Highland Capital Brokerage Management Team

Jim Gelder, CLU®, Chief Executive Officer

Jim Gelder, CLU®, has served as Chief Executive Officer for Highland Capital Brokerage since 2013. From 2007 until 2012, he served as Chief Executive Officer of NFP Insurance Services, Inc. (“NFPISI”) and executive vice president of National Financial Partners. In 2011, Mr. Gelder was named president of the NFP Individual Client Group. Prior to joining NFP, he served as head of the life insurance business distribution organization for ING U.S. Financial Services, where he was responsible for all individual retail life insurance distribution.

Mr. Gelder joined ING as co-CEO of Life Operations through its acquisition of ReliaStar in 2000. From 1995 through 2000, he held a variety of positions with increasing responsibility at ReliaStar, including head of Life Marketing and Life Operations and president and CEO of Security-Connecticut Life, a ReliaStar subsidiary. Prior to that, Mr. Gelder was with ReliaStar’s predecessor, Northwestern National Life. In 1983 Mr. Gelder founded Northwest Marketing Resources, Inc. and ran its brokerage and high net worth retail life practice. Mr. Gelder began his career with Northwestern Life Insurance Company in 1973. As an agent, Mr. Gelder was a multiyear MDRT qualifier. Mr. Gelder attended Southern California College and graduated from Dartmouth College’s Tuck Executive Program. Mr. Gelder received his CLU from the American College.

Advanced Marketing
Robert W. Finnegan, J.D., CLU®, AEP®, Senior Vice President, Advanced Planning Attorney

Robert W. Finnegan, J.D., CLU®, serves as Senior Vice President, Advanced Planning Attorney at Highland Capital Brokerage. He is responsible for providing advanced sales support across the company, supporting distribution in all channels and working with principals, sales vice presidents, independent producers, and financial institutions to develop business opportunities and enhanced advanced marketing solutions for clients.

The majority of Mr. Finnegan’s 30+ year career as an estate planning attorney has been devoted to protecting and transferring wealth for ultra-high net worth individual and business clients. Prior to joining HCB, he held the position of Executive Vice President, Advanced Planning at Heritage Strategies LLC, in Woodbury, New York, providing technical and product design support in the business, estate, charitable, and executive planning markets. Prior to joining Heritage Strategies, Mr. Finnegan was a founding member of Premier Planning Associates, LLC, in Saratoga Springs, New York. He also served as President of Sage Consulting & Wealth Preservation.

Mr. Finnegan’s expertise includes business, estate, charitable and life insurance planning. His successful approach to planning combines strong legal skills, extensive insurance expertise, and excellent communication skills. Mr. Finnegan employs a full range of sophisticated planning strategies to provide each client with custom results based planning to meet their objectives.

Mr. Finnegan is an honors graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law (1990), and was awarded his BA degree in Mathematics magna cum laude from Boston University (1977). He has been published in a number of highly regarded national trade magazines including Estate Planning, Probate and Property and the Journal of the American Society of CLU and ChFC. Mr. Finnegan has spoken nationally at the Association of Advanced Life Underwriters National Meeting, at M Financial Group meetings and at other industry events.

Mr. Finnegan is a member of the Society of Financial Service Professionals (CLU®) and, although a non-practicing attorney, the Connecticut Bar Association.

Austin Jarvis, J.D., MBA, Vice President, Advanced Sales – Taxation

Austin Jarvis, J.D., MBA, serves as Vice President of Advanced Sales – Taxation for Highland Capital Brokerage. In addition to working with our existing advanced sales team supporting Highland’s advanced sales efforts, Austin is the face of Highland’s advanced planning resources with the Ladenburg Independent Advisory Brokerages (IABs). He is a resource for advanced sales presentations to advisors and a ready resource for advisors with advanced sales and taxation cases.

Prior to joining the Advanced Sales team at Highland, Austin worked extensively with agents and clients of New York Life in his role as an Advanced Planning Consultant providing expertise in the areas of taxation, life insurance design, estate planning, business succession and retirement planning. Austin’s background also includes working at a Dallas/Ft. Worth based accounting firm as the Director of Estate and Gift Taxation. Before that, he worked as a Trust/Fiduciary Officer with the nation’s largest trust company.

Austin holds a Juris Doctor degree from Texas A&M University School of Law and both a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Arlington. During law school, Austin interned with the Internal Revenue Service’s Estate and Gift Tax Section where he gained invaluable insight to the audit and litigation process.

