Wealth and Investment Management
  • welcome to carswell

    A boutique wealth and investment management firm

    Carswell is a boutique wealth and investment management firm specializing in serving the unique needs of affluent individuals, families and select institutions. We help our clients achieve their objectives by providing highly personalized investment management, wealth planning and family office services. Carswell manages portfolios using a well-defined investment philosophy, complemented with attentive client service and communication.


    Carswell's investment philosophy and tailored client services distinctly separate us from conventional intermediaries where investors seek financial advice.

    • Efficient Portfolio Design Based on Well-defined and Articulated Philosophy
    • Client-Centric Firm with an Emphasis on Client Service and Communication


    As an independent, "fee-only", SEC Registered Investment Adviser (RIA), Carswell's unbiased advice and trustworthy professionals inspire client confidence.

    • Transparent and Competitive Advisory Fees Represent an Exceptional Value
    • Fiduciary Providing Unbiased Advice without Conflicts of Interest, Products or Affiliations


    Our seasoned, yet innovative investment professionals possess the optimal length and combination of experience to provide the highest caliber of services and advice.

    • Portfolios Managed by Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)®
    • Relationships led by an Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS)®

    Registration as a Registered Investment Advior (RIA) does not imply a certain level of skill or training. CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA Institute.

  • investment philosophy

    well-defined and prudently executed

    Carswell’s investment philosophy defines its approach to generating portfolio returns and serves as the basis for which all investment decisions and recommendations are made. Our philosophy was derived from years of professional investing experience and comprehensive research. The pillars of our investment philosophy are shared by many of the world’s wealthiest families and most successful institutions.

    Carswell’s investment philosophy is centered on the following principals:

    I.   Proper asset class allocation drives portfolio returns while limiting risk;

    II.  Active management provides little-to-no value to investments in highly efficient markets;

    III. Active management can potentially provide value in less efficient markets.

    These philosophical principals anchor Carswell's investment process and provide the foundation for the implementation of our portfolio strategies that ultimately satisfy client goals.

    drivers of portfolio returns

    highly efficient markets

    • Domestic and Foreign Stocks
    • Treasury and Corporate Bonds

    less efficient markets

    • Municipal Bonds
    • Real Estate
    • Commodities

  • Investment Process

    carswell implements its investment philosophy by executing a core and satellite strategy

    core   portfolio

    •    Traditional Asset Classes
    •    Asset Allocation Drives
    •    Systematically Rebalanced to
         Maintain Portfolio Integrity

    satellite   portfolio

    •    Alternative Asset Classes
    •    Skilled Active Management
    •    Low Correlation to Core

    optimized   portfolio

    •    Maximize Prospective Returns
    •    Lower Potential Risks
    •    Minimize Fees & Taxes

    core   and   satellite   strategy

    Core Portfolio

    Carswell’s Core Portfolio Strategy provides a broad foundation in our client portfolios. Our Core Strategy provides efficient exposure to traditional asset classes through the use of passive index funds. Traditional asset classes in the Core Portfolio are optimized to produce the greatest amount of expected return with the least amount of risk. The Core portions of portfolios are systematically rebalanced to maintain portfolio integrity.

    Satellite Portfolio

    Carswell’s Satellite Portfolio Strategy compliments the Core Portfolio Strategy in client portfolios to further reduce risk through increased diversification while providing the opportunity to increase potential portfolio returns. To execute its Satellite Strategy, Carswell utilizes alternative asset classes with low correlations to traditional asset classes and skilled active management. Carswell’s Satellite Portfolio is selectively implemented in varying degrees based on client-specific circumstances.

    Statements and representations referencing returns, risks, and correlations are generalizations and do not represent an actual portfolio. Portfolio characteristics and future performance cannot be guaranteed. Certain investments in the Satellite Portfolio may not be appropriate for all investors and may be limited to Accredited Investors.

  • services overview

    carswell provides portfolio management, investment advice and planning solutions to individuals, families, institutions, foundations, and endowments

    our   clients

    individual and family clients

    Carswell takes its endowment inspired portfolio model and modifies it to apply to the distinct circumstances of each individual and family client. We further our value by coupling portfolio management with advice, oversight, and planning of complex matters such as wealth preservation, philanthropy, tax, trusts and estates, and multigenerational wealth transfers, to everyday challenges such as retirement and college savings.

    INSTITUTIONs, foundations, and endowments

    Carswell’s team possesses the required skills needed to manage institutional portfolios that support the missions of society’s highly respected institutions, foundations and endowments. Carswell has experience with the perpetual time horizons, distribution requirements and diverse boards of such clients. In addition to portfolio management, Carswell assists institutional clients with the development of operating budgets, spending rules and customized Investment Policy Statements.


