The Bay Area's premier financial planning firm.


Meet the Team

Languages spoken by our financial advisors include: English, Spanish, Russian and Mandarin.

Offering exceptional service and personal attention is our passion! Communicating proactively is in our blood because we know that regular reviews of your goals and financial plan are key to your success. Sincere care and thoughtful planning surround each client experience, so we invite you to meet the team who will bring you this level of service:

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Kristina Kuprina

Portfolio Manager and Wealth Advisor

Kristina is the founder and CEO of Sequoia Wealth Advisors. The firm offers a broad range of services, from retirement planning to executive benefits strategies—all for a flat fee. This unique fee structure puts clients in control of the exact services they need. Sequoia Wealth Advisors also partners with qualified professionals in the areas of tax planning, eldercare and divorce. One of Kristina’s favorite quotes is from Steve Jobs, who said, “The only way to do really great work is to love what you do.”

With over 21 years of experience in financial planning and investment management, Kristina leads the firm as chief strategist using her extensive knowledge in trading and portfolio management. She is a designated Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®), and a member of the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA). Kristina holds Series 7, 66, 31 and 24 registrations with LPL Financial and a California insurance license (CA Insurance Lic. #0F11184).

A strong supporter of empowerment through financial education and literacy, Kristina is a regular speaker at community events. Her volunteer work includes organizations like Second Harvest Food Bank, SCORE and Silicon Valley Faces. She attended San Francisco State University and the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. Kristina’s hobbies include distance running, scuba diving, working in her garden and cultivating plants.

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John Mera

LPL Financial Advisor

John has been a part of Sequoia Wealth Advisors since 2006 after a long career at Morgan Stanley. He works with clients to protect, preserve and grow their assets in ways that are consistent with their goals and risk tolerance. John monitors global and economic events and adjusts client portfolios as necessary. As a retired U.S. Army captain, John’s leadership experience positions him well to guide clients on their financial journey.

John holds Series 7 and 66 registrations with LPL Financial and has been named to the LPL Financial Director’s Club for each of the past five years. He has a bachelor of arts in political science from Carnegie Mellon University and has completed post-graduate work at the University of Pittsburgh. John and his wife, June, live in Monterey and enjoy traveling, cooking and outdoor activities. One of John’s favorite quotes is from Warren Buffett: “Be bold when others are fearful. Be fearful when others are bold.”

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Lizandro Salazar

Vice President, Investment Services

Lizandro is an Economist and an Attorney from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, the Jesuit University.

He has over 35 years of experience in the Banking and Financial Services Industry. Starting his career at the Banco Central de Reserva del Peru (the equivalent of the Federal Bank in the US) and then went to work for the Banco Continental (BBVA from Spain) in Peru.

In 1989 Lizandro started working for Dean Witter, now Morgan Stanley, as an Account Executive, and thereafter went to work for Bank of America Investment Services as an AVP Investment Specialist. He joined Sequoia Wealth Advisors & Investment Management in 2006 and holds Series 7, 63, and 65 registrations with LPL Financial.

Utilizing his financial acumen, Lizandro assists Sequoia’s clients in meeting major financial goals, focusing in planning for retirement and managing investment portfolios for retirees.

His favorite quote is from Jack London: ”…I shall use my time”

He enjoys soccer, swimming and spiritual reading during his downtime.

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Eli Lopez

Vice President, Investment Management

Eli joined Sequoia Wealth Advisors in 2012 after a career with Wells Fargo Private Client Group and Salomon Smith Barney. His work included supporting many high-tech stock options plans for companies such as Oracle, Google and Cisco as a financial advisor. He currently focuses on comprehensive wealth management, which may include estate planning, insurance and tax planning. Eli works with Sequoia’s clients to guide them through the complexities of financial decision making.

Eli received his degree from San Jose State University. He holds Series 7, 63 and 65 registrations with LPL Financial and is also licensed for life and health insurance in California (CA Insurance Lic. #0C91488).

In his spare time, Eli enjoys riding motorcycles and coaching his two children in a variety of sports.

