PLACED // Gary T. Bonner – Experienced COO Candidate (Houston, TX)


707 Idlewood Drive • Friendswood, Texas 77546

Phone (713) 594-2200


Accomplished senior executive, entrepreneur and investment professional with experience growing companies and leading cross-functional teams to solve complex business issues in highly dynamic organizations. Recognized cultural leader who inspires excellence, continuous improvement, and a philosophy of service. Skilled in operations, strategic plan execution, contract negotiations, vendor management, human resources, technology and cybersecurity.


Avalon Advisors, LLC | Houston, Texas April 2001 – April 2020
Chief Operating Officer April 2001 – April 2020
As a founding member of a newly formed registered investment advisory (RIA) firm, oversaw the growth in assets under management (AUM) from $450 million with 10 employees to $9 billion in AUM and 72 employees, serving 550 client families. Responsibilities included: leadership, corporate and trading operations, human resources, technology, cybersecurity, and comprehensive involvement in strategy, finance and compliance. Represented the firm as a speaker and participant in conferences, industry panels and advisory boards.

Product and Strategy
• Member of the firm’s management and operating committees
• Led employee engagement meetings as part of recasting the vision and mission for the firm
• Coordinated an eight-person team to revamp the client onboarding experience
• Collaborated on a two-year effort to move the firm from a legacy product fee structure to a split fee structure with both advisory and product fees

• Managed and developed a 12-person team in areas of information technology, equity and fixed income trading, reporting, middle-office, operations and administration
• Engaged and negotiated ongoing service model for custodians, fund administrators, technology, portfolio accounting and trading systems, human resources, insurance, legal, real estate and construction
• Oversaw the integrations of all systems and workflows
• Attained annual expense savings of over $760,000 through effective negotiations with technology providers, custodians, E&O and healthcare insurance companies
• Coordinated the transfer of $1.4 billion in assets and 1,100 client accounts from Merrill Lynch to Fidelity
• Orchestrated the transition and onboarding of two RIAs acquisitions – $270 million in combined AUM and nine people
• Collaborated with custodial trading partners to establish consistent trading costs and margin rates for clients
• Supervised a six-person equity and fixed income trading team that annually executed over a combined $11 billion in notional trading volume representing over 80 million shares and over 10,000 bonds for 7,000 client accounts
• Launched and oversaw the firm’s Section 28(e) “soft dollar” program and best execution review process
• Managed the build-out of four office locations
• Provided guidance and operational expertise to several breakaway teams, including two with a combined $11 billion in AUM, assisting in the transition and establishment to independent RIAs

Human Resources
• Directed all aspects of human resources function including hiring, termination, insurance queries, dispute resolution and communication of merit increases and bonuses
• Oversaw relationship with the firm’s outside professional employer organization (PEO) that provided employees with a full suite of payroll, retirement and HR benefits

• Evaluated, engaged, and oversaw implementations of portfolio accounting and trading systems, client portal, CRM, billing and revenue management systems, cloud-based phone system, onsite and cloud-based network infrastructure, and cloud-based file system
• Designed and implemented a business continuity plan that allowed the firm to work seamlessly while remote, with 100% uptime
• Recognized as a respected, knowledgeable resource in cybersecurity practices in the RIA community
• Designed and built a resilient cybersecurity program, including phishing campaigns, cybersecurity awareness training, managed detection and response, endpoint threat detection and reporting, systematic patch management of 140 endpoints, two-factor authentication (2FA), network monitoring, mobile device management, penetration testing and vulnerability assessments
• Member of InfraGard Financial Services Cross Sector Council (a public/private partnership with the FBI) since 2015

Director of Finance   April 2001 – March 2013
• Improved time to collect fees by 80% through a streamlined quarterly revenue calculation and billing process
• Executed all finance and accounting functions for the firm including budgets, forecasts, accounts payable and receivable, quarterly close, annual audits and tax filings, and management, board and shareholder reporting
• Coordinated two separate private equity investments into the firm, including one by The Carlyle Group, working with bankers, lawyers and outside shareholders to lead the process from due diligence data collection through closing

Chief Compliance Officer and CCO Designee   October 2004 – February 2012
• Developed and implemented the firm’s compliance policies and procedures, code of ethics and personal trading policy
• Worked with outside counsel on the creation of new investment limited partnerships and other legal and compliance matters
• Maintained the ADV and filed annual updates
• Guided the firm through SEC examinations in December 2001 and March 2006

Active member of the RIA community with memberships on committees and boards. Featured as a contributor in industry-related articles, and serving as a panelist at industry conferences.
• Member of the Fidelity Investments Service Steering Committee – 2014 – 2020
• Founding member of the SS&C/Conifer Financial Services Advisory Board – 2015 – 2017
• – Article Contributor – “How Top RIA COOs Are Responding to COVID-19” – March 2020
• Investment News – Article Contributor – “What RIAs Should Learn from Uber and Lyft” – August 2019
• PFI Advisors – Podcast – “COO Roundtable” – January 2019
• PFI Advisors – Whitepaper – “Exploring the Benefits of Professional Management for RIAs: A Deeper Look into Chief Operating Officers” – October 2018
• SS&C/Advent Deliver Conference – Panelist – “Chief Operating Officer Speaks” – September 2019
• Market Counsel – Panelist – “The Business Case for Professional Management” – December 2018
• SS&C/Advent Deliver Conference – Panelist – “Why Advent Outsourcing Services?” – September 2018

PREVIOUS POSITIONS:, Executive Vice President of Technology / Dealer Solutions, LLC, Senior Manager, Application Development / Clark/Bardes, Inc., Executive Benefits Consultant / First Interstate Bank of Texas, Financial Analyst and Bank Officer / Andersen Consulting LLP, Experienced Staff Consultant

Texas A&M University | College Station, Texas
Bachelor of Arts, Economics/Finance, magna cum laude

• Served as Advisory Board Chairman of Yellowstone Academy in Houston from 2010 to 2020. Yellowstone serves underprivileged children in Houston’s Third Ward by providing a high-quality formal education in preparation for their future.
• Served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Spaulding for Children from 2003 to 2009. Spaulding serves as an adoption agency placing abused and neglected children in loving homes.