Austin has been a life-long resident of Dallas, Texas but is excited to begin anew in Charlotte, NC in the coming months.

Michael J. Sapyta, CFP®, CLU®, Vice President, Advanced Planning

Michael Sapyta serves as Vice President, Advanced Planning as an expert resource for Highland Capital Brokerage producers on customized wealth transfer solutions – from advanced plan design to implementation of sales concepts with integrated life insurance solutions.

Michael works closely with financial professionals and Highland Vice Presidents to develop insurance-based planning solutions for estate liquidity, supplemental income, business succession, disability, and long-term care. Michael’s responsibilities also include proactively communicating advanced sales ideas and concepts to producers to educate, inform and provide analysis. Prior to joining Highland, Michael gained valuable experience in the qualified retirement plans and executive benefits market with The Summit Group.

Michael is committed to personal and professional development. He received a Bachelor of Science in Finance with a minor in Economics from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. Michael holds a Certified Financial Planning® (CFP) and a Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU) designation as well as a Series 7 (General Securities Representative), a Series 66 (Uniform Combined State Law), and Life and Health Licenses.

Michael is a member of many national industry organizations: The Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU), The Philadelphia Estate Planning Council, and The Financial Planning Association.

Chase Allen, CLU®, ChFC®, Vice President, Institutional Accounts

As the Vice President, Institutional Accounts for Highland Capital Brokerage, Chase Allen is primarily responsible for serving as a liaison between Highland’s institutional accounts and our field offices, bringing together operations, marketing, and Sales Vice Presidents to provide these accounts with unparalleled service and support.

Prior to joining Highland, Chase served as a Business Development Specialist for BB&T Insurance Services. Before that, Chase was a Sales Vice President for Highland covering the Southeast. Prior to becoming an SVP, Chase worked at Highland in the Institutional Division as Director of Key Accounts where he shared responsibility for relationship management and marketing initiatives.

Having served on both the corporate relationship side, and the field sales side of the brokerage business, Chase brings a unique perspective and deep understanding of institutional distribution, sales, and marketing.

Chase has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama. He is also a Chartered Life Underwriter® and Chartered Financial Consultant®. Chase resides in Birmingham, Alabama with his family.

Jennifer Tierney Connelly, Vice President, Alternative Distribution

Jennifer Tierney Connelly serves as Vice President, Alternative Distribution at Highland Capital Brokerage. Jennifer has more than 18 years of experience in financial services, with the past 15 years specializing in life insurance distribution. Jennifer will be responsible for bringing in new agents, clients, firms, and business opportunities to Highland in the Alternative Distribution channel. Most recently she worked at John Hancock Life Insurance with the last 8 years as Vice President of Sales & Distribution. Jennifer was responsible for the sales and management of all national brokerage distribution relationships at John Hancock Insurance, including multiple independent marketing organizations, producer groups, and independent broker dealers. She was also responsible for the sales management of all life brokerage salespeople.

Jennifer is currently a member of AALU and served on the Brokerage Task Force and Women’s Task Force of AALU. She was a featured presenter at the largest Women’s conference in the United States in Boston, MA in 2014 and 2015 and has also been the Executive Key Note speaker at an internal John Hancock Women’s conference in 2014. In 2016, she was recognized by LIMRA as “Top 25 Rising Stars in Distribution.” Jennifer has a B.S. in Finance from Ithaca College and holds her MA Life & LTC licenses and Series 6 & 26, and 63 licenses.

Jason Kestler, Chief Distribution Officer, Annuity

Jason A. Kestler serves as Chief Distribution Officer, Annuity for Highland Capital Brokerage. He has been working in the financial services industry since 1997. Using innovation and determination in his marketing efforts, Jason’s goal is to build the organization every day, ensuring a long and prosperous future for HCB and its representatives.

Jason’s unique management style and outside the box thinking have been featured in magazines such as, Inc., Direct Marketing, Fortune Small Business, and Senior Market Sales.

Continuing with his busy lifestyle, Jason is a founding Annexus Group partner, based in Scottsdale, AZ. In addition, he is the former Secretary on NAFA's, (National Association of Fixed Annuities) Board of Directors. He is also the founding Chairman of IMAC. (Insurance Marketers Advisory Council)

Jason lives in Purcellville, Virginia with his wife Emily and daughter Grace and son Tripton.

