Our people are the heart and soul of Cantella, and our leaders’ dedication, service, and integrity provide the foundations of the company’s culture. Our executives lead by example and have personal relationships with almost all of our advisors, thanks to their commitment to great service and (very often) lengthy careers with our firm. Our focus on recognizing talented entrepreneurs within the firm brings forward thinking and positive change in an environment of stability and consistency, a strategy which is especially appreciated by our advisors.
Jay Lanstein - Chief Executive Officer & CIO
Jay was the unanimous choice to be appointed CEO in 2009. His leadership and visionary focus on making Cantella a top competitor in the independent broker-dealer space have made him an inspiring CEO, qualities which he honed in his outstanding career with our firm.
Cantella was fortunate enough to discover Jay early. In 2002, he began an internship with us in the Operations department while still a full-time student at Boston College. Noticing an opportunity, Jay applied his IT background to create software that improved the department’s efficiency, and it was so successful he began to create programs for other departments. It wasn’t long before Jay took on the responsibility of enhancing our overall technology infrastructure and operations. By the time he earned his BA in Economics, Jay had been dubbed “Bill Gates Jr.” for his programming abilities and had accumulated more securities licenses than most do in an entire career.
Upon graduating, Jay stayed on to continue his IT systems work and became involved with most of the departments in the office. Jay became Operations Manager in 2004 to reflect his increasing responsibility for efficient and accurate service. The imaging system he designed, rolled out in 2005, now makes more than 1 million documents available to Cantella advisors and has become an invaluable resource for our entire operation. Jay became CIO of Cantella in 2007 and joined the Board of Directors in 2008.
Jay’s entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to constant improvement has touched every department at Cantella. His leadership, tested during the financial crisis, and his focus on helping our people deliver top quality service has positioned our firm for a bright future.
Jay continues to serve as the firm’s CIO and consults as an expert witness in FINRA arbitrations. He is also a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. He holds the FINRA Series 4, 7, 9, 10, 24, 27, 53, 55, 63, 65, and 87 licenses.
Jay lives in South Boston with his wife Becca and son Declan, born in March 2015. To add to his impressive list of accomplishments, Jay has expertise in pretty much every DIY home renovation project you can imagine.
Jennie Devlin - President
As the President of Cantella, Jennie Devlin oversees the company’s strategic planning and provides leadership for Cantella’s advisors and employees. Cantella, an employee owned firm, provides business solutions for financial advisors, broker/dealers and registered investment advisory firms, helping them operate their businesses efficiently, compete and serve their clients.
As a working mother with 3 young children, she ensures a strong work/life balance by building and operating scalable service models. This philosophy is a top priority and driving factor in Cantella's approach to business development.
Jennie began her career at Cantella in 2000 and has performed almost every function in the company. She joined the Board of Directors in 2008. Most recently, she served as the Chief Operating Officer of the firm and remains actively involved in day-to-day operations.
Jennie has been effective in rethinking and redefining operations and policies across the firm - from our advisory platform and transition services to risk management and compliance. She also pioneered alternative work arrangements for Cantella employees with children and elderly family members. Jennie created an in-house nursery for employees' children and regularly brings her own children to work with her.
Jennie graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Boston College. She belongs to a number of industry organizations, including the New England Broker/Dealer and Investment Advisor Association, National Association of Plan Advisors, Boston Women in Finance, the Women in Pensions Network and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. She holds FINRA Series 7 and 24 licenses and the AIF® designation. Additionally, Jennie won the 2016 Brava Award for her entrepreneurial spirit and business leadership.
Brooks Marston - Chief Operating Officer
Brooks Marston is Chief Operating Officer at Cantella & Co., Inc. He is responsible for the strategic direction and management of Cantella’s Brokerage and Registered Investment Advisory business.
Prior to joining Cantella, Brooks was a Managing Director for BNY Mellon Investment Management’s North American Distribution. This role entailed client and business responsibility for the successful management of the North American Retail market. BNY Mellon Investment Management Distribution goes to market in partnership with its Global Investment Boutiques representing approximately $1.7 trillion in assets under management.
Brooks was the Director for Pershing LLC, Boston Regional Office. He oversaw all client relationships and business development for the Northeast region of the United States.
