CHAD CLARY, CIMA®
Managing Director and Co-Founder
Chad Clary is a Managing Director and Co-Founder of Syntal Capital Partners. Chad leads Syntal’s investment committee, designing customized portfolios to help clients deploy, preserve, and grow their wealth effectively. He combines in-depth knowledge of the oil & gas industry with capital markets expertise, helping clients pursue their objectives in a thoughtful manner, mindful of risk, tax, and wealth-transfer considerations. Chad enjoys developing long-term relationships with clients and their family members, demonstrating his deep-seated interest in their lives and well-being.
Chad has served as a financial advisor to wealthy families and institutional investors since 1998. Prior to forming Syntal Capital Partners, he was a Private Wealth Advisor and Senior Vice President – Investments within the Private Banking & Investment Group (PBIG) at Merrill Lynch. Chad began his career with Prudential Securities. In 2004, he attended the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, where he obtained the Certified Investment Manager Analyst (CIMA®) designation from the Investment Manager Consultants Associate (IMCA).
A native Texan, Chad lives in Midland with his wife and their four children. In his free time, he enjoys different hobbies including hunting, fishing, martial arts, and working out.
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DANE E. CRUNK, CFP®, CIMA®
Managing Director and Co-Founder
Dane Crunk is a Managing Director and Co-Founder of Syntal Capital Partners. Dane works closely with energy entrepreneurs and their family members, helping them simplify the complexities they encounter in managing and stewarding their personal and professional wealth. A born problem-solver, Dane relishes the opportunity to help clients make sound decisions and enact prudent strategies to pursue long-term success as they define it. He serves as Syntal’s Managing Partner, striving to deliver the finest caliber of strategy and service to the team’s boutique clientele.
Dane has served as a financial advisor to wealthy families and institutional investors since 1999. Prior to forming Syntal Capital Partners, he served as a Private Wealth Advisor within the Private Banking & Investment Group (PBIG) at Merrill Lynch. He is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, where he obtained his B.B.A. in Finance. In 2007, he attended the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, where he obtained the Certified Investment Manager Analyst (CIMA®) designation from the Investment Manager Consultants Associate (IMCA). He is also a Certified Financial PlannerTM professional (CFP®).
Born and raised in West Texas, Dane lives in Midland with his wife Sally and their five children. He serves as a trustee of the Greenwood Independent School Board. He enjoys activities that support his love for his God, country, family and the great outdoors.
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BEN GORDON, CIMA®
Ben Gordon is an Advisor and Managing Director with Syntal. Ben leads the Dallas office, working closely with ultra-high-net-worth clients to anticipate and address a range of financial priorities. A veteran advisor to a highly accomplished clientele, Ben is closely attuned to the opportunities and challenges that significant wealth can entail. He offers extensive knowledge of alternative investments, including private equity, derivatives, and other boutique investment themes. Moreover, Ben applies a holistic perspective skilled in unifying the diverse aspects of each client’s circumstances to advance meaningful goals and long-term aspirations. Resourceful and responsive, he prides himself on connecting clients with the capabilities they need, wherever they are housed. His areas of expertise include banking and lending, trust and estate planning, concentrated and restricted stock strategies, business and succession planning, and philanthropy.
Ben has provided tailored wealth management advice and guidance since 1994. He spent more than 20 years at Merrill Lynch, ultimately serving as a Senior Vice President and Private Wealth Advisor in the Private Banking and Investment Group. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree Cum Laude from Texas Christian University and is a graduate of the Aresty Institute of Executive Management at the Wharton School of Business. He holds the Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) designation.
Ben lives in University Park, Texas, with his three children: Gracie, Finley, and Fisher. Active in the community, he has held volunteer leadership positions with St. John’s Lower School Investment Committee, Dallas Symphony Board, Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind, and the Scots 2026 Baseball Club. In his free time, he enjoys spending time outdoors; visiting Telluride, Colorado; and supporting his dearly beloved TCU Horned Frogs.
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ROBERT J. CARLYON
Chief Operating Officer & Chief Compliance Officer
Robert Carlyon is the COO and Chief Compliance Officer for Syntal Capital Partners. He works closely with the team’s advisors and associates to enact detailed processes to optimize the client experience at Syntal. As a veteran leader in wealth management, Robert applies in-depth knowledge and expertise to support the team’s fiduciary standard, partnering with advisors to respond effectively to client needs. He also oversees Syntal’s compliance, operations, and technology initiatives. A keen proponent of organizational development, Robert enjoys helping team members build upon their collective talents to generate enhanced outcomes for clients.
Robert has extensive experience in wealth management, business management, and leadership development. He began his career in 1990 as a Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch in Colorado Springs. He held advisory and management roles for more than two decades at Merrill Lynch, serving as an Administrative Manager and Resident Director for markets in the Western and Southern United States before joining Syntal in 2013. Robert attended Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, where he studied mine safety and industrial safety.
Robert and his wife Susan live on their ranch in Penrose, Colorado. They have two grown children. In his free time, Robert is actively involved in land & timber management, soil & water conservation, and wildlife habitat conservation.
