Providing Only the Best

Lion Street Firms enjoy access to superior life insurance and wealth planning offerings and solutions available for high-net-worth clients, companies, and business owners.

Our offerings and solutions are unified by our integrated platform, which provides an open architecture and direct access to all leading insurance carriers, our exclusive broker dealer, and sophisticated resources for the advanced markets.

Lion Street’s unique platform allows our independent Firms to consolidate their support and coordinate across product and regulatory spectrums, enabling them to serve their client’s life and wealth needs more efficiently.

Life Insurance

Lion Street Firms provide sophisticated life insurance planning solutions and strategies for high-net-worth individuals, families, executives, and businesses.

Support for Lion Street Firms

Our network of independent Firms is backed and supported by Lion Street’s:

  • Enhanced product and market access
  • Sophisticated underwriting support
  • Advanced case design support
  • Full case-support services
  • Advanced planning strategies and insights

Our Expertise

Tap into deep expertise that addresses a variety of advanced wealth planning needs, including:

  • Life Insurance Strategies/Analysis
  • Wealth Transfer/Estate Planning
  • Charitable Giving
  • Corporate and Business Insurance
  • Specialty Life Insurance — Private Placement, Premium Financing, Foreign Nationals, Life Settlements

Core Products

We offer the highest quality products for sophisticated wealth management, such as:

  • Individual and Survivorship Life Insurance — Indexed and Variable Universal Life, Universal Life, Whole Life, Term Products
  • Annuities — Fixed, Index & Variable Products
  • Disability Income — Individual and Executive Products
  • Long-Term Care — Individual and Executive Products
  • Specialty Risk — Life and Disability

Carrier Partners

Lion Street has built relationships with leading insurance carriers who provide Firms with unparalleled access to six strategic carrier relationships:

We also offer full access to all nationally known carriers, including Allianz, Corebridge, Equitable, Mass Mutual, Securian, Mutual of Omaha, National Life, New York Life, North American, Principal, Protective, and Symetra.

Life Insurance Team

Michael Fontanini

Michael Fontanini

Advanced Planning & Design

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Michael Fontanini

Michael Fontanini

Advanced Planning & Design

Michael Fontanini, MT, CFP®, CLU®, is Vice President of Advanced Planning and Design with Lion Street. Michael specializes in developing sophisticated life insurance solutions to meet the advanced planning needs of high-net-worth and business-owner clients of Lion Street Firms nationwide, and he leads a team of five advanced case design consultants. Prior to Lion Street, Michael worked with several life insurance companies in the areas of personal financial planning, life insurance product development, and advanced markets.

Michael has earned a Master of Taxation (MT) degree and an Estate Planning Certificate through the Graduate Tax Program of Villanova University, Charles Widger School of Law and Villanova School of Business, as well as the designations of Certified Financial Planner® (CFP) and Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU). He is FINRA Series 7 and 26 registered, a current member of the Wealth Transfer Committee and Estate Tax Working Group Committee for Finseca, a leading industry advocate for public policy on behalf of the financial security profession, and a former member of the Advanced Sales Committee for LIMRA.

Michael is from Des Moines, Iowa and currently resides in Austin, Texas.

Chelsea Graf

Chelsea Graf

Contracting & Licensing

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Chelsea Graf

Chelsea Graf

Contracting & Licensing

Chelsea Graf is the Manager of Lion Street’s Contracting and Licensing department, where she and her team provide support and guidance to financial professionals on establishing the required contracting and carrier appointments to conduct business with Lion Street. She has been working in the insurance industry since a high school internship that sparked her interest in the field. Over the course of the last 20 years, Chelsea has worked with firms and agents across the country in most aspects of the behind-the-scenes detail work that is essential to their success, including commissions, contracting, licensing and new business processing. She holds California Life and Health Agent licenses.

