Our People

Personal. Attentive. Committed. Accountable.

Stefanie Adams

Director of Client Service & Marketing

Stefanie Adams, Director of Client Service & Marketing

Stefanie joined Peregrine in 2003 and is responsible for client service and marketing of Peregrine’s specialty equity strategies, with a primary focus on clients, consultants, and institutional investors in the Midwest and New England states. She is an owner of the company and a member of Peregrine’s Board of Directors. Prior to joining Peregrine, Stefanie served as Director of Marketing for NorthShore Advisors. Previously she was a Principal of RBC Dain Rauscher Wessels responsible for advising management teams as to appropriate trading, asset management and hedging strategies. Before joining RBC Dain Rauscher Wessels, Stefanie served as Vice President for Insight Investment Management
(now Voyager Asset Management), Dain Rauscher’s asset management arm. While at Insight, she was responsible for developing and managing several of the firm’s institutional client relationships in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest regions. Stefanie began her career in the investment industry at Piper Capital Management, where she served as Manager of consultant relations. Stefanie holds a BS degree from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.

Jason Ballsrud, CFA

Portfolio Manager

Jason Ballsrud, CFA, Portfolio Manager

Jason is a Portfolio Manager for the Small Cap Value style and shares the responsibility of stock research and selection, portfolio management, and client communication with his team. Jason joined Peregrine in 1997. He is an owner of the company and a member of Peregrine’s Board of Directors. He graduated from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, where he earned his BS and MBA in finance. While attending school, he worked with American Express Asset Management’s Equity Group. Jason is a member of the CFA Institute and a past board member of the CFA Society of Minnesota.

Tasso Coin, CFA

Portfolio Manager

Tasso Coin, CFA, Portfolio Manager

Tasso is a Portfolio Manager for the Small Cap Value style and shares the responsibility of stock research and selection, portfolio management, and client communication with his team. Tasso joined Peregrine in 1995. He is an owner of the company and a member of Peregrine’s Board of Directors. Before coming to Peregrine, Tasso was a Research Officer with Thomas White Asset Management, where he was responsible for investment research and management of the Small Cap Value portfolio. Prior to that, he worked at Morgan Stanley as a Research Assistant. Tasso holds a BBA from Loyola University. He is a member of the CFA Institute.

RuthAnn DeFrang

Client Service & Marketing

RuthAnn DeFrang, Client Service & Marketing

RuthAnn joined Peregrine in 2007 and is responsible for client service and marketing of Peregrine’s specialty equity strategies, with a primary focus on clients, consultants and institutional investors in the Western United States. Prior to joining Peregrine, RuthAnn spent ten years at Piper Jaffray in an institutional sales role. Previously she was a Regional and International Sales Manager for Varitronic Systems, a division of W.H. Brady where she was responsible for developing distribution networks both domestically and throughout Eastern Europe, Latin America and South Africa. RuthAnn has also been in a sales/client service role at GE Capital, W.W. Grainger and began her career with the ARA Refreshment Services, a division of ARAMARK. RuthAnn holds a BBA from the University of Minnesota, Duluth and an MBA from the University of Minnesota – Carlson School of Management.

Brian Donohue, CFA

Portfolio Manager

Brian Donohue, CFA, Portfolio Manager

Brian joined Peregrine in 2011 as a Principal and Portfolio Manager for the Growth Equity style. He is an officer of the company and a member of the firm’s Managing Principals Group. Prior to Peregrine, Brian was a Partner and portfolio manager with Lowry Hill Private Asset Management for 11 years. In 1996, Brian joined Investment Advisers, Inc. as an equity analyst. In 1994, after participating in the Applied Securities Analysis Program and graduating from The University of Wisconsin Graduate School of Business, Brian joined the brokerage firm Cleary, Bull, Reiland and McDevitt in Milwaukee. During graduate school Brian interned with Madison Investment Advisors and Peregrine Capital Management. Brian began his business career as a commercial credit analyst with Bank One in 1989. Brian earned is BBA and MS in finance at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Minnesota. He is a Trustee of the Jeremiah Program, a Minnesota-based non-profit dedicated to transforming the lives of single-mothers with young children living in poverty. He has served on the board of advisors for the Aristotle fund, the University of St. Thomas student-managed investment program.

