Thomas B. Conway, Founder
Tom is President and Founder of The Connemara Group, a fee-only financial planning and investment management firm based in Rockville, Maryland. He and his team serve clients throughout the Washington, DC Metropolitan Region as well as nationally.
For over a decade, Tom consistently has been named by peers as being among the top fee-only advisors in Washington, DC and the surrounding region in surveys conducted by Washingtonian magazine and others. He is a Washingtonian Hall of Fame financial advisor.
The firm’s blended service model remains relatively unique. Flat fee, fee-for-service planning is offered for do-it-yourself professionals and executives seeking one-time standalone professional fiduciary planning and investment guidance without product sales or commissions or ongoing fees. Detailed fee-only planning and investment management is offered based upon a highly competitive fee schedule for busy professionals, executives and pre-retirement and retirement clients seeking to delegate various implementation, monitoring, and administrative tasks.
Tom is uniquely positioned to provide comprehensive planning and investment advice to affluent, high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families. He is among a handful of practicing advisors nationally to have climbed the Seven Summits of Financial Planning:
- General Financial Planning—Certified Financial Planner (CFP®);
- Law or Accounting—Attorney (JD);
- Investment Management—Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®);
- High Net Worth Advisory—Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA®):
- Insurance—Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®);
- Estates & Trusts—Certified Trust & Financial Advisor (CTFA®); and
- Philanthropy—Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP®)
Additionally, Tom has earned Retirement Planning’s Triple Crown:
- Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP®);
- Chartered Retirement Counselor (CRC®); and
- Retirement Management Analyst (RMA®)
A product of a rigorous undergraduate liberal arts education followed by law school, Tom has pursued lifelong learning. He enjoys sharing what he learns with clients. He attends numerous professional conferences each year to maintain his many designations and credentials. Clients benefit from Tom’s decades of experience, broad and deep knowledge base and commitment to continuing professional education.
Tom has eschewed developing a niche practice. While many clients are approaching or are already in retirement, the firm also serves affluent young professionals as well as clients who are mid-career or in transition.
Prior to becoming a financial planner, Tom practiced law for more than a decade. He remains an active member of the Maryland and District of Columbia bars. In 1996, Tom transitioned from the practice of law to providing comprehensive planning and investment advice to private clients. He worked for several large financial institutions including Merrill Lynch & Co. and Bank of America before forming his own fee-only financial planning firm in 2009.
Tom is married to D. Elizabeth Walker, a founding partner of Walker & Murphy & Nelson, a civil litigation defense firm based in Rockville, Maryland. He and Elizabeth have two children, Kathryn and Matthew. Tom and Elizabeth enjoy traveling, hiking and reading.
Mr. Conway is an active member of the following professional organizations:
- American Bar Association
- International Bar Association
- Maryland State Bar Association
- District of Columbia Bar Association
- Montgomery County Maryland Bar Association
- National Association of Estate Planners and Councils
- Montgomery County Maryland Estate Planning Council
- District of Columbia Estate Planning Council
- Northern Virginia Estate Planning Council
- Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners
- National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)
- Financial Planning Association of the National Capital Area (FPANCA)
- Investment and Wealth Institute (IWI)
- Institute for the Fiduciary Standard
- American Bankers Association
David C. Quinn, Chief Financial Technology Officer and Director of Investing
David (Davey) Quinn, MBA CFP® is Connemara’s Chief Financial Technology Officer and Director of Investing. He works directly with the firm’s clients in detailed planning and investment consulting engagements. Davey is uniquely positioned to assist clients with portfolio rebalancing, asset allocation and asset location decisions, tax planning (including tax loss harvesting and gain deferral), and many other critical aspects of portfolio management.
Davey enjoys building relationships while working closely with clients to provide independent professional guidance in important household financial decisions throughout the life cycle.
Originally from Chicago, Davey now resides in Washington, DC. He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Entrepreneurship (2007) and holds a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with concentrations in Analytical Finance, Economics, Entrepreneurship, and Statistics (2012).