Tiffany Hyde

Tiffany Hyde

Head of Underwriting

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Tiffany Hyde

Tiffany Hyde

Head of Underwriting

Tiffany Hyde has led Lion Street’s Underwriting Division since 2012, where she provides oversight to underwriting efforts, new firm selection, vendor relationships and strategic initiatives. Her additional areas of expertise include reinsurance staging and negotiations, foreign nationals, complex medical history, advanced case design, product selection and premium finance. Active in the life insurance industry since 1990, Hyde has served in various leadership capacities for prominent companies including U.S. Financial, Mutual of Omaha and Voya. She also brings considerable medical knowledge from her previous career in nursing.

Passionate about continuing education, Tiffany has earned her FALU designation and currently teaches underwriting courses of all levels for hundreds of field office staff across the country. Tiffany participates in several industry groups, serving on the committee of the Texas-Wide Underwriting Conference. She is also a member of the American Academy of Insurance Medicine and is a regular contributor on trends and innovations within underwriting and the life insurance industry.

David Janecek

David Janacek

Advisor Compensation

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David Janecek

David Janacek

Advisor Compensation

Dave “D.J.” Janecek has oversight for operational efficiencies between Lion Street, its firms and supporting carriers, with special emphasis on compensation, contracting and carrier relations. D.J. has over 40 years of insurance industry experience with various wholesalers and distribution companies. As one of the original Lion Street employees, D.J. was previously with Partners Financial, a division of NFP, holding various positions in operations, marketing, case design and new business. D.J. earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in business management from the University of Texas and holds the Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU) and Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC) designations from The American College.

Aaron Lemoine

Carrier Relationships

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Aaron Lemoine

Carrier Relationships

Aaron Lemoine, Director of Carrier Relationships, is responsible for Lion Street’s carrier management and partnership strategy, helping to drive growth and maximize revenue opportunities. Aaron has been in the financial services industry for more than 10 years. His work in a variety of roles helps him understand the many aspects of distribution. Prior to Lion Street, Aaron held multiple roles at NFP Securities, Inc. (now Kestra Financial) where he worked closely with financial advisors. Aaron attended Lamar University where he studied financial accounting.

Lisa Lombardo

Lisa Lombardo

Case Management

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Lisa Lombardo

Lisa Lombardo

Case Management

Lisa Lombardo is Lion Street’s Director of New Business Operations and Case Management, working directly with firms in receiving, processing, and managing formal and informal business from submission to paid for over 20 carriers. Lisa partners closely with each case manager, carrier, and vendor to establish successful working relationships in order to secure a smooth policy experience. She recognizes that a cohesive team approach adds value to the company, since all are working together toward a common goal. Lisa has been with Lion Street since 2013 and has been in the financial services industry for over 30 years, holding various roles including licensing and contracting, sales support, production reporting, commissions, and case management in both BGA and career environments.

Dan Stanley

Dan Stanley

Life Operations

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Dan Stanley

Dan Stanley

Life Operations

Dan Stanley brings more than 30 years of life insurance experience to Lion Street. Dan has run operations for several insurance carriers and distributors, with specific expertise in finding solutions to optimize the customer experience. Dan has held several key roles over the years: Vice President of Operations at Ash Brokerage, Vice President of Underwriting at Partners Financial, and Director of Operations at ING. In addition, Dan spent seven years managing one of Lion Street’s most successful Firms, IPS Advisors. This line of sight allows Dan to work closely with Lion Street Firms to find ways to improve the business model. Dan has the perfect combination of direct sales experience with high-net-worth clients, carrier underwriting, and operations. Dan served in the Marine Corps for six years and enjoys golf, traveling, and spending time with family.

Scott Weber

Scott Weber

Practice Management & Technology

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Scott Weber

Scott Weber

Practice Management & Technology

Scott Weber, Sr. Vice President of Practice Management and Technology, is responsible for Lion Street’s technology strategy, infrastructure, vendor management, and internal and external life insurance systems. As one of the five founding employees of Lion Street, Scott consults with Lion Street retail practitioners on ways to improve their practice operations through technology, outsourcing services and process improvements. Prior to Lion Street, Scott was Assistant Vice President of Technology at National Financial Partners. Since 1988, Scott has held a variety of roles in management, business development, consulting, sales and technology product marketing at leading software and financial services companies, including Fiserv, ACI Worldwide, Sterling Commerce (IBM), H.D. Vest Financial Services and Prudential Financial. Scott is a graduate of Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in finance and computer information systems.

