Ann Wells was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, where she serves as Chairman and CEO of Commonwealth Bank & Trust. Ann is a graduate of St. Louis University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. Ann has a proactive management style and a deep belief in community involvement. She is involved in various community and charity efforts and serves as a board member of several organizations, including the Speed Museum, the Jewish Hospital Foundation and School Choice Scholarships.
Meet the Team
We believe in building a team of experts who have your best interests at heart. With a wealth of financial knowledge and a passion to create success, we give you the same service and attention we would give to our own families. This page shows how we’ve structured our team to ensure you always receive the most efficient, personalized service.
Mark Kennedy has more than 28 years of experience in trust, estate administration and investment management. He began his career with Bank of Boston where he was a member of the tax and estate settlement unit. Prior to joining Commonwealth Bank & Trust, Mark managed the Personal Trust Division and handled complex trust and estate accounts for Bank One. Mark joined Commonwealth Bank & Trust in 2002 and now specializes in business development and marketing, advising clients on generational wealth management issues and leading the Wealth Management Team.
Mark received his B.A. and his Law Degree from the University of Mississippi and his Masters of Law in Taxation from Boston University. He is a member of the Estate Planning Council and the Massachusetts and Mississippi Bar Associations. Mark is involved as a board and/or committee member for several civic and charitable organizations, including the Louisville Zoo, Cabbage Patch Settlement House and the Louisville Christian Foundation.
Investment Management and Research
Darrell Wells currently serves as CEO, Chairman of the Board and a Director of Commonwealth Bancshares, Inc. He is the co-founder, Director, and co-CEO of Commonwealth Bank & Trust and is lead manager for our multi cap growth strategy. He has over 46 years of investment management experience.
Darrell received his A.B. from Harvard University. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the American Printing House for the Blind and is Chairman of the Investment Committee. Darrell is also Chairman and Director of Citizens Financial Corporation; CEO, Chairman and Director of Citizens Security Life Insurance Company; and is the President of the Wells Foundation.
Rob Hawkins has more than 25 years of financial services and investment management experience. Before joining Commonwealth, Rob most recently served as a Vice President and Senior Analyst for Stifel Nicolaus (formerly Legg Mason Capital Markets) in Baltimore, MD, where he was named a Master Stock Picker in 2010 by The Wall Street Journal, a 4 or 5 Star Earnings Estimator (StarMine) in 2008-2010 and was regularly interviewed and quoted by national media outlets. In addition, Rob previously worked as an executive in finance, development and operations in the healthcare industry.
Rob received his Bachelor of Science, Cum Laude, in Biology from Washington and Lee University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst® and is working toward becoming a Chartered Market Technician.
Brian Stivers has 20 years of experience managing individual/institutional equity and fixed income portfolios. Brian currently serves as an investment officer and Director of Research for Commonwealth Bank & Trust’s Wealth Management department. He has been a Bloomberg Professional service user for most of his career and is well versed in its research capabilities. Brian specializes in tax-free as well as taxable municipals and has particular expertise in KY issuers. He serves as portfolio manager of Commonwealth Bank & Trust’s maturing KY tax-free common trust funds and he has successfully matured three funds to date.
As the fixed-income strategist for Commonwealth Bank & Trust, Brian is knowledgeable in all areas of fixed income including corporate and mortgage-backed securities. He co-manages the $225 million bank portfolio and serves on the Asset/Liability and Deposit Pricing committees. In addition, Brian is responsible for equity coverage of the Financial Sector within the Trust Department and runs a number of liquidity biased institutional portfolios. As administrator of our account/portfolio performance system, he understands managing portfolio risk/reward tradeoffs and key performance drivers.
Brian received his B.S. in Finance, with honors, from the University of Louisville and is a graduate of the National Trust School at Northwestern.
