Christopher Sebald, CFA
President & Chief Investment Officer
Chris provides investment leadership and strategic direction for the firm. He oversees investment policy and strategy and is Chairman of the management committee. He is also involved in client portfolio management. Chris began his investment career in 1988, working throughout this time in fixed income investment management. He has been an associate of Advantus for 15 years, being named Executive Vice President in 2007.
Chris holds a BS degree in Economics and an MBA from the University of Minnesota. He is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Minnesota. Chris volunteers his time to the Boy Scouts of America. He enjoys many outdoor activities with his family, is an Eagle Scout and runs marathons.
David Kuplic, CFA
Executive Vice President
As Executive Vice President of Advantus Capital Management, David provides broad investment and business leadership to both Advantus and Securian Financial Group. He serves as Chief Investment Officer for Securian Financial Group, where he is accountable for Securian’s $15 billion of invested assets. David is also President of Securian Funds Trust, a $3 billion group of funds offered through variable insurance contracts. He joined Advantus in 2004 and was named Executive Vice President in 2007.
David holds an MBA in finance from Indiana University. He is a CFA Charterholder, and a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Minnesota. He serves the Board and Investment Committee of Allina Health in Minnesota, the Board of the Ordway Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota, and the Board of Carlson Funds at the University of Minnesota.
Vice President & Chief Operations Officer
As Chief Operations Officer for Advantus, Gary is responsible for overseeing all operations for the organization including finance, valuation, trade settlement, security administration and technology. Active in the accounting practice since 1983, Gary has extensive hands-on experience working with financial institutions.
Gary is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive), serves as treasurer for Securian Funds Trust and is a member of the Investment Operations Committee for LOMA. He is also a trustee for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities.
Jennifer Denys, JD
Vice President & Chief Legal Officer
Jennifer leads the legal department for Advantus. As Chief Legal Officer, she is responsible for providing legal advice and counsel for all types of legal matters, contracts, trading agreements and investment transactions including commercial mortgage loans and loan servicing, private placement bond debt, private equity investments, workouts/foreclosures, derivative transactions and securities law matters. Jennifer serves as lead mortgage loan counsel for Advantus, handling all defaults, deed in lieu and foreclosure matters for a $2 billion portfolio of over 500 loans. Prior to joining Advantus in 2005, Jennifer was in private practice as an associate focusing on commercial real estate and various types of lending and finance transactions.
Jennifer is a Fellow of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys, a select group of fewer than 500 attorneys throughout the U.S. who are recognized by their peers as highly skilled in real estate and mortgage law. ennifer is also a Fellow of the American College of Investment Counsel and serves on the Board of Directors for Como Friends, the non-profit fundraising organization for Como Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul, MN.
Todd Spicer, JD
Vice President & Chief Compliance Officer
Todd is responsible for leading the day-to-day management of the compliance programs for Advantus and Securian Funds Trust. Prior to joining Advantus, Todd led numerous corporate initiatives for Securian Financial Group, Inc. including the development and implementation of Securian's anti-money laundering and anti-fraud programs. He was also a key leader in the development, implementation and management of Minnesota Life Insurance Company's compliance program.
Todd is a member of the Association of the Certified Anti-Money Launderer Specialists (ACAMS) and a member of the Association of the Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). He previously served on the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) Anti-Money Laundering and Critical Infrastructure committee.
Erica Bergsland, CFA
Vice President & Director of Research and Trading
As Director of Research and Trading, Erica manages the fixed income analyst group which is responsible for fundamental industry, company analysis and specific trade recommendations. The research team covers public corporate bonds, private placements, mortgage-backed securities and asset-backed securities. Erica also oversees Advantus trading activities. Erica is a member of the Senior Management Committee and has over 20 years of research experience with expertise in both structured finance and corporate bonds. She is a member of the Financial Leadership Committee of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota and Fixed Income Fund Mentor at Carlson Funds Enterprise at the University of Minnesota.
Erica is a CFA Charterholder, and a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Minnesota. She has been a participant in the Star Tribune’s annual Investors’ Roundtable since 2012. Erica was honored by Finance & Commerce as one of the Twin Cities Top Women in Finance in 2015.
Joseph Betlej, CFA
Vice President & Portfolio Manager - Real Estate Securities
Joe is a lead portfolio manager for Advantus’ Strategic Dividend Income strategy. Joe’s experience includes investing in public and private placement of commercial real estate equity and debt for client accounts, with an additional portfolio management focus on dividend-oriented stocks.