Matt Kroeger, Vice President, Sales Support & Carrier Management
Matt Kroeger

Matt Kroeger serves as Vice President, Sales Support & Carrier Management for Highland Capital Brokerage. In this role, he is responsible for building a centralized sales support team that is focused on identifying the best practices from the HCB offices and leveraging them nationally.

Prior to his current role, Matt served as Director of Field Operations for Highland Capital Brokerage’s Western region. In this role, he supported the operation and new business processing of Highland’s Northwest and Southwest complexes. He was an operational resource for staff and sales personnel located in Oregon, Washington, California, Hawaii, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and Texas. With more than 15 years of experience in the financial services industry, Matt specializes in serving as a liaison for individuals from both within and outside of Highland Capital Brokerage to be connected with the tools and resources available to them to most efficiently run and grow their practices.

Prior to joining Highland Capital Brokerage, Matt worked for 10 years with Insurance Designers of America. He is Life and Health licensed in Arizona and holds his FINRA Series 6 (Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Limited Representative) and Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law) licenses.

Matt lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife Kelly and his children, Carson and Quinn. He enjoys cheering on his Arizona Cardinals and Phoenix Suns, and stealing away to the nearest beach with his family whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Greg Mack, Chief Distribution Officer, Life
Greg Mack

Greg Mack serves as Chief Distribution Officer, Life for Highland Capital Brokerage. HCB is investing in exponential growth through alternative distribution initiatives and Greg will provide leadership with these initiatives.

For the past 20 years he managed John Hancock Life and LTC distribution to what in recent years became an industry leader in new premiums generated.

Under his leadership, Hancock led the industry four consecutive years. This corporate journey started with a sales and marketing leadership role for Manulife. Greg helped facilitate the merger of Manulife and John Hancock distribution. His insurance career started at the core of our business as a sales producer with Cigna where he was a company leader and qualified for Top of the Table nine consecutive years. During his tenure in private practice, he worked in wire houses and banks and hosted a radio show on money and finance.

James J. Sorebo, CLU®, Senior Vice President, Community Banks & IBDs
Jim Sorebo

James J. Sorebo, CLU serves as Senior Vice President, Community Banks & IBDs for Highland Capital Brokerage. Jim started his financial services career in 1979 and was an executive with an industry leading insurance and investment company. While there, he led the company’s wholesaling efforts and was president of a wholly owned subsidiary.

As a recognized speaker and sales trainer, Jim has been a featured speaker before industry trade groups like Life Insurance and Market Research Association (LIMRA), bank and broker/dealer sales conferences and insurance company conventions. A graduate of Minnesota State University with a B.S in Business Administration, Jim is a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and member of the Society of Financial Service Professionals, and Bank Insurance and Securities Association (BISA).

Jim has given back to the industry in numerous ways over his career. He served on the NAILBA – National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies board for six years and was Chairman in 2017. Additionally, he participates in the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU) Brokerage Task force, building relationships with the Members of Congress on the issues affecting our industry.

Jim serves on the board of directors for The Lone Survivor Foundation, which restores, empowers, and renews hope for our wounded warriors and their families suffering from PTSD.

Jim resides in Berlin, New Jersey with his wife, Kathy, and has two daughters, Madeline and Allison. When not involved with family, Jim is often found on the golf course or enjoying a good bottle of wine with friends.

Michael C. Sorensen, Managing Principal, Brokerage Distribution
Mike Sorensen

Michael C. Sorensen is the Managing Principal of Brokerage Distribution at Highland Capital Brokerage. Michael leads a new line of business called Brokerage Partners. Brokerage Partners allows Highland to scale its business with centralized processing, underwriting, and advanced markets prowess to local and regional brokerage agencies around the country. Utilizing Highland’s subject matter expertise allows these agencies to leverage their relationships and focus on their clients. As a world-class distribution organization, Highland accesses underdeveloped markets to facilitate the sale of life insurance and like protection products.

As a highly respected leader with a clear and focused direction, Michael has produced significant results throughout his 27-year career, most notably at Universal Insurance Services. He was formally a Managing Principal of Universal Insurance Services, LLC, headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida. Joining the rm in 2003 as the National Brokerage Director, Michael specialized in insurance management and strategic distribution. He was instrumental in building a sales and service platform that consistently improved agents’ business and confidence by delivering the best of the insurance industry, and in 2007 he was promoted to President. Michael developed several key underwriting practices that resulted in placing Universal Insurance Services’ conversion ratios of informal to formal business among the highest in the industry. He helped implement countless improvements that increased profitability while also establishing Universal Insurance Services’ position as one of the fastest growing and one of the most pro table BGA’s in the industry.