John oversees Commonwealth’s allocations to alternative investments and asset managers on behalf of trust and wealth management clients and serves as portfolio manager for Commonwealth Liquid Alpha Fund. He is a veteran of the hedge fund industry and has over 15 years of financial markets experience. Before joining Commonwealth, John spent 10 years at Ramsey Quantitative Systems as a Portfolio Manager. There he ran various portfolios for institutional and high net worth investors, and selected and supervised a wide variety of investment managers. Previously John worked at Fox-Pitt, Kelton, a boutique investment bank, as a research analyst and as a trader for North End Option Strategies, a proprietary options trading firm on the floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange. John began his career at AIG, where he underwrote exotic risk management products in New York and London. He graduated from Washington & Lee University with a BS. in Business Administration with Special Attainments in Commerce.
Erik Evans has more than 23 years of Institutional Asset Management experience. Before joining Commonwealth Bank & Trust, Erik most recently served as an Institutional Investment Consultant for Standard Valuations, Inc. where he established appropriate fund specific investment guidelines as well as performing fund manager selection processes for allocation needs. Prior to that, Erik served as a Senior Director and Portfolio Manager for Invesco, where he successfully managed 30-45 of Invesco-NAM’s larger jointly trusteed client relationships as well as being a member of the Fixed Income Management Group which determined portfolio duration and yield curve positioning.
In addition, Erik was the Co-Chair of the sector weighting and security selection processes (MBS/ABS Specialist) and oversaw management of 120 separately managed pension, endowment and mutual funds.
Erik received his Bachelor of Arts in Finance from University of Kentucky and his MBA from Indiana University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst® and is the President of the Indiana University Investment Club.
Steve graduated with a Bachelor in Science degree in Accounting from the University of Kentucky. Following graduation he worked for Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co CPAS, earning the Certified Public Accountant designation in 1982. Steve has worked in the financial services industry since 1982, first at J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, then with PNC Financial in the Private Client Group beginning in 1990. He successfully completed the second of three parts of the Chartered Financial Analyst program, and was formerly licensed with the series 7 and 63 securities exam.
His most recent job was with National City Bank from 1996 to 2007 in the Wealth Management area, and has lived in Louisville his whole working career.
Chris Beneke has over seven years of banking and investment research experience at Commonwealth Bank & Trust. He began in the trust department primarily as an analyst with a focus on large cap companies for our core equity strategy and quickly became the head equity trader for the department and proxy voter. Chris covers the broader equity markets in assisting with research ideas, including international and emerging markets, alternative asset classes, and various fixed income strategies. This research includes assessment of price actions in individual stocks on investment approved and monitored lists, and market trends for strategic and tactical allocation ideas.
Along with providing mutual fund and equity research, Chris has also taken on an additional role as portfolio manager for high net-worth clients. During his tenure, he was instrumental in establishing a monitoring and review process for mutual funds that can be used for client and institutional accounts as well as creating various disclosures for 401k retirement plans in accordance with DOL reporting regulations.
Chris holds a BA in Economics from Rollins College and a MBA from Bellarmine University. He has completed his Certified Financial Planner educational requirements from Kaplan Financial University and is currently seeking his CFP certification.
Pete Ward has more than 13 years of financial services and investment management experience. Before joining Commonwealth Bank & Trust, Pete most recently worked with the Hilliard Lyons Investment Banking Group where he provided research, analysis and advisory services for mergers and acquisitions transactions and business valuation assignments. Prior to his time with Hilliard Lyons, Pete served as an Investment Officer for the Presbyterian Church (USA) Foundation where he analyzed individual accounts as well as fund level investments, and implemented investment decisions, policies and directives for over $1 billion in assets under management.
Pete was also previously a Partner and Research Analyst at Veredus Asset Management where he evaluated US equities for potential investment. He formulated extensive financial models to forecast corporate earnings, researched industry trends, and covered numerous sectors including: Transportation, Gaming, Leisure, Specialty Finance, Basic Materials, Aerospace, Autos and Industrials.
Pete received his Bachelor of Arts in History from Washington and Lee University and is an Eagle Scout.
Nathan joined Commonwealth Bank & Trust in January of 2014 as an intern and was promoted to research analyst in July of 2014. He has a focus on large cap companies, specifically covering the basic materials and healthcare sectors. Nathan graduated from the University of Louisville, College of Business with a B.S.B.A in Finance. While attending the University of Louisville, Nathan was a varsity member of the UofL Swimming and Diving team.
