CO-FOUNDER AND CEO
As co-founder and CEO of Oakbrook, Craig Cook brings over 35 years of experience in technology-based solutions for wealth management providers and the asset-management industry, focusing on new product development for trust systems, investment management systems, and proprietary systems. He excels at analyzing, designing, and delivering application software-based solutions of varying scopes and sizes.
Combining deep knowledge of the wealth business with technical and project-management skills honed over time, Craig has built a record of success in developing proven workflow solutions for any wealth-management channel.
Tim Buhler came to Oakbrook Solutions in 2006 as a Relationship Manager handling both regional and national client initiatives. In 2020, Tim was promoted to Managing Director of Sales and Relationship Management responsible for developing existing accounts and identifying new opportunities throughout the Financial Services industry. In 2023, Tim was promoted to Chief Revenue Officer.
Tim brings 25 years of financial services experience in employee benefits, retirement services, and institutional trust and custody to Oakbrook. His work in retirement services included small plan project management while acting as an employee benefits consultant assisting plan sponsors with all aspects of their 401k offerings.
In 2000, Tim moved to Institutional Trust and Custody as a trust officer within Institutional Trust Services. In 2001, Tim was promoted into a trust relationship management role learning the ins and outs of front, middle and back office operations to ensure client needs were met and departmental capabilities were fully utilized. The move to the Institutional Sales Group gave Tim exposure to bank products and offerings throughout Wealth and Investment Management to ensure client needs were being addressed.
RIA & TRUST PRACTICE
Steve Randolph leads the strategic consulting practice focused on the bank, RIA, and trust company market segment. A 40-year veteran of the wealth management industry, Randolph brings his proven track record in strategic planning, change management, product design, marketing, technology, and back-office operations to bear holistically on a broad range of client challenges.
Steve graduated with a B.B.A from the University of Georgia and received his M.B.A. from Georgia State University. He and his family reside in Hendersonville, NC.
Michael Perez, managing director of Oakbrook’s Business Transformation Practice, has over twenty-five (25) years’ experience in providing professional services to the wealth management industry with a target on private banking and trust companies. Michael has acquired a unique combination of asset management business skills and systems experience. He has led multiple finance transformation programs such as business process outsourcing, financial systems implementation, merger conversion and integration, performance improvement, and process redesign.
Prior to joining Oakbrook, Michael was the president and owner of a NY based technology consulting firm established in 1999, dedicated to providing professional services to some of the oldest trust companies in the U.S. that provide personal wealth management both domestically and internationally for some of the wealthiest individuals and families. Prior to this Michael was a Manager in the Business Advisory Services division of Grant Thornton LLP servicing wealth management clients. Prior, a Vice President of Wealth Management Enterprise Application Services at Fiduciary Trust International supporting the core multi-currency trust accounting systems. He also held positions at Chase Private Banking.
Norma Canales provides superior recruiting services and assisting with the day-to-day business needs of staffing and recruiting. Norma is our point of contact and communication manager for all consultants and her ability to recruit the best in class makes her a distinctive specialist in the Wealth Management industry.
Joining Oakbrook in 2007, Norma was hired as an Account Manager responsible for managing client relationships. In 2011, she was promoted to Recruiting Director responsible for identifying, interviewing, and recruiting top talent in the Wealth Management industry.
Norma has 17 years’ experience in Institutional Trust and Custody Services. She worked as an Operations Specialist at Wachovia Bank and held positions in corporate actions, trade advisory services, maturities and transaction processing. Norma transitioned to an Account Manager role servicing Latin America clients, and later moved to a New Business Conversion Coordinator role for the Institutional Custody group. Her primary trust system experience is with the SEI Trust 3000 System.
Norma and her husband currently reside in the Philadelphia area.
Margie Christensen, Managing Director, has over 20 years of experience providing business process analysis and procedure development to wealth management and institutional trust & custody clients. Since starting in the consulting field in 1996, she has engaged on system implementations, mergers & acquisitions, and control related process analysis and re-design projects.
She and her team have exceptional facilitation skills that empower clients to take ownership of their processes from design to implementation. Process implementation includes documenting detailed procedures to support both ongoing training and internal and external audit. Additionally, Margie has worked with many clients to implement a discipline around procedure management which includes ongoing reviews, committee reporting and oversight to help clients stay current and support change management.
Prior to joining Oakbrook in 2020, from 2004, Margie was president and owner of Landis Consulting Solutions, Inc., a boutique consulting firm with a team of analysts specializing in business process analysis and procedure development for a variety of clients mostly in financial services.
As a Managing Director with Oakbrook Solutions, Scott brings over 25 years of experience in the Trust / Wealth Management, Consulting, and Fintech vendor space. Scott has partnered with some of the most respected Trust / Wealth and Investment Management firms throughout the U.S.on strategy, visualization, design, development, and implementation of new processes and systems initiatives. These solutions have enabled clients to lower costs, improve accuracy, and position clients to lead the industry.
Prior to joining Oakbrook, Scott gained a multi sourced breadth of experience. First as an investment operations leader with the Capital Group Companies, followed by nearly ten years consulting to leading Financial Services firms in the U.S. Most recently, Scott spent five years in professional services aligned business development and sales roles with an industry leading reporting and performance measurement fintech firm.
Sales & Relationship Management
Trasha Schwendener is a proven relationship and sales leader with close to 20 years’ experience in client management, wealth management, and fintech solutions. Her primary focus has been sales, training and developing strategic client and partner relationships. Trasha honed her expertise through roles with trust accounting software and private wealth manager firms, where she worked with bank trust departments, independent trust companies, family offices, and foundations.
Trasha received a bachelor’s degree from University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is passionate about working in a continuous learning environment and helping others grow professionally. In her personal time, Trasha enjoys being with her family and volunteering with Top of the Lake Rotary.