Our Team

Team Members

portrait of Paul Karlitz

Paul Karlitz

Chief Executive Officer

CLU, ChFC, CLTC, LUTCF
CA Insurance Lic #: 0C16829
Domicile in CA
portrait of Paul Karlitz

Paul Karlitz

Chief Executive Officer

CLU, ChFC, CLTC, LUTCF
CA Insurance Lic #: 0C16829
Domicile in CA

Paul Karlitz is the CEO of Sagient. He is responsible for the firm’s overall corporate growth strategy and financial management, as well as maintaining many of the firm’s corporate relationships. Paul is a graduate of Syracuse University. He entered the business in 1995, after two years in a family manufacturing business. His professional designations include Series 7,66 Series 24,  LUTCF, and CLTC.

Committed to giving back to the financial services industry and his community, Paul regularly volunteers his time with FINSECA as an Ambassador, Covenant House and the Society of Financial Services Professionals (Board Member).

Paul lives in Palos Verdes Estates, CA with his wife, Jeannie, and their two sons, Lane and Jackson.

portrait of David M. Streit

David M. Streit

Chief Operations Officer

CA Insurance Lic # : 0B83683
Domicile in CA
portrait of David M. Streit

David M. Streit

Chief Operations Officer

CA Insurance Lic # : 0B83683
Domicile in CA

David graduated from the University of Florida and entered the insurance business in 1978. He is a third-generation insurance professional. David ran his own insurance brokerage firm for 20 years and was the marketing vice president for a special risk life and disability wholesaler. 

David was a retirement income specialist and sales manager with two major life insurance companies before joining the firm in 2010.Capitalizing on his talent for strategic planning, project management and organization, David serves as the COO for the firm and manages the operations team here and in Hawaii.

David is married to Tess and has four adult children. He is active in the community and has served on the boards of community nonprofits. He is also Executive Director for Patti’s Way Charitable Foundation, a family foundation that he and his brother run. He loves traveling, hiking, and taking long weekends with Tess.

 

portrait of Rick Thiedig

Rick Thiedig

Chief Financial Officer

CPA
Licensed by the California Board of Accountancy
License #: 118003
portrait of Rick Thiedig

Rick Thiedig

Chief Financial Officer

CPA
Licensed by the California Board of Accountancy
License #: 118003

Rick Thiedig is a highly accomplished and respected financial professional, serving as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Sagient. With a strong foundation in finance, coupled with extensive experience in public accounting and corporate finance, Rick has established himself as a trusted leader. His history at the renowned “Big 4” firm KPMG, has garnered him valuable audit experience and in-depth insights into financial systems and controls. Over the years, he has excelled in public accounting, specializing in both audit and taxation, providing comprehensive financial guidance to a diverse clientele.

As the CFO of Sagient, Rick plays a pivotal role in driving financial excellence within the organization. His acute understanding of corporate finance, financial reporting, and analysis has contributed to the efficient management of financial resources and the achievement of key business objectives.

portrait of Richard Halloran

Richard Halloran

New Business Director

CA Insurance Lic #: 0C50198
Domicile in CA
portrait of Richard Halloran

Richard Halloran

New Business Director

CA Insurance Lic #: 0C50198
Domicile in CA

Rich graduated from the University of Southern California in 1992 with a B.S. in business administration. After a brief start in the business as a health insurance claims administrator, he joined the firm in 1994.

He is the New Business Director for the firm. As such, he manages a team of professionals dedicated to processing the submitted insurance business with our carriers. Rich is a key member of the management team and teaches classes on underwriting life, disability, and long-term care insurance—and on creating client illustrations. 

Rich is married to Kim, and he is an avid sports fan living in South Bay.

 

portrait of Alina Vartazarian

Alina Vartazarian

Vice President
Sales & Practice Management

CFEI®
CA Insurance Lic #: 0F79851
Domicile in CA
portrait of Alina Vartazarian

Alina Vartazarian

Vice President
Sales & Practice Management

CFEI®
CA Insurance Lic #: 0F79851
Domicile in CA

Alina first joined the financial services industry as an independent financial professional in 2007, with a passion for educating individuals, families, and business owners about risk and liability management.

As the director of sales and practice management for the firm, Alina manages the growth of financial professionals and their practices through strategic planning and calculated tools. In her own private practice, she is sensitive to the needs and goals of each client and implements a comprehensive approach when recommending financial solutions.

