Partners

Brian P. Amidei

Brian P. Amidei AIF®, CRPC®

Chief Executive Officer, Founding Partner

Brian P. Amidei

Brian P. Amidei AIF®, CRPC®

Chief Executive Officer, Founding Partner

Brian is the CEO and a Founding Partner of Fortem Financial. With nearly 23 years of experience in the financial industry, he specializes in creating and implementing wealth management strategies with a focus on risk management, insurance planning and estate planning issues.

Previously, Brian was a Managing Director and Partner at HighTower, as well as have spent 13 years as a Senior Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor for Merrill Lynch in Indian Wells, California. At Merrill Lynch, he was a member of the Charles E. Merrill Circle of Excellence, a recognition given to a select group of Financial Advisors for outstanding client service and satisfaction. A native of Chicago, Brian began his career by purchasing a seat on the Chicago Board of Trade. As a member of the exchange, he traded Municipal bond and Treasury bond options and futures for his own account.

Brian was recognized in Barron’s annual rankings of financial advisors as one of the Top 1,000 Advisors in America* in 2013 and 2014. He has been featured in various industry publications, including the Wall Street Journal, CNBC.com, Forbes, On Wall Street and InvestmentNews. Brian is the Financial Analyst for the Desert’s KMIR NBC Television and has been featured on& CNBC.

Brian is a seven-time, Five Star Professional* award winner (2011-2017), awarded by Five Star Professional for service professionals who provide quality services to their clients. Brian is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) and a graduate of Executive Program for Financial Planning and wealth management at the Wharton School of Business. He is also a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC®), as designated by the College for Financial Planning.

Brian is a Director of Martha’s Village & Kitchen, President emeritus of Legatus Palm Springs, Founding Corporate Sponsor of the Patrick Warburton Golf for Kids Celebrity Tournament benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and an active supporter and member of the finance council of Sacred Heart Church and School in Palm Desert.

Office: 760.206.8500
Email: bamidei@fortemfin.com


*Awards and recognitions by unaffiliated rating services, companies, and/or publications should not be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that he/she will experience a certain level of results if Fortem is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services; nor should they be construed as a current or past endorsement of Fortem or its representatives by any of its clients. Rankings published by magazines and others are generally based on information prepared and/or submitted by the recognized advisor. Awards may not be indicative of one client’s experience or of the Firm’s future performance. Neither Fortem nor the recognized advisor has paid a fee for inclusion on a list, nor purchased any additional material from the award provider. The criteria for each award is listed below:

*The Barron’s award is based on the recognized adviser’s assets under management, contribution to the firm’s revenues and profits, and quality of practice. Investment performance is not an explicit criteria. Additional information about this award is available at http://online.barrons.com/report/top-financial-advisors.

*The Five Star Wealth Manager award is based on 10 eligibility and evaluation criteria: 1) Credentialed as an investment advisory representative (IAR) or a registered investment advisor; 2) Actively employed as a credentialed professional in the financial services industry for a minimum of five years; 3) Favorable regulatory and complaint history review; 4) Fulfilled their firm review based on internal firm standards; 5) Accepting new clients; 6) One-year client retention rate; 7) Five-year client retention rate; 8) Non-institutionalized discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered; 9) Number of client households served; and 10) Educational and professional designations. The inclusion of a wealth manager on the Five Star Wealth Manager list should not be construed as an endorsement of the wealth manager by Five Star Professional or the magazine. The award methodology does not evaluate the quality of services provided. Additional information about this award is available at: fivestarprofessional.com/2016FiveStarWealthManagerMethodology.pdf

Joseph G. Romano III

Joseph G. Romano III AIF®, CRPC®

President, Chief Operating Officer, Founding Partner

Joseph G. Romano III

Joseph G. Romano III AIF®, CRPC®

President, Chief Operating Officer, Founding Partner

Joseph is President, Chief Operating Officer and a Founding Partner of Fortem Financial. He works with individuals and business owners to develop financial planning strategies, asset allocation solutions and investment plans. Joseph focuses on consulting with small- to mid-sized corporations and public entities on strategies for managing their operating capital, investment portfolios, retirement plans, lending solutions and liquidity strategies.

