Strategic Alliances

mikeMichael Binger, CFA®
Senior Portfolio Manager of Gradient Investments, LLC

Michael Binger, CFA®, serves as the senior portfolio manager for Gradient Investments, LLC. Binger brings over 24 years of institutional equity investment experience to Gradient Investments and its affiliated advisors and clients. He has extensive experience working directly with financial advisors designing and actively managing portfolios. Binger has successfully invested in numerous market and economic cycles giving him a level and depth of experience that is rare in this industry.

Binger started his investment career in Minneapolis, Minnesota with Lutheran Brotherhood in 1987 and gained experience managing assets in a variety of asset classes including convertible bonds, small cap equities, and large cap equities. When Lutheran Brotherhood and Aid Association for Lutherans merged in 2001 to become Thrivent Financial, Binger was selected to work as the senior portfolio manager on the Large Cap Growth team and Large Cap Alpha Team managing over $3 billion in assets. As the senior portfolio manager, he developed and oversaw the tactical investment strategies utilized within mutual funds, variable annuities, pension funds and insurance company products. These investment processes included proprietary portfolio construction strategies, security selection parameters and volatility controlled umbrellas.

Binger graduated from the University of Minnesota earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration-Finance. He graduated with honors and was the University of Minnesota’s “Wall Street Journal Award Winner.” Binger is a CFA® and a member of The Chartered Financial Analyst Institute and the Twin Cities Society of Security Analysts.

Binger’s media highlights include numerous appearances, providing market insight on CNBC, Bloomberg TV and Bloomberg Radio. He has also been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Smart Money, Reuters, Business Week and numerous other local, national, and global investment publications.

wayneWayne Schmidt, CFA®
Chief Investment Officer of Gradient Investments, LLC

In October 2008, Wayne Schmidt joined Gradient Investments, LLC and serves as Chief Investment Officer. With 26 years of investment experience, Wayne brings decades of institutional experience and in-depth knowledge of the private client market to Gradient Investments, and offers a global investment management perspective.

Wayne is an invaluable and direct resource for affiliated investment advisors and their clients. He provides vast wisdom, knowledge, experience and tools to help investment advisors grow their practice, while also growing clients’ assets.

In a nationwide search that included acquisition considerations, AXA Investment Managers, a subsidiary of the European insurance giant AXA Group, handpicked Wayne to build their U.S investment grade fixed income capabilities and to lead a seasoned portfolio team located in St. Paul, Minnesota.

During his tenure at AXA Investment Managers, Wayne served as senior portfolio manager for the U.S. Investment Grade Fixed Income Team. As the lead portfolio manager, he managed $9.5 billion of fixed income assets with a variety of mandates ranging from aggregate, corporate and government bond portfolios.

Before joining AXA Investment Managers, Wayne dedicated over 20 years to Minnesota Life and its’ $14 billion investment arm, Advantus Capital Management. As portfolio manager, he managed a variety of high-grade funds as part of Advantus’s $1.8 billion Total Return Product for institutional and retail clients. He also served as the lead portfolio manager of the Advantus Bond Fund and the co-portfolio manager of the Advantus Spectrum Fund.

Wayne earned his Master of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst® and a member of The Chartered Financial Analyst Institute and the Twin Cities Society of Security Analysts.

Over the years, Wayne has been quoted on the global economy in numerous nationally and internationally recognized investment publications such as: Bloomberg, Pension & Investments, Reuters, The Los Angeles Times, Financial Week (2008 Neal Award Winner), Asia Times, InvestorVillage, Safehaven, SFO, Credit Investment News and RGE Monitor (Nouriel Roubini’s Global EconoMonitorinvestment). He has also provided market insights on Bloomberg radio and television.

Wayne’s love of Minnesota is Gradient Investments’ great fortune, as he declined to relocate with AXA Investment Managers following their strategic decision to consolidate function into the high-yield operation in Greenwich, Connecticut.

BP-photo2Brian Peterson, CPA

Brian has 25+ years of public accounting experience in business, individual and estate taxation. At PWB, he is a leader in the areas of taxation and accounting services. Brian is an enthusiastic advocate for small businesses and helps them with income tax planning & compliance, multi-state taxation, outsourced accounting services, and forecasting & budgeting.

Brian works with clients in a variety of industries, including construction, software development, retail, manufacturing, nonprofit and health care services. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Accounting from the University of Saint Thomas, and his Master of Business Taxation Degree from the University of Minnesota.

PJAMESP. James Taurinskas

Jim Taurinskas has practiced law for 46 years in Minnesota and 33 years
in Wisconsin.

Presently, Taurinskas advises several privately-held companies on matters of
initial incorporation and corporate governance. In addition, he counsels clients
regarding real estate matters, condemnation proceedings, estate planning alternatives including trusts and wills, and related issues such as elder law, health care directives, powers of attorney, medical assistance, probate and trust administration.

He is a Certified Mediator/Arbitrator by the Minnesota State Bar Association.

brianprofilepicBrian J. Taurinskas

Brian Taurinskas has been admitted to practice law in the State of Minnesota
since 2004 and the State of Wisconsin since 2010. He attended Hamline
University and earned a degree in Biology in 2001. Brian attended the
University of St. Thomas School of Law as a founding member in 2001 and
received his Juris Doctor upon graduation in 2004.

He is a Certified Real Property Law Specialist, an achievement earned by
fewer than 2% of licensed Minnesota attorneys. This certification program is
administered by the MSBA and approved by the State Board of Legal Certification. He has been selected multiple times to the Super Lawyers’ Minnesota Rising Stars list – a selection of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

David J. Johnson, CFP®
David J. Johnson, CFP® has worked in the financial services industry since 2000.  David boasts extensive knowledge regarding investment strategies, retirement income planning and legacy planning. David is investment licensed, insurance licensed and holds the Certified Financial Planner™ designation. He obtained his business degree from Bethel University in Arden Hills, MN.