Team

Centerstone Investors is led by industry veteran, Abhay Deshpande. We pride ourselves on our employee ownership culture which extends across the firm, creating alignment between incentives and investor results.

All Managing Partners have previously worked together for an average of 12 years.

  • Investment Team

  • Abhay Deshpande, CFA

    Chief Investment Officer
  • Rafael Fernandez

    Managing Director, Trading
  • Zachary Dimmerman, CFA

    Investment Analyst
  • James Hounsell, CFA

    Investment Analyst
  • Abhay Deshpande, CFA

    Chief Investment Officer

    Abhay Deshpande founded Centerstone Investors and serves as the Chief Investment Officer. He has more than 25 years of experience researching and investing in businesses globally.

    Prior to establishing Centerstone, Mr. Deshpande was a Portfolio Manager at First Eagle Investment Management, advisor to the Global and Overseas strategies that comprised the vast majority of the firm’s approximately $100 billion in assets under management. During his 15-year tenure, his responsibilities included hiring and training analysts along with leading the research team during times of market turbulence. He spearheaded the research efforts during both the 2001 technology and 2008 credit crises, and in both cases his direct efforts helped clients minimize losses, and ultimately thrive, during his career at First Eagle.

    Previously, Mr. Deshpande was a Research Analyst with Harris Associates, advisor to Oakmark International Fund and other International and Global products. He also was an Analyst for Morningstar responsible for following a variety of International mutual funds. He began his career at a boutique investment advisor in Louisville, KY.

    Mr. Deshpande holds a BS in Finance from the University of Louisville.  He is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts.

    Rafael Fernandez

    Managing Director, Trading

    Rafael Fernandez is the Managing Director of Trading at Centerstone Investors. He is responsible for executing equity and fixed income trades across the globe. Mr. Fernandez has over 20 years experience trading foreign equities, fixed income, derivatives and foreign currencies and has contacts in over 30 local markets.

    Prior to joining Centerstone Investors, Mr. Fernandez was a Senior International Trader at Federated Investors, a multi-billion dollar investment manager. Previously, he was the Head of Trading at Millgate Capital.

    Earlier in Mr. Fernandez’s career, he held several senior trading roles at Alexandra Investment Management, BNP Paribas, ING Barings and Lehman Brothers, all focused on international markets.

    Mr. Fernandez earned an MBA from Pace University and also holds a BA from Villanova University.

    Zachary Dimmerman, CFA

    Investment Analyst

    Zachary Dimmerman is an Investment Analyst at Centerstone Investors. He is responsible for researching companies globally with a focus on analyzing business model durability, management teams and balance sheets.

    Prior to joining Centerstone Investors, Mr. Dimmerman was an Equity Research Intern at Ariel Investments, a global value asset management firm, while earning his MBA at Cornell University.

    Previously, Mr. Dimmerman was a member of the equity research team at Manning & Napier Advisors for four years focusing on energy, transportation and industrial sectors on a global basis.

    Mr. Dimmerman earned an MBA from the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. He also holds an MS in Finance from the Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester and a BS in Finance and Accounting from Rutgers University where he graduated cum laude. He is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts.

    James Hounsell, CFA

    Investment Analyst

    James Hounsell is an Investment Analyst at Centerstone Investors. He is responsible for researching companies globally with a focus on analyzing business model durability, management teams and balance sheets.

    Prior to joining Centerstone Investors, Mr. Hounsell was a Research Analyst at Third Avenue Management, a global value asset management firm where he was part of the international value team.

    Previously, Mr. Hounsell worked as an Investment Banking Analyst at Centerview Partners, where he focused on mergers and acquisitions and worked on several notable transactions.

    Mr. Hounsell holds a BA in Economics from Wesleyan University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and played four years as a pitcher for the baseball team. He is a CFA Charterholder and also a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts.

  • Operations Team

  • Philip Santopadre

    Managing Partner, Operations & Compliance
  • Virginia Cruz

    Office Administrator
  • Philip Santopadre

    Managing Partner, Operations & Compliance

    Philip Santopadre is the Managing Partner of Operations and Compliance at Centerstone Investors. He is responsible for operations, compliance, financial and accounting functions. He brings nearly 20 years of experience in investment management.

    Prior to joining Centerstone Investors, Mr. Santopadre was Vice President of Fund Administration and the Treasurer of the First Eagle Funds and First Eagle Overseas Variable Funds.  During his 15-year tenure at First Eagle Investment Management, he served in various roles such as compliance, finance, operations and fund administration.  

    Earlier in Mr. Santopadre’s career, he worked at The Bank of New York as a Mutual Fund Accounting Manager servicing international equity and fixed income funds.

    Mr. Santopadre holds an MBA in Accounting from St. John’s University. He also holds a BA in Banking and Finance from Hofstra University.

    Virginia Cruz

    Office Administrator

    Virginia Cruz is the Office Administrator at Centerstone Investors. She is responsible for event planning, logistics, billing and additional administrative functions.

    Prior to joining Centerstone Investors, Ms. Cruz spent close to a decade at Solera Capital, a private equity firm, and served as the Chief of Staff. Earlier in her career, she worked in various support positions across different industries.

