Water Walker Investments is a Tampa-based SEC Registered Investment Advisor founded in 2000 as Wertz York Capital Management Group, LLC. The firm specializes in treasury management consulting services, fixed income investment advisory and consulting services to governmental clients statewide. The firm is also the investment manager to the Florida Fixed Income Trust (FL-FIT) and the administrator of the Insured Deposit Portal (IDP). Currently, Water Walker has approximately $5.3 billion in public funds under management and advisement.
Water Walker provides real fixed income management solutions in an increasingly volatile marketplace. Our expertise includes cash alternative investing, U.S. corporate and commercial paper investments, U.S. Treasury and Government Agency securities, mortgage-backed securities, portfolio structuring and analysis, cash flow modeling and management, as well as portfolio solutions for separately managed accounts (“SMAs”) and professional oversight as an investment consultant to entities with an existing Treasury team.
At Water Walker Investments, all members are committed to ensuring that clients receive excellent service. That commitment includes continually providing pertinent communication, reliable individual assistance, and meticulous attention to increasing value for each client. Clients can trust that at each step Water Walker will faithfully take the time to understand their needs and serve each client with their requirements in mind.
Water Walker Investments is registered with the SEC under its legal name, Wertz York Capital Management Group, LLC.
M. Brent Wertz
24 Years Investment Experience
Brent Wertz is the Managing Partner at Water Walker Investments. Brent provides strategic leadership for the company and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the firm’s investment process. He heads implementation of the firm’s investment strategies and portfolio risk management. He serves on the firm’s investment and credit committees.
Brent started Water Walker based on his experience serving as a consultant to special taxing districts throughout the State of Florida assisting these districts in bond offerings, assessment allocation, and collections as well as assisting District Managers with treasury management.
Brent is a graduate of Virginia Military Institute with a B.A., Economics. Brent received his Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Tampa.
DIRECT – (813) 321-3249
Partner, Client Advisory Services
30 Years Investment Experience
David Jang is a Partner and manages the Client Advisory Services Team at Water Walker Investments. He directs the firm’s marketing, client service, business development, and serves on the investment committee. David’s comprehensive approach enables him to assist his clients gain greater efficiencies with their banking/custodial relationships as well as consult and manage their operating surplus investment and bond proceed portfolios to ensure adherence to state investment statutes and bond indentures.
Prior to joining Water Walker Investments, David spent 16 years working with Florida government clients and 30 years in investment advisory services.
David earned his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He earned the Association of Financial Professionals (AFP) designation of Certified Treasury Professional (CTP). David also has FINRA Series 7, 24, 63, and 65 licenses and is a Registered Investment Advisor with the Florida Department of Financial Regulation.
DIRECT – (407) 618-4269
Director -Texas, Client Advisory Services
24 Years Investment Experience
Ken Couch is the Director of the Client Advisory Services Team in Texas for Water Walker Investments. His focus is on client service and business development. Ken services Texas local governments with fixed-income investing of operating funds, reserve funds and bond proceeds and strategizes with clients to identify short and long-term investment options.
Prior to joining Water Walker Investments, Ken spent over 24 years working with various governmental entities encompassing counties, cities, school districts, universities and colleges, and special districts. He has also helped local Texas governments address Other Postemployment Benefit (“OPEB”) funding.
Ken earned his bachelor’s degree in Applied Arts and Sciences from Texas State University and holds FINRA Series 6 and Series 63 licenses. He is a member of the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), Government Finance Officers Association of Texas (GFOAT), Government Treasurers’ Organization of Texas (GTOT) and Texas Association of Business Officials (TASBO).
DIRECT – (210) 888-0452
Managing Director, Client Advisory Services
22 Years Financial Experience
Kim Thomas is the Vice President, Client Advisory Services, responsible for a variety of sales, marketing and client service efforts, including the firm’s marketing materials, presentations, responses to request for proposals, and database maintenance.
Kim brings a diverse financial background to the Water Walker Investments Team previously working as a retail bank branch manager, an investment advisor, and a financial analyst.
She is a graduate of Appalachian State University where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration.
DIRECT – (813) 321-4008
15 Years Financial Experience
Garrett Fisher is a Client Advisor at Water Walker Investments. He works to address the current priorities and goals of Cities, Counties, and Districts using an approach consultative in nature and client-centric. His focus includes assisting his clients with managing their operating surplus investments and bond proceed portfolios.
Garrett comes to Water Walker after spending 15 years in financial services with experience in investments, financial planning, lending, banking and insurance.
Garrett graduated with Magna Cum Laude Honors from St. Petersburg College, earning an A.A. degree with a focus in Business Administration. He is currently enrolled at St. Petersburg College and is completing a B.S. Degree in Business Administration with a minor in Financial Services. Garrett has FINRA series 6, series 63, and series 65 licenses.
