Select Page


Leadership Team

John Pesce

CEO & Co-Founder

John Pesce is TCG’s visionary co-founder and manager in charge. John leads a team of experienced, principled advisors in the sustained effort to provide an unprecedented level of customer service in the finance industry.

In 1987, John started his first business managing private wealth for professional athletes across the country. After selling the business in 1990, he became a Partner and Chief Marketing Officer at a firm in Houston, TX, where he was head of their investment and marketing divisions and focused on individual wealth management and government pension plans. After he and his partners sold the company in 1995, John moved to Austin, TX. In Austin, John deepened his knowledge of government retirement plans and managing institutional money, and he was ready to use that knowledge to start something new.

John joined forces with Mike Cochran to start TCG Group Holdings LLP in 1999. Because of his passion for investing and trading options, John still manages a few portfolios in addition to overseeing the strategic direction of the entire company.

Mike Cochran

Chairman & Co-Founder

Throughout his career, Mike has managed all types of retirement plans, and served as an officer in two Fortune 500 companies before co-founding TCG with John Pesce. He works primarily with institutional investors and provides financial planning and compensation advice for most of TCG’s public sector executive clients.

Mike has worked hard to forge a customer-driven culture at TCG, characterized by consistent fairness, unrivaled expertise and outstanding service for every client of the company. He is in demand as a speaker on investment fiduciary issues and author of several articles on retirement and compensation matters in well-known trade magazines.

Chris J. Jamail

Chief Marketing Officer

Chris Jamail, CFP® is the Chief Marketing Officer at TCG where he is responsible for strategic business development, managing company-wide marketing efforts, and supporting investment advisor strategy. On a mission to grow the TCG ecosystem, he is working to improve the financial situation for all clients and creating a company of enduring value.

Prior to taking on this role at TCG, Chris gained experience in working with clients and managing investment assets beginning in 2002 as a financial advisor at TCG. Throughout his career he has increased his focus on investment management and financial planning moving to an investment advisor role in 2004 with TCG Advisors, and then later named Chief Investment Officer. In these former roles, he operated as head of the investment committee, oversaw a team of professionals with responsibilities such as managing and monitoring investment activity, and directing the investment strategy for the firm’s clients.

Chris graduated from Texas A&M University in 2002 with a BBA degree in Marketing and earned the Certified Financial Planner™ designation in 2010. Chris has been recognized as a 2021 Best-In-State Wealth Advisor by Forbes, and as well as being named to the 2019 and 2020 Financial Times Top 401 Retirement Plan Advisers list.

Scott Hauptmann

Chief Operating Officer

Scott Hauptmann is the Chief Operations Officer (COO) for TCG Group Holdings, LLP. and is a Partner at TCG Group Holdings, LLP. Scott is responsible for the oversight and day-to-day operations of all retirement plans administered by TCG Administrators, and he works to maintain the relationships TCG Administrators has with its clients, participants, outside vendors, and financial representatives.

Scott graduated from the University of Texas with a BBA in Finance and a minor in Sociology. He’s an active member of the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) and the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA).

Dennis Bielik, CFA®, CFP®, FRM®

Senior Vice President, Managing Partner

Dennis Bielik is a Vice President and oversees the Private Wealth Division at TCG Group Holdings. He has worked in the financial services/banking industry since 2005 and has experience working at firms such as Charles Schwab & TD Ameritrade. At TCG, Dennis provides financial planning, estate planning, private banking, and investment advisory services. Dennis is responsible for the oversight and day-to-day operations of TCG Advisors, and he works to maintain the relationships TCG Advisors has with its clients, participants, outside vendors, and financial representatives.

Dennis has been recognized as a 2021 Best-In-State Wealth Advisor and Top Next-Gen Advisor by Forbes, and as well as being named to the 2019 and 2020 Financial Times Top 401 Retirement Plan Advisers list.

Brittney Valdez

Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

Brittney Valdez is the Vice President – Chief Financial Officer at TCG Group Holdings where she manages the company’s financial functions and leads all human resources activities. She spent the past decade working in finance, accounting, and financial reporting roles at the company, including most recently Controller. Brittney graduated from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin with a BBA degree in Corporate Finance. .