Matthew Dreon

Director of Technology

Matthew Dreon, Director of Technology

Matthew is the Director of Information Technology. He leads a team of experienced IT professionals who are responsible for all aspects of Peregrine’s technology, cybersecurity and investment operations architecture. Matt joined Peregrine in 2021.

Prior to joining Peregrine, Matt had over twenty years of experience in technology, including 17 years in the investment management and banking industries. He has worked in a variety of roles including IT analyst, risk analyst, programmer, network administrator, and IT Director. Most recently, Matt was interim COO and CIO for Stoney Creek Hospitality. Previously, he spent eight years leading information security and technology at Riverbridge.

Matt has a M.S. in Management of Technology from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree from Bethel University. He also serves on the board of TERC, a Minneapolis-based non-profit using technology education to help Haitians create sustainable futures.

Jonathan Dungan

Compliance Analyst

Jonathan Dungan, Compliance Analyst

Andrew Flis, CFA

Associate Portfolio Manager

Andrew Flis, CFA, Associate Portfolio Manager

Andrew joined Peregrine in 2020 as an Equity Analyst for the Large Cap Growth style. Prior to joining Peregrine, Andrew served as a Research Associate at William Blair & Company where he was responsible for conducting research on industrial growth companies. He joined William Blair in 2014. Previously, he was a Research Associate for Robert W. Baird & Company for over five years covering wireless communications and technology companies.

Andrew earned his B.B.S. from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, and his M.B.A. from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. He is a member of the CFA Institute.

William Grierson, CFA

Portfolio Manager

William Grierson, CFA, Portfolio Manager

Bill is a Portfolio Manager for the Small Cap Growth style and shares the responsibility for fundamental research, stock selection and portfolio management with his team. He is an owner of the company and a member of Peregrine’s Board of Directors. Bill joined Peregrine’s Small Cap Growth team in 2000 as a Securities Analyst. Prior to Peregrine, he was a Senior Research Analyst & Portfolio Manager with Kopp Investment Advisors for more than six years. Previously, he worked as a Reporting Analyst for Northern Trust. He graduated from Lawrence University in 1992. Bill is a member of the CFA Society of Minnesota and the CFA Institute.

Dan Hagen, CFA

Portfolio Manager

Dan Hagen, CFA, Portfolio Manager

Dan is a Portfolio Manager for the Small Cap Growth style and shares the responsibility for fundamental research, stock selection and portfolio management with his team. He is an owner of the company and a member of Peregrine’s Board of Directors. Dan joined Peregrine’s Small Cap Growth team in 1996 as a Research Analyst. Prior to Peregrine, Dan was a Managing Director and Assistant Manager for the Equity Strategy Group at Piper Jaffray. He joined Piper Jaffray as a Statistical Analyst in 1983, upon graduating from the University of Minnesota. Dan is a member of the CFA Society of Minnesota and the CFA Institute and a past board member of the Piper Jaffray Foundation. He regularly shares his financial expertise with a number of nonprofit organizations.

Wanda Hartung

Portfolio Administrator

Wanda Hartung, Portfolio Administrator

Quanita Haynes

Administrative Assistant

Quanita Haynes, Administrative Assistant

Allison Lewis, CFA

Senior Equity Analyst

Allison Lewis, CFA, Senior Equity Analyst

Allison serves as a Senior Equity Analyst and offers 12 years of experience working in a variety of investment-related roles. Prior to joining Peregrine, she was a Research Analyst at Marsico Capital Management where she supported five long only growth strategies. Previously, she was a Senior Equity Analyst at Invesco, responsible for research on a variety of sectors including Health Care, Technology and Consumer. She started her career at J.P. Morgan Chase & Company where she worked within the Investment Solutions business of the Private Bank.