Michael is a well-respected and in influential member within the insurance industry and he has participated in multiple field advisory councils. He is a member of the Risk Appraisal Forum, a group that “specializes in the art of underwriting” and hosts two meetings a year. At these meetings, leading physicians and researchers in various medical fields update Risk Appraisal Forum members and key home office and reinsurance underwriting executives, underwriters, and medical directors on medical advances that are occurring.

Trey Wall, LUTCF, Vice President, Independent Broker Dealer Strategies

Trey Wall, LUTCF, serves as Vice President, Independent Broker Dealer Strategies for Highland Capital Brokerage. Trey began his career in the life insurance industry as a life agent and now has over 23 years of experience in the life insurance industry focused on product case design, advanced planning, and brokerage management.

Prior to joining Highland, Trey was the National Sales Director for LPL Insurance Associates. In this role, he was responsible for building LPL’s advanced planning department and when LPL acquired the insurance department of UVEST Financial Services, Trey led the merger of the insurance departments.

Prior to that, Trey worked as the National Sales Director for UVEST Financial Services. He took the lead building their in-house BGA supporting over 300 community banks across the nation. Trey also worked as a national variable life wholesaler for Transamerica and as Brokerage Director for Grice Financial Services. As the Brokerage Director, he supported wirehouses, independents, and banks in Virginia, North, and South Carolina.

Trey is a Life Underwriter Training Council Follow (LUTCF) and a member of AALU and NAILBA. He graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne University and resides in Mint Hill, North Carolina with his wife, Christina and their two teenage children, Jacob and Madison.

Greg Zahn, MBA, Assistant Vice President, Multiline & Digital Sales

Greg Zahn, MBA, serves as Assistant Vice President, Multiline & Digital Sales at Highland Capital Brokerage. He develops, markets, and manages Highland’s straight-through processing (STP) and other industry-leading field technologies for Highland’s national institutional and property & casualty (P&C) relationships. In addition, Greg develops new relationships within the P&C marketplace.

Prior to joining Highland, Greg served as Senior Vice President at NB Signature Insurance Solutions as well as National Brokerage in Tampa, Florida. In both of those roles, he provided oversight and sales team management, as well as marketing and strategic initiative support.

Prior to that, Greg served as the Regional Sales Manager at National Brokerage. In this role, he worked closely with key accounts including, P&C/Benefits agencies, super regional institutions, credit unions, wealth management firms and independent producers on strategic growth and marketing initiatives. He recruited new business from independent life insurance producers nationwide, which included directing the entire sales process from compensation and underwriting negotiations to marketing collateral creation and policy quotes. Greg also worked closely with carriers to coordinate collateral and provided training and point-of-sale assistance.

Greg received his Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Florida State University (FSU) in Tallahassee, Florida and a Masters of Business Administration specializing in marketing, management, and finance from the University of South Florida, Tampa. Greg and his wife Lisa live in Tampa, Florida. They enjoy outdoor activities including kayaking, fishing, golfing and the occasional trip to Tallahassee in the fall to watch a FSU football game.

Accounting, Finance, and Commissions Accounting
Drew Lawrence, CPA, CGMA, Chief Financial Officer

W. Drew Lawrence serves as Chief Financial Officer for Highland Capital Brokerage. Mr. Lawrence’s primary role is focused on all financial and strategic aspects of the Company as well as oversight of Highland’s Corporate Office located in Birmingham, Alabama.

Mr. Lawrence has over 18 years industry experience. Prior to joining Highland, Drew served as Chief Financial Officer of Morris-Shea Bridge Company, an international specialty foundation commercial contractor. Additionally, Drew served in various financial/accounting, mergers and acquisition and operational roles with Highland Capital Brokerage (2001-2010) and publicly-traded CVS Caremark.

Drew graduated from Samford University in Birmingham with a B.S. in Accounting. Along with being a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant.

Married for over 16 years to wife Amy, Drew currently resides in Birmingham Alabama, with his wife and their 3 children, Caroline (11), Will (9) and Emme (6).

