Meet the Nucleus Team


It is our pleasure to introduce you to Nucleus Advisors. Nucleus is a firm where what really matters meets what really works.

We have a simple mission: to be with you and to be unignorable.

We measure everything. We rarely give ourselves more than a “meets expectations.” A habit that keeps us humble. And curious. It also builds competence and helps us acquire wisdom.

Others grade Nucleus among the best of the best and give us accolades.* We are pleased when we see that happen.

But we keep our focus on you—what truly matters to you and your family. Of course, we do not stop there because if we did we might be ignored when it counts most.

So, we keep leaning into our depth, curiosity, competency and wisdom to think about more. More for your future. More for your family.

The Nucleus Team

Jordan Waxman

Founder and Managing Partner

Jordan Waxman is the Managing Partner of Nucleus Advisors, a private wealth planning and management firm. Jordan, a life-long learner, just completed his second advanced degree — the LL.M. degree in Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law at the University of Miami—in support of his work as a thought leader of Nucleus’ Sports and Entertainment business. Jordan’s personal quest to prepare all Nucleotides for future leadership roles supports Nucleus’ simple business mission—to be with our clients as Nucleus continually reaches for preeminence in wealth advisory. Jordan has been ranked among the top 100 financial advisors for several years by Forbes Shook, Barron's, the Financial Times and other publications.*

Jordan is a collaborator and as such he has guided Nucleus’ inner culture and human-centric operating system toward embracing the feel and agility of an interactive, collaborative learning lab. Nucleus’ small groups are focused on deepening the firm’s collective understanding of artistry, creativity, design, client service, system performance, financial forecasting & family planning, small group learning, and community engagement.

Nucleus Advisors’ fertile learning environment is a place where “the spark, the pause, and the rare creative moment” are embraced. Nucleus accepts that real creativity often comes from a combination of unexpected connections, which is why Jordan leads others toward the roar of the unknowns. Nucleus’ collective curiosity has enabled the firm to connect deeply with creatives—no matter where they may be on their own quests to unleash creativity, exit a successful venture, start another business or define an emerging market.

From the beginning of Jordan’s career in wealth advisory he has been committed to mentoring and enabling next generation leaders, an orientation that serves him well as the President of Friends of McGill Inc., and as a member of the McGill Law Faculty Advisory Board, the McGill University Regional Advisory Board – US (East Coast) and the University’s Leaders Alliance.

Previously, Jordan was a Senior Vice President of Investments at Merrill Lynch and prior a Vice President at Goldman Sachs. He is also a former lecturer at McGill University’s law faculty.

Jordan holds a Bachelor of Arts and JD and B.C.L. degrees from McGill and received an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Jordan resides in South Florida with his wife Caren, a designer and life coach for many. There is nothing on earth they would rather do than share their love, time and energy with their three amazing, talented young adult children. Of course, they prefer to do that in Hawaii watching the Kona Orange sunsets and cooking dinner together—after one of Jordan’s long ocean swims.

*Barron’s Ranking: 2020 Top 50 Private Wealth Management Teams and 2021 Top 1200 Financial Advisors. Forbes Rankings: Jordan Waxman, Founder & Managing Partner, Nucleus Advisors, #59 in America’s Top Wealth Advisors 2020 and 2021 Best-In-State Wealth Advisors, #11 New York.

Richard Steinberg

Founder, Managing Director and Partner

Rich’s passion for preeminence and being with clients is embedded in the culture, connections and competences of Nucleus Advisors—something that happened by design. Twenty-six years ago, while sharing a desk on Wall Street with Jordan Waxman, a meaningful advisory partnership emerged from the tension of executing for clients by day and debating the mysteries of life by night.

Today, as one of Nucleus’ founders and the senior investment strategist of Nucleus, Richard enjoys strategizing with Alex Bass, Nucleus’ Chief Investment Officer, and overlaying macroeconomic and capital markets perspectives on the qualitative and quantitative work of our investment team. Rich’s direct responsibilities include managing high-grade, tax-exempt fixed income portfolios for domestic clients, as well as analyzing and recommending alternative investments.

