Berthel Fisher announces senior leadership team changes

Christofferson succeeds Berthel as president, CEO

Berthel Fisher
Berthel Fisher headquarters in Cedar Rapids. CREDIT RICHARD PRATT

Berthel Fisher, based in Cedar Rapids, has announced several changes to its leadership team as part of an initiative to implement the next stage of the financial services company’s growth vision.

Andrew Christofferson has been appointed president and chief executive officer of Berthel Fisher’s resident investment advisory, two broker-dealers and insurance agency subsidiaries.

In these roles, Mr. Christofferson, who previously served as chief operating officer, assumes the responsibilities of Tom Berthel, the firm’s co-founder. Mr. Berthel will continue to act as president, CEO and chairman of the holding company, while now focusing his efforts on capitalization and strategic initiatives.

Other promotions include:

  • Paige Swartzendruber, chief business development officer of the subsidiaries;
  • Brian Rupp, treasurer and chief financial officer of the subsidiaries; and
  • Joanna Schaul, chief administrative officer of the subsidiaries.

“I am thrilled that Andy is taking over as my successor in overseeing day-to-day operations of our subsidiaries, and I congratulate Paige, Brian and Joanna on their promotions,” Mr. Berthel said in a release. “These moves have been in the works for some time, so I’m proud that this day has finally come and relieved that our financial professionals will be in great hands going forward. Not only are these leaders uniquely prepared for their new responsibilities, but the appointments enable me to accelerate Berthel Fisher’s long-term growth plans while giving me the opportunity to closely collaborate with the senior leadership team going forward.”

Mr. Berthel co-founded Berthel Fisher in 1985. The diversified financial services firm has since grown to support more than 360 financial professionals who oversee approximately $9.8 billion in assets under advisement (AUA) through an array of wealth management business models. Under Mr. Berthel’s leadership, Berthel Fisher has evolved to provide a wide range of traditional and alternative investments, income solutions and portfolio strategies, as well as holistic planning services for financial professionals and their clients.

Mr. Christofferson has more than 23 years of financial services experience. He joined Berthel Fisher in 2012, rising from senior vice president of business development to chief business development officer before becoming COO in 2018. Prior to joining Berthel Fisher, Mr. Christofferson served as chief investment officer at Securian Advisors MidAmerica. He began his career with InterSecurities, now part of Transamerica Financial Advisors.

The promotions of Ms. Swartzendruber, Mr. Rupp and Ms. Schaul – who all possess deep financial services experience and extensive institutional knowledge of Berthel Fisher – further enhance support for the firm’s financial professionals and ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities for Mr. Christofferson and Mr. Berthel.

Ms. Swartzendruber joined Berthel Fisher in 2007. Previously, she served as a registered representative, financial planner and vice president of advisor relationships and strategy consulting. Most recently, Ms. Swartzendruber served as senior vice president of business development and director for Berthel Fisher subsidiaries.

Mr. Rupp joined Berthel Fisher in 2016. Previously, he served as vice president, controller, treasurer and director for Berthel Fisher. Prior to Berthel Fisher, Mr. Rupp served as an accounting manager at Sourcemedia/Gazette and before that at AEGON. Earlier in his career, Mr. Rupp was a controller at Waste Management.

Before her promotion, Ms. Schaul was senior vice president of administration and secretary for Berthel Fisher subsidiaries. She joined the firm in 2005 after spending nearly five years with GE Capital, where she filled a variety of key roles.

“Paige, Brian, Joanna and I are humbled and eager to embark up the next stage of our careers with Berthel Fisher,” Mr. Christofferson said. “Over the years, Tom has done an unbelievable job of providing our financial professionals with everything they need to help their clients reach their life goals and aspirations. We have a very strong leadership team in place, and all of us look forward to continuing to work with Tom closely as he focuses on other strategic priorities for the company, as well as to building upon his impressive legacy of supporting our financial professionals.”