She is the founder of the professional networking group Great Minds, bringing together leaders from various industries to form new business relationships. Alina is also a supporter of several community causes, including youth crime prevention, cancer awareness, and animal rights. She is also a member of the National Honor Society, Kappa Omicron Nu. In her spare time, she enjoys attending live Cirque Du Soleil performances, hiking, traveling, and spending quality time with her family and friends.

portrait of W. Kent Althouse

W. Kent Althouse

Director of Investments
Wealth Management Advisor

CA Insurance Lic #: 0E61482
Domicile in CA
portrait of W. Kent Althouse

W. Kent Althouse

Director of Investments
Wealth Management Advisor

CA Insurance Lic #: 0E61482
Domicile in CA

Kent is California born and bred and graduated from Cal State, Northridge with a degree in real estate and finance. He started his financial planning career in 2004 with American Express Advisors (now Ameriprise) and spent four years with his prior firm before joining us in 2008. 

He serves as the firm investment specialist and helps coordinate the firm’s financial planning team. Kent has FINRA series 7, 66, 24, 53 licenses and is a registered principal for the firm. In his private practice, he helps his clients with all areas of financial planning, including access to top-rated insurance carriers; top-flight money managers; Bank Trust Companies, like BNY Mellon, Wilmington Trust, and MassMutual Trust Company; and employee benefit firms for business owners.

Kent is married to Varvara and has two daughters. He loves spending time outdoors, surfing, and hiking.

portrait of Andrew Vincent Marin

Andrew Vincent Marin

Director of Advanced Planning

J.D.*
CA Insurance Lic #: 0I26458
Domicile in CA
portrait of Andrew Vincent Marin

Andrew Vincent Marin

Director of Advanced Planning

J.D.*
CA Insurance Lic #: 0I26458
Domicile in CA

Andrew V. Marin serves as director of advanced planning. Andrew partners with closely held business owners, professionals, families, and their advice-givers to plan for overall success. He is outcome-oriented with a focus on efficiency and clarity. 

Andrew’s immigrant grandparents and their imparted love of country started him on the way to helping others protect their American dream: transferring estates and businesses—intact—from one generation to the next. He is also a national educator on advanced planning topics for continuing education and continuing legal education. 

An active board member of his church, he is a lifelong resident of Southern California. Andrew is a member of the California State Bar, U.S. District Court, Southern and Central District of California Bar Associations, and FINSECA. Andrew enjoys traveling, music, the outdoors, volunteering, and being with his wonderful family.

*Andrew is licensed but not practicing on behalf of MML Investor Services, LLC or its affiliated companies.

portrait of Arturo Unzueta

Arturo Unzueta

Compliance Officer

portrait of Arturo Unzueta

Arturo Unzueta

Compliance Officer

Art has been working in the financial services industry since 1996. He has worked with CitiGroup, Morgan Stanley, Smith Barney, Transamerica, and Ameriprise prior to joining our agency in 2012 as our agency compliance officer.

He was a mathematics major in school and holds an AA degree. He currently holds securities licenses from FINRA for Series 7, 9, 10, 24, 53, 63, 65.

Art is married and has five children (three boys and two girls). His hobbies are basketball, racquetball, and weightlifting. His passions are his family and friends, and he enjoys supporting the advisors and co-workers in the agency.

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portrait of Robert M. Smith

Robert M. Smith

Financial Services Professional
Disability Income Specialist

CLU, ChFC, CLTC, RICP
CA Insurance Lic #: 0741819
Domicile in CA
portrait of Robert M. Smith

Robert M. Smith

Financial Services Professional
Disability Income Specialist

CLU, ChFC, CLTC, RICP
CA Insurance Lic #: 0741819
Domicile in CA

Kathleen Adams

Financial Advisor

CFP, CLTC, CFBS
CA Insurance Lic #: 0733257
Domicile in CA

Jessie Aguilar

Financial Services Professional

CA Insurance Lic #: 0E79412
Domicile in CA

Jason Anthenien

Financial Services Professional

CA Insurance Lic#:0166554
Domicile in HI

Lisbeth Arcienega

Financial Services Professional

CA Insurance Lic #: 4036781
Domicile in HI

Antonio K. Bale, Jr.