Allison has her BBA from the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business and her MBA from the University of Wisconsin’s Applied Securities Analysis Program. She is a member of the CFA Institute

Becky Loeffelholz

Director of Operations

Becky Loeffelholz, Director of Operations

Becky joined Peregrine in 2000 and serves as Director of Operations.  She and her team are responsible for all back-office functions, including reconciliation, trade settlement, performance calculation, batch processing, invoicing and data analysis.  She also provides oversight to the firm’s back-office systems, Eze OMS, CTM, Portia, Electra and Electra Billing.  She is a member of the Administrative Committee.  Becky has an A.A in Business from Minneapolis Business College.

Robert Mersky, CFA

Founder

Robert Mersky, CFA, Founder

Bob is a Founder for the Small Cap Growth style. He has been with the firm since its inception in 1984 and serves as a member of Peregrine’s Board of Directors.

Prior to Peregrine, Bob served in a variety of roles within Norwest Bank Minnesota, N.A. (now Wells Fargo Bank Minnesota, N.A.), including Head of Investments for the Trust Department and Director of Research. He was a founder of the Small Cap Growth style in 1974. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1968.

Bob is a member of the CFA Society of Minnesota and the CFA Institute.

Jeffrey Nordstrom

Senior Equity Trader

Jeffrey Nordstrom, Senior Equity Trader

Jeff rejoined Peregrine as a Senior Equity Trader in March of 2022. Prior to his return, Jeff served as a Managing Director for StoneX, an outsourced trading and  brokerage firm where he was responsible for business development and trade execution. Previously, he was Director of Trading & Operations at Riverbridge where he was responsible for managing a team and restructuring their trading and operations in order to accommodate anticipated growth. Before he joined Riverbridge, he was a Trader at Peregrine for over 11 years.

Jeff has been featured as a panelist for the Chicago Security Traders’ Association and Liquidnet Institutional Trading Summit, and is active in a number of industry groups, including Security Traders Association, Minnesota Security Dealers Association and National Organization of Investment Professionals. He earned his BBA from the University of St. Thomas.

Gary Nussbaum, CFA

Portfolio Manager

Gary Nussbaum, CFA, Portfolio Manager

Gary is responsible for stock research and selection, portfolio management, and client service and communication. He is an owner of the company and a member of Peregrine’s Board of Directors. Gary joined Peregrine’s Growth Equity style in 1990. Prior to Peregrine, Gary was an Investment Research Officer with Shawmut National Corporation. In 1987, while participating in the Applied Securities Analysis Program at the University of Wisconsin, Graduate School of Business, Gary was employed as a Credit Analyst for Wisconsin Business Development. Gary earned his BBA and MS in Finance at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Minnesota. He has served as an Adjunct Professor of Finance at the University of St. Thomas and is currently a board member of the Aristotle Fund, the University of St. Thomas student-managed investment program.

Doug Pugh, CFA

Portfolio Manager

Doug Pugh, CFA, Portfolio Manager

Doug is a Portfolio Manager for the Small Cap Value style and shares the responsibility of stock research and selection, portfolio management, and client communication with his team. Doug joined Peregrine in 1997. He is an owner of the company and a member of Peregrine’s Board of Directors. Doug was previously Portfolio Manager and Investment Officer at Advantus Capital Management, where he was the lead Portfolio Manager of the Small Cap Value style and a Portfolio Manager of the Large Cap Value style. His previous experience also includes employment with Kemper Corporation as a Corporate Financial Analyst reporting to the CFO. Doug received an MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and a BSBA from Drake University. He is a member of the CFA Institute.

Ryan Reynolds

Technology Support Analyst

Ryan Reynolds, Technology Support Analyst

Emily Salmon

Data and Reporting Analyst

Emily Salmon, Data and Reporting Analyst

Sami Shingu

Operations and Data Analyst

Sami Shingu, Operations and Data Analyst

Steve Simon

Chief Compliance Officer

Steve Simon, Chief Compliance Officer

Steve is the Chief Compliance Officer and is primarily responsible for day to day management of Peregrine’s Compliance Program. Steve joined Peregrine in October 2020.