    •    Portfolio Management
    •    Investment Advice
    •    Financial Planning
    •    Family Office Services
    •    Foundations and Endowments
    •    Trust Management
    •    Investment Analysis
    •    Wealth Transfer Strategies
    •    Performance Reporting
    •    Client Communication
  • how to find us

    Carswell Investments, LLC
    6319 Fly Road, Suite 2B
    East Syracuse, NY 13057

    Telephone:  (315) 451-4115
    Facsimile:    (315) 451-4491

    Email:  info@carswellfinancial.com

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  • Privacy Policy

    committed to confidentiality and protection of client information

    Carswell Investments, LLC’s (“Carswell”) is committed to confidentiality and the protection of our clients’ privacy.

    In the normal course of business we may collect nonpublic personal information about clients in a variety of ways, including but not limited to, client conversations, account forms, tax and legal documents, interactions other professional advisers (i.e. tax accountants, lawyers, etc.) and transactions executed on behalf of clients.

    Client nonpublic personal information is only shared with our firm’s service providers such as client custodial firms solely to service client accounts. We do not disclose any nonpublic personal information about our clients or former clients to any other third party unless specifically directed to do so by clients.

    As a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), Carswell may be required to disclose nonpublic personal information to federal or state authorities pursuant to SEC and state regulations.

    Carswell safeguards nonpublic personal information by restricting access to only those who provide services to clients or those who need access to client information to service accounts. In addition, we will maintain physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards to meet all federal and state standards to protect the nonpublic personal information of our clients at all times.

    Please contact us if you would like to discuss Carswell’s Privacy Policy in further detail.

    Registration as a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) does not imply a certain level of skill or training.

  • Our Heritage

    Traditional Values Combined with Contemporary Investment Methodology

    As a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Registered Investment Adviser (RIA), Carswell delivers top-tier portfolio management and advisory services that are unique to investors. Carswell believes it has identified the most desirable qualities clients seek in investment professionals and financial intermediaries, and successfully combined them into a single firm in order to maximize the value it provides clients.

    Carswell was originally founded by the Drescher family and family investment advisor Steven Pickard to oversee and manage the family’s investment portfolio and the portfolios of a select group of individual and institutional clients. Since 1868, the Drescher Family has operated family-owned businesses for 5 generations. After the sale of their flagship business, the Drescher Corporation (a national foodservice redistribution company) in 2000, the Dreschers continued to own and operate a number of local and national businesses, through Drescher Management Group, Inc., including Carswell Investments’ parent company, Carswell Financial, LLC. Carswell’s founders bring together two unique perspectives influencing the firm, the Drescher family as a client and Steven Pickard as an investment professional. The two are set out to change the way investors receive portfolio management and advisory services.

    Based on the exceptional value Carswell provided its initial clients, Carswell has been expanding its services to a broader base of clients. To accomplish this, Carswell has assembled a small team of skilled investment professionals to provide the same high quality services delivered to existing clients. Carswell has been successfully expanding and is fully confident that its level of service and commitment has not faltered in this new undertaking.

    Carswell’s trustworthy, educated and experienced investment professionals execute an investment philosophy that was created through extensive study and analysis of how the world’s wealthiest families and most respected institutions invest their portfolios. Recognizing clients have varying levels of assets and diverse objectives, Carswell’s investment team works extensively to ensure its investment philosophy is implemented to best fit the portfolio needs of each client. At Carswell, we feel communication is the key to our successful advisor-client relationships.

    Back to Company   |   Meet our Professionals

    The Drescher Family is an indirect owner of Carswell Investments, LLC by way of Drescher Management Group, Inc. and does not provide investment advice. Registration as a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) does not imply a certain level of skill or training.

  • Steven R. Pickard

    Building successful client relationships with communication

    Steven R. Pickard is the President and founder of Carswell Investments. Steve has a decade of direct investment management experience where he was solely responsible for the implementation and supervision of client investment portfolios. Adopting a holistic approach to portfolio management, Steve believes that successful client-advisor relationships are centered on communication. Over the course of his career Steve has taken his extensive knowledge of investments and portfolio management and been able to effectively communicate these intricacies with clients at their level of comprehension while discussing how they relate to individual client circumstances.

    After graduating from Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse, New York, Steve earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Finance from Mercyhurst College’s Walker School of Business in Erie, Pennsylvania. The finance program Steve completed is registered with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, fulfilling all of the educational requirements for the Certified Financial Planners (CFP) examination. Mercyhurst's finance program is also distinguished from other finance programs because it is uniquely designed around the art and science of managing all facets of financial planning. Steve earned the Accredited Asset Management Specialist SM (AAMS®) professional designation from the College for Financial Planning.

    Prior to establishment of Carswell Investments Steve was registered with Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) as a General Securities Principal (Series 24), General Securities Representative (Series 7), combined Securities Agent and Investment Adviser Representative (Series 66) and was licensed with the New York State Insurance Department as an agent for life, accident, and health insurance. Today Steve is registered solely as an Investment Adviser Representative (Series 65) and is also the Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) of Carswell.