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Greg Nelson

Insurance Specialist

Greg joined the firm in 2013 and has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. He assists Sequoia Wealth Advisors clients with their insurance needs and reviews; and specializes in the areas of life insurance, annuities, long-term care and disability income. From 2008 to 2011, Greg was recognized each year by Jackson National Life Insurance as a top producer. He is currently pursuing his designation as a Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®) through the American College of Financial Services (CA Insurance Lic. #0625622).

Greg has a bachelor of arts in business economics (with an accounting emphasis) from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He and his wife, Susan, live in La Selva Beach and enjoy the beach life, watersports, biking and hiking.

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Katie Lindfelt


Katie began her career in financial services as an administrative assistant, and now holds the prestigious designation of CFP®. She joined Sequoia Wealth Advisors in 2008 and plays a pivotal role in gathering information from clients, analyzing the data and presenting recommendations based on the results. Katie then assists with the implementation of the recommendations and ongoing review of plan progress.

She lives in the South Bay with her husband and two children, is actively involved with her church, and enjoys knitting and quilting in her spare time.

Niki Canotas

In her 20 years in Financial Services, Niki Canotas has consulted regularly with executives from a variety of fields to help create synergistic strategies to world-impacting problems that hit home personally, such as Long Term Care, Investments, Retirement, College Funding, Life Insurance, Real Estate and Cash Management.

She regularly speaks in the Bay Area on finance and feels that education is important.  Developing your own personal financial philosophy and the matching Asset Allocation to back it up is imperative to her.

Asset Allocation from a personal perspective is a key factor for Niki in her approach to advising.  For example, excluding a specific type of corporation, or being heavy in a specific sector and needing more Cash Management because you personally have an expertise in it, should be accounted for in your assets and planning.  Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. 

Prior to her current position, she created and led Mobius, a marketing and coaching company where she did Television and Radio production and Business Development.  She has been in front of the camera as well, as an announcer for Greek TV on Channel 26 and as a hair model on Channel  7 shows.

With a Financial Services office in Silicon Valley for 20 years, Niki now lives in Campbell and enjoys being a local, going to the Farmer’s Market, raising bees, doing Hot Yoga and learning to ride her Harley. She has been a member of the Campbell Chamber of Commerce for almost 10 years and the Bay Area Greek American Business Association for almost 30 years.  Niki is also active in the non-profit and community fields.

Her education is wide and varied, having attended Arizona State University, San Francisco State University, Collins College and Otis Parsons School of Fine Arts just to describe a few.  She is continually taking classes across the country to understand The Markets and Society.

Franz Vaiarello

Vice President, Financial Planning and Investments

Franz joined Sequoia Wealth Advisors in September, 2015. Starting at Merrill Lynch in 2005, he has put together a decade of client centric financial planning, investments and consulting. Prior to his Merrill Lynch and LPL Financial tenure, Franz was a business owner and spent twenty-five years working in Silicon Valley with diverse technologies earning his way into the executive suite. Additionally, he has experience serving on school and non-profit boards. His business experience, coupled with being a trustee and father, provide clients with a grounded approach to their life’s financial needs, desires and goals.

Franz holds Series 7 and 66 registrations with LPL Financial as well as a California insurance license (CA Insurance Lic# 0F12363). He is registered in several states. Franz earned a BA from the University of the Pacific Stockton, CA and a Masters Science from St. Mary’s College Moraga, CA. He and his wife, Rahnea Sunseri M.D., have two adult children and live in Aptos, CA. Franz enjoys cycling, skiing, golf and traveling.



Matthew J. Prentice

LPL Private Wealth Advisor

Matt started his Financial Services career at Kidder Peabody in San Francisco on the Institutional Sales Desk. He left to become a research assistant at a boutique investment bank called Volpe & Covington where he was an Equity Research Assistant for the telecommunications sector. Matt went on to receive an MBA from Santa Clara University before spending over ten years in the technology industry in Strategic Business Development.