Richard began his career in 1986 in the Equity Research Department of Goldman Sachs, covering healthcare companies and non-bank financial institutions. Prior to that, Richard graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a B.S. from Syracuse University with a concentration in finance and corporate law. He was named a Five Star Professional Wealth Manager as featured in New York Magazine for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.* Richard has also been named as part of the Financial Times Top 300 Teams in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Rich and his wife, Kathy, live in Tenafly, NJ and have two amazing sons—one a professional ballet dancer and the other a student at Montana State University. If you ever happened to run into Rich exploring an old Lighthouse in Maine or Massachusetts, you will see why he also holds a position on the Board of Directors for the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP).

* Wealth managers do not pay a fee to be considered or placed on the final list of Five Star Wealth Managers. The Five Star award is not indicative of the wealth manager’s future performance. Wealth managers may or may not use discretion in their practice and therefore may not manage their clients’ assets. The inclusion of a wealth manager on the Five Star Wealth Manager list should not be construed as an endorsement of the wealth manager by Five Star Professional. Working with a Five Star Wealth Manager or any wealth manager is no guarantee as to future investment success, nor is there any guarantee that the selected wealth managers will be awarded this accomplishment by Five Star Professional in the future. Five Star Professional is not an advisory firm, and the content of this material should not be considered financial advice. For more information on the Five Star award and the research/selection methodology, go to

Greg Thorson

Chief Executive Officer

Greg Thorson has been an advocate and client of Nucleus Advisors* since its inception. He joined Nucleus in 2020 and is based in Nucleus’ New York City office. Greg holds almost 45 years of experience as an owner/operator, strategy consultant, and enterprise transformation architect. He is the creator of withness™ and the co-founder of Withness Solutions, LLC.

Greg chairs Nucleus’ Strategic Direction Group and the Business Decision Group—essential leadership groups that believe in and champion Nucleus’ NexGen leaders. Greg is deeply versed in action science, adult learning, talent development, systems thinking and organizational culture. These orientations support Nucleus’ NexGen leaders as they inspire and launch small groups of purpose-driven, fast-moving, self-managing teams for process improvement, innovation, inclusion, community service and self-development.

Greg and his wife Isabel, a registered mental health practitioner, live in Parkland, Florida where they support Nucleus’ commitment to working with artists, athletes, and advocates to use technology to forge deeper and more sustainable connections with the communities and individuals they touch.

*Barron’s Ranking: 2020 Top 50 Private Wealth Management Teams and 2021 Top 1200 Financial Advisors. Forbes Rankings: Jordan Waxman, Founder & Managing Partner, Nucleus Advisors, #59 in America’s Top Wealth Advisors 2020 and 2020 Best-In-State Wealth Advisors, #10 New York.

Candice Kakar

Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director

Candice embodies the difference maker’s difference maker mindset as she oversees business operations and client service for Nucleus Advisors. Candice’s courage, curiosity and unvarnished drive to unflinchingly interrogate reality serves our clients well—and permeates her leadership as she plays a key role in Nucleus’ mission to serve difference makers.

Candice’s user-centric perspective and deep knowledge of the financial service industry compliments her skill in understanding what really works and what truly matters. As the leader of our client service team, she oversees the delivery of customized solutions tailored to our clients’ unique lifestyles. Candice’s dedication to providing high-touch, responsive communications to help our clients navigate and simplify the complexities of wealth is an inspiration to all our Nucleotides.

Besides being accountable for designing, building and executing Nucleus’ user-centric solutions, Candice is Nucleus’ lead in developing the NexGen leaders from our client service competency—work she embraces as a personal mission.

In March 2012, Candice led the transition to Hightower—which moved Nucleus Advisors’ business from Merrill Lynch. This was an initiative that Candice was suited for, having started her career with Nucleus Advisors in June 2008, as a Registered Client Associate at Merrill Lynch’s Private Banking & Investment Group. Prior to that, Candice completed two consecutive internships with Nucleus Advisors as a summer analyst at Merrill Lynch.

Candice graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a B.S. in Finance and holds Series 7 and 66 licenses. While at UMass-Amherst, Candice was a business consultant for three years and provided operational, financial and organizational consulting to a sustainable, vegetarian student-run café.

Candice and her husband Jared love spending time at their home in Jamestown, RI and are active members of Sail Newport and the Jamestown Yacht Club and earned their Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Day Skipper Certificate and International Certificate for Operators of Pleasure Craft (ICC). If Candice isn’t enjoying the open waters in Rhode Island, she may be surfing in Costa Rica or spending time with our Nucleotides in NYC.

