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Donald Bizub
CEO

Brad Kaiser
Senior Managing Director
Chief Compliance Officer

Wendy Rea
Senior Managing Director
Chief Operating Officer

Andrew Kuo
Managing Director 
Operations, Information
Technology, Transitions

Ellen Shearin
Managing Director
Broker Relations

Tom O'Connell
Associate Director
New Business Development

Dave Bibo
Director
Business Development


 

Bizub Don 10 2018 meet the team
Donald Bizub

CEO

 

 

Don’s 30-year career in the brokerage industry began in a rather unorthodox manner. He was new to Los Angeles and needed to find a means of support while pursuing his college degree.  On a whim, he invested his student loan money in a stock that, to his amazement, quadrupled in value in a very short time.  As a result, Don quickly changed his major from Computer Science to Finance, Real Estate and Law.

While attending California Polytechnic University Don worked for broker-dealer firms that taught him the financial industry from the ground up.  He began in the operations department and eventually became a regional manager for a nationwide firm.  This was the path that led him to Western Securities.

In 1996 Don joined Western International Securities as its only Regional Manager.  At that time, Western was a small firm with one office and less than 10 brokers.  Shortly thereafter, he became Western’s Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and, in 1998, Chief Executive Officer.  Don says that seeing Western grow to its current size of over 500 brokers in 150 locations has been an extraordinary experience. He looks forward to being a part of Western’s vision of continued growth, development and success in an industry that continues to reinvent itself.

In addition to Don’s responsibilities at Western, he currently serves on the SIFMA Independent Firms Committee.  He has also served as President of the Securities Industry Management Association of Southern California and has been on the Board of Directors for The National Association of Independent Broker-dealers.



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Brad Kaiser

Senior Managing Director
Chief Compliance Officer

 

Brad joined Western as the Chief Compliance Officer in February of 2009.  Over the last 21 years, Brad has worked in various capacities in the securities industry including: Investment Adviser, Managing Director and Supervisor with the NASD (FINRA), and as a Regulatory Consultant.  Prior to joining Western, Brad operated a brokerage consulting company assisting broker-dealers and Registered Investment Advisors with compliance and business matters pertaining to FINRA and SEC Rules and Regulations.  In addition, he maintained an investment advisory business managing client assets. Brad holds a degree in Finance and the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®) Designation, along with Series 4, 7, 24, 53, 66 and Life Agent licenses.  

Brad is married with two children and enjoys playing golf.



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Wendy Rea

Senior Managing Director
Chief Operating Officer

 

Wendy came to Western with a broad range of in-depth experience and knowledge gained from over 30 years in the securities business.  During her 25 plus year career at Wedbush Securities, she was the Senior Vice President responsible for the development and management of the clearing division.  In that role, she gained experience in business development, retail and institutional brokerage, high frequency trading, proprietary trading and operations.  Wendy then expanded her industry experience while working with the Institutional Sales division of William O'Neil + Co. and later by joining GBS Financial as COO.


 

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Andrew Kuo

Managing Director
Operations, Information Technology, Transitions
 

Andrew’s first exposure to the investment industry came when he was working as a bank teller in college.  A financial planner would come to the branch a couple of times a week and Andrew would always ask him about his opinions on the markets and what he thought was a good investment.  It was during this time that he realized that this was the industry he really wanted to be in.

Over the years, Andrew feels that he has been fortunate to work in several roles and learned from many great mentors about the different aspects of our business.  Having been both an advisor as well as having worked in the back office has provided him with invaluable lessons on how to serve our customers.  In 2007 Andrew joined Western and knew from the first day that he had found a place where he would be happy and would be able to grow and knew that his experience would help with the growth of a progressive firm like Western.

Andrew originally came on board as the Senior Compliance Officer and was then named the firm's Chief Compliance Officer.  At the beginning of 2009, he transitioned to Managing Director of Operations to oversee the teams including broker relations, insurance and information technology.  

Andrew’s Bachelor of Arts degree is in business with an emphasis on International Business.  He holds FINRA licenses 7, 24, 63 and 66.  Outside of work, Andrew enjoys spending time with his family and being out on the golf course. 

 

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Ellen Shearin

Managing Director
Broker Relations

 

Ellen launched into the Financial Services industry 24 years ago as a part-time receptionist at Baraban Securities, thinking it was only temporary. Within a few weeks, she was Assistant to the Branch Manager and the rest is history. Working over the years in the back office of various brokerage firms, Ellen found her strengths to be in Team Leadership, Process Management and Operational Efficiency. Ellen has held positions over the years as Operations Manager, Director of Operations, Vice President, President and COO, so has a clear understanding of what it takes to provide superior service to advisors and their customers. She holds FINRA licenses 7, 66, 24, 79 and 99.

ellen@wisdirect.com



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Tom O'Connell
Associate Director
New Business Development

 

Tom has over 25 years of experience in the securities industry, having worked as a registered representative, assistant trader, operations manager and marketing representative.  Prior to coming to Western, he spent 14 years at Froley Revy Investment Co., a Los Angeles-based institutional convertible money management company. Tom currently holds FINRA licenses 7, 63 and 66.

In Tom’s words “Moving to Western’s independent model has been a great learning experience. The ideal of complementing the success of independent advisors with non-correlated practices presents an exciting work environment. There is opportunity to create and collaborate every workday.  I value the culture at Western where there is no pretense among the home office team members, it’s just about the work.” 

Outside of work, Tom enjoys spending time with his family, painting, playing hockey, coaching youth soccer, skiing, and hiking the High Sierra.

 

Bibo Dave Meet the Team 10 2018  

Dave Bibo
Director
Business Development

 
 

Dave has been a top producer with WIS for the past 20 years, as well as one of the founders of the company. Dave is passionate about the success and continued growth of Western, and has a long term understanding of our culture. At Western, one of our principles is to support our representative and advisor base in every way we can. 

Dave’s main objective will be to assist our reps in taking their practice to the next level, utilizing his credo of "educate and motivate". 

Western International Securities, 70 S. Lake Ave., Suite 700,  Pasadena, CA 91101    Corporate: (888) 793.7717     Fax: (626) 793.7075