Joe Zabratanski is our Chief Investment Officer, a member of the Investment Policy Committee, and also serves as a Senior Investment Advisor. Joe holds his C.P.A. certification, a Bachelor of Science degree with an accounting major, and an MBA with concentrations in Finance and E-commerce. He brings a total of 20 years of experience, with the most recent 10 years spent developing fixed income strategies for his clients.
Joe is a 1992 graduate of DePaul University and began his career with Amsted Industries in downtown Chicago. It is while he was working at Amsted that he earned his CPA certification as well as his MBA from the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul. His first position within Amsted was with the Internal Audit group, a position normally occupied by individuals for an average of 3 years. After a short 13 months, Joe found himself being promoted into a Cash Management position within Amsted’s Treasury group. During his time there, Joe helped the organization manage itself out from under a $150 million dollar indebted position, and by the time he left, he was helping manage an investment portfolio with over $225 million in investments.
After a brief stop as Head of Project Accounting within the Amsted group, he was quickly promoted once again to Controller of one of their largest, most profitable operating facilities in Columbus Ohio. Being the top finance person on location and employing over 270 people, it was there he learned the intricacies of how to run a business. Seeing Joe’s string of successes and recognizing his abilities, the Amsted group approached Joe about a position that was offered to very few “accounting types”. Always wanting to expand his horizons and with a future executive position in mind, in 1999, Joe accepted a position in their Sales and Marketing department and moved back to Chicago.
Back in Chicago, having accumulated a very diverse background of experience, he found himself presented with an incredible opportunity that would allow him to utilize everything he had learned to that point. In 2002, Joe accepted a sales position with Griffin, Kubik, Stephens & Thompson, an investment bank with a specialty in fixed income securities. It was through his travels at GKST that he was first introduced to our very own Greg Donaldson and Mike Hull. At GKST, Joe honed his investment skills, becoming a Vice President and establishing relationships with a long list of high-profile investment professionals, including Blackrock, Hartford Financial, UBS Global Asset Management, Van Kampen, Conseco, and Progressive Insurance, to name just a few.
In 2008, GKST was purchased by the Bank of Montreal, a $36 billion dollar Canadian bank with ample resources to support and expand Joe’s group. It is here where his expertise in municipal, corporate, government-sponsored agency, and mortgage-backed securities were fine-tuned as he helped place more than $2.6 billion in fixed income securities, had clients in 9 states and was in the process of being promoted to Director.
Joe lives in the Chicago area with his wife, Kristin, and their three children, Connor, Jake, and Ava.