Client Service and Administration
Chris Nunnelley has more than 30 years of experience in client services, financial planning and trust and estate administration. Chris joined Commonwealth Bank & Trust in 1999 and he currently heads Trust Administration, responsible for Trust, Estate and account administrative services. He is also Chair of the Trust Administration Committee.
Chris received his B.S. in Finance from the University of Notre Dame and his M.B.A. from University of Louisville. He attended Cannon Trust School and is a graduate of the American Bankers Association’s National Trust School. Chris has been involved with the Estate Planning Council of Louisville, is past board member and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Energy Conservation Associates/ Project Warm. He also has served on the Development Committee for Assumption High School.
Prior to joining Commonwealth Bank & Trust, he served as a Managing Director for The Sachs Company, a local investment firm and their affiliate, Louisville Trust Company.
Mike Motsinger has over 20 years of experience in administering complex trusts and estates. Mike started a trust company in Indiana and has worked with large family groups with two regional trust companies prior to joining Commonwealth Bank & Trust. Mike also started, purchased, merged and sold several small businesses and worked as CFO of a large transportation company.
Mike received his B.S. in Business Administration from Indiana University Southeast where he majored in management and economics. He earned a Certified Financial Services Counselor designation upon graduation from National Graduate Trust School. Mike is an active participant in the community through speaking engagements and volunteers at several charitable events.
Beth Russell has more than 32 years of trust, estate and investment management experience. She began her career as a Portfolio Manager at National City Bank, where she was responsible for $100 million in trust assets. In 1996, Beth brought her strong expertise in customer relationship building to Commonwealth Bank & Trust, where she currently serves as a Trust Administrative Officer and oversees all types of trust accounts while working closely with clients to determine and achieve their investment objectives.
Beth has attended both the Midwest Trust School and the Cannon Trust School and currently is a member of the Estate Planning Council. She is also an active community volunteer for many various organizations including The Kentucky Humane Society, Louisville Public Media and Jefferson County Public Schools.
Patricia Hayes has more than 30 years experience in trust administration, legal and financial services. Prior to joining Commonwealth Bank & Trust in 1998, she was lead financial analyst at a large local corporation and has also worked as a legal specialist/paralegal.
Here at Commonwealth Bank & Trust, Patricia specializes in trust administration for Trusts, Agencies, Custodies, IRAs and Employee Benefit Plans.
Patricia received her B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis on Finance from the University of Louisville. Prior to this, she received her Certificate in Paralegal Studies from Sullivan University. She is also a graduate of the Cannon Trust School and a member of the Estate Planning Council of Louisville.
Mary Beth Byron has over 20 years of trust and estate administrative experience. Prior to joining Commonwealth Bank & Trust, she was Vice President and Trust Officer at Bank of Louisville. Mary Beth is a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. She is a graduate of the ABA National Trust School and National Graduate Trust School.
Nancye Olt has more than 30 years experience in the banking and trust industry. Prior to joining Commonwealth Bank & Trust, she worked for a local investment firm where she acquired a wealth of knowledge in trust administration and financial services with a strong expertise in managing and developing client relationships.
Nancye holds an Associate Degree in Business Administration from the University of Louisville. She is a member of the Estate Planning Council of Louisville and serves on the Executive Board for the Ronald McDonald House Charities as well as the Finance Committee and McDazzle co-chair.
Fran has over 30 years of experience in the local business community, including 23 years’ trust administrative experience. Fran has extensive experience in providing excellent customer service using her background in sales and marketing. Fran’s Trust experience includes working with large, complex family groups for two regional trust companies.
Fran earned an associate degree in business at Spencerian College. She has continued her education by taking many banking classes and attending seminars on current topics. Fran achieved one of PNC’s “Top Performance Award” in 1996, which is their most prestigious sales award. Fran was also the recipient of AAF’s international “Total Customer Service Award” recognizing excellence in client service.
Robin has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. Prior to joining Commonwealth Bank & Trust, Robin spent over 16 years as the Administrative Technician with a local SEC Registered Investment Advisor providing excellent client servicing, marketing and performance reporting. She also spent several years working with a local insurance company and non‐profit agency. Robin attended the University of Kentucky and enjoys spending time with her grandson and volunteering at a local hospital in the NICU.
