Team


Kevin C. Smith, CFA – Partner & Chief Investment Officer


Kevin is the founder and CIO of Crescat Capital. He has been managing investment portfolios since 1992, a career spanning multiple business cycles. Kevin has been the lead portfolio manager of Crescat’s five investment strategies since their respective inceptions. He is the creator of Crescat’s firmwide global macro investment process and systematic equity valuation model. Prior to founding Crescat, he worked as a wealth advisor with Kidder Peabody. He earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with a specialization in finance and a concentration in statistics. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, he received a bachelor’s degree in economics and German studies from Stanford University. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

Letter from the Founder


Linda Carleu Smith, CPA – Partner & Chief Operating Officer


Linda is a co-founder of Crescat Capital. As chief operating officer, she manages Crescat’s business operations, including finance, regulatory compliance, and client service. In prior roles at Crescat and its predecessor companies, she has served as controller from 1997-2012 and the in dual position of chief financial officer & chief compliance officer from 2012-2015. She became COO in 2015. Linda came to Crescat with significant investment industry and public accounting experience from prior employment at Kidder Peabody and EKS&H (now Plante Moran) and corporate experience as controller of Pharmajet, a biotech company. Born and raised in New Jersey, Linda earned an MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business and a BA in English Language and Literature from Tufts University. She is a certified public accountant.


Otavio (“Tavi”) Costa – Partner & Portfolio Manager


Tavi is a partner and portfolio manager at Crescat Capital and has been with the firm since 2013. He built Crescat’s macro model that identifies the current stage of the US economic cycle through a combination of 16 factors. His research has been featured in financial publications such as Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, CCN, Financial Post, The Globe and Mail, Real Vision, Reuters. Tavi is a native of São Paulo, Brazil and is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and English. Before joining Crescat, he worked with the underwriting of financial products and in international business at Braservice, a large logistics company in Brazil. Tavi graduated cum laude from Lindenwood University in St. Louis with a B.A. degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in finance and a minor in Spanish. Tavi played NCAA Division 1 tennis for Liberty University.


Quinton Hennigh, PhD – Geologic & Technical Advisor

Quinton is a globally renowned exploration geologist with 30+ years of precious metals mining experience. Dr. Hennigh began his career in gold exploration after obtaining his PhD in Geology/Geochemistry from the Colorado School of Mines. Early in his career he worked for major gold mining companies including Homestake Mining (now Barrick Gold Corp.), Newcrest Mining, and Newmont Corp. Later, Dr. Hennigh founded Novo Resources Corp (TSXV: NVO), acting as its CEO and currently serving as Chairman. He has played a key role in major global discoveries such as Novo’s Pilbara assets in Western Australia, First Mining Gold’s Springpole gold deposit in Ontario, Kirkland Lake Gold’s Fostervillegold mine in Australia, the Rattlesnake Hills gold deposit in Wyoming, and Lion One’s Tuvatu gold project in Fiji, among many others.


Rich Johnson, CFA – Data Scientist

Richard is a Data Scientist at Crescat Capital where he is responsible for quantitative research and risk management. Prior to joining Crescat, Richard was a portfolio manager at institutional asset managers and hedge funds including Russell Investments, Menta Capital, Crescat Partners, McMorgan & Company, and Barclays Global Investors where he has managed both quantitative and fundamental investment strategies. Richard was part of the leadership team that launched the Crescat Global Macro Fund LP. Richard has an MBA in Finance and Marketing from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BBA in Finance (cum laude) from Pacific Lutheran University. Richard is a member of the Chicago Quantitative Alliance, CFA Institute and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.


Ryan Wardell – Trading & Operations Analyst

Ryan is responsible for the firm’s investment management operations and trading, including trade staging and execution. He is also responsible for maintaining the firm’s portfolio track records and internal systems, including the automation and production of its equity and macro models. Ryan came to Crescat with more than 10 years of industry experience as specialized services trader at Scottrade and Fidelity Investments. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Ryan is currently working towards the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and has passed the CFA Level 1 Exam.


Nicolas Ricciardi – Head of Business Development & IR

Nicolas Ricciardi has more than 15 years of global institutional sales experience. Prior to joining Crescat, Nicolas was Director of Business Development within the commodities division at S&P Global, where he covered clients in North and Latin America. He was previously a VP of Investor Relations with Petaquilla Minerals, a Canadian gold producer, where he liaised with the investment and banking communities in North America and Europe. He formerly helped to establish the institutional sales desk of MLV & Co., a Wall Street boutique investment bank, serving generalist and resource-oriented investors. Nicolas started his career in New York City with O&M Partners, a third-party marketing firm, connecting junior mining executives with asset managers. He holds a BA in Political Scienceand International Relations from Universidad Catolica Argentina and is fluent in five languages.


Marek Iwahashi – Client Service & Operations Associate

Marek is Crescat’s point person for existing and prospective investors. With a strong background in finance, he works with clients to understand their needs, explain the firm’s strategies, open new accounts, and respond to inquiries. Marek also handles various operations, including performing daily trade reconciliation and settlement. He helps produce firm marketing materials, updates consultant databases, and assists the investment team. Marek stood out versus his peers by making strong grades in an accelerated degree program at the University of Colorado, Denver where he earned a bachelor of science degree in accounting and finance and an MBA with a specialization in finance in 2019 while working full time. Prior to joining Crescat, he worked as a mutual fund analyst at Broadridge Financial Solutions and assistant branch manager at TCF National Bank.


Cassie Fischer – Marketing & Client Services Associate

With a background in both finance and marketing, Cassie strives to perfect the Crescat client journey. She is focused on transparent and engaging communication of Crescat’s investment themes and strategies to distinguish the Crescat brand. Cassie has a lead role in crafting the firm’s marketing materials from strategy presentations to client reports, email communications, website, and social media content. She also works as a client services specialist to help existing and prospective investors refine their investment goals and better understand Crescat’s offerings while answering any questions that may arise throughout the process. Additionally, Cassie is the point person for investment consultants and their databases. Cassie graduated cum laude from Virginia Polytechnic State University with her B.S in Finance. Prior to joining Crescat, she worked as a marketing strategist for DISH Network in Englewood, CO.


Max Fischer – Assistant to Chief Investment Officer

Max joined Crescat in 2020 after earning his undergrad in finance from Colorado State University. As a student, he served as Treasurer of CSU’s finance club and as an equity analyst for the school’s student managed mutual fund. He traded his own accounts through school and gained real world experience trading equities, options, futures, and forex before joining the team. Max currently assists the Chief Investment Officer with day-to-day tasks including handling incoming inquiries and supporting research and trading. Max is a CFA Level I Exam Candidate.