Our Team

K. William Nolin, CFA – CIO, Portfolio Manager

Bill is the chief investment officer for Aligned Investors, a Principal boutique. He has served as lead portfolio manager of the MidCap strategy since 1999. Bill and his dedicated investment team subsequently introduced the Aligned Blue Chip strategy in 2012, utilizing the same philosophy and process while extending the team's reach to larger companies. Bill joined Principal in 1993 in corporate credit research and transitioned to equities research in 1996. He earned an MBA from the Yale School of Management, and a bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Iowa. Bill is a CFA charter holder and a member of the CFA Institute.

Thomas Rozycki, CFA – Director of Research, Portfolio Manager

Tom is the director of research for Aligned Investors, a Principal boutique. He is responsible for coordinating the research effort at Aligned Investors and also serves as portfolio manager for the team’s strategies. Tom joined the firm in 2001. He received a bachelor’s degree in finance from Drake University. Tom is a CFA charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute.

Hans Vander Plaats, CFA – Managing Director, Client Portfolio Manager

Hans is the managing director and client portfolio manager for Aligned Investors, a Principal boutique. He is responsible for overseeing client portfolio management and day-to-day business management for the team. In this role, Hans coordinates marketing, business development, and client relations activities. Hans joined the firm in 2012 after serving in multiple roles for AXA. He received a bachelor's degree in finance and economics from Northwestern College. Hans is a CFA charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute.

Valerie DeMay Jalon – Client Portfolio Manager

Valerie is a client portfolio manager for Aligned Investors, a Principal boutique. She is responsible for communicating with existing and prospective clients, providing insight into the team’s process, performance, and holdings. Valerie joined the firm in 2021 after spending 20 years in equity research sales at Guggenheim, Barclays and Bear Stearns. She received a bachelor’s degree in music from Northwestern University.

Kevin McLean, CFA – Research Analyst

Kevin is a research analyst for Aligned Investors, a Principal boutique. Kevin covers companies from multiple sectors, with responsibility for evaluating their competitive advantage, management and culture, valuation, and risks. He joined Principal in 2007. Previously, Kevin was an equity analyst for Roxbury Capital Management and a business analyst for Ameriprise Financial. He received a bachelor’s degree in finance and information systems from Drake University. Kevin is a CFA charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute.

Nicholas Pape, CFA – Research Analyst

Nic is a research analyst for Aligned Investors, a Principal boutique. Nic covers companies from multiple sectors, with responsibility for evaluating their competitive advantage, management and culture, valuation, and risks. He joined Principal in 2013. Previously, Nic was a senior investment analyst at Chicago Fundamental Investment Partners, an equity research associate at RBC Capital Markets, and a portfolio management associate at Principal. Nic received an MBA from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Creighton University. He is a CFA charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute.

Austin Boaz – Research Analyst

Austin is a research analyst for Aligned Investors, a Principal boutique. Austin covers companies from multiple sectors, with responsibility for evaluating their competitive advantage, management and culture, valuation, and risks. He joined Principal in 2015. Previously, Austin served as a research analyst at Stockbridge Investors and an investment banking analyst at Lazard Frères & Co. Austin received a bachelor's degree in accounting from Brigham Young University.

Aaron Purcell – Research Analyst

Aaron is a research analyst for Aligned Investors, a Principal boutique. Aaron covers companies from multiple sectors, with responsibility for evaluating their competitive advantage, management and culture, valuation, and risks. He joined Principal in 2016. Previously, Aaron was an associate at Riverside Partners, a private equity firm, and an investment banking analyst at Citigroup Global Markets. Aaron earned an MBA from Columbia Business School where he completed the value investing program and earned a bachelor's degree in finance from Brigham Young University.

Ben Lammers, CFA – Research Analyst

Ben is a research analyst for Aligned Investors, a Principal boutique. Ben covers companies from multiple sectors, with responsibility for evaluating their competitive advantage, management and culture, valuation, and risks. He joined Principal in 2017. Previously, Ben was a research analyst at Institutional Capital and an investment banking analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Ben attended Creighton University, where he earned a master's degree in security analysis and portfolio management as well as a bachelor's degree in finance. He is a CFA charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute.

Zach Kacher – Research Analyst

Zach is a research analyst for Aligned Investors, a Principal boutique. Zach covers companies from multiple sectors, with responsibility for evaluating their competitive advantage, management and culture, valuation, and risks. He joined Principal in 2019. Previously, Zach was an associate at Peterson Partners and an investment banking analyst at Citigroup Global Markets. Zach received master’s and bachelor's degrees in accounting from Brigham Young University.

Lisa Girion – Investigative Analyst

Lisa is an investigative analyst for Aligned Investors, a Principal boutique. Lisa’s projects support Aligned’s broader research effort, working in collaboration with the team’s research analysts to gain a deeper understanding of important company-related topics. She joined Principal in 2021. Previously, she was an award-winning investigative journalist at Reuters and the Los Angeles Times. Her work has been cited in books and legislation. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Jose Leon, III – Portfolio Management Associate

Jose is a portfolio management associate for Aligned Investors, a Principal boutique. He handles many of the daily operational tasks related to managing the portfolios and also supports the team’s client relations efforts. Jose joined the firm in 2018. He received a bachelor’s degree in finance and marketing from Northwestern College, where he was also the recipient of the business department’s Outstanding Graduating Senior Award.

Heather Farrand – Business Manager

Heather is a business manager for Aligned Investors, a Principal boutique. She joined Principal in 2005 as an administrative assistant. She received her associate’s degree from AIB College of Business where she was employed prior to joining Principal.