  • Business Development Team

  • Rob Cassata

    Managing Partner, Business Development Southeast & Midwest
  • Mike Furlong

    Managing Partner, Business Development West & Midwest
  • Ashwin Paranandi, CAIA

    Managing Partner, Business Development Northeast & Mid-Atlantic
  • Courtney Blum

    Managing Director, National Accounts
  • Orli Peltz

    Managing Director, Marketing
  • Rob Cassata

    Managing Partner, Business Development Southeast & Midwest

    Rob Cassata is a Founding and Managing Partner of Business Development at Centerstone Investors.   He is responsible for firm distribution strategy and developing client relationships with financial intermediaries in the Southeast and parts of the Midwest. He brings over 13 years of experience in sales and marketing to financial advisors, wirehouses, regional and independent broker-dealers, registered investment advisors and consultants.

    Prior to joining Centerstone Investors, Mr. Cassata spent a decade at First Eagle Investment Management as Vice President. He became the youngest ever Regional Director and a highly sought after consultant to the Southeast’s most influential Wealth Management teams representing nearly $5 billion.

    Earlier in Mr. Cassata’s career, he worked in various front office positions at both the Maxim Group and Neuberger Berman.

    Mr. Cassata holds a BS in Finance from the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. He is based in Palm Beach County, Florida.

    Contact Rob Cassata

    Mike Furlong

    Managing Partner, Business Development West & Midwest

    Mike Furlong is a Managing Partner of Business Development at Centerstone Investors. He is responsible for firm distribution strategy and developing client relationships with financial intermediaries in the West Coast and parts of the Midwest. He brings over 20 years of experience in sales and marketing to financial advisors, wirehouses, regional and independent broker-dealers, registered investment advisors and consultants.

    Prior to joining Centerstone Investors, Mr. Furlong spent 14 years at First Eagle Investment Management serving as Senior Vice President and West Coast Sales Director. His sales efforts were instrumental in raising assets in the flagship First Eagle Global Fund and Overseas Fund.

    Earlier in Mr. Furlong’s career, he held several sales roles at Chase Vista Funds (now JPMorgan Funds), Security Benefit and The Endeavor Group of Annuities (now Transamerica).

    Mr. Furlong holds a BA in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is based in the Southern California area Mission Viejo and is very active in his local community serving on several boards and holding chair positions.

    Contact Mike Furlong

    Ashwin Paranandi, CAIA

    Managing Partner, Business Development Northeast & Mid-Atlantic

    Ashwin Paranandi is a Founding and Managing Partner of Business Development at Centerstone Investors. He is responsible for firm distribution strategy and developing client relationships with financial intermediaries in the Northeast and parts of the Mid-Atlantic. He brings over 15 years of sales and management experience.

    Previously, Mr. Paranandi served as Vice President, Sales Desk Manager and Senior Internal Wholesaler at First Eagle Investment Management for 12 years. Under his leadership as First Eagle’s first Sales Desk Manager, the quality of communication and service provided to financial intermediaries improved dramatically as did the overall level of productivity.

    Prior to joining Centerstone Investors, Mr. Paranandi was a Financial Advisor at Wells Fargo Advisors LLC where he was responsible for developing wealth preservation and capital appreciation strategies for high net worth individuals, small businesses, and non-profit organizations. He gained first-hand experience in managing clients' expectations through market cycles.

    Mr. Paranandi earned an MBA in Accounting from the Fordham University Graduate School of Business and holds a BS in Finance from the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College. He is a holder of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA®) designation. He is based in New Jersey.

    Contact Ashwin Paranandi, CAIA

    Courtney Blum

    Managing Director, National Accounts

    Courtney Blum is the Managing Director of National Accounts at Centerstone Investors. She is responsible for developing and managing the firm's platform relationships. She brings over a decade of experience in distribution and strategy management to wirehouses, independent broker-dealers and registered investment advisors.

    Prior to joining Centerstone Investors, Ms. Blum served as an Assistant Vice President, Senior National Account Manager at First Eagle Investment Management.

    Earlier in her career, Ms. Blum spent seven years at Baron Funds in sales and marketing roles.

    Ms. Blum holds a BA in Advertising from Southern Methodist University. She is based in Texas.

    Contact Courtney Blum

    Orli Peltz

    Managing Director, Marketing

    Orli Peltz is the Managing Director of Marketing at Centerstone Investors. She is responsible for all aspects of marketing including communications, branding and public relations. Ms. Peltz has over a decade of experience in investment management.

    Prior to joining Centerstone Investors, Ms. Peltz was the Director of Marketing and Investor Relations at Stairway Capital, a private equity firm where she led new business development including sales, investor relations and marketing with an emphasis on the institutional, family office, consultant and registered investment advisor marketplaces.

    Earlier in her career, Ms. Peltz spent seven years at Third Avenue Management, a global value asset management firm, as an Associate Director of Institutional Sales and the Head of Client Service. During her tenure she focused on institutional sales, marketing and client service.

    Ms. Peltz holds a BS in Marketing with a concentration in Marketing Strategy from the Peter J. Tobin College of Business at St. John’s University.

    Contact Orli Peltz