Corporate & Business Solutions

Lion Street Firms provide corporate life insurance solutions to trusted advisors of corporations and business owners who are looking to achieve key objectives and protect highly valued assets.

Our Firms are supported by our Corporate and Business Solutions (C&BS) team, which takes a personalized, consultative approach in developing solutions that reward and retain top executives. They also design strategies for mitigating risk and business succession planning.

Firms are further supported by powerful technologies and resources that enhance their ability to provide your clients with world-class business solutions.

Succession Planning

Preparing business owners for liquidity events, succession planning, and the transition of their largest asset. Plan designs include:

  • Buy-Sell
  • Employee Stock Ownership (ESOP)
  • Stock Redemption

Core Benefits for Business Owners

Offering wealth creation strategies for individual owners through corporate sponsorship. Plan designs include:

  • Cash Balance Plans
  • Captives
  • Management Services Organization (MSO)

Executive Comp & Retention Strategies

Preparing strategies to help your elite clients recruit, reward, and retain their best employees with highly customized plans. Our Deferred Comp Plans/Exec benefits include:

  • Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Plans (NQDCP)
  • Supplemental Executive Retirement Plans (SERPs)
  • Split-dollar
  • Bonus plans

Key Employee Benefit Restoration

Helping businesses restore lost benefits caused by plan limitations. We focus on:

  • Life
  • Disability
  • Retirement

Asset Strategies

Advising banks, insurance companies and large corporations on tax efficient strategies that favorably impact the balance sheet. Approaches include:

  • Corporate-Owned Life Insurance (COLI)
  • Bank-Owned Life Insurance (BOLI)
  • Insurance Company-Owned Life Insurance (ICOLI)

Corporate & Business Solutions Team

Justin Gladieux

Justin Gladieux

Head of Corporate & Business Solutions

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Justin Gladieux

Justin Gladieux

Head of Corporate & Business Solutions

Justin helps elite financial and insurance professionals create better outcomes for their clients, grow their practice, and enter adjacent markets. He has a specialty focus in the design and implementation of executive benefit plans, business succession and retention strategies, and corporate asset strategies using life insurance.

Justin spent the majority of his career as a recognized leader in the manufacturing and distribution of life insurance products for businesses and corporations. He has implemented and advised on transactions that exceeded $100 Million in total premium. His navigation of the large case market has allowed him to help clients in the pricing and implementation of complex product purchases. Earlier in his career, Justin was an operational specialist with a leading life insurance carrier. He has been involved in some of the largest corporate owned life insurance transactions placed in the last five years.

Justin holds a BS with honors from The University of Findlay and earned his MBA from Capital University. He also holds the CEPA designation as a Certified Exit Planning Advisor.

Michael Ori

Michael Ori

Advanced Sales & Consulting

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Michael Ori

Michael Ori

Advanced Sales & Consulting

As Vice President of Corporate & Business Solutions for Lion Street, Michael’s focus is on the business market space where he specializes in designing, implementing and auditing strategies involving business succession, executive benefits, and asset/liability management utilizing life insurance.

Michael spent the first 10 years of his career at a nationally recognized executive benefits consulting firm where he led the design and analytics team. His responsibilities included designing strategies that utilize corporate-owned, bank-owned, and insurance company-owned life insurance, administrating non-qualified deferred compensation plans, and marketing to prospects ranging from small, privately held companies to Fortune 500 corporations. Prior to joining Lion Street, Michael worked for Nationwide Financial, an industry leader in the corporate insurance space, where he focused on driving the distribution of corporate-owned life insurance products.

Michael holds a bachelor’s with honors in finance from the University of Florida and is a registered representative of Lion Street Financial, where he holds his FINRA Series 6, 63, and Life Insurance licenses.

Dan Wilson

Dan Wilson

Product Analyst & Case Design

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Dan Wilson

Dan Wilson

Product Analyst & Case Design

As a senior case design consultant with Lion Street, Dan’s focus is on the business life insurance market where he specializes in designing and implementing strategies involving business succession, executive benefits, and asset/liability management. He has been in the life insurance industry for more than nine years with a focus on the executive benefit and corporate-owned life insurance (COLI) strategies.