Davey is a lifelong learner. He is now examining trends in machine learning, neuroscience, and data science.
Davey began his professional career as a Risk Management Analyst at Bank of America. In 2012, he moved to Australia to manage investments for Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA). In 2017, he became Head of Wealth Management for United Income (acquired by Capital One in 2019).
In 2019, Davey started his own financial planning and investment advisory firm (Pine Harbor Wealth Management, LLC) before teaming up with The Connemara Group in late 2021.
Davey is married to Courtney Subramanian, a Senior White House Correspondent. He and Courtney have a playful and loving dog, August, who keeps them busy hiking trails in Rock Creek Park.
Kisha Ward, Senior Tax Planning Specialist
With more than 20 years of experience, Kisha N. Ward, CPA/PFS CFP®, Founder and Principal of K. Ward & Co. in the District of Columbia (www.kwardco.com), has served as a committed and trusted advisor to her clients by providing comprehensive tax compliance and tax planning services with a special interest in the tax-efficient transfer of wealth. Kisha enjoys assisting Connemara’s clients in achieving their most important financial goals through effective income, gift and estate tax planning incorporating pro-active annual tax projections.
With a holistic approach and utilizing coaching techniques, Kisha helps clients uncover their “why” to better understand and meet these goals. Her clients have included affluent families and individuals, business owners, executives, founders, investors, professional athletes, and other professionals on their path to creating, maintaining, and preserving generational wealth. Kisha’s experiences led her to founding K. Ward & Co., a boutique tax planning and compliance practice aimed at serving her clients in a holistic manner. She has partnered with Connemara to assist the firm’s clients with professional tax planning services.
Kisha works closely with Connemara’s clients and their tax and legal advisors to achieve optimal tax results. Upon request, and subject to availability, she can be engaged by separate agreement for annual tax return preparation services.
Kisha began her career in corporate financial reporting for publishing, advertising and real estate at The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc. She was the Director of Finance for a single-family office, responsible for all tax and financial planning matters for a multi-generational family. Kisha also has spent 15 years working in private client services, focusing on planning and compliance for ultra-high net worth clients in her role as Tax Senior Manager at Ernst & Young, LLP and BDO (through acquisition of Argy, Wiltz & Robinson, P.C.).
Kisha is a native Washingtonian, graduating from Frank W. Ballou senior high school where she was a student-athlete, senior-class Vice-President, voted most athletic and lettering in several sports. She went on to earn her BS from Bennett College, Executive Certificate in Financial Planning from Georgetown University, Accredited Estate Planning designation coursework from The American College and completed training hours at Goal Imagery® Institute, International School of Coaching Mastery™. Kisha is a Certified Public Accountant with the Personal Financial Specialist designation from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and Certified Holistic Life, Career & Executive Coach.
Kisha is a member of the Washington DC Estate Planning Council and was named a top Washington, DC area tax advisor in the January 2021 and 2022 editions of the Washingtonian magazine. Kisha also serves on the board and is Audit Committee Chair for Bright Beginnings, Inc, a nonprofit that takes a two-generation approach to promote the long-term development and success of children and families experiencing homelessness and housing instability in Washington, DC. She is also on the board of directors for the Frank. R. Williams Scholarship Fund which awards scholarships to Calvin Coolidge High Senior School students in Washington, DC.
Kisha is most proud of her role as mother to her wonderful, sweet, and energetic son, Timothy.
Joshua Barbin, Associate Advisor
Joshua Barbin, CFP® CPWA® CIMA® is an Associate Advisor with The Connemara Group. He is dedicated to developing sound, well-balanced household balance sheets structured to achieve each household’s unique goals.
Joshua provides value-added advice across both the investment and planning disciplines. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. In addition, Joshua holds both the Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA®) and Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®) professional designations. Joshua works closely with Mr. Conway and Mr. Quinn together with the firm’s investment analysts and support team to deliver outstanding client service and support.
Joshua is a graduate of The University of Pittsburgh, having earned a Bachelor of Arts in History with highest honors.