Meredith B. Gay, CPA, CGMA, Senior Vice President of Finance & Corporate Controller
Email | 205.263.9237

Meredith B. Gay, CPA, CGMA, serves as Sr. Vice President of Finance and Corporate Controller for Highland Capital Brokerage.

Meredith is responsible for managing the financial accounting functions of Highland Capital Brokerage and the financial accounting team, which include cash management, financial reporting, and firm operations/relationships.

Prior to working at Highland Capital Brokerage, Meredith worked at Regions Financial Corporation as a Senior Internal Audit Manager, Insight Card Services as Chief Accounting Officer, various financial/accounting roles at Highland Capital Brokerage (2003-2011), and Arthur Andersen, LLP and KPMG, LLP as a Senior Accountant.

Meredith received her Bachelor of Science and Masters of Accountancy from the University of Alabama.

HighCap Financial
Teague Wright, Chief Operating Officer

Teague Wright serves as Chief Operating Officer for Highland Capital Brokerage where she primarily focuses on leading the company's distribution and marketing organization, and driving the expansion of HighCap Financial, the company's elite producer group. She is also responsible for cultivating and managing carrier relationships, and ensuring underwriting excellence and case advocacy.

Before joining HCB, Ms. Wright served as a member of the executive team at Crump Life Insurance Services, Inc., where she led The Potomac Group and was responsible for running a significant segment of Crump's independent distribution business. Prior, she built the underwriting organization at NFP Life Insurance Services, Inc., working closely with financial planners and their clients to secure placement of large, complex cases.

With over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, Ms. Wright brings a unique blend of underwriting, marketing and distribution management expertise, and is widely recognized by leading advisors, carrier leaderships, and her industry peers for her exceptional marketing and underwriting acumen. Moreover, as a thought leader, she been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, authored several articles in trade publications, has been a frequent speaker at industry association meetings, and is a member of AALU.

Ms. Wright is a 1993 graduate of Pennsylvania State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science. She is the proud mother of 4 children and 3 dogs.

Angela Blackburn, FLMI, Assistant Vice President, HighCap Financial

Angela Blackburn, FLMI serves as Assistant Vice President, HighCap Financial for Highland Capital Brokerage. With nearly 30 years of experience in the life insurance industry, Angela provides operational support to Highland’s Managing Principals, Vice Presidents, and HighCap Financial members. She maintains relationships with our national Relationship Managers for Highland’s carriers. Additionally, Angela works in concert with the local office to ensure that the HighCap producers’ business is expedited, helping it be processed smoothly and efficiently. She comes alongside your Managing Principal and Vice President as a national concierge to safeguard your valuable HighCap experience.

Prior to her role with HighCap Financial, Angela was the Internal Sales Partner and Director, Marketing for Highland’s Charlotte office. She specialized in providing unique product insights and on-point marketing concepts, ensuring the best options were selected for the client. Her breadth of knowledge allows her to build strong producer relationships and assist with any client question or concern. Angela is a valuable asset to the Managing Principal and Sales Vice Presidents on her team.

Prior to that, Angela worked in operational and managerial roles with Capitas Financial, Guardian Life, Paul Revere Group, and Connecticut Mutual Life. In these positions, she put the clients first by listening to their needs and always met or exceeded the goals of her producers.

Angela received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management from North Carolina State University. She holds Life, Accident & Health and Long Term Care licenses. Angela is a Fellow at the Life Member Institute and a member of the Society of Financial Service Professionals.

Angela enjoys spending her free time with her husband, Nathan, and their two daughters, Bess and Grace.

Human Resources
Sonya Isbell, PHR, Assistant Vice President, Human Resources
Email | 205.263.9242

Sonya serves as the Assistant Vice President, Human Resources. She oversees all Payroll and HR matters for Highland Capital Brokerage and has been with the company since 2002. Prior to Highland Sonya was the HR/Payroll Manager for a chemical manufacturing company in Marietta, Georgia.

Sonya is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management and has her Professional Human Resources designation (PHR). She has practiced in the HR field for 19 years

Information Technology
Anthony Lancaster, MBA, MS-MIS, FLMI, PMP, Chief Information Officer
Email | 205.263.9225

Anthony Lancaster serves as Chief Operating Officer for Highland Capital Brokerage and Ladenburg Thalmann Annuity Insurance Services LLC. He is responsible for executing strategic enterprise roadmaps, managing information technology, and leading the company’s project management team. Anthony’s expertise includes process improvement, project management, and information technology integration strategies.