Ultimately, he came back to his first love, finance, in the role of financial advisor dedicated to helping individuals pursue their financial and life goals. Matt comes to us from Merrill Lynch where he spent the last seven years as a financial advisor. Matt believes the key to building a successful and productive client relationship is to treat every client as an individual and to listen intently to their unique goals and aspirations. Only from this foundation is it possible build a truly customized financial plan.

Matt is always looking to give back to his community. He is a former chairman of the Advisory Board at the de Saisset Art Museum on the Santa Clara University campus and currently volunteers for the Peninsula Open Space Trust. In his free time, Matt enjoys spending time with his wife and three children.

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Curran Hart

Vice President of Wealth Management

Curran is an independent LPL Financial Advisor with 10 years of experience, who finds satisfaction in educating clients and empowering them to pursue their goals. Curran firmly believes that becoming a partner in his client’s lives will help them find the strategies to achieve financial independence.

Many of the people Curran talks to have questions about Retirement prep and distribution planning, Risk Adjusted- Returns, College Funding, Family Life Insurance planning, Stock Plan divestments, Net-unrealized appreciation planning, Local/State pension analysis, Estate Planning, and most importantly tax-conscious investing!

Listening is key when getting to know a potential client. Once Curran has gathered a facts and goals about a client’s scenario, he will help to pinpoint the risk-adjusted return the client is seeking using the Riskalyze software. Should the client like to move forward, Curran will build out a financial game plan utilizing the e-Money software, analyze current and future cashflow needs, review existing portfolio’s, and recommend and steps needed to meet plan goals. Curran is Series 7, 65, 6, 63, and 26 licensed with LPL Financial, which in turn provides open product architecture and objective independent research. This is critical in allowing Curran to shop the open market, objectively , for the best tools to successfully pursue financial goals.

Curran loves to lead an active lifestyle- and can be found travelling, snowboarding, biking, hiking, or practicing yoga in his very fleeting spare time.

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Igor Kuprin

Chief Financial Officer

Igor has extensive experience in the financial services industry, including 16 years in corporate accounting and 20 years in foreign currency trading. He joined Sequoia Wealth Advisors in 2011 and oversees the business financials and operations. Igor holds Series 7 and 66 registrations with LPL Financial and is originally from Moscow.

One of Igor’s favorite quotes is: “Appreciate what you have and you always have enough.” He lives in Aptos, and his hobbies include diving, chess and flying.

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Aaron Grant

Director of Operations

Aaron joined Sequoia Wealth Advisors in January of 2017 as a Client Service Associate and worked into his current role as Director of Operations. Aaron’s professional background centers around federal and state regulatory compliance issues over the last five years. This detailed oriented background makes for a perfect start to his career here at Sequoia and for his responsibilities to manage our day to day operations. Aaron graduated in 2010 from St. Mary’s College with an honors degree in Business Administration with a concentration in finance and economics. He is currently pursuing his securities licensing and is looking forward to becoming a financial advisor in the near future. 

He lives in San Jose and loves spending time with his Red Labrador Retriever, working in his garage on various projects, cooking for his friends, and enjoying the great outdoors.

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Kaitlin King

Client Service Associate

Kaitlin joined Sequoia Wealth Advisors in February of 2017. She comes from an extensive customer service background, including management experience and work as an office assistant. Kaitlin assists the advisors with account opening, transfers and other responsibilities that contribute to improving the client experience. She is also in charge of planning Sequoia’s social events.

Kaitlin attended UCSC for Mathematics and she still lives in Santa Cruz, where she enjoys volunteering at the animal shelter, trips to the beach, reading, and cycling.


Gena Acevedo

Client Service Associate

Gena joined Sequoia Wealth Advisors in November 2017. She developed her client service skills while working in the food and beverage industry throughout high school and college. Gena graduated from California State University Stanislaus with her bachelor’s degree in General Business in the summer of 2017. Gena assists the advisors with account opening, transfers, and other responsibilities that contribute to improving the client experience.

Gena’s hobbies include listening to podcasts, reading, and playing video games.


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