Peter Byrne

Managing Director, Partner

Peter joined Nucleus Advisors in 2015 after 10 years with the Global Wealth Management division at Merrill Lynch. At Merrill, Peter served as both a foreign currency trading manager and a financial advisor. Previously, he worked with Lloyds Bank of London in Toronto and Chicago; CIBC World Markets in London; and Bank of Bermuda in Hamilton, Bermuda and Luxembourg. In addition to Peter’s employment in London, Peter also worked as a Director for Citigroup Capital Markets in New York.

Peter’s deeply personal work with our clients draws from over 30 years of experience in global financial markets. With a specialty in foreign currency exchange (FX) markets and wealth management with a concentration in complex portfolio planning, Peter is a key member of our Investment Committee and team mate of Alex Bass, our chief investment officer.

A native of Toronto, Peter graduated with an MBA from the University of Windsor, Ontario with a concentration in Finance and Economics. Prior to business school, Peter completed his B.A. in Economics at the University of Western Ontario. At UWO, Peter excelled in economics and truly enjoyed learning, but truth be told his passion was being a team member of the Western Mustangs Hockey Team. To this day, Pete remains passionate about hockey, supporting sports and working alongside athletes.

Pete’s athletic background, and his boys’ passion for hockey, blend well with Nucleus’ belief that no matter what the background, difference makers have accepted the challenge of being leaders and have refined their skill at working with other exceptional leaders to establish personal ownership of winning strategies. Building on that principle, Peter and Jordan have guided our teams toward an understanding of what it means for athletes and artists to accept accountability for their own developmental processes—fostering in Nucleus a cultural affinity toward working with leaders who exhibit deep levels of commitment to preparation, performance and community involvement.

Peter splits his time between New York and Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He and his wife, Kari, have two wonderful sons—both of which enjoy hockey and love athletics as much as Peter. According to the proud dad, these two athletes are already much better players than Pete ever was!

Eric Wilson

Managing Director, Partner

Eric joined Nucleus Advisors in 2019 as its Head of Risk. With over 15 years of insurance and financial planning experience, he helps our clients identify blind spots and implement strategies to mitigate them.

Prior to joining Nucleus, Eric made his mark in the music industry. Eric had spearheaded Syracuse University’s Music Industry Program, graduating in 1991, and then joined a New York agency where he worked representing numerous talented creatives and well-known hip-hop artists. To this day, Eric maintains close and caring relationships with many performing clients, their managers, and advisors.

A commitment to five key characteristics helps define Nucleus’ culture—depth, direction, connection, curiosity and withness™. All of us at Nucleus have come to value Eric’s natural affinity toward curiosity, as he works with his clients to help talented individuals uncover and execute pathways that support their risk management strategies.

Eric is happiest sharing stories and laughs, along with a fine cigar, with friends and family. If he is not on his phone, helping clients navigate toward a clear and safe outcome, he is powering out of Greenwich Harbor or Cocoa Beach in his motorboat, along with his wife Christina or his three amazing children.

Alexander Bass

Chief Investment Officer and Managing Director

Alex contributes to Nucleus in two essential competencies—as Chief Investment Officer and as the head of Nucleus’ Investment Committee. Additionally, along with Candice and Greg he is Co-leader of our Business Decision Group. His depth in investing know how and his passion for developing next generation leaders keeps Alex as energized about working with others to solve complex problems as he is about designing financial plans. 

Alex began his financial advisory career at Merrill Lynch, spending eight years with the Private Banking and Investment Group. He worked closely with the Senior Partners on the Private Banking team in determining portfolio structure and presenting investment recommendations to clients. In addition, he conducted investment and portfolio analysis and was responsible for investment due diligence on third-party money managers, with a particular focus on alternative investments.

Alex is a graduate of the University of Rochester with a BA in Economics. Alex holds several professional designations, including Chartered Financial Analyst®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® and Accredited Investment Fiduciary®.

Alex is also a member of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association® and was named as part of the Financial Times Top 300 Teams in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Of the five key characteristics that helps define Nucleus’ culture—depth, direction, connection, curiosity and withness™—Alex’s natural ability to spot connections is what the team always counts on. That, and his dry humor, are ever present and the more complex the challenge, the more we get to see those qualities shine in Alex.