Prior to joining Highland and Ladenburg, Anthony was Director of Operations with New York Life in Chicago.

Anthony has two master’s degrees. The first is in Management Information Systems (MIS) and the second is in Business Administration (MBA). In addition, he holds a Project Management Professional Certification (PMP)® and he is Six Sigma Black Belt Certified (CSSBB).

Chris Godsey, Director, Information Technology

Chris Godsey joined Highland in 2014 as an Operations Business Analyst. Chris assisted with the launch and implementation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and ClickDimensions. He also assists the marketing team with video production and editing. His role currently focuses on leveraging new technologies to enhance business processes and efficiencies.

Legal and Compliance
Rhonda Padgett, Vice President, Legal & Compliance
Email | 205.263.9213

Rhonda Padgett serves as VP, Legal & Compliance for Highland Capital Brokerage. Rhonda started with Highland in 1998 as part of the Mergers & Acquisition team. Her responsibilities have changed over the years to include her current role monitoring compliance issues, managing policies and procedures, supervising the corporate risk management program, corporate governance and facilitating contracts for the benefit of all Highland offices.

Prior to joining Highland, Rhonda founded Legal Support, Inc., which she operated to provide secretarial and paralegal support to attorneys on a temporary and part-time contract basis. Rhonda began her career over 27 years ago providing legal assistance in top law firms in the Birmingham, Alabama metro area.

Marketing Communications & Events
Wilma Morales Turner, Vice President, Marketing Communications & Events
Email | 205.263.9266

Wilma Morales-Turner serves as Vice President of Marketing Communications and Events and is responsible for marketing, public relations, advertising, strategic branding, event planning, and promotions. Ms. Turner has twenty-seven years of marketing communications experience in the financial services industry, the last ten years at Highland Capital Brokerage. Prior to that, she was the Director of Marketing Communications and Advertising for Fortis Benefits Dental Care. Ms. Turner also worked at Protective Life Corporation for fifteen years and held several marketing management positions within the company.

Sarah Henry, MBA, Assistant Vice President, Marketing
Email | 205.263.9216

Sarah Henry, MBA, serves as AVP, Marketing for Highland Capital Brokerage. In her role, Sarah is responsible for developing and executing a clearly defined integrated marketing strategy to support consistent business growth and enhance brand equity and awareness.

This strategic position works across many internal teams to drive revenue growth by optimizing the effectiveness of Highland’s marketing, tools, resources, and processes to increase effectiveness and gain efficiencies across the enterprise. She works closely with distribution leads to develop annual marketing plans, manage and execute those plans, and communicate results. She manages the marketing, content, video, and social media team members.

Sarah worked for Highland from 2011-2017 as Marketing and Social Media Manager. In 2017, she left the company to pursue an MBA at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with a marketing emphasis. She began her career working with high-net-worth clients at the Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo in Palo Alto and later Los Angeles, CA. Sarah also has a BA in Economics and Business from Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA and a minor in Art.

Sarah lives in Denver, CO with her husband and their two cats. They are always passport-ready with their shared hobby of traveling. She enjoys cooking, creative weekend projects, and staying active by running, biking, and hiking.

Lisa Jacobs, Marketing Director, Annuities
Email | 800.699.0299

Lisa Jacobs is the Marketing Director of Annuities at Highland Capital Brokerage. She has a stellar reputation for guiding companies toward optimal growth, and has consulted thousands of business owners on marketing strategy and overall improved operations.

Highly adept at understanding the buying process and consumer behaviors, Lisa is known for her extensive expertise in digital marketing, profitable campaign-building, and her ability to enhance business and sales practices.

Lauren Sinnott, Assistant Vice President, Creative Director
Email | 205.263.9233

Lauren Sinnott serves as Assistant Vice President, Creative Director. She is responsible for art direction, branding, graphic design, web design, print management, online marketing resources management, as well as managing Highland’s Graphic Designer. Lauren joined Highland Capital Brokerage in 2010 as Graphic Designer.

Lauren has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Auburn University and a minor in Business.

Lauren lives in Birmingham, AL with her husband, two dogs, and cat. She enjoys traveling, gardening, cooking, and calligraphy.

