Chestnut Advisory Board

avi sharon chestnut advisory boardAvi Sharon

Avi Sharon is a Principal in the Private Wealth Management Group and is based in New York. Prior to joining Blackstone, Mr. Sharon was a Managing Director at AllianceBernstein, where he was head of product management for Asset Allocation and Head of Marketing for the firm’s Private Client business, Bernstein Global Wealth Management. He also served as interim head of Investor Relations for AllianceBernstein through April of 2011. His was involved with leading product development, management and distribution for all multi-asset class services across the institutional, retail and private client channels. He also developed and led a comprehensive marketing communications effort for the Private Client business. Prior to that, Mr. Sharon was head of marketing communications and strategic planning at HSBC Investments and before that was Vice President in the Quantitative Strategies Group at Credit Suisse Asset Management, working in alternative investment strategies. Mr. Sharonreceived a B.A. in English and Classics from Emory University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Boston University in Classics. He has earned the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designation.

Brian Rivel Chestnut Advisory Group

Brian Rivel

Brian joined Rivel Research Group in 1994 and became president in 2000. Over the past 15 years, he has guided the firm to become the largest global perception study provider. He plays a crucial role in helping clients gain insight on corporate governance matters, C-Suite strategy and planning, activist threats and overall investor communications. In addition to implementing Rivel’s research strategy and focus, Brian is a frequent presenter to board members, management teams and communications professionals on how research can add value to an organization by building competitive advantage. He works closely with Rivel’s strategy team to insure that the aforementioned three groups understand how they are perceived among their key constituencies and what changes can be implemented to improve valuation.

Brian has authored several articles in business publications highlighting the power of conducting strategic research among global financial community audiences. Brian is a member of the regional board of advisors for Jumpstart (, a national early childhood education program serving low income communities. He received a BS in Finance from Boston University.

mo2Maria Onorato

Prior to co-founding Chestnut Advisory Group, Maria spent 20 years as a senior attorney and business professional. She was senior counsel at GE Capital Treasury Operations, where she specialized in derivative transactions, and also served as strategic advisor for risk management, business, tax and cash management operations. Maria was a senior legal consultant to Safra National Bank of New York for derivative transactions. She spent eight years post-law school working in several preeminent NYC law firms specializing in complex litigation matters, risk management and loss avoidance.

Maria holds a JD from St John’s University Law School and a BS in Mathematics from Marymount College. She is a founding member, trustee and board member of Charna’s Kids Club/New York Presbyterian-Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.  She also serves as vice-chair of the finance council for Church of the Assumption.

Sam Levenson Chestnut Advisory Board

Sam Levenson

Sam Levenson is Chief Executive Officer of the Arbor Advisory Group, a strategic investor relations and corporate communications consultancy.  Mr. Levenson’s career spans over 25 years managing Investor Relations, Corporate Communications, Public Affairs and other functions for companies such as Sony, Cendant and Staples.  An expert in shareholder targeting and outreach, Mr. Levenson has extensive experience engaging with buy-side investors to influence purchase decisions.  Reflective of this experience, in 2015 Mr. Levenson was named as a “Fellow” to the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI). He previously served on NIRI’s Board of Directors, as Chair of its Senior Roundtable, as Chair of its External Affairs Committee as well as on its Subject Matter Expert Committee.  He is also the recipient of numerous awards from IR Magazine and Institutional Investor Magazine, a guest lecturer at universities and a frequent speaker at professional conferences.

Top Factors In Choosing an Asset Manager

  • Consistent, repeatable investment process
  • Strong understanding of firm’s risk management
  • Full regulatory compliance
  • Trust in investment team
  • Clear investment thesis
  • Business and financial stability
  • Governance and transparency
  • Test

  • Performance accounts for only about 15% of net asset flows.

          - Institutional Investor