Previously, he served as a Managing Director, Partner at HighTower, as well as a First Vice President of Investments at Merrill Lynch. Joseph is a seven-time, Five Star Professional* award winner (2011-2017), awarded by Five Star Professional for service professionals who provide quality services to their clients.  Joseph is also an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) and a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC®), as designated by the College for Financial Planning.

In 2010, Joseph was named one of Palm Springs Life’s ‘40 Under 40’ Professionals to Watch in the Coachella Valley*. A graduate of Kent State University, he studied Marketing and was awarded a full athletic scholarship as the starting placekicker for the Golden Flashes.

Joseph is an active member of the prestigious Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and has championed several board ladder positions for his local chapter. He is also an enthusiastic board member for the Patrick Warburton Golf for Kids Celebrity Tournament that benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Office: 760.206.8500
Email: jromano@fortemfin.com


*Awards and recognitions by unaffiliated rating services, companies, and/or publications should not be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that he/she will experience a certain level of results if Fortem is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services; nor should they be construed as a current or past endorsement of Fortem or its representatives by any of its clients. Rankings published by magazines and others are generally based on information prepared and/or submitted by the recognized advisor. Awards may not be indicative of one client’s experience or of the Firm’s future performance.  Neither Fortem nor the recognized advisor has paid a fee for inclusion on a list, nor purchased any additional material from the award provider. The criteria for each award is listed below:

*The Five Star Wealth Manager award is based on 10 eligibility and evaluation criteria: 1) Credentialed as an investment advisory representative (IAR) or a registered investment advisor; 2) Actively employed as a credentialed professional in the financial services industry for a minimum of five years; 3) Favorable regulatory and complaint history review; 4) Fulfilled their firm review based on internal firm standards; 5) Accepting new clients; 6) One-year client retention rate; 7) Five-year client retention rate; 8) Non-institutionalized discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered; 9) Number of client households served; and 10) Educational and professional designations. The inclusion of a wealth manager on the Five Star Wealth Manager list should not be construed as an endorsement of the wealth manager by Five Star Professional or the magazine. The award methodology does not evaluate the quality of services provided.  Additional information about this award is available at: fivestarprofessional.com/2016FiveStarWealthManagerMethodology.pdf

*The 40 Under 40 honorees were selected from among 229 nominees in a variety of professions, and described as being “self-admitted geeks, risk takers, hard workers, philanthropists, and open-minded thinkers who represent myriad professions from designers, tribal leaders, and entrepreneurs to medical professionals, marketing gurus, educators, artists, and innovative chefs.”  Additional information about this award is available at https://www.palmspringslife.com/a-generation-of-leaders/.

Brett D'Orlando

Brett D'Orlando AIF®, CRPC®

Chief Compliance Officer, Founding Partner

Brett D'Orlando

Brett D'Orlando AIF®, CRPC®

Chief Compliance Officer, Founding Partner

Brett specializes in portfolio analysis, asset allocation, financial planning, personal lending, lines and letters of credit, and business development.

Previously, he was a Managing Director and Partner at HighTower, as well as a Senior Financial Advisor and Assistant Vice President at Merrill Lynch.

Brett is a seven-time, Five Star Professional* award winner (2011-2017), awarded by Five Star Professional for service professionals who provide quality services to their clients. He earned a degree in Business Management and Information Systems from Brigham Young University and has successfully completed the Level 1 Exam for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. Brett is also an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®), and is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC®) as designated by the College for Financial Planning.

Along with his partners, Brett is a corporate sponsor of Martha’s Village & Kitchen, as well as a Founding Corporate Sponsor for the Patrick Warburton Golf for Kids Celebrity Tournament benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Brett enjoys coaching his children’s soccer teams and mentoring youth in the community.

