Senior Management Team

Alexander W. McAlister, President & Board Member

Alex was one of the original partners of Trinity Capital Advisors founded in 1989, which merged into Sterling Capital in 1991. He has investment experience since 1982. Prior to joining Sterling, he worked for NCNB as a credit analyst and later joined the Capital Markets Group where he was head of all national market sales. Alex is a graduate of Washington & Lee University where he received his BA in Economics.


Richard T. LaCoff, Senior Managing Director & Board Member

Rick joined Sterling Capital Management in 2007.  He has investment experience since 1991.  Rick is a Senior Portfolio Manager and co-head of Sterling's Fixed Income team. Prior to joining Sterling, he worked for RiverSource Investments as a Senior Portfolio Manager overseeing more than $12 billion in tax-exempt assets. He developed domestic as well as international fixed income experience during his nine-year tenure with Payden & Rygel Investment Counsel. During that time he held a number of positions that included Global Bond Strategist, Head of Global Non-Dollar Investment Grade Credit Strategy, and Head of Municipal Bond Strategy and Trading. He held the former two positions while living in London where he established Payden & Rygel's overseas trading operation. Additionally, he worked at The Vanguard Group as a member of their fixed income portfolio management team. Rick is a magna cum laude graduate of Villanova University where he received his BS in Business Administration and holds an MS in Finance from Drexel University.


Mark M. Montgomery, CFA, Senior Managing Director & Board Member

Mark joined Sterling Capital Management in 1997.  He has investment experience since 1990.  Mark is a Senior Portfolio Manager and co-head of Sterling's Fixed Income team.  Prior to joining Sterling, he held a number of positions at The Vanguard Group.  He began his fixed income career working on Vanguard's taxable index bond team and later joined the municipal group working with their long-term and high-yield portfolio management team.  Mark is a graduate of West Chester University where he received his BS in Marketing and a Minor in Public Administration. He received his MBA from Drexel University with a concentration in investment management. He is a CFA charterholder.


George F. Shipp, CFA, Senior Managing Director

George joined the CHOICE Asset Management team of Scott & Stringfellow in 2000 and Sterling Capital Management as part of a business realignment in January 2013.  He has investment experience since 1982.  George founded what is now the Sterling Capital Equity Opportunities group in December 2000, after serving for 18 years as a sell-side equity analyst with the broker-dealer BB&T Scott & Stringfellow.  He serves as the lead portfolio manager for the Equity Income and Special Opportunities strategies and has since their inception.  George is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he received his BA in Biology.  He received his MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia. He is a CFA charterholder.


Timothy P. Beyer, CFA, Managing Director

Tim joined Sterling Capital Management in 2004.  He has investment experience since 1989.  Tim is the Manager of Sterling's Mid Cap Value portfolios. Prior to joining Sterling, he served as Portfolio Manager of the AIM Midcap Basic Value Fund for AIM Investments. Prior to AIM, he worked at USAA managing the USAA Value Fund and USAA Balanced Fund. Before USAA he had a 12-year career at Banc of America Capital Management co-managing the Nations Value Fund and also served as Director of Asset Allocation. He served on the Council of Examiners for the CFA Institute for four years and a CFA grader for seven years. Tim is a graduate of East Carolina University where he received his BSBA in Finance. He is a CFA charterholder.


Kenneth R. Cotner, CFA, Managing Director & Chief Operations Officer

Ken joined Sterling Capital Management in 2001.  He has investment experience since 2001.  Ken has responsibility for human resources, operations, information technology, and financial reporting. He is Treasurer of the Sterling Capital Funds and has responsibility for the administration and operation of the Funds. Prior to joining Sterling, he worked for Bovis Lend Lease, a global construction services firm. Ken is a graduate of Indiana University where he received his BA in Economics with a minor in Mathematics. He received his MBA with distinction from Northwestern University. He is a CFA charterholder.


Farley C. Shiner, CFA, Managing Director

Farley joined the CHOICE Asset Management team of Scott & Stringfellow in 2001 and Sterling Capital Management as part of a business realignment in January 2013.  He has investment experience since 1996.  Farley has responsibility for operations, marketing and client service for the Equity Opportunities Group.  Prior to joining the team, his experience includes serving as a sell-side research analyst.  He began his career in public accounting with the firm McGladrey & Pullen. Farley is a graduate of the College of William and Mary where he received his BBA in Accounting.  He is a CFA charterholder.


James C. Willis, CFA, Managing Director

Jim joined BB&T Asset Management in 2003 and Sterling Capital Management through merger in October 2010. He has investment experience since 1996. As Director of Advisory Solutions, Jim is responsible for investment manager search and selection and the oversight of Sterling's comprehensive open architecture platform.  Jim is a graduate of Rice University where he received his BA in Economics and Political Science. He received his MBA from Georgetown University. He is a CFA charterholder.


Jeffrey J. Schappe, CFA, Managing Director & Chief Market Strategist

Jeff joined BB&T Asset Management in 2004 and Sterling Capital Management through merger in October 2010. He has research and investment experience since 1991. As Chief Market Strategist, Jeff is responsible for strategic and tactical asset allocation for Sterling's Advisory Solutions team.  Prior to joining BB&T, he served as CIO and portfolio manager at Citizens Advisers and as Director of Research and portfolio manager at Conseco Capital Management. Jeff is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he received his BA in Journalism and an MBA in Finance, Investments and Banking. He is a CFA charterholder.