Michell Kauffman

Mitchell Kauffman as Managing Director offers a broad, multifaceted approach to investment planning.

“That the meadow is greener for I had passed, and no one need know so long as I know.”  Though I am not sure from where this prose came, its message has long resonated as my personal statement of life purpose.  To see the world just a little better for the contributions I have made, and to do so without the motivation of fanfare, seems the ultimate of selfless giving to which I aspire.

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner, Mitchell is qualified to address clients’ needs, whether through developing a comprehensive investment plan or addressing specific issues within investing, retirement planning, estate planning and risk management/insurance.  His extensive educational and professional credentials are strong foundations to provide clients with sound advice.

Mitchell abides by 5 Core Beliefs that constitutes a strict Code of Ethics, and functions as a fiduciary with the duty to act in his clients’ best interests.

Educational & Professional Qualifications:

  • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) Board of Certified Financial Planners
  • Master’s in Business Administration Drucker Management Center, Claremont Graduate University
  • Bachelor’s in Business Economics and Political Science, The University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Life, Disability & Variable Agent, California Department of Insurance
  • Current and Former Adjunct Faculty: The University of California, Santa Barbara, Pasadena City College, Glendale Community College, Santa Barbara City College
  • Instructor, Credentialed California Community Colleges
  • Licensed Agent CA Insurance #0749394

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Kenneth A. Sanchez– Co-Managing Director

Managing Partner of KWM, Kenneth began his career in finance in 1994. Born and raised in Southern California, he earned a Masters in Global Business and Organizational Dynamics at Pepperdine University and completed extensive graduate studies in China as well as Eastern Europe.  Focused on innovation, Kenneth continuously studies emerging trends and technology with the goal of enhancing his clients’ performance and objectives. With the collaborative efforts of his Firm, Kenneth has successfully led clients through all economic cycles. Clients benefit from Kenneth’s comfort with in-depth planning and analytics.

He is a frequent instructor of finance at institutions throughout Southern California. Kenneth is a Private Pilot, regularly logging hours in flight with his family and friends.

CA Insurance Producer License Number 0B96563.

 Lee Wolfe– Managing Partner

As a Managing Partner of KWM, Lee focuses on investment management, estate investment planning and preservation.  He works closely with your tax and legal advisors to deliver a service-first holistic approach designed to save client’s time and to provide them with complete financial confidence.  An Economics graduate from San Diego State University (CSUSD), Lee began his financial services career in 1995.

A native to Southern California, Lee is a competitive basketball player which he enjoys sharing with his two sons.

CA Insurance Producer License Number 0B63173.

Alice Basmadjian– Pasadena Operations Manager

Alice joined KWM in 2019 to oversee operations and client services.

For 25 years, she was a lead operations executive with Bank of America, honing her extensive supervisory and operational skills.

Alice’s focus is ensuring the same exceptional, highly personalized and responsive service KWM clients have grown to expect. Alice enjoys spending time with her family, having proudly raised two sons, each leading successful careers in finance and chiropracty.

Leslie Mencos– Woodland Hills Operations Manager

Leslie Mencos is the client relations and operations manager in our Woodland Hills office. A graduate of California State University Northridge, Leslie holds a degree in Business Finance. For nearly 15 years, Leslie has overseen all compliance and operational aspects of the Woodland Hills branch. Client’s benefit from Leslie’s forward-thinking approach to financial administration and planning. Leslie has become a friend and valuable resource to our clients. Fully licensed, she holds Series 7 and 63 FINRA registrations, as well as the CA Life & Health Insurance license.

In her spare time, she enjoys staying active, and spending time with family, and always appreciates adventurous weekends away.

CA Insurance Producer License Number 0F43634.

Katrina Sable– Portfolio Analyst

Katrina joined KWM in early 2016 and supports research and analysis, operations and client service.  Dedicated to offering the highest standards of service, she works diligently to help our clients plan for their future, and ultimately enhance their lives today.

She earned a Master of Science in Economics from Baikal National University of Economics and Law in Chita, Russia, with advanced standing in Mathematics.

Katrina holds Series 7 and 66 registrations and a CA Insurance license (Number 0L94082).

Originally from Russia, Katrina moved to United States at the age of 21 to pursue a career in finance.  She spent several years in marketing prior to joining KWM. In her spare time, Katrina enjoys staying active, hiking and playing tennis with her husband, Wayne.

 Raffi Tutuyan– Registered Associate

Raffi joined KWM in early 2018 and supports research and analysis, operations and client service. He helps clients plan for their future during both the wealth accumulation and wealth distribution phases of life.

Prior to joining KWM, he held positions with Wagner Stott Bear Specialists on the New York Stock Exchange, Witenberg Investment Companies and most recently with AXA Advisors. During his 23 years of experience, Raffi has developed a passion for trading and retirement planning.

Raffi earned his Bachelors of Science degree from Long Island University/ CW Post in New York. He holds the Series 7, 63, 65 and 24 FINRA registrations and a CA Life & Health Insurance license.

Raffi moved to California from New York in December 2001. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids, helping coach his son’s baseball team and teaching his daughter about the stock market and investments.

CA Insurance Producer License Number 0H44110.

Sy Easling– Client Operations Associate

Sy Easling began his role as KWM’s Client Operations Associate following 8 years of operations management with Wells Fargo’s North Carolina Center. Sy’s banking and financial services helped clients enjoy excellent service and care with all of their financial management needs.

A North Carolina native, Sy moved to California in the fall of 2018. He enjoys the great weather, being outdoors and hiking the many parks in the area.

Kelly Smith Operations/Administrative Manager

Kelly spearheads our “Service First” commitment with dedicated, proactive attention to all aspects of client accounts, operations and compliance. She handles non-account related services for our valued clients, manages operations and oversees compliance. Prior to her move to Santa Barbara in 2007, Kelly worked as an Administrative Assistant at KWM. Since then, she has worked as a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern and later as Admissions Director for an independent school in Santa Barbara.

Kelly earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from University of California, Santa Barbara and her Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pacific Oaks College. She lives in Santa Barbara with her husband, Jeremy, and their two daughters.

Outside Professionals
We often work with our clients’ existing advisors to assure total integration and provide seamless management of their financial picture. We also maintain relationships with a wide variety of Certified Public Accountants, Attorneys and Pension Plan Administrators (TPAs) that can be utilized as needed.

Many people find that having a trusted independent advisor can provide financial confidence — by clarifying economic complexity, navigating through turbulent markets, and providing a buffer between them and changing times.

Discover how KWM's extraordinarily personalized approach to investment planning and management can help you on the road to a Life Well Lived.