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SR VP – Client Operations, Client Service Associate
Raquel Padilla oversees the client service experience at Syntal. She has particular depth in meeting the needs of high-net-worth families, applying her extensive experience in wealth management operations and account administration. Raquel began her career in 2002 at Merrill Lynch, where she was a Registered Client Associate. She served as the Midland Merrill Lynch Branch Chief Operations Control and Cashier for four years before joining Dane and Chad in 2006 within the Private Banking and Investment Group. Recognized as the “Best of Texas” in 2010 at Merrill Lynch for her client service, Raquel prides herself on building strong client relationships that are grounded in exceptional care and responsiveness.
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Senior Vice President – Client Operations
Laura Blair is a Senior Vice President of Syntal’s Client Operations, headquartered in Dallas. Laura focuses on account administration, investment operations, and client service, enhancing the client experience at Syntal with her diligence and precision. Deeply experienced, Laura is attuned to the priorities and preferences of ultra-high-net-worth clients. She has worked with multiple generations of successful families, streamlining varied aspects of their financial lives. Her duties include helping the team with the execution of equity positions, monitoring concentrated stock positions, administering trust-related services, and assisting with proprietary portfolio operations.
Prior to joining Syntal, Laura spent 18 years with Merrill Lynch. She began her financial services career in 1994 and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Colorado State University.
Laura has two daughters, Bailey and Brooke.
COLLIN HART, CAIA
Vice President – Investment Strategy & Research
Collin Hart is an Advisor and Vice President of Investment Strategy & Research with Syntal, headquartered in Dallas. As a member of the client advisory team, Collin provides in-depth investment strategy and wealth planning advice to individuals, families, and institutions. He is particularly skilled in alternative investment evaluation, analysis, and monitoring. His hands-on knowledge of the capital markets has provided him with extensive knowledge of diversification strategies, alternative investments, and tax-sensitive portfolio management.
Prior to joining Syntal, Collin spent more than eight years at Merrill Lynch, where he was a member of the Private Banking and Investment Group and served as a Private Wealth Manager. He began his financial services career at Neuberger Berman in 2008. A Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designee, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Texas Christian University, where he was a member of the varsity tennis team.
Collin lives with his wife Maggie and son Charlie in the Lakewood section of Dallas.
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XIAOJIAN ‘JJ’ DENG, CFA
Assistant Vice President – Analyst
JJ Deng applies his quantitative and analytical talents to help Syntal’s clients capitalize on investment opportunities and manage risk. A specialist in Machine Learning, JJ constructs quantitative investment models that are integral to the firm’s investment management, asset allocation, portfolio design, and risk management initiatives. Prior to joining Syntal, JJ was a Software Engineer with Udacity Blitz and an Assistant Portfolio Manager with Lighthorse Asset Management.
He earned his B.S. in Computational Engineering Science from the University of California, Berkeley; his M.S. in Applied Science from the University of California, Davis; and his M.S. in Financial Engineering from Claremont Graduate University. JJ is a CFA® Charterholder.
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Trade Support Analyst
Cade Jones contributes to Syntal’s trading and portfolio management efforts, tackling a range of duties to help clients achieve their investment objectives. Working in concert with Chad Clary, Cade assists in the smooth functioning of Syntal’s asset management initiatives. His areas of focus include trade executive on, portfolio design and maintenance, asset allocation, risk modeling, investment research, and customized reporting. Client focused, Cade enjoys providing exemplary and responsive service. He earned his B.B.A. in Finance from Texas Tech University.
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Family Office Analyst – Financial Reporting
Courtney Kelley works closely with Syntal’s high-net-worth families to streamline, order, and organize multiple aspects of their financial lives. Her areas of focus include record keeping, document management, and business and personal expense management. Courtney applies extensive knowledge of the oil and gas industry and is skilled in simplifying the complexities that significant wealth can entail. Prior to joining Syntal, Courtney served as a Tax Accountant for Johnson, Miller & Company. She earned her B.B.A. in Accounting, Magna Cum Laude, and her M.P.Ac., Master of Professional Accountancy, from Angelo State University.
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Chief of Staff – Dallas Market
Risa Kiser is Chief of Staff of Syntal’s Dallas office, where she is responsible for day-to-day operations of the team. Risa plans and directs all administrative, financial, and operational activities, and serves as a key point of client contact. Working closely with Syntal’s Directors, she applies extensive management experience that contributes to an exceptional client experience.
Prior to joining Syntal, Risa held multiple Category Management roles at 7-Eleven, Inc. where she directed multimillion dollar Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) business units. She began her career in the government sector working for elected officials at the state and federal levels, including Texas Governor George W. Bush, Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, and Texas Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs. Risa holds an M.B.A. in Marketing from Texas Tech University and a B.A. in International Relations and Economics from Texas Christian University.
Risa resides in Dallas with her children, Dylan and Maggie. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering in their schools, helping in the wider community, and teaching Lagree Fitness Pilates.
Brooke Shaffer performs a range of administrative and operational duties to help Syntal function smoothly and efficiently. In addition to supporting Syntal’s executive leadership team, Brooke assists with the firm’s compliance and human resources initiatives. Prior to joining Syntal, she served as an Executive Assistant in the oil and gas services industry. Her background also includes tenures with Tom Green County as a Legal and HR Assistant. Brooke attended Angelo State University.