Alex enjoys outdoor sports and is a member of the Hudson Valley Orienteering club. He lives with his wife, son and very new baby girl in Brooklyn, NY.

Matt Van de Merlen

Senior Financial Analyst

Matt Van de Merlen is the Senior Financial Analyst of Nucleus Advisors, where he leads client reporting and analysis, supports the Nucleus Investment Committee with manager due diligence & research as well as portfolio construction & management. He is a CFA Level III Candidate.

Prior to joining Nucleus, Matt worked for the Global Investment Solutions (GIS) group in Hightower’s Corporate division, where he managed several product lines including Alternative Investments.

Matt is a graduate of Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Matt holds Series 7/66 licenses.

Of the five key characteristics that help define Nucleus’ culture—depth, direction, connection, curiosity and withness™—Matt exudes curiosity. The team knows Matt as a NexGen leader gifted at asking deep penetrating questions about both the how and the why, and doing so in a value accretive manner. He is truly committed to making a difference, not a point, and his demeanor and passion fuels our team’s drive in countless ways.

In his free time, Matt enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, cooking, hiking, baseball, and football.

Matt currently resides in Manhattan with his wife, Elana.

Neil Kotecha

Senior Investment and Business Product Analyst

Neil Kotecha is a Senior Investment and Business Product Analyst at Nucleus Advisors, where he is responsible for establishing and managing the framework for investment research and due diligence, improving operational efficiencies and providing strategic decision support.

Neil joined the team in November 2020 after spending more than 12 years with BNY Mellon, spending the first 5 years within the Wealth Management Company and the subsequent 7 years with its Asset Management organization. In that time, he was intimately involved in many aspects of the investment management industry including investment analysis, portfolio construction, product development and client relationship management.

Neil received his Bachelor of Arts & Sciences from Boston University as well as his Masters in Business Administration from the Boston University Questrom School of Business. In addition to holding the FINRA Series 7, 24 & 63 licenses he is a member of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association®.

Of the five key characteristics that help define Nucleus’ culture—depth, direction, connection, curiosity and withness™—Neil most embraces connection. His passionate belief that together we are greater than the sum of our parts drives him to embrace our differences. In fact, his love of food, wine, stand up comedy and relationships are natural byproducts of his pursuit towards diversity.

Neil enjoys tennis and cycling when he is not trying to keep up with his little twins.

Jesse Mutschler

Senior Associate and Client Relationship Manager

Jesse’s passion is delivering preeminent client service while supporting all of Nucleus’ operational functions. He sees each client inquiry through from point-of-contact to resolution, and utilizes a creative approach to cash management solutions, account maintenance, and philanthropic donations.

After graduating from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Finance, Jesse spent four years at Merrill Lynch, serving first as a Senior Operations Representative, and later as a Registered Client Associate. Jesse is no stranger to high-pressure performances, which has served him well in earning certifications—and he has earned both his Series 7 and 66 licenses.

Of the five key characteristics that help define Nucleus’ culture—depth, direction, connection, curiosity and withness™—Jesse stands out for his passion for forming connections. Jesse, one of the champions of Nucleus’ NexGen leadership mentoring initiative, believes that a big part of life is about building genuine, multi-dimensional relationships, something that he gets to do every day at Nucleus.

The positive energy Jesse gets from working with others truly reinforces how much Jesse loves what he does—supporting his commitment to living life purposefully. We believe the best part of Jesse’s passion for connecting is that our Nucleotides experience Jesse’s positivity and purpose-filled career in countless thoughtful ways every week! In fact, Nucleus respects Jesse’s passion for connections so much that he is greatly appreciated for his informal work providing “reverse mentoring” to our two governing groups. One of the great pleasures the senior team has discovered when collaborating with Jesse is that he frequently sees key points that we may only see vaguely and inspires us to be more self-reflective.

To keep up in ‘The City that Never Sleeps’ Jesse maintains an active lifestyle through weightlifting, rollerblading & gymnastics. While he’s usually on-the-go, you might be able to catch him at a concert in Brooklyn, or geeking out on architecture/design at one of the city’s many museums.

Peter McCleary

Registered Client Associate

Peter joined Nucleus Advisors in September 2019 and supports our team through client service engagement, account operations and money movement. He also assists the team with client reporting and analysis and is a member of the Nucleus’ Investment Committee.

