Leadership Team

Brian E. Smith - President and Chief Executive Officer

In addition to being the President and Chief Executive Officer, Brian is one of the founders and majority shareholders of the firm. In May 1995, he and three colleagues launched The Avantus Group, and within 4 years their firm was named fastest growing privately-held company in Austin under $10M in revenue, according to the Austin Business Journal. The firm merged with another Austin firm about the time the technology bubble burst. Brian's leadership was revealed through the company's moves to solidify its technology platform, improve internal systems and reporting, establish a robust culture of compliance, and center decision making on the firm's core values. He is a graduate of Texas A&M, and is an active leader at St Thomas More Church. He has been a guest speaker for various organizations including the Business Success Council in Austin, Texas A&M University, and the University of Texas at Austin.  He is also a member of the Capital City A&M Club where he has served on its Board and in various leadership roles.  LinkedIn Profile

Brian holds FINRA Licenses 4, 7, 24, 31, 63, 65 and 79.

Torry Scott – Austin Branch Manager and President, RiverStone Insurance Agency

Torry was a founding member of the firm and sits on the board of directors. Torry played key roles in managing the 2000 merger with a competitor, and the subsequent transfer of client accounts to our current clearing firm, First Clearing Corporation. Torry graduated Magna Cum Laude in December 1991 from California State University, Sacramento with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication with an emphasis in Organizational Communication.

Torry holds the series 7, 53, 63, 65, 79, 24 and group I and IV licenses


Paul Gautier – Managing Director, Riverstone Investment Banking 

Since the early 80s Paul has been engaged full-time in deal-making. As a principal he has founded, grown, merged and sold companies; and as advisor, consulted hundreds of lower middle-market businesses. He manages the Investment Banking team whose services include matching business sellers with the right buyers, raising capital, and targeting opportunities for accredited and institutional investors. Paul is an officer in the Central Texas Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth, serves on the Due Diligence Committee for the Real Estate Investment Securities Association and is active with the National Due Diligence Alliance. He is a Lamar University graduate and is active in numerous charities, non-profit and civic organizations. LinkedIn Profile

Paul holds the FINRA Series 7, 24, 66 and 79 licenses.

Thomas Faught – Chief Compliance Officer and San Antonio Branch Manager

A Magna Cum Laude graduate of Texas A&M University, Thomas recognizes the importance of professional education and has accumulated a number of professional designations, to include Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC). Thomas has served on the Professional Qualifications Advisory Committee for the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) and on a North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) committee. As the Executive Director for a Fortune 500 financial services company, Thomas managed training and continuing education in the life insurance and annuity, investment management, financial planning and banking services divisions. He is active in his church, serving as a deacon and Bible study leader, along with a number of committees and community service projects. Thomas also serves on the boards of two non-profit organizations.

Ed Valle, CPA – Principal and Director

Ed is an accomplished business strategist and entrepreneur. In addition to his involvement in a complete range of financial planning and execution strategies, he plays an integral role in the overall development and execution of companies’ growth, financial management and tax planning strategies. After receiving a BS Degree in Accounting at the University of Alabama, Ed cut his teeth in corporate accounting with Shell Oil and later, KPMG/Peat Marwick (Houston). He founded his first company in Houston in 1984 and successfully built it to over $25 million in revenue before splitting into separate companies. Ed relocated to Austin and continued to grow his company until its 1997 sale to a Fortune 100 company. Subsequently, he championed the re-structuring of a privately-owned manufacturing and distribution company from a meager 0.5% pre-tax profitability on $70 million in revenue, to a robust 12% pre-tax on $100 million. He has been a strategist and financial advisor to business owners and high net worth investors through Wachovia Securities, Merrill Lynch and most recently as a partner in RiverStone Financial Group, where he currently serves on the board of directors. Ed holds a CPA license in Texas, and FINRA Series 7, 28, 31, 63, 65 and 79 licenses.