Joe is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Minnesota. He is an Advisory Board member of the Applied Real Estate Securities Program at the University of Wisconsin, and also a board member of the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate at the University of Wisconsin.
Robert Diedrich, CFA
Vice President & Lead Portfolio Manager - Insurance Advisory
Bob manages portfolios for Insurance Advisory clients and serves as the Lead Portfolio Manager of Advantus’ insurance asset management team. His responsibilities include developing investment strategies, selecting securities and sector allocations, buy/sell decisions, credit reviews and performance management. Bob brings a breadth of experience that benefits his clients and the investment team overall, including previous work in private placements and asset/liability and asset allocation analysis for insurance accounts. His experience in the nuclear power arena – in the U.S. Navy and private industry - has contributed to Advantus’ energy sector analysis, as well.
Bob is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Minnesota. Bob also serves on the investment committee of a Minnesota based foundation.
Senior Vice President, Business Development & Investment Solutions
As Senior Vice President, Steve is responsible for all business development activities including sales, consultant relations, product development and marketing for Advantus Capital Management, a subsidiary of the Securian Financial Group and Registered Investment Adviser that provides a diverse range of institutional and insurance investment strategies and retail products -- including open-end mutual funds and variable insurance trust funds -- to investors in United States and Canada. He has experience leading institutional, insurance, sub-advisory, consultant relations, client relationship management and retail sales teams. Steve is a member of the Senior Management Committee.
Steve is a FINRA Registered Principal holding his Series 7, 24, and 63 licenses. He holds an MBA in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Business both from the University of Minnesota.
Vice President & Portfolio Manager - Real Estate Securities
Matt leads the Advantus Real Estate Equity team and oversees the management of Advantus’ Real Estate Securities strategy. He has specialized in real estate investment trusts (REITs) and private real estate equities throughout his career. Prior to joining Advantus, Matt held several positions at Principal Global Investors, including Portfolio Manager, Equity Analyst and Acquisitions Manager.
Matt has published several research reports on REIT investing and has contributed to industry articles for Bloomberg News. He is a member of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) and a former advisory board member at the University of Wisconsin’s Applied Real Estate Securities Program. Matt enjoys spending time with his family and participating in many outdoor activities, particularly golf, skiing and hunting.
Craig Stapleton, CFA, FRM
Vice President & Portfolio Manager, Quantitative Strategies
As Vice President and Portfolio Manager, Craig is responsible for derivatives, agency MBS, government and municipal bonds, quantitative analytics, cash management, ALM and strategic asset allocation for the Minnesota Life General Account. He is the head of the quantitative analysis and research group. Craig is also the co-portfolio manager for the Managed Volatility strategies and the Advantus Strategic Dividend Income portfolios. Prior to his role as portfolio manager, Craig provided quantitative analysis, security and portfolio risk statistics, and derivatives hedging capabilities for Advantus and its clients.
Craig is a CFA Charterholder, and a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Minnesota. Craig was appointed to the Securian Risk Council and Home Office Council in 2015.
Thomas Houghton, CFA
Vice President & Portfolio Manager - Total Return
As Vice President and Portfolio Manager, Tom is the primary manager of the corporate bond positions for all fixed income total return strategies at Advantus, in addition to being the lead manager of the Advantus Short Duration Bond Fund and the firm’s money market portfolios. Tom has focused on fixed income investments throughout his career, having held positions in portfolio management, fixed income analysis and trade desk management.
Tom is a CFA Charterholder, and a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Minnesota.
Jane Wyatt, CFA
Vice President & Client Portfolio Manager
As Vice President and Client Portfolio Manager, Jane manages fixed income assets for the short duration strategy. She has over thirty years of experience in investment management and risk management.
Jane is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the Association of Investment Management and Research and the Twin Cities Society of Security Analysts. She was honored by Finance & Commerce as one of the Twin Cities Top Women in Finance in 2001. Jane currently serves on several non-profit boards and investment committees in the Twin Cities area.
Vice President & Director of Client Service
Director, Client Portfolio Management
Linda leads client service at Advantus and is involved in client portfolio management. She oversees the client service organization, client reporting and long-term success of client relationships. She also chairs the Advantus Investment Meeting, an educational conference for our clients, focused on investment themes and issues of the day. Linda has focused on fixed income investments throughout her career, having held positions in fixed income trading, portfolio management and client service.
Advantus Investment Professionals
|20||years in investment industry (avg.)|
|13||years with Advantus (avg.)|
% hold CFAs, advanced degrees or both