Most recently, Steve served as Chief Compliance officer for Fiduciary Counselling, Inc. and Clearwater Management Company. Inc, a family office with approximately $6 billion in AUM. Previously, he was the Chief Compliance Officer with oversight responsibility for the Registered Separate Accounts, Investment Adviser and Investment Companies for Allianz Life Insurance Company. He started his career at Securian Financial (Advantus Capital Management) where he served in a variety of compliance roles including Compliance Counsel.

Steve received his B.S. degree from the University of South Dakota and his J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law. Steve is a leader in the compliance community and is a founder of the Twin Cites Compliance Round Table.

Ryan Smith, CFA

Portfolio Manager

Ryan Smith, CFA, Portfolio Manager

Ryan is a Principal and Portfolio Manager for the Small Cap Growth style and shares the responsibility for fundamental research, stock selection and portfolio management with his team. Ryan joined Peregrine’s Small Cap Growth team in 2018. He is an owner of the company.

Prior to joining Peregrine, Ryan was a portfolio manager and an analyst on the small, SMID and mid cap growth strategies at RBC Global Asset Management (U.S.) for more than 10 years. Previously, he was an Equity Research Associate at William Blair & Company. He began his career at Ernst & Young.

Ryan received his B.S. from Lehigh University and M.S. in Accountancy from the University of Notre Dame. He is a member of the CFA Society of Chicago, the CFA Institute and is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive).

Sam Smith, CFA

Portfolio Manager

Sam Smith, CFA, Portfolio Manager

Sam is a Principal and Portfolio Manager for the Small Cap Growth style and shares the responsibility for fundamental research, stock selection and portfolio management with his team. He is an owner of the company.

Sam joined Peregrine in 2006 as a Portfolio Assistant and progressed into a Senior Analyst position before being promoted to his current role. He is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas and is a member of the CFA Institute and a former board member of the CFA Society Minnesota, where he chaired the Advocacy and Public Awareness Committee.

Candy Spielmann

Portfolio Administrator

Candy Spielmann, Portfolio Administrator

Paul Von Kuster, CFA

Portfolio Manager

Paul Von Kuster, CFA, Portfolio Manager

Paul is a Portfolio Manager for the Small Cap Growth style and shares responsibility for fundamental research, stock selection and portfolio management with his team. He is an owner of the company and a member of Peregrine’s Board of Directors. Paul has been with the firm since its inception in 1984. Prior to Peregrine, Paul managed small cap funds for the Trust Department at Norwest Bank Minnesota, N.A. (now Wells Fargo Bank Minnesota, N.A.). He began his career with Norwest Bank Minnesota, N.A. in 1972 after graduating from Princeton. Paul is a member of the CFA Society of Minnesota and the CFA Institute.

Kari Wright

Associate Director, Finance & Administration

Kari Wright, Associate Director, Finance & Administration

Kari joined Peregrine in 1994 and serves as Associate Director, Finance & Administration.  Her responsibilities include human resources, benefits administration, vendor oversight, accounting, and facilities management.  Over the years, Kari has served in a variety of roles at Peregrine, including Manager of Administrative Services and Marketing Administrator.  She is a member of the Administrative Committee.

Paul Wurm

Manager of Equity Trading

Paul Wurm, Manager of Equity Trading

Paul has been an Equity Trader at Peregrine since 1988 and is responsible for the execution of trades in each of Peregrine’s equity styles. He initially joined Peregrine in 1985 as a member of our accounting and operations team. Before joining Peregrine, Paul was a Sales Representative for First Investors Corporation.

Paul holds a BA in Economics from the University of Minnesota. He is a member of the Security Traders Association, a board member of the Minnesota Security Dealers Association and is a past member of STA Trading Issues Committee.