Financial Advisor

CA Insurance Lic #:4071194
Domicile in HI

Adam Benedict

Sr Case Manager

Staff member since: 2013

Tanya Jalil Blomquist

Financial Services Professional

CA Insurance Lic #: 4270390
Domicile in CA

Robert Carty

Financial Advisor

CA Insurance Lic #: 0A72428
Domicile in CA

Liane Chong

Financial Advisor

CA Insurance Lic #: 1873478
Domicile in HI

Ben David

Financial Services Professional

FSCP®
CA Insurance Lic #: 0J09379
Domicile in CA

David Dickerson

Investment Advisor Representative

Ph.D.
CA Insurance Lic #: 4180604
Domicile in CA

Jay Weichen Ding

Financial Services Professional

CA Insurance Lic #: 0E51431
Domicile in CA

Anne Marie Fabishak

Financial Services Professional

CA Insurance Lic #: 4214113
Domicile in CA

Peter R. Fong

Financial Services Professional

CA Insurance Lic #: 0772288
Domicile in CA

Andrea Fonseka

Financial Services Professional

CA Insurance Lic #: 4275309
Domicile in CA

Steven Gasparian

Financial Advisor

CA Insurance Lic #: 0J13588
Domicile in CA

Yechiel Shalom Goldberg

Certified Financial Planner Professional
Special Care Planner

Ph.D., CFP, ChSNC, BFA
CA Insurance Lic #: 0G70107
Domicile in CA

Karina Gonzalez

Executive Assistant to the CEO

Staff member since: 2019

Gerardo Gonzalez, Jr.

Financial Advisor

CA Insurance Lic #: 0I41055
Domicile in CA

Paul Grande

Financial Advisor

CA Insurance Lic #: 0J01488
Domicile in CA

Raffi H. Hamassian

Financial Services Professional

CPA
CA Insurance Lic #: 4136632
Domicile in CA

Harutune Hamassian

Financial Advisor

CPA
CA Insurance Lic #: 0D20691
Domicile in CA

Don Harrington

Financial Advisor

CFP, CLU, ChFC
CA Insurance Lic #: 0C34404
Domicile in CA

Simon Hoffman

Financial Professional

Staff member since: 2024
CA Insurance Lic #: 4332118
Domicile in CA

Saeed Kahrobai

Financial Services Professional

CA Insurance Lic #: 0D43608
Domicile in CA

Paul Kaye

Financial Services Professional

CA Insurance Lic #: 4063616
Domicile in CA

Andy G. Kim

Financial Services Professional
Special Care Planner

CA Insurance Lic #: 1962451
Domicile in CA

Helen Hyoyoung Kim

Financial Advisor

FSCP, FSS, LUTCF, CLTC, CFBS
CA Insurance Lic#: 0B89287
Domicile in CA

Matt T. Kokkonen

Financial Planner

CLU, ChFC, MSFS, MSM
CA Insurance Lic #: 0387736
Domicile in CA
portrait of Samuel Lau

Samuel Lau

Vice President- Sales
Alhambra

CA Insurance Lic #: 0E23335
Domicile in CA
portrait of Samuel Lau

Samuel Lau

Vice President- Sales
Alhambra

CA Insurance Lic #: 0E23335
Domicile in CA

Over the past two decades, Samuel Lau has built his practice advising doctors, dentists, and small-business owners. He joined our firm and took on the role of agency director in 2016. Since then, he’s been a member of the nationally recognized Society 1851/Blue Chip Council. He’s also been the recipient of the Top of Council Awards, the highest level of recognition, for three consecutive years.

Samuel specializes in a full range of financial planning solutions, including retirement planning, tax-management strategies, asset protection, premium financing, and estate planning. Over the course of six years, his team managed to approve over a billion dollars in life insurance in force for their valued clients. Prior to joining our firm, he was the VP premier wealth advisor of HSBC Bank USA, a top producing wealth advisor in HSBC nationwide, and winner of the HSBC Sales Excellence & Leadership Club awards for five consecutive years during his tenure there.

portrait of Kenneth Paul Lee

Kenneth Paul Lee

Vice President- Sales
Irvine

CA Insurance Lic #: 0M66641
Domicile in CA
portrait of Kenneth Paul Lee

Kenneth Paul Lee

Vice President- Sales
Irvine

CA Insurance Lic #: 0M66641
Domicile in CA

Ken grew up in the small college town of Amherst, MA—the youngest of four boys. When he wasn’t around the neighborhood playing backyard football/baseball/basketball, he was playing tennis. He attended Tufts University in Boston, where he graduated with a BA in economics/business. After spending 15 years in banking in and around the five boroughs of NYC—where he was a branch manager, private client officer, and commercial real Estate lender—he gave up the corporate world to be an entrepreneur. 