In addition, Brooks served as Chairman of Pershing’s Self-Directed Leadership Committee, Pershing’s Credit and Risk Committee, ACAT Task Force and Empowerment Advisory Group.
Prior to joining Pershing, Brooks served as Senior Vice President for Fidelity Investments Institutional Brokerage Group, where he was responsible for New Business Sales, Relationship Management and Bank, Full-Service and Discount Brokerage client market segments.
Brooks is a member of the Bond Club of New York and the Bank Insurance Securities Association. He is a frequent speaker on the securities industry at customer and industry events.
Brooks received a Bachelor of Science degree in International Business from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. He holds his Series 6, 7, 63, 24 and 4 FINRA licenses.
Jim Freeman - National Sales Manager & Director
As our National Sales Manager, Jim focuses on developing an understanding of what prospective advisors are looking for and making sure Cantella delivers much more. He also works extensively with our family of advisors to help find new ways of building their books of business and providing more efficient and holistic services to their clients.
Jim is closing in on his 20th anniversary with Cantella. He was instrumental in the 1996 transition of Cantella’s business model from a self-clearing firm servicing smaller broker/dealers to our current structure, and he brought many of our early advisors and representatives on board. His ability to tap into what our representatives need right now and anticipate what they might want in the future earned him a place on our Board of Directors. Throughout his career with Cantella, he has continued to powerfully influence our operations and strategy for the better.
Jim graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Whittemore School of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire. He began his financial services career in 1986 as a retail financial advisor with E.F. Hutton and holds the FINRA Series 7, 24, 63, and 65 licenses. When away from work, Jim is typically with his family or organizing and attending a social function, golf tournament, or charitable endeavor. He and his wife Cheryl are happiest when helping their three children pursue their passions for music, theatre, and design.
Sheelagh Howett - Chief Risk Officer & Director of Audit Committee
Sheelagh brings an eye for detail and an extensive understanding of regulatory compliance and operations to her role as our Chief Risk Officer and the Director of our Audit Committee. Her focus on improving efficiency while meeting compliance objectives have strengthened our compliance systems while keeping processes manageable for our advisors. Sheelagh shares her experience to create new initiatives for improving efficiency and communication in industry compliance measures.
Sheelagh began her career with Cantella in 2003. Her entrepreneurial spirit, knack for understanding regulatory requirements, and commitment to helping advisors made her an integral part of our Transitions Department team. She followed in Jennie’s footsteps to become the Director of Corporate Development, bringing a love of trouble-shooting and the implementation of creative, effective, and prudent solutions that expanded the department into the forward-thinking and streamlined operation it is today. Sheelagh was elected to the firm’s Board of Directors in 2012.
Throughout her career with Cantella, Sheelagh has exemplified an understanding and commitment to the importance of regulatory oversight and a focus on exacting yet efficient compliance with the rules. She has brought these qualities to every department of our firm, improving countless operations and systems for the better.
Sheelagh is an active member of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, the New England Broker/Dealer Investment Advisor Association, and the Women in Pensions Network. Originally from Ireland, Sheelagh earned a BA in Banking and Finance at University College in Dublin. She holds FINRA Series 7 and 24 licenses.
Sheelagh resides on the North Shore with her husband Tom and son Colton, born on the Fourth of July 2014. Her passions include running and traveling; as one of twelve children, many of her journeys are to visit her large extended family in Ireland and Europe.
Billy McEvoy - Chief Financial Officer
As Chief Financial Officer, Billy draws on his strong business acumen to fulfill a variety of functions for Cantella. He maintains the company's general ledger, fixed asset accounting and chart of accounts, prepares monthly financial statements and net capital computation files, coordinates documentation for annual independent audits, regulatory exams and regulatory filings, services the company's 401k plan, oversees payroll, tax preparation, and accounts payable, and manages all corporate bank accounts.
In addition to his CFO responsibilities, Billy is Cantella's Head of Fixed Income Trading. In this role, he manages inventory in corporate proprietary accounts, provides our registered representatives with fixed income analysis, ideas and execution, and works to expand corporate relationships to enhance our company offerings, increase access to markets, and provide greater liquidity.
He works collaboratively with the management team and all internal departments, playing a key role in formulating and implementing the company's strategic business and financial planning.