DIRECT – (813) 321-4051
Jay Michael Johnson
3 Years Client Services Experience
Jay Michael Johnson is an Associate Advisor on the Client Advisory team. Jay Michael’s focus is developing and servicing client relationships, including cities, counties, special districts, and other public entities.
Prior to joining Water Walker Investments, Jay Michael has worked for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Topgolf, the adidas Group, and the Samford University Athletic Department in partnership development and partnership management roles. He has directed consumer insight consulting projects for Nike, Minor League Baseball, World Soccer Shop, Sporting Kansas City, and Fox Sports Florida.
Jay Michael is a graduate of Samford University in Birmingham, AL where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management with concentrations in Sports Marketing and Professional Sales. He also received his Master’s in Business Administration from the University of South Florida. Jay Michael is the founder of New Hope Ministries, a non-profit that supports the education of baseball players in the Dominican Republic.
DIRECT – (813) 321-4008
Associate, Client Advisory Services
20 Years Operations Experience
Rika Gilbreath is the Associate, Client Advisory Services, responsible for client inquiries, oversight of client events, and administration of client onboarding.
Rika has over 20 years of operations and account management experience across multiple industries. Most recently, she spent 8 years as an account manager for a secondary market firm specializing in residential and commercial mortgages.
Rika holds a Paralegal Certificate from Saint Mary’s College of California and attended the University of Oregon.
DIRECT – (813) 321-3254
16 Years Investment Experience
Brian McMillin is the Portfolio Manager responsible for portfolio construction, credit analysis, trading, and portfolio analytics. He is also responsible for implementing portfolio strategy and securities trading in client accounts. He serves on the firm’s fixed investment and credit committees. He also serves as Portfolio Manager for the Florida Fixed Income Trust.
Before re-joining the firm in 2012, Brian spent 5 years managing a portfolio of corporate surety credits for Travelers Indemnity Co., focusing on various sectors including manufacturing, energy, defense, and retail.
Brian graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelors of Arts in Economics.
DIRECT – (813) 440-5088
5 Years Investment Experience
Eric Ebersole is the Investment Analyst responsible for analyzing the portfolios for maturity schedules, cash flow expectations, and various exposure metrics. He serves on the firm’s investment and credit committees.
Before joining Water Walker Investments, Eric held multiple analyst positions specializing in security analysis, cash flow management, and fundamental forecasting.
Eric graduated from Stetson University with a Bachelors of Arts in Finance and Economics.
DIRECT – (813) 321-3253
1 Year Investment Experience
Hunter Sabety is the Investment Analyst responsible for analyzing the portfolio analytics, credit research and analysis, monitor credit spreads, futures market, as well as stress testing portfolios. He prepares presentations for the credit committee as well as the investment oversight committee and monitor the credit markets and sectors. He will attend and participate in the firm’s investment and credit committee meetings.
Before joining Water Walker Investments, Hunter worked as a financial consultant specializing in securities research and analysis.
Hunter graduated from Hofstra University with a Masters of Business Administration in Finance.
DIRECT – (813) 440-5087
Director, Operations & Finance
18 Years Financial Experience
David Jones is the Director, Operations & Finance. He oversees the execution of all operational functions including vendor relationships, client reporting, information systems, trading processes and communication between departments. He manages all internal financial functions such as budgeting, forecasting and accounting.
Prior to joining Water Walker Investments, David spent 15 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he served as the strategic advisor to business and portfolio management teams and oversaw business and systems projects across multiple business areas.
David graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting and Management Information Systems. He is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Management Account, and a Certified Information Technology Professional.
DIRECT – (813) 513-7678
Coordinator, Operations & Finance
3 Years Financial Experience
Tim Bafaloukos is the Coordinator, Operations & Finance. He implements the day to day execution of the back-office processes including trade fulfillment, billing and reporting.
After completing his education, Tim worked for 2 years at Bryn Mawr Trust, where he performed ledger settlements and other Operations tasks.
Tim is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science.
DIRECT – (813) 321-3251
Chief of Staff
18 Years Operations Experience
Elizabeth Huston is the Chief of Staff. She serves as a liaison for human resources, compliance, information technology and implements and oversees the firm’s operational and administrative functions. Elizabeth also oversees the firm’s social and community development functions and is the Executive Director of Three Strand Cord, a 501(c)3 organization.
Prior to joining Water Walker Investments, Elizabeth worked in the non-profit management sector developing skills in operational management.
Elizabeth graduated from the University of South Florida with her Master’s in Public Administration and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management. She also holds a Bachelors of Arts in Broadcast Journalism from Washington & Lee University.
DIRECT – (813) 321-3250