Scott Hood, CFA®
President, CEO, Portfolio Manager
President and CEO of First Wilshire, Scott Hood also serves as Chair of the Investment Committee and as a Portfolio Manager. With more than 25 years in the investment field, Scott’s experience includes working for a boutique investment firm in New York as well as a supervisory analyst with Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong. He joined First Wilshire in 1993 and became the CEO in 2000. A Chartered Financial Analyst® and member of the CFA Institute, Scott holds a bachelor’s degree from the Stern School of Business at New York University.
Howard Lu, CFA®
Director of Research
Howard Lu, who heads First Wilshire’s Research Department, serves as a member of the Investment Committee and Portfolio Manager. Prior to joining First Wilshire in 2004, Howard was an engineer at Intel and worked at two Silicon Valley start-ups. A Chartered Financial Analyst® and member of the CFA Institute, Howard holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California at Berkeley and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Howard is fluent in Mandarin.
Bill Caton, CFA®
Research Analyst, Senior Trader
A Research Analyst with responsibilities in portfolio management and trading, Bill Caton joined First Wilshire’s internship program over 20 years ago and advanced through the ranks. Today he is a member of the Investment Committee, a Chartered Financial Analyst® and member of the CFA institute. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Los Angeles with a specialization in business administration.
Feliks Zlochistyy, CFA®
Research Analyst, Financial Analyst
Feliks Zlochistyy, who serves as Financial Analyst and member of the Investment Committee, joined the team in 2006. Previously he served as a senior manager of Federoff, Inc. Fluent in Russian, Feliks received his degree in Russian Literature and Language from Samara State University and a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting from the University of Southern California. He became a CPA in 2005, is a Chartered Financial Analyst® and member of the CFA Institute.
Karen Wu, a Research Analyst, serves as a member of the firm’s Investment Committee. She joined First Wilshire in 2007, after serving as an economic analyst for China’s Central Government. Fluent in Mandarin, Karen holds a master’s degree in finance from Peking University and a master's degree in economics from the University of British Columbia. She is currently a Level II CFA candidate.
Cristian Pedroza joined First Wilshire in 2017 as a Trader after more than a decade in the investment industry. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from California State University, Fullerton, and is fluent in Spanish.
Senior Vice President
Senior Vice President, Thomas Hanson serves on the Investment Committee and provides investment management services to a select group of clients. With over 30 years of investment experience, Thomas served as a senior officer and portfolio manager with Pacific Global Investment Management and founded Trivest Capital Management, an institutional investment advisory firm, before joining First Wilshire in 2010. He received a bachelor’s degree from Marshall University and an MBA from George Washington University.
Chief Operating Officer
Nicole Green joined First Wilshire in 2017 after a career of 14 years in the investment management industry. Previously she served as a principal at a large, publicly traded investment management firm. She brings expertise in increasing productivity, overseeing the investment and trade operations teams, mitigating risks, and maximizing corporate profitability to her role at First Wilshire. Nicole holds a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University.
Director of Client Services
As Director of Client Services, Esther Johnson oversees all client communications and services for First Wilshire. Prior to joining the company in 2006, Esther had more than a decade of experience serving as a senior wrap trader and supervising the settlements department at another investment management firm. Esther holds a bachelor’s degree from Cal State University in Los Angeles, and is fluent in Spanish.
Accounting, Human Resources
Nancy McKenzie joined First Wilshire in 1996. She is a 40 year industry veteran who has extensive experience in all aspects of the business. She oversees accounting and human resources at First Wilshire. Nancy became a Registered Agent with the IRS in 2005.
Roy Presto, who has been with First Wilshire for almost 30 years, is responsible for back office operations at the firm. As the organization’s longest tenured employee, Roy is knowledgeable about multiple facets of the business. He studied business administration in the Philippines and is fluent in Tagalog.
Cora Presto, who joined First Wilshire in 2013, serves as a Portfolio Assistant. Her career includes over 30 years in account management and portfolio analysis in the finance and banking industries. She holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Paul University in Manila, Philippines and is fluent in Tagalog.
Executive Assistant to the CEO
Joining First Wilshire in 2013, Shandel Gauthier brings over 20 years of experience to her role as Executive Assistant to the CEO. In her prior positions, Shandel has served in client relations, administration, management and design, as well as volunteering for non-profit organizations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in applied design from Portland State University.
Katya Shaposhnik brings over 20 years of administrative and organizational experience in the public and private sectors to her role as Operations Assistant. She joined First Wilshire in 2013 and holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from New York University. Katya is conversant in Russian, Hungarian and Hebrew.
Our multinational staff has over 100 years of combined First Wilshire experience. We are dedicated to the value investing proposition and to providing like-minded investors with an opportunity for above market returns. First Wilshire has attracted, trained and retained talented individuals with diverse experience and education. The common thread is a passion for value investing and a commitment to providing exceptional client service. First Wilshire’s durability and success has resulted from our shared purpose, emphasis on continuing education and long tenures.