Billy began his career at Cantella as a summer intern while attending Syracuse University and supported all departments except for Trading, an area that truly piqued his interest. After graduating in 2007, Billy took a position as a fund accountant at State Street, but he had impressed everyone at Cantella so much that when a permanent opportunity opened up in our trading department later that year, Billy got the call and was quickly recruited.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Economics degree from Syracuse and participates in the college's Professional Advisors Network (PAN) program. He is also a member of the prestigious Business Associates Club of Boston, Massachusetts. He possesses the FINRA Series 7, 24, 27, 30, 53, 55 and 66 licenses.
Billy lives in Acton, Massachusetts with his wife, Andrea, and two young sons, William and Wesley. He and Andrea are both passionate about sports, skiing and the outdoors.
Chris Mortara - Chief Compliance Officer
As Chief Compliance Officer, Chris is focused on protecting Cantella’s clients and representatives through excellent regulatory oversight and compliance. Chris joined our firm in January 2011 after a lengthy and successful financial services career in New England. He works closely with our executive team to maintain compliance standards and to anticipate and plan for potential changes in the regulatory environment. Embodying our ideals of dedication, service, and integrity, Chris leads initiatives to constantly improve the strength and stability of our compliance systems and oversight operations.
Prior to Joining Cantella, Chris was the Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer of Investment Operations at Financial Advisors, an SEC RIA. In addition to his responsibility for the company’s compliance functions, Chris was Head Trader and a member of the Investment Committee, which oversees the management of the company’s proprietary portfolios. Before US Wealth, Chris was the Operations Manager for Boston South Financial Group, a MetLife office. His extensive experience at all levels of compliance, trading, and operations make him a vital asset to our team, and his expertise has enhanced both our compliance measures and overall operations.
Chris holds FINRA Series 6, 7, 24, 63 and 65 licenses and is a graduate of Western Connecticut State University’s Ancell School of Business, where he was a varsity baseball player. When not working, Chris enjoys time with his wife Christine and children Emma and Matthew. Since moving to Plymouth, MA, he has been a member of the South Plymouth Youth Baseball Board of Directors and has coached teams since 2006. Self-admittedly an awful golfer, he also enjoys getting out on the course and losing a few golf balls here and there.
Tom Layte - Director of Trading and Operations
As Director of Trading and Operations, Tom has been a driving force behind the expansion and development of our Operations team and recent consolidation of the operations and trading departments at Cantella. Tom ensures that his group fulfills the timely and accurate processing of all customer and firm-level financial transactions, remains current on clearing firm policies and procedures, supports Cantella's financial advisors and their clients, and most importantly, provides superior customer service at all times.
Since 1999, Tom has been the Head Wrestling Coach at MIT where he was honored as the 2013 NCWA Men's Coach of the Year. He brings his drive, competitive spirit, coaching and team building skills to Cantella. Since becoming Operations Manager in 2009, he has tripled his department’s size, while also improving efficiency, productivity and knowledge by leading a departmental reorganization. By streamlining workloads and developing new procedures, response time to advisors has dramatically improved. He leads by example and serves as a mentor and counselor to his staff by fully supporting and encouraging their professional development. The results are evident: Operations and Trading is a model of efficiency, collaboration, and procedural integration, known for its consistent and accurate service and support.
Beyond managing the day-to-day operations and trading functions, Tom works closely with Compliance, staying abreast of changes in the regulatory environment and industry trends.
Tom was instrumental in helping Augsburg College win the 1995 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championship by becoming the 150-pound National Champion (a weight he has not seen since, due to his fondness for world cuisines). That year he was also selected as the NCAA Division III Outstanding Wrestler and is an inductee in the New England Wrestling Association Hall of Fame and the Maine Amateur Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame.
Tom holds the FINRA Series 7, 24 and 63 licenses and is a graduate of Western New England University, where he was awarded the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree.
He lives in Swampscott, Massachusetts, with his wife Sheelagh, their son Colton, born on the Fourth of July in 2014, and their dog, Taitum. He is a board member of the Boston Chapter of Wrestlers in Business Network (WIBN) and the current chairman of the NCWA Northeast Conference. In addition to coaching and wrestling, Tom is an avid world traveler.