Steve Zeitz joined Commonwealth Trust Company in 2013 and has more than 30 years of audit, treasury and investment operations experience in the financial services industry. Prior to joining Commonwealth, Mr. Zeitz was Vice President of Operations for First Data Corporation responsible for all aspects of operations, settlement and accounting for its merchant services business. Prior to that, he served as Director of Investment Operations at Invesco/National Asset Management for 8 years. He was also Director of Treasury and Investment Operations for Providian Corporation for 16 years.
Mr. Zeitz is a graduate of the University of Louisville with a bachelor’s degree in Finance and a Masters of Business Administration. In 2016, Mr. Zeitz was appointed by Governor Matthew Bevin of Kentucky to serve on the Boards of the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority and the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation. He is the past president of the Kentucky Treasury Management Association and served on the board for Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky for 4 years. He also served for 4 years as a volunteer consultant to the Finance committee for the Board of the Frazier Historical Museum in Louisville.
Jack Combs has more than 31 years experience in trust, estate administration and investment management. Jack began his career with Louisville Trust Company in 1975 as a Trust Officer. Prior to joining Commonwealth Bank & Trust, he served as Managing Director of the Trust and Investment group at Bank of Louisville. Here at Commonwealth Bank & Trust, Jack focuses his attention on Management and Business Development.
Jack received his B.A. and M.B.A. from the University of Kentucky and his Law Degree from Duke University. He is a member of the Louisville Bar Association and the Kentucky Estate Planning Council. Jack also serves on the Board of Trustees and is the Treasurer for the Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Alex Croft has more than two years of experience working as an intern for Commonwealth Bank & Trust and joined as a full time Associate Trust Counsel in August of 2014. While interning, Alex assisted with legal research, document drafting and client communication. As an Associate Trust Counsel, Alex will focus on assisting Jack Combs with legal consulting on large family trusts and assisting clients with the development and implementation of their estate plans, business succession plans and other ways to mitigate taxes, preserve wealth and carry out charitable giving objectives.
Alex was born and raised in Paducah, Kentucky. He received his B.A in finance from the University of Kentucky, where he graduated cum laude and with departmental honors before going on to receive his Law Degree from the University of Louisville.
Family Office, Financial Planning and Private Banking
Toby Nutt has more than 22 years experience in the financial services industry, with 14 years as a licensed investment broker. He formerly worked at First National Bank where he served as a Commercial Lender and Private Banker. Before joining Commonwealth Bank & Trust in 2006, Toby worked for Paine Webber, which was later acquired by UBS. He currently heads the Commonwealth Brokerage Division. Toby received his B.B.A. from the University of Mississippi.
Sam has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry in Louisville. He started his career in 1979 with Hilliard Lyons, where he held a variety of management positions in both debt and equity underwriting disciplines. Prior to joining Commonwealth Bank & Trust, Sam was a Wealth Management Consultant with US Bank, specializing in Business Development and Financial Planning. Sam joined Commonwealth Bank & Trust in 2011 and will be concentrating on Business Development and Relationship Management.
Sam received his B.B.A. from Stetson University. He has previously held FINRA series 7, 24, 53 and 63 licenses and is currently working toward his CFP designation.
Jill Cooper has over 20 years of experience in banking with Citibank in New York and Brussels, Belgium; PNC Bank and Stock Yards Bank including International, Retail and Private Banking. Here at Commonwealth Bank & Trust, Jill serves as a private banker and focuses on relationship-building for the Trust Department.
Jill received a B.A. from the University of Louisville and has pursued graduate studies in several of the countries in which she has lived. Jill is active in a number of community organizations. She currently serves as Vice President of the Board of Trustees of the Kentucky Opera and also as Vice President of the Board of Directors of Fons Vitae Inc.
Christine Gandara has over nine years of experience with Commonwealth Bank & Trust Christine currently serves as Financial Planner with a focus on assisting clients with all aspects of financial planning as well as utilizing our Wealth Management Solution software.