Prior to joining Lion Street, Dan worked for Nationwide Financial, an industry leader in the corporate insurance space, where he focused on driving the distribution of corporate-owned life insurance products. Dan holds a bachelor’s in marketing from the Ohio State University. He also holds the Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC) and Charted Life Underwriter® (CLU) designations from the American College of Financial Services. Dan is a registered representative of Lion Street Financial where he holds his FINRA Series 6 and Life Insurance licenses.

Wealth Solutions

Lion Street Firms are supported by Lion Street’s Broker Dealer and Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), specifically designed to meet the needs of Firms and their clients.

Lion Street Financial

Lion Street Financial is a Broker Dealer built for Lion Street Firms, by Lion Street Firms, to support the distribution of variable life/annuity products and traditional securities.

By keeping wealth management adjacent to our insurance products, Lion Street advisors enjoy greater product choice and improved, coordinated compliance.

We also structured our service to better align Registered Representatives with their clients — which means your high-net-worth clients enjoy seamless access to better ideas, product expertise, new markets, and a comprehensive approach to industry regulation.

We offer in-house support for traditional investment products, as well as PPVUL offerings. And our award-winning platform uses industry-leading technology that enables more personalized service.

Lion Street Advisors

Lion Street’s RIA delivers a full-service platform with all facets of managed solutions available to support RIAs, giving advisors access to best-in-class wealth management technology and trading capabilities. By unbundling and de-layering the core services, our RIA helps create more choice and less cost for retail clients.

Core Benefits

Offering wealth creation strategies for individual owners through corporate sponsorship. Plan designs include:

  • Comprehensive financial service platform
  • Leveraging industry-leading technology
  • Open architecture model
  • Compliance alignment with Firm practice
  • 35+ Variable Selling Agreements

Partners

  • BNY Mellon Pershing logo
  • Asset Mark logo
  • Net360 logo
  • Envestnet logo
  • Pershing X logo

Wealth Solutions Team

John Burmeister

John Burmeister

President & CEO, Lion Street Financial LLC

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John Burmeister

John Burmeister

President & CEO, Lion Street Financial LLC

John Burmeister is the President and CEO for Lion Street Financial, LLC, the broker-dealer subsidiary of Lion Street, Inc. Prior to joining Lion Street, John served on the leadership team at NFP Advisor Services Group (NFP). Since joining NFP in 2003, John held positions in front line support, transitions, overseeing operations, and developing advisory service operations. Prior to joining NFP, John was an investment advisor with Charles Schwab and company . John holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in business management from Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas. He is a registered representative holding the FINRA Series 7, 24, 63 and 66 licenses, in addition to having his Life, Health, and Variable Insurance license . He also holds the CMFC® designation from the College for Financial Planning.

Carie Heckler

Carie Heckler

Chief Compliance Officer

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Carie Heckler

Carie Heckler

Chief Compliance Officer

Carie Heckler serves as Chief Compliance Officer for Lion Street Financial, LLC (LSF), a registered broker dealer and FINRA member, and Lion Street Advisors, LLC (LSA), an SEC registered investment adviser. In her role as Chief Compliance Officer, Carie is tasked with administering each of LSF’s and LSA’s compliance programs. Carie has worked in the financial services industry since 2000. Prior to joining the Lion Street family, she served as Chief Compliance Officer of WFG Advisors, LP, an SEC registered investment adviser. She also spent seven years with AXA Advisors, managing and supervising 30 branch compliance professionals, supporting thousands of sales associates across 20 branches covering the western half of the United States. Carie began her career as an Investigator with the Texas State Securities Board Inspection and Compliance Division, where she participated in several on-site exams of registered broker-dealers within the state of Texas.

