Rafael Velez earns the Accredited Investment Fiduciary designation (AIF®)

San Mateo, California – October 17, 2006 –- Rafael Velez has been awarded the Accredited Investment Fiduciary designation by The Center for Fiduciary Studies.  The Accredited Investment Fiduciary program is designed to provide investment stewards, investment advisors, and investment managers with the knowledge needed to enhance their understanding of and enable them to implement a prudent investment process.

“This demonstrates Raf’s exceptional commitment to the stewardship of client assets”, said Mark Pietrofesa, Director of Financial Planning.  “The firm and its clients will benefit immensely from our disciplined investment process.”

The AIF® professional designation was introduced by the Center for Fiduciary Studies in 2002.  The Center for Fiduciary Studies is the first full-time training and research facility for fiduciaries. The Center, associated with the Center for Executive Education, Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh, teaches fiduciary standards of care and investment best practices designed for trustees, advisors, and other investment professionals.  In 2006, AIF was named as one of the top ten most sought after designations by Financial Planning magazine.

“The program was ideally suited to my interests in fiduciary care and a prudent investment process”, said Rafael Velez, Managing Director at Summit Financial Advisors.  “I was surrounded by instructors and designees who shared the same passion for acting in the sole best interest of our clients.”

Cristina Petersen, Manager of Client Services at Summit Financial Advisors added, “The service team is looking forward to implementing ongoing improvements to our asset management program.  The additional focus on our standards of care and disclosure has been very well-received by our clients.”               

By becoming an AIF®, it is a signal to the international community and clients, beneficiaries, and retirement plan participants that Mr. Velez has invested the time and resources to gain a better understanding of how to act in the best interest of those he serves. This program is a detailed study of the components of a comprehensive investment process and the related fiduciary standards of care.  Designation holders will adhere to the fiduciary standards of excellence, define a prudent investment process, prudently manage investment decisions and assist organizations in strengthening the policies and procedures as they apply to investment fiduciaries.  

About Summit Financial Advisors:

Summit Financial Advisors, LLC is a SEC Registered Investment Adviser providing private account and wealth management services to clients in Northern California and across the country.  Founded in 1998, the firm combines a total wealth management approach to financial planning strategies with a disciplined asset management program.  Customized financial planning strategies and investment portfolios are constructed to each client’s unique situation.  With offices in San Mateo, California and Portland, Oregon, Summit Financial Advisors manages over $400 million in assets.