For the next 20 years, his business endeavors took him across the country to San Diego, CA and then over to Singapore, providing him the opportunity to gain experience in retail, accounting/finance, management, training, recruiting, and restaurant operations. When both of his children decided to come back to California for college, he gladly returned to the West Coast. Restaurant consulting and owning/operating his own restaurant occupied his time for a few years, then he decided to get back into the world of personal finance.

As a leader of sales teams for a major mutual insurance company, Ken has employed a blend of management systems, training, and connection with individuals to develop a creative, client-centric team.

Mei Li Lee

Financial Planner
Registered Representative

ChFC
CA Insurance Lic #: 0G89865
Domicile in HI

Jeffrey Ling

Financial Advisor

CFP
CA Insurance Lic #: 0175755
Domicile in HI

Michael Lubrani

Financial Services Professional

CA Insurance Lic #: 4169108
Domicile in CA

Lilian L. Luk

Financial Services Professional

CA Insurance Lic #: 0E77520
Domicile in CA

Lily Mercado

Operations Specialist

Staff member since: 1999

Edward T. Motley

Financial Planner

ChFC, CLU
CA Insurance Lic #: 0D32089
Domicile in CA

Evan Pierce O’Reilly

Financial Services Professional

CA Insurance Lic #: 0L15400
Domicile in CA

Amir Ouranus

Director of Technology Support

Staff member since: 2020
portrait of Amir Jovani Pouri

Amir Jovani Pouri

Vice President- Sales
Beverly Hills

CA Insurance Lic #: 0809071
Domicile in CA
portrait of Amir Jovani Pouri

Amir Jovani Pouri

Vice President- Sales
Beverly Hills

CA Insurance Lic #: 0809071
Domicile in CA

Amir Pouri is a veteran of the insurance and financial services industry. He started his business career in 1989 with Prudential Financial. After 10 years, he was recruited into management with MetLife Financial and became a Senior Partner responsible for recruiting and training advisors.

He joined our firm in July 2010. He specializes in insurance and financial planning services, including estate planning, business succession, and qualified pension planning for professionals and business owners.

Sean Rho

Financial Services Professional

CA Insurance Lic #: 0C92817
Domicile in CA

Jodi P. Rosenbloom

Financial Advisor

CLU®, ChFC®, CLTC
CA Insurance Lic #: 0685612
Domicile in CA

Eugene M. Santiago

Financial Services Professional

CA Insurance Lic #: 4230428
Domicile in CA

Robert Sarkissian

Financial Advisor
Managing Associate

CA Insurance Lic #: 0D24415
Domicile in CA

Tucker Savoye

Director of Recruiting

Staff member since: 2023
portrait of Candace Seto

Candace Seto

Vice President- Sales
Financial Planner
Honolulu

ChFC, CLU,
CA Insurance Lic #: 816168
Domicile in CA
portrait of Candace Seto

Candace Seto

Vice President- Sales
Financial Planner
Honolulu

ChFC, CLU,
CA Insurance Lic #: 816168
Domicile in CA

Candace Seto proudly leads the Honolulu office of Sagient, as they serve their community, empowering their clients to live richly, realize their dreams, and inspire others.

Born in Honolulu and a graduate of Kalani High School, Candace has deep roots in her local community. She left home to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point, then served honorably after graduation, as an Army Engineer Officer in the European Theatre. She began her financial services career over 30 years ago in California, where she helped individuals and businesses achieve their goals and aspirations through a holistic approach to financial planning. She holds the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designations.

Hawaii calls some people home, and Candace is one of them. She lives in East Oahu and enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Dianne Shumway

Financial Professional

Staff member since: 2024
MBA, CDFA
CA Insurance Lic #: 4266092
Domicile in CA

Benny Smith

Financial Advisor

CA Insurance Lic #: 0K89893
Domicile in CA

Maxwell Stanley

Financial Professional

Staff member since: 2024
CA 4370721
Domicile in CA

Wayne Y. Tanaka

Financial Planning Consultant

CA Insurance Lic #: 4108229
Domicile in HI

Sandra Valenzuela

Case Manager

Staff member since: 2015

Qian Ward

Financial Professional

Staff member since: 2024
CA Insurance Lic #: 4320117
Domicile in CA

Samuel Weinstein

Financial Services Professional

CA Insurance Lic #: 4312906
Domicile in CA

Sherryl Wong

Operations Specialist- Honolulu

Staff member since: 2001

Jonathan Yang

Financial Services Professional

LUTCF