Chris Merla

Chris Merla

Chief Operations Officer

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Chris Merla

Chris Merla

Chief Operations Officer

Chris Merla is the Chief Operations Officer for Lion Street Financial, LLC, the broker-dealer subsidiary of Lion Street, Inc. Chris oversees both the operation and transition teams of the broker-dealer, and helps to develop the advisory service operations and platforms. Prior to Lion Street, Chris served as an executive leader and Chief Operations Officer for eight years with a prominent independent RIA with a national footprint. Prior to joining the RIA, Chris held positions as a Senior Examiner at LPL Financial and a Licensing and Registrations Manager at NFP Securities. Chris holds a BBA in business management and a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from St. Edward’s University. He is a registered representative holding the FINRA Series 7, 24, and 63.

Kari Ratajczak

Kari Ratajczak

Chief Accounting Officer

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Kari Ratajczak

Kari Ratajczak

Chief Accounting Officer

Kari Ratajczak is the Chief Accounting Officer for Lion Street Financial, LLC, the broker-dealer subsidiary of Lion Street, Inc. In her role, Kari is responsible for leading financial management and compensation for the broker-dealer. Prior to joining Lion Street, Kari worked for several years in the insurance industry at The Hartford and Prudential Financial. Her experience spanned life, annuity and property casualty insurance in a variety of financial, operational and strategic leadership roles. Kari started her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, specializing in the financial services and insurance industries. She graduated from the University of Connecticut with a bachelor’s in accounting.

Joe Black

Joe Black

Annuities

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Joe Black

Joe Black

Annuities

Joe is the VP Wealth Solutions of Lion Street Financial and leads Lion Street’s annuity platform development and distribution efforts. He comes to Lion Street from Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments and has over 27 years of combined executive distribution and relationship experience with PKS, Nationwide, Voya, and Protective. Joe lives in Columbus, Ohio and is a graduate of The Ohio State University.

Private Client Solutions

Lion Street Private Client Group (LSPCG) supports complex life insurance cases through financial advisors at RIAs, banks, wirehouses, and financial institutions. Using a highly collaborative approach, our network of seasoned life insurance experts help Financial Advisors meet the sophisticated estate planning, business, and corporate insurance needs of their high-net-worth clients. Emphasizing service, responsiveness, and accountability, the LSPCG team provides the specialized life insurance support that Financial Advisor’s need to create holistic financial plans for their clients — and for the Financial Advisors to grow their own book of business.

Core Expertise

  • Life Insurance Strategies/Analysis
  • Wealth Transfer/Estate Planning
  • Corporate and Business Insurance
  • Specialty Life Insurance Expertise includes Premium Financing and Foreign Nationals

Core Benefits

  • National team of life insurance professionals in major US wealth markets
  • Extensive knowledge and capabilities in the institutional space
  • Elite professionals comfortable working with sophisticated clients in high-net-worth and corporate & business insurance space
  • Advanced planning and underwriting expertise
  • Compliance alignment with institutional expectations and individual scale

Private Client Team

Joe Presutti

Joe Presutti

Managing Director

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Joe Presutti

Joe Presutti

Managing Director

Joe brings more than 20 years of institutional life insurance experience to Lion Street. Most recently, Joe was Senior Vice President of the Signature Group at Highland Capital Brokerage. Joe began his career at Mutual of New York and was a perennial Top of the Table producer. In 1980, he founded and served as President of Presutti & Company, a multi-platform corporate and executive benefits firm based in Rochester, New York. He moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1995 to join the MONY Group, and served as Senior Vice President until 2004 when he left to join Partners Financial, an NFP subsidiary, as a Senior Vice President of Brokerage Development. In 2008, he acquired the Southwest Division of Highland Capital Brokerage where he and his team grew target premium from $1M to $30M during his tenure there.

Zackary Turmell

Zackary Turmell

Sales Support

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Zackary Turmell

Zackary Turmell

Sales Support

Zach has more than 15 years’ experience in the financial services industry, beginning his insurance career working with several local insurance marketing firms in the Phoenix area. This experience helped grow his knowledge base on a variety of different products and case designs. From there, he served as a director of sales support and internal wholesaler for Highland Capital Brokerage before joining Lion Street.

Zach earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona with a major in communications and a minor in business, and he holds the FINRA Series 6 and 63 licenses.

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