior Advisor to the firm and not an employee of The Cynosure Group.
CHIEF COMPLIANCE OFFICER
Sophia M. DiCaro is the chief compliance officer for The Cynosure Group. Prior to joining Cynosure, Sophia spent fifteen years with the State of Utah. In the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, she ran the Utah State Data Center doing demographic and economic analysis and was later responsible for oversight of more than $200 million across five state agencies as a lead budget and policy analyst. Sophia then served in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development first as finance director, and later as the deputy director and chief operating officer, before serving as a policy maker for two years.
Sophia received a B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis in Japanese, East Asian Studies and International Relations, as well as an M.P.A., both at the University of Utah where she was an adjunct instructor for a number of years. She is an Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional (IACCP®)* and serves on various volunteer boards.
* The National Regulatory Services IACCP® designation consists of 15 required compliance courses, 5 electives, 2 years of work experience, submission of an ethics commitment and assessment, and a certifying examination.
SENIOR INVESTMENT STRATEGIST
Chris Neddo began his investment career in 1998 with First Security Investment Management (a subsidiary of First Security Bank). While at First Security Investment Management, Mr. Neddo held several different positions, including Compliance Officer, Performance Specialist and Equity Analyst. Following the merger between First Security Investment Management and Wells Fargo in 2000, Chris worked for Wells Capital Management, a global institutional investment manager with over $350 billion in assets under management. Mr. Neddo was an Equity Analyst and Portfolio Manager on the Premier Growth Equity Team, which managed over $4 billion in large cap growth stocks through a mutual fund, collective funds and separately managed accounts. In addition to performing investment analysis and research, Chris helped formulate investment strategy and provided communication to portfolio managers with client assets invested the Premier Growth strategy. Following his involvement with the Premier Growth Equity team, Mr. Neddo assumed responsibility for separately managed institutional client portfolios. As a Portfolio Manager/Relationship Manager, Mr. Neddo was responsible for developing investment policies, asset allocation strategies, portfolio construction and tactical asset allocation disciplines for his clientele and for client reporting and interfacing. Mr. Neddo left Wells Capital Management in 2015 to join The Cynosure Group and assist in forming the firm. As a Client Advisor, Chris utilizes his diverse background in investment management to formulate investment strategies and construct investment portfolios to meet the investment objectives of high-net-worth clients and institutions.
Chris has earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst designation (CFA) and has held numerous leadership positions in the CFA Society Salt Lake, including President and Past President. Mr. Neddo currently serves as a member of the Utah State University Endowment Investment Advisory Committee and Director on the Board of the Utah High School Activities Association Foundation. He is also a former Adjunct Professor at the University of Utah. He earned a B.A. in Finance from Weber State University and an MBA from BYU’s Marriott School of Management.
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
Richard Lee joined Cynosure in 2016 and currently leads the firm’s finance department. Richard is responsible for the accounting and financial reporting of Cynosure and its fund entities, and is also involved with the firm’s operations.
Prior to joining Cynosure, Richard worked as a tax professional at Jones Simkins, LLC, a regional accounting firm based in Northern Utah. Richard’s work focused primarily on tax planning and compliance for privately-held mid-sized businesses and their owners. Richard served clients across a variety of industries, including professional services, manufacturing, retail, and consumer products.
Richard received a B.A. in Accounting and a Master of Accountancy from Utah State University’s Jon M. Huntsman School of Business. He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the State of Utah.
VICE PRESIDENT OF CLIENT EXPERIENCE
Alyson Paxman works with the client advisory and operational activities of the firm. Prior to joining The Cynosure Group, Alyson spent seven years with Goldman Sachs where she was a Vice President in Private Wealth Management Operations.
Alyson graduated Magna Cum Laude from Brigham Young University where she received a B.A. in Communications.
Quentin Smith is responsible for sourcing, evaluating and executing new investment opportunities. Prior to joining The Cynosure Group, Quentin worked as an investment banking analyst at Goldman Sachs in New York City. His transaction experience includes mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts and debt and equity offerings.
Quentin received his B.S. in Business Management with an emphasis in Finance, from Brigham Young University. While attending Brigham Young University, Quentin was a member of the NCAA Division I men’s volleyball team, where he was a team captain.
Danny Payne joined The Cynosure Group in 2015. He is responsible for sourcing, evaluating, and executing new investment opportunities and managing current portfolio investments. Previously, he worked in the Mergers and Acquisitions Group of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. His transaction experience includes buy-side and sell-side mergers and acquisitions advisory across a variety of industries. Danny graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in finance. Prior to attending Brigham Young University, Danny played football at Snow College where he was the 2010 Top of the Mountains Bowl Defensive MVP.
SENIOR FUND ACCOUNTANT
Cole Richards joined Cynosure in 2018 and works in the firm’s finance department. Cole is responsible for the accounting and financial reporting for Cynosure’s fund entities, as well as assists in the firm’s accounting and operations.
Prior to joining Cynosure, Cole worked at TPG Global, LLC in their Corporate Accounting Services involved in coordinating billing policies between management and funds, as well as assisting in other parts of the firm’s operations. He also was an auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers where he focused on alternative asset clients and gained experience in auditing large multinational corporations.
Cole received a B.A. in Accounting and a Master of Accountancy from Utah State University’s Jon M. Huntsman School of Business. He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the State of Utah.
Cindy Bennett joined The Cynosure Group’s finance department in 2018. She is responsible for the accounts payable and general bookkeeping duties. Prior to joining Cynosure, Cindy was the co-owner of a cabinet manufacturing business for 18 years where she executed the bookkeeping, payroll, and HR for the company. She is also a published author.
Mindy is an Executive Assistant at The Cynosure Group and provides support to Spencer P. Eccles. Mindy graduated from the Legal Assistant Program at Westminster College and began her career as a Paralegal in the Litigation Division at the Utah Office of the Attorney General, where she worked for eight years. In 2013, she was recruited to the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, where she served as Executive Assistant to Spencer P. Eccles.
Megan is an Executive Assistant at The Cynosure Group and provides support to Herbert E. “Bud” Scruggs. Prior to joining Cynosure, Megan was as an Executive Assistant at Rose Printing Company where she worked for four years. She also spent three years working for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where she was an Administrative Assistant and Project Coordinator.
Megan graduated from Brigham Young University – Idaho where she received a B.S. in Communications.
Emily is an Executive Assistant at The Cynosure Group and provides support to Keith Taylor, David Hunter, and Andrew Braithwaite. Prior to joining Cynosure, Emily worked at The Vanguard Group as a personal investment associate. Before that, she worked for the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, DC., where she served as a research assistant for the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Emily graduated from Brigham Young University where she received a B.A. in Political Science. She is also fluent in French and enjoys traveling, reading and skiing.