Glacier National Park 

Photo Credit: Kelly Goff

The Team

James E. Nevels
Founder, Chairman & CEO

Mr. Nevels founded The Swarthmore Group in 1991.  He has nearly 40 years of experience in the securities and investment industry.  Mr. Nevels serves on the Board of Directors of two public companies –  Alcoa Corporation and WestRock (Lead Independent Director from 2017-2019).  He is also a member of Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Presidential Advisory Committee, OFR Financial Research Advisory Committee and the Council on Foreign Relations. 

In December 2001, the Governor of Pennsylvania appointed Mr. Nevels as Chairman of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission to oversee the turnaround of the financially distressed Philadelphia School System, then the ninth largest school district in the United States.  Mr. Nevels served as Chairman until September 2007. 

Mr. Nevels was appointed by President Bush to the Advisory Committee to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation in 2004.  He served as Chairman from 2005-2007.  Mr. Nevels also served as Chairman (2009-2015) and Lead Independent Director (2015-2017) of The Hershey Company, member of the Board of the Hershey Trust Company and Milton Hershey School, Chair and member of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, member of the Board of First Data, member of the Board of XL Group, member of the Board of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, member of the Board of MMG Insurance Company, member of the Board of Tasty Baking Company, and member of the Board of Trustees of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (current emeritus member).

Mr. Nevels received his undergraduate degree from Bucknell University (cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa), as well as his MBA from The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania and JD from The University of Pennsylvania Law School, which he completed at the same time.  Mr. Nevels is currently working on his LL.M. in Wealth Management through Texas A&M University.  Mr. Nevels has also received four honorary degrees.

Denise Caruso, CPA
Chief Compliance Officer and Controller

Ms. Caruso joined The Swarthmore Group in 2003, and serves as the Chief Compliance Officer and Controller.  In this role, Denise is responsible for formulating and implementing Swarthmore Group’s policies and procedures, including its Code of Ethics, and making sure they are communicated and trained to all Swarthmore Group employees.   As Controller, Denise manages all finance and accounting operations for the company. She coordinates the preparation of budgets and financial forecasts, billing, and general accounting functions.

Thomas Aichele, CFP®
Client Relationship Manager

Mr. Aichele joins The Swarthmore Group from PNC Bank where he worked for over a decade as a Relationship Manager in Corporate and Institutional Banking as well as Asset Management.  Prior to joining PNC, Mr. Aichele served in the United States Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer taking part in Operation Enduring Freedom and Partnership of the Americas.  He received a graduate assistantship to obtain his Masters of Business Administration from Penn State University and attended Cornell University as an undergraduate on an ROTC scholarship.  He currently serves as the Treasurer of the Philadelphia Bond Club, is a member of the Philadelphia Securities Association, and the Union League of Philadelphia.

Kurt W. Brunner, CFA
Senior Equity Portfolio Manager

Mr. Brunner joined The Swarthmore Group in 1998.  He has more than thirty years of experience in the investment industry.  Prior to joining The Swarthmore Group, Mr. Brunner was an analyst and assistant portfolio manager for PNC Equity Advisors Company.  Mr. Brunner holds a B.B.A. degree in Finance from Temple University, and an M.B.A. degree in Finance from Widener University.  He is a member of the Owl Fund Advisory Board for Temple University.  Additionally, he served as past President of the Board of Trustees and currently serves on the Board of Trustees and the Investment Committee of Episcopal Community Services.  He has earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

Ricardo Cordero
Trader & IT Manager

Before joining The Swarthmore Group, Mr. Cordero served as an Operations Associate at Williams Jones Wealth Management.  Mr. Cordero graduated from Drexel University in 2015 with a B.S. in Management Information Systems and Business Law.  

John B. DeLaney, CFA
Senior Fixed Income Portfolio Manager

Mr. DeLaney joined The Swarthmore Group in 2005.  He has over thirty years of experience in the investment industry.  Prior to joining The Swarthmore Group, he spent seven years as a Senior Portfolio Manager with Automatic Data Processing, where he was responsible for $7.5 billion in fixed income assets and investing and funding payroll float balances that periodically would exceed $10 billion.  Mr. DeLaney’s experience also includes being a member of SEI’s Global Fixed Income Management Unit, and serving as portfolio manager with The Fairfield Group, Independence Capital Management Inc. and Parkway Management Corporation.  Types of portfolios managed include: pension, savings bank, insurance company, bond proceeds, money market and mutual fund accounts.  Mr. DeLaney holds a B.A. in Economics from Bucknell University.  He has earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

Allison Becker Giardinelli
Client Service Manager

Ms. Giardinelli joined The Swarthmore Group in 2013.  She holds a B.A. degree in Business, Organizations and Society from Franklin & Marshall College and a M.B.A from Drexel University.