A Pennsylvania native, Joshua and his family currently reside in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Joshua assists The Connemara Group clients virtually and travels to Washington, DC periodically.
In his spare time, Joshua enjoys the beautiful scenery the Yellowstone region has to offer with his wife and two children. They are active members in their local church and are actively involved in their local community.
Zachary Taylor, Senior Investment Analyst
Zachary Taylor, CFA® is a Senior Investment Analyst with The Connemara Group.
Zachary earned a double major Bachelor of Science in Finance and Sport Management from Florida State University in 2012 and a Master’s in Finance from the University of Miami in 2017. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®).
Prior to joining The Connemara Group, Zachary gained important industry experience at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and as a Financial Specialist for the State of Florida. He then pursued a high school basketball coaching career while teaching mathematics at SLAM Miami High School (FL) and Todd County Central High School (KY) for several years.
Zachary now resides in his home state of Kentucky with his wife Nathalie. In his spare time, he enjoys basketball, golf, and spending time with family.
Nathan Portwood, Associate Investment Analyst
Nathan Portwood is an Associate Investment Analyst with The Connemara Group. Under the guidance of the Founder and Senior Investment Analysts, he assists with detailed investment analysis and account rebalancing recommendations. He is dedicated to developing sound, well-balanced portfolios structured to achieve each household’s unique goals.
Nathan earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from The University of Texas at Austin in 2016 and a Master’s in Business Administration from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in 2019. He is now pursuing the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) professional designation with a goal of becoming a CFA® charterholder after completing a multi-year experience requirement with The Connemara Group.
A Texas native, Nathan resides in Austin and assists The Connemara Group virtually. In his spare time, he likes to hike, bike and play piano.
Zhen (Dennis) Zhang, Senior Investment Consultant
Zhen (Dennis) Zhang, CFA® is a Senior Investment Consultant to The Connemara Group. Previously a Senior Investment Analyst with the firm, Dennis now assists more broadly with portfolio design and construction, investment analysis, risk modeling and re-balancing strategies. He also conducts fundamental and technical analysis of attractive businesses located in the United States and China.
Dennis has a special interest in emerging financial technologies (fintech) and artificial intelligence (AI). He is dedicated to improving the client investment experience by designing low-cost, tax efficient portfolios to address each household’s unique planning needs and objectives.
A Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®), Dennis travels regularly between the United States and China. He is an experienced professional with breadth and depth of knowledge in many areas of investment and wealth management including investment analysis, equity research and financial product development.
A native of Shandong, China, Dennis currently resides in Shenzhen after having worked for The Connemara Group for several years in the firm’s Rockville, Maryland offices. Dennis is fluent in both English and Mandarin. He holds a Bachelor of Science Magna Cum Laude in Business Administration (2015) from The Ohio State University. He also holds a Master of Finance (2017) from the Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business.
When not working or traveling, Dennis enjoys studying global business models and trends, examining emerging technologies in financial services and artificial intelligence (AI), and spending time with friends and family.
Amy Fike, Client Services Coordinator
Amy Fike has more than 10 years of executive, financial, and marketing experience as an Executive Director, Finance Manager, and Database Analyst. Her industry background includes experience with portfolio management and CRM software, product support, due diligence, and database implementation.
Amy has a business and marketing degree from University of Maryland Global College (UMGC) and is currently pursuing a psychology degree from Capella University. She resides in Oakland, Maryland.
Heather Keegan, Senior Executive Assistant
Heather Keegan is a Senior Executive Assistant with The Connemara Group.
Heather has a diverse background as a retired Registered Nurse. Prior to joining The Connemara Group, her final project involved starting the first School Based Health Center in the Manatee County (Florida) School District. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of La Verne, California.
Heather served in the Air National Guard and Reserves with the United States Air Force from 1982 to 2003, retiring as a Major. She has supported such military operations as Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Operation Enduring Freedom.
Heather is originally from Los Angeles, California. She now resides on Florida’s West Coast with her husband. When not working, she and her husband enjoy golf and travel.