Our Team

Clifford J. Brott
Founder and Chairman

Mr. CJ Brott, the firm's founder and Chairman, is active in the firm's day-to-day activities. His primary responsibilities include active management of client portfolios, market research, and presentation of Capital Ideas investment services to prospective clients.

CJ earned a B.A. in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1970. He joined Weber, Hall, Cobb & Caudle, a privately held New York Stock Exchange member firm, in that year, and became an officer and shareholder in 1975. In 1984, while still with Weber Hall, he founded Capital Ideas as a separate Registered Investment Advisory firm. In 2006 CJ became a Principal and Registered Representative of Alliance Financial Group and he currently maintains his dual registrations.

Mr. Brott has been active in the city of Dallas, serving on several boards in both a civic and business capacity. He is a recognized expert in his field. CJ is a sought after public speaker and has been interviewed by various national and local financial publications. Since 1980 he has been lecturing regularly on financial topics at Southern Methodist University.

Karen Burns
President and Chief Compliance Officer

Ms. Karen Burns joined Capital Ideas in 1995. As president of the company, she is responsible for investment operations, client support services and performance measurement. Ms. Burns is also involved with the active management of client portfolios.

Karen earned a B.S. in Economics and Finance from the University of Texas at Dallas in 1992. She joined Southwest Securities Credit Department in 1993 and was an Assistant Supervisor for 2 years before leaving to join the Capital Ideas team in June of 1995. In 2006 Karen became a Principal and Registered Representative of Alliance Financial Group and she currently maintains her dual registrations.

Ms. Burns has served on the Board of the Dallas County Medical Society, holding the offices of both Treasurer and Finance Chairman. She is active with her church and serves on numerous committees at St. John?s Episcopal School of Dallas

Charles M. Best
Executive Vice-President

Mr. Best's financial and executive experience spans more than forty-five years in the banking and investment industry. He has held executive positions with NYSE member firms, managed investment portfolios and has been active in all aspects of investment banking.

He has also been actively involved in numerous cultural and community activities and served for ten years as Chairman of the Friends of the Center of Human Nutrition at Southwestern Medical Center. Mr. Best was a member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the Senior Source (Senior Citizens of Dallas) and for the past twenty years has served on the Advisory Board of the School of Management at the University of Texas at Dallas. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College, Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University, and received his MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration. Mr. Best is Chairman of the Board of Alliance Financial Group, Inc.

Garrett H. Jamison
Director of Business Development

Prior to joining Capital Ideas Advisors, Mr. Jamison was Executive Vice President, CFO and Director of Hester Capital Management, LLC. Throughout his distinguished career, Mr. Jamison has achieved many notable milestones including his role as Chairman, President, and CEO of Bank One Trust Company, where he was responsible for the management of $60 Billion of private client assets.

Mr. Jamison has been associated with or served on the boards of numerous organizations in Austin and Dallas including American Bankers Association, American Heart Association, Austin Chamber of Commerce, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Austin, Boy Scouts Capitol Area Council and many others.

He is a graduate of the University of Texas in Austin (BBA, 1967) and received the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1974 and the Chartered Investment Counselor designation in 2003.

Steven H. Gendler

Steve started out in banking at InterFirst Bank Dallas, working in the Trust Department. After three years he left to join an investment management firm, and then was hired to run a Family Office for a wealthy Dallas family. Steve has spent 20+ years on the "buy" side of the Securities Business. In 2004 he was recruited by Chuck Best to put together the partnership, which acquired AFGI. Steve then went on to earn all of the securities licenses necessary to run a B/D. Steve holds the Series 7, 63, 65, and 24 Securities Licenses, and is a Principal of AFGI.