After graduating from Loyola University Maryland with a B.B.A. in Finance, Peter spent two years at Cantor Fitzgerald as an Operations Analyst, where he played a key role in implementing a streamlined operational workflow. Prior to that, he held various internships in the wealth management industry, where he developed a strong interest in financial planning. He has earned both his Series 7 and 66 licenses, and is currently studying for his CFP certification.

Peter is a network-oriented NexGen leader and it shows in how he has made career and educational choices and in the way he collaborates with others.

Being network-oriented is important to Nucleus because we know that addressing developments in the market, for example digital assets, often requires a shifting of strategy. This kind of tension may call for a dramatic shift in team processes and competencies. In such cases, Peter’s ability to break down functional and channel barriers stands out, which is why Peter serves on both our client team and the investment team.

In his role, Peter’s ability to work with others to organize around value-creating, client-centric processes shines greatly. We believe his skill is a by-product of Peter’s great sense of direction—one of the five key characteristics that helps define Nucleus' culture.

Peter is an avid traveler and adventurer, and enjoys exploring new places and hobbies in his free time. He is passionate about making a difference in the lives around him, and aspires to continue this passion through volunteer work and advising.

Kendall Hufford

Client Associate

At Nucleus, we believe that intention is not the right lever, direction is—and Kendall is a NexGen leader that reminds us of how true that is.

Kendall’s keen sense of direction blossomed in California, eventually leading her to the East Coast where she graduated from Boston University. She majored in economics and psychology, but did not miss the opportunity to sharpen her microeconomics, macroeconomics, empirical economics tool kit as she graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Completing a Boston University Study Abroad program and Internship in London prepared her for project coordinator and sales and marketing roles with Four Seasons.

However, it was her critical thinking skills, with strong analytical competence, that directed Kendall into financial services. Nucleus recognized Kendall as not only a gifted NexGen leader, but also an organized professional, able to manage multiple assignments simultaneously, with the added advantages of being an excellent communicator.

Kendall is on the client service team and is using her skill set to team with the Business Decision Group to co-design a new talent development curriculum for Nucleus, a program that is based on systems and design thinking and applied psychology.

Jordan Brown

Financial Analyst

Jordan Brown joined Nucleus Advisors in January 2021 as a Financial Analyst. He works to support the connection between our Client Portfolios and Client Service teams as they create solutions that optimize the experience for our clients and strategic partners. Jordan collaborates with both teams to help streamline each step of the investment process, including due diligence, asset servicing, and portfolio reporting.

Prior to Nucleus, Jordan graduated cum laude from Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Management, where he completed two corporate residencies at investment management firms. Upon graduation, Jordan began his career as an Alternative Investment Associate at Morgan Stanley, spending a year working with industry leading fund managers and financial advisors around the country. Jordan brings a combination of dynamic communication skills, operational diligence, and a deep curiosity for investments to his role. He is currently working to earn his Series 7 and 66 licenses and looks to earn his CFP certification.

Jordan hopes to eventually visit every continent on earth, but you can usually find him exploring New York City, spending time outdoors, or trying new restaurants. He is also committed to community service, specifically through youth mentorship and volunteering with persons with disabilities.

Gerlim de la Cruz Marte

Communications, Connection & CRM Specialist

Gerlim joined the team in March 2021 as the Communication, Connections & CRM Specialist, in her role she provides direct connections between the team members and clients from a logistical and branding perspective.

Gerlim is originally from the Dominican Republic, where she earned her bachelor’s in marketing from Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra. After completing her degree, her passion for traveling, connecting with others, and learning about the world led her to move to Madrid to pursue a Masters in Corporate Communications from EAE Business School, and a Masters in Image, Publicity and Corporate Identity from Universidad Camilo Jose Cela.

After completing graduate school Gerlim moved to New York, where she had the opportunity of working across different companies related to the financial industry. Her curiosity combined with her positive attitude and energetic personality drives her to always bring the best out of others and herself.

Of the five key characteristics that help define Nucleus’ culture—depth, direction, connection, curiosity and withness™— Gerlim stands out for curiosity, she believes that staying present, having a receptive mind, being open about new possibilities and remaining curious about yourself, the world and your surroundings helps us not only to be more connected to who we are, but to connect better with others.

Gerlim currently lives in Astoria. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the variety of restaurants around her neighborhood, spending time with family, exercising, learning new recipes, reading and painting.