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Our Team

Our Experience, Your Goals — A Winning Combination 

Jay Pestrichelli Photo

Jay Pestrichelli

CEO and Co-Founder

Jay Pestrichelli is co-founder and managing director of ZEGA Financial. He specializes in developing successful hedging strategies to protect investors’ equity positions while driving maximum returns.

Jay has over 20 years of experience in the financial markets. Prior to launching ZEGA, he spent 12 years managing and growing the online brokerage business for TD Ameritrade. During this time, he led this business unit to become #1 in trade volume among U.S. brokers. Before joining TD Ameritrade, Jay was Vice President of Customer Support for Datek Online, where he oversaw customer relations for many of Datek’s 2.4 million active trading clients. He also instituted Datek’s first CRM system.

At ZEGA, Jay leads the development and execution of the firm’s investment strategies, which are designed to help investors successfully navigate volatile and uncertain markets through innovative hedging strategies. Some of these strategies include HiPOS (High Probability Options Strategy), Buy & Hedge and ZBIG. In 2018, ZEGA’s HiPOS strategy posted an 11.5% return, compared to 4.5% decline in the S&P 500.

ZEGA’s founding principles grew out of the bestselling book Jay co-authored entitled “Buy and Hedge, the Five Iron Rules for Investing Over the Long Term.” His book highlights how to bridge the complicated nature of options investing with the needs of the everyday investor.

Outside of ZEGA’s day-to-day work for its clients, the firm actively supports multiple not for profit organizations throughout the year. Some of these organizations include the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Samaritan’s Feet, CIA Officers Memorial Foundation, and Decoding Literacy.

Jay has been a regular contributor on NASDAQ Trade Talks and the TD Ameritrade Network and is a regularly quoted in top news outlets including Bloomberg, TheStreet, MarketWatch, US News and World Report, Fox Business and CNBC.

He is an active golfer, sailor, traveler, and NY Giants fan. He resides in West Palm Beach, Florida with his wife and son.

Mick Brokaw Photo

Mick Brokaw

Managing Director of Trading

As the product families at ZEGA grew, Mick joined the firm to tackle two roles. The first focuses on trading execution and support. The second examines, and helps to refine, investment strategies as they move from the incubation stage to broader distribution among clients.

Mick brings a product manager’s sensibility and methodology to his work, having performed this role most recently at Bank of the West and for a more extended run at TD Ameritrade. In his 15+ years at the online broker, he oversaw myriad changes in a rapidly growing industry. He helped build retail trading products, create educational programs, and develop the industry’s first JD Power-certified call center.

Mick graduated from the University of Nebraska and still calls Omaha home.

Jillian Baker Photo

Jillian Baker

Director of Communications

Jillian runs the show. Client service, operational systems, Advisor support and communications are her primary areas of responsibility.

Jillian started her financial career in Luxembourg with BNY Mellon as a senior trust accountant, adapting to a multi-lingual operation involving futures, FX, time deposits and more. Returning stateside led to her increased responsibilities supervising client accounting and reporting. She became the client resource on trade settlements, valuations, financial statements and accruals.

Jillian studied international business at Merrimack College. She’s a huge Boston sports fan, but because she is such a team player, nobody really holds it against her.

Michael W. Puck, CRPC® Photo

Michael W. Puck, CRPC®

Director of Business Development

Mike has worked in the investment business for over 15 years. He got his start as a trader in New York on the New York Mercantile Exchange trading Commodities.  As of April 2021, Mike is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor , or CRPC® .

Prior to joining ZEGA Financial, Mike worked for a Registered Investment Advisor where he built a wealth management and financial planning platform servicing over 200 high net worth clients. Mike was also a Vice President at JP Morgan Chase and Senior Financial Consultant with TD Ameritrade. Both organizations he achieved the award of Presidents Club. 

Mike has participated in multiple charitable foundations including the Humane Society and Habitat for Humanity. He is proud to have raised over $50,000 in one year for the Humane Society of Broward county.  

Mike and his fiancé Melissa reside in Miami where they enjoy scuba diving, paddle boarding and racing in triathlons.

Jim Granger, CPA (inactive) Photo

Jim Granger, CPA (inactive)

Chief Compliance Officer/Chief Information Officer

Jim brings a wealth of finance and operations experience to the ZEGA team. He has over 25 years of diverse operational, financial reporting, budgeting and financial analysis experience within the fintech, renewable energy and banking industries.  

From private equity funded startups to corporate finance, Jim has a proven track record in building teams, processes and companies. Under Jim’s financial leadership, he was instrumental in growing a firm from the start-up phase to one of Inc’s Magazine’s “500 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America.”

Jim has an MBA from the University of Nebraska - Omaha and a BSBA in Accounting from Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska.

He resides in Omaha, Nebraska with his wife and two kids and coaches youth sports. 

Brett Johnson Photo

Brett Johnson

Director of Trading

Brett manages the daily trading for ZEGA accounts, specializing in options trading and hedging.  He also works with the group to develop strategy for the firm, in turn helping our clients maximize their gains and minimize their risk. 

Brett has worked in the investment world since 1997.  He started his journey as a local market maker on the floors of the Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Mercantile Exchange.  The second half of his career was strengthening his knowledge of retail and institutional brokerages, working at TD Ameritrade in multiple roles including leading margin and trade desks. 

Brett is a graduate of the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.

Brett and his wife Kate reside in Omaha where they enjoy raising their four children, watching Liverpool play on the weekends, and enjoying the outdoors. 

Derek Moore Photo

Derek Moore

Investment Advisor Representative

Derek manages ZEGA’s Registered Investment Advisor relationships, specializing in option strategies for income and protected growth. He helps advisors — and their retail clients — understand the calculus behind each strategy and how it best fits their investment goals.

Derek has over 21 years of experience as a trader and educator in options, futures and technical analysis. As TD Ameritrade’s director of national education he crisscrossed the country sharing his knowledge of risk management and volatility. He also understands the challenges facing Registered Investment Advisors, having previously managed his own book of clients. Derek started his financial career as a manager with Charles Schwab.

Derek is a full-on ironman triathlete in addition to running numerous marathons. He resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Therese Brader Photo

Therese Brader

Client Services Manager

Therese keeps ZEGA’s onboarding and client service operations running smoothly with a positive and bubbly attitude.  She works directly with new and existing wealth management clients to ensure seamless service requests.  Therese also provides support to the rest of the ZEGA team whenever needed.

Therese started her career in Omaha at First Data (now FiServ) with over 10 years of experience in Client Services.  Continuing her career and gaining Financial Management experience at Monahan Financial and Renaissance Financial has moved her to over 15 years in Client Services.

Therese graduated from Bellevue University with a BS in Business Administration.

Therese is a golfer, plays tennis and enjoys cycling.  She is originally from Cocoa Beach FL, and currently lives in Omaha, NE with her son and daughter.