Ryan Swayze

Chief Technology Officer

Ryan Swayze is the Chief Technology Officer at TCG. Since joining the company in 2014, he has been instrumental through progressively more responsible positions with our technology department. He has played a key role during the transition to our cloud strategy and brings with him a wealth of expertise, experience, and education.

Ryan manages the technology department and oversees all data, security, networking, infrastructure and development standards and practices for the firm. He holds a number of cloud, big data and database accredited certifications and is an alumnus of Texas State University.

Matt Escalante, CFP®

Senior Vice President & Senior Director

Matt Escalante is Senior Vice President of Institutional Investment Strategy at TCG. He started his career in financial services with Northwestern Mutual Financial Network in 2005 and soon after joined TCG in fall of 2006. Matt started his career in financial services out of a desire to help others achieve their financial goals and establishing strong relationships. With a family background deep in education, TCG was a natural fit for Matt to help educators achieve their financial goals. Over his time at TCG, Matt has held a variety of positions including Investment Advisor to private clients, Regional Sales Director of group benefits and retirement plans, and Senior Director responsible for working closely with clients to develop retirement planning education and engagement activities for their employees.

In his current role, Matt leads the group retirement plan advisor team who develop quarterly investment reviews and present to investment advisory committees established by clients. Matt helped develop and runs the day-to-day operations of FinPath. Matt received his BA in Business Management from California State University,

Steve Orta

Senior Vice President & Managing Director

Steve Orta is the Managing Director of Business Development and Partner at TCG. He is responsible for overseeing TCG’s institutional sales division. This includes maintaining, growing, and obtaining new business for investment advisory and retirement plan services in Texas and California. Before joining TCG, Steve was the Director of Sales at First Public, LLC/TASB for 13 years. He has over 25 years of financial services industry experience, including financial management, business development, investments, trading, sales, and insurance.

Before joining First Public/TASB, Steve worked for E*TRADE securities managing the fixed income trading desk in New York City and Washington, DC. Steve also worked as a mutual fund supervisor for Franklin Templeton Funds in California. Steve served in the U.S. Marine Corps and earned a Bachelor of Science in Managerial Economics from the University of California, Davis.

Mason Moses

Vice President & Head of Consulting

Mason Moses serves as a Partner and Senior Wealth and Executive Compensation Advisor with TCG. He specializes in serving the financial planning and wealth management needs of his clients and consulting organizational leaders and boards on executive compensation that enhances the goals of both the executive and the organization. Mason regularly presents nationally on both these topics.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and his master’s degree from Texas A&M University from the President George H.W. Bush School of Government. Prior to joining TCG Advisors, Mason worked in the Texas Senate and was the Chief Communications Officer for the Texas System of Regional Educational Service Centers.

Sandy Stauffer

Senior Vice President of Business Development

Sandy Stauffer is a Vice President of Business Development at TCG. She focuses on client relations and developing new business with 403(b), 457, and FICA Alternative plans in the education sector. As a former teacher, Sandy brings a unique perspective to the organization, and she ensures that TCG’s services coincide with the values of today’s educators. Additionally, Sandy’s previous experience with TCG Benefits allows her to provide insight into benefits administration and execution when communicating with clients.

By successfully managing client relationships and bolstering the 403(b), 457, and FICA Alternative business development in the state of Texas, Sandy is an invaluable asset to the company. Sandy is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, with a bachelor’s degree in Education. She has 10 years of prior experience in sales and marketing before her role at TCG.

Melissa Kirk

Senior Vice President of Operations

Melissa Kirk is Senior Vice President of Operations for TCG Administrators. Melissa has worked through several of TCG’s operational departments before becoming an Account Manager for all governmental retirement plans. Using what she learned in working directly with clients and sales staff, she was able to develop an efficient and effective new client onboard process to bridge the client, sales, education, and operations aspects of TCG services. After account management and onboard specialist duties, Melissa delved into the operational workflows of TCG’s TPA. Understanding client needs and our technical capabilities, helped her create workflows to administer plans in mass volume.

Melissa is in the process of obtaining her Qualified 401(k) Administrator designation to assist in building TCG’s ERISA Plan area of growth. Melissa graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business, concentrating on Marketing and Administration.

Meet the rest of the team