Kelly Goff
Compliance & Marketing Associate

Ms. Goff joined The Swarthmore Group in 2019.  Prior to joining the team, she worked in administration for Corporation Service Company and the University of Michigan Athletic Department.  Ms. Goff holds a B.S. degree in Social Sciences, minoring in Marketing and Management. 

Donald W. Grant
Director of Consulting Services

Mr. Grant joined the Swarthmore Group in 2019 and serves as the Director of Consulting Services. Prior to joining, he spent four years at PFM Asset Management as an Investment Consultant, where he was responsible for managing institutional client relationships and business development efforts in the northeast region of the Unites States. Prior to joining PFM, Mr. Grant spent six years in the United States Air Force as a Signals Intelligence Senior Analyst with the National Security Agency and deployed twice to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  Mr. Grant holds a B.B.A in Finance and an M.S. in Investment Management from Temple University.

Erin H. Lockard
Director of Marketing & Wealth Management Services

Ms. Lockard joined The Swarthmore Group in 2003 and has over fifteen years of marketing and client service experience in the investment industry.  As Director of Marketing & Wealth Management, Ms. Lockard oversees the marketing efforts across all teams, and ensures organization and efficiency throughout the wealth management process.  Ms. Lockard holds a B.S. degree in Business Management and a Masters in Accounting from Wilmington University where she graduated with honors.  She is currently working on her financial planning education and certification. 

Grace X. Schaffer, CFA
Fixed Income Portfolio Manager

Ms. Schaffer joined The Swarthmore Group in 2010.  She has over twenty years of experience in the investment industry.  Prior to joining The Swarthmore Group in 2010, she was a Portfolio Manager at Aberdeen Asset Management/Deutsche Asset Management and a member of the investment team responsible for managing $30 billion in fixed income assets.  She also has previous work experience as a Fixed Income Application Analyst with FNX Limited, now a part of SunGard.  Ms. Schaffer’s investment expertise is in the Corporate asset class.  Types of fixed income products managed include: Core, Core-plus, Global Aggregate, Short Duration, Intermediate Aggregate, Intermediate Government/Credit, Long Government/Credit, Long Credit, and LDI (Liability-driven investments).  Types of portfolios managed include: ERISA 401k, endowments and foundations, pension plans for corporations, state and local government, union pension plans, insurance general accounts, institutional and retail mutual funds.  Ms. Schaffer holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of International Relations and an M.B.A. from the University of Delaware.  She has earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

James F. Spencer, CFA
Investment Consultant

Mr. Spencer has over 25 years of experience in the investment management business.  He is currently an executive in residence with the Stephen D. Cutler Center for Investments and Finance, where he advises student managers of the Babson College Fund. Jim spent fourteen years as the chief investment officer of Cambridge Bancorp and its subsidiary Cambridge Trust Company. He began his investment management career in 1979 at Wells Fargo Investment Advisors in San Francisco. In 1981, he returned to the East Coast to become vice president and research analyst at Kidder Peabody, where he covered specialty chemicals. Jim later served as director and research analyst in specialty chemicals at Schroder Wertheim and Company in Boston, and as the Chief Equity Officer at Atlantic Trust Company.  Institutional Investor Magazine named Spencer a member of its All American Research Team for eight years.  Jim holds a B.S. from Babson College and he has earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

Risa Stolker, CFP®
Director of Wealth Planning

Ms. Stolker has almost 20 years of experience assisting high net worth individuals and families identify their financial, estate, and legacy planning goals and developing customized plans to meet those goals.  Prior to joining The Swarthmore Group in 2019, she was a Senior Wealth Strategist at PNC Wealth Management where she helped clients with retirement income planning, asset allocation, executive compensation analysis, risk management, and wealth transfer and gifting strategies.  Previously, Risa worked at U.S. Trust Company as a Financial Planner providing fee-based financial planning services to corporate executives and other high net worth clients.  Risa began her career in retirement planning and employee benefits and worked for J.P. Morgan and Marsh and McLennan Companies.  Risa earned a B.A. in Psychology from George Washington University, a M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University in Organizational Psychology, and has been a Certified Financial Planner® since 1999.






Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Photo Credit: Kelly Goff

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