Office: 760.206.8500
Email: bdorlando@fortemfin.com


*Awards and recognitions by unaffiliated rating services, companies, and/or publications should not be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that he/she will experience a certain level of results if Fortem is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services; nor should they be construed as a current or past endorsement of Fortem or its representatives by any of its clients. Rankings published by magazines and others are generally based on information prepared and/or submitted by the recognized advisor. Awards may not be indicative of one client’s experience or of the Firm’s future performance.  Neither Fortem nor the recognized advisor has paid a fee for inclusion on a list, nor purchased any additional material from the award provider. The criteria for each award is listed below:

*The Five Star Wealth Manager award is based on 10 eligibility and evaluation criteria: 1) Credentialed as an investment advisory representative (IAR) or a registered investment advisor; 2) Actively employed as a credentialed professional in the financial services industry for a minimum of five years; 3) Favorable regulatory and complaint history review; 4) Fulfilled their firm review based on internal firm standards; 5) Accepting new clients; 6) One-year client retention rate; 7) Five-year client retention rate; 8) Non-institutionalized discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered; 9) Number of client households served; and 10) Educational and professional designations. The inclusion of a wealth manager on the Five Star Wealth Manager list should not be construed as an endorsement of the wealth manager by Five Star Professional or the magazine. The award methodology does not evaluate the quality of services provided.  Additional information about this award is available at: fivestarprofessional.com/2016FiveStarWealthManagerMethodology.pdf

Client Services

Lisa Kazandjian

Lisa
Kazandjian

Director of Portfolio Management

Lisa Kazandjian

Lisa
Kazandjian

Director of Portfolio Management

Lisa has nearly 30 years’ experience in the Financial Services Industry.  She received her BA from California State University, Los Angeles, where she majored in English Literature and Business Administration.  Lisa has worked for more than a decade in a team with Brian Amidei, Joseph Romano, and Brett D’Orlando.  She has worked with the team at Fortem Financial since 2016.  Prior to that, the team worked together at HighTower and at Merrill Lynch.

Lisa served as Vice President of Portfolio Management Marketing at Prudential/Wachovia Securities.  She specialized in Fixed Income investments, having spent much of her career working on Institutional sales desks at First Interstate Bank, Piper Jaffray and Prudential Securities.  Lisa’s current responsibilities include the analysis of High Net Worth portfolios to determine appropriate asset allocation.  She manages all fixed income portfolios for all of Fortem’s clients with a specialty in Municipal, Government and Federal Agency bonds. Lisa resides in Rancho Mirage, CA with her husband Harry.

Office: 760.206.8500
Email: lkazandjian@fortemfin.com

 

Veronica (Vern) Sickenberger

Veronica (Vern) Sickenberger

Director of Operations

Veronica (Vern) Sickenberger

Veronica (Vern) Sickenberger

Director of Operations

Veronica (Vern) has more than 19 years of experience in the financial industry.  Vern has worked since 2007 in a team with Brian Amidei, Joseph Romano and Brett D’Orlando.  She has worked with the team at Fortem Financial since 2016.  Prior to that, the team worked together at HighTower, where she was a member of HighTower’s Client Service Council and the client associate west coast training coach for 5 years, and at Merrill Lynch, where Vern was the 5-office complex training coach for 7 years.  Her emphasis is providing pro-active client service and operational support to Fortem Financial’s clients.  Vern’s goal is to provide Fortem Financial’s clients with the “Ultimate Client Experience.”  Vern resides in La Quinta with her husband Mark and their two children Peyton and Drew.

Office: 760.206.8500
Email: vsickenberger@fortemfin.com

 

Fortem Financial is a boutique wealth management firm based in Palm Desert, CA. The name Fortem was inspired by the infinite staying power and quiet strength of the surrounding San Jacinto and Santa Rosa mountain ranges. As a trusted financial advisor company with decades of combined experience, we believe in transparency, accountability and partnership.

Fortem Financial offers personalized service and sound investment advice designed to accomplish your individual goals. Our dedicated team of fiduciary advisors always puts your investment interests first – not some bloated financial institution's concept of what that should be.

The road less traveled has made all the difference.