Teague Wright, Chief Operating Officer

Teague Wright serves as Chief Operating Officer for Highland Capital Brokerage where she primarily focuses on leading the company's distribution and marketing organization, and driving the expansion of HighCap Financial, the company's elite producer group. She is also responsible for cultivating and managing carrier relationships, and ensuring underwriting excellence and case advocacy.

Before joining HCB, Ms. Wright served as a member of the executive team at Crump Life Insurance Services, Inc., where she led The Potomac Group and was responsible for running a significant segment of Crump's independent distribution business. Prior, she built the underwriting organization at NFP Life Insurance Services, Inc., working closely with financial planners and their clients to secure placement of large, complex cases.

With over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, Ms. Wright brings a unique blend of underwriting, marketing and distribution management expertise, and is widely recognized by leading advisors, carrier leaderships, and her industry peers for her exceptional marketing and underwriting acumen. Moreover, as a thought leader, she been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, authored several articles in trade publications, has been a frequent speaker at industry association meetings, and is a member of AALU.

Ms. Wright is a 1993 graduate of Pennsylvania State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science. She is the proud mother of 4 children and 3 dogs.

Shelley Bondurant, MBA, PMP, Vice President, Strategy & Business Consulting
Email | 205.263.9209

Shelley Bondurant, MBA, PMP, serves as VP of Operations for Highland Capital Brokerage. She is responsible for the oversight and management of the operational services and systems offered to the organization, which includes the Broker Contracting department. Shelley joined Highland in February 2011. Prior to joining Highland, Shelley worked in roles as a business analyst, project manager, and general management with increasing responsibility in the medical device and financial services industries.

Underwriting & New Business
Nancy Hanson, CLU®, Vice President, Field Operations & New Business

Nancy Hanson, CLU®, is the Vice President of Field Operations and New Business for Highland Capital Brokerage. In this role, Nancy is responsible for leading the new business and case management team, as well as field operations. Prior to this role, Nancy served as Vice President of Operations for the Highland Capital Brokerage Northwest office since 2003.

Nancy has worked in the Life Insurance industry since 1989. Before joining Highland, she worked for Sunset Life Insurance Company. At Sunset Life, she held multiple roles in the marketing and sales division, ultimately holding the position of Regional Director. Prior to that, Nancy served at Jefferson Pilot Life insurance Company as a Field Vice President. In 1999, she joined LIMRA International as a Client Manager to Insurance Companies focusing on independent producer distribution. Nancy holds a life insurance license in addition to being a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®).

Robert Brookie, Assistant Vice President, Underwriting

As the Assistant Vice President of Underwriting, Bob Brookie leads the Highland Capital Brokerage underwriting team. In addition to leading the underwriting team, Bob evaluates and summarizes client health histories and serves as a liaison between brokers and carriers, advocating for the best possible underwriting decision in the life brokerage market. He is in his 10th year at Highland, having previously served as the Director of Business Operations and Underwriting with the Heartland office.

Bob is a 36 year veteran of the life insurance industry and although he has a wide range of experience in many industry specific areas, his most notable background is in life insurance operations.

Bob’s experience includes 18 years of life underwriting and consulting in a home office environment. He has also managed information technology, programming, private label product implementation, agent contracting, commissions, financing, and fringe benefit programs. In addition, he has designed and implemented underwriting and case management systems.

Bob is a Fellow, Life Management Institute (FLMI) specializing in Selection of Risks.

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This page is intended for agents and representatives only and not to inform members of the general public. The information provided in the testimonials above may not be indicative of the experience of any end clients. The experiences and opinions are those of the financial professionals only. Securities by licensed Individuals may be offered through registered Broker/Dealers Investacorp, Inc. (IC) and Securities America, Inc. (SAI), members FINRA, SIPC. Advisory Services may be offered through SEC Registered Investment Advisers Investacorp Advisory Services, Inc. (IAS) and Securities America Advisors, Inc., (SAA). Highland Capital Brokerage, IC, IAS, SAI and SAA are affiliated subsidiaries of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. Not all of the individuals listed on this site are registered to offer securities products or advisory services through IC, IAS, SAI or SAA. IC, IAS, SAI or SAA do not offer tax or legal advice. This site is published for residents of the United States only. Registered Representatives and Investment Adviser Representatives of IC, IAS, SAI or SAA may only conduct business with residents of the states and jurisdictions in which they are properly registered. Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed. Not all of the products and services referenced on this site are available in every state and through every representative or adviser listed. For additional information, please contact compliance@highland.com.