    Contact Steve directly at (315) 451-4115 or spickard@carswellfinancial.com.

    Next Professional

  • Conor B. Gillen, CFA, CFP®

    Managing portfolios to help clients achieve their goals

    Conor B. Gillen is a Portfolio Manager at Carswell Investments. Conor has over a decade of experience in the financial industry managing client assets and providing advice to both individuals and institutions. Conor's goal at Carswell is to construct and successfully manage client portfolios and financial plans. Conor makes sure that each and every Carswell client understands and is comfortable with both their portfolio and the supporting analysis.

    Conor received a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Economics and Management (AEM) from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York after graduating from Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse. Conor is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) charterholder and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) professional. Conor has been designated a Certified Insolvency and Restructuring Advisor (CIRA) by the Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors. Conor was formally registered with Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) as a General Securities Representative (Series 7) and a State Securities Agent (Series 63). As a CFA® charterholder, Conor is exempt from registering as an Investment Advisor Representative (Series 65) in states where Carswell maintains client relationships.

    Prior to joining Carswell, Conor specialized in aiding distressed firms and advising investors in the New York - based Financial Restructuring Group of boutique investment banking firm Houlihan Lokey. While at Houlihan, Conor worked on restructuring transactions on both the company and creditor side in a number of industries including retail, restaurants, automotive, maritime shipping and commercial printing. Before joining Houlihan Lokey, Conor completed the analyst training program at Kroll Zolfo Cooper, a financial advisory / investment banking firm specializing in distressed companies and investments. He worked in both Kroll Zolfo Cooper’s New York City and London offices.

    Contact Conor directly at (315) 295-1436 or cgillen@carswellfinancial.com.

    Next Professional

    CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA Institute.

  • core  portfolio  strategy

    efficient exposure to traditional asset classes using passive index funds

    Carswell uses low-cost index funds with a goal of minimizing trading costs, tax liabilities, and portfolio volatility while providing the opportunity to outperform the market to create and manage an investors Core Portfolio. Carswell’s Core Portfolio Strategy relies on “traditional” asset classes that (i) contribute basic, valuable and differentiable characteristics to investment portfolios; (ii) rely fundamentally on market-generated returns and not on active management; and (iii) trade in broad, deep, investable markets providing maximum transparency for investors.

    The Core Portfolio portion of Carswell’s investing philosophy is grounded in Modern Portfolio Theory, specifically in the underlying ideals of Modern Portfolio Theory that:

    • Markets are efficient and the challenging dynamics created by these efficient markets cause most active managers to underperform benchmarks and passively managed index funds, particularly after management fees are accounted for.
    • Asset worth should be measured in the context of the portfolio and much of portfolio return is attributable to asset class selection and proper asset class diversification.
    • A combination of assets can be used to create the “optimal” portfolio using mean-variance or other optimization processes, investors can create an efficient frontier along which portfolios have the lowest risk for a given level of return or vice versa.

    Although Modern Portfolio Theory remains the cornerstone of portfolio management today, Carswell acknowledges the advances made by academics and portfolio managers in the years since that have caused Modern Portfolio Theory to evolve. Along with these ideals, Carswell relies on robust quantitative data analysis in conjunction with direction provided by well respected managers of individual and institutional portfolios to guide its use of asset allocation, portfolio rebalancing and passive vs. active portfolio management.

    Back to Philosophy   |   Read about Our Satellite Strategy

  • satellite  portfolio  strategy

    increased diversification and the potential for excess returns using investments with low correlations to traditional asset classes and skilled active management

    Once "traditional" asset classes in which market forces drive returns have been employed as part of the Core Portfolio Strategy, Carswell and its clients can have a higher degree of confidence that these various asset classes will produce expected long-term results and at that point can pursue incremental returns from more “non-traditional” or alternative asset classes as part of the Satellite Portfolio Strategy. These alternative asset classes can include:

    • Commodities
    • Venture Capital
    • Hedge Funds
    • Private Equity

    In most circumstances, Carswell does not recommend that a client allocate a large percentage of portfolio funds to alternative asset classes. Carswell works with clients to ensure that they understand all risks involved with such investments and have the appropriate liquidity for the Strategy. If appropriate and agreed to by the client, Carswell recommends use of the Satellite Portfolio Strategy for a number of reasons including:

    • The high equity and fixed income returns of 1980s and 1990s appear to be coming to a close and it has proven that alternative investments can help improve investor returns on a risk adjusted basis.
    • Institutional investors such as endowments and foundations have successfully been turning to alternative investments to help ensure that they are able to meet their spending needs.
    • There may be little or no support for the premium investors pay for traditional assets perceived to be more liquid than alternative assets. During the recent financial crisis, investors were unable to find willing buyers for even the most liquid asset classes.

    The Carswell team has unprecedented experience among area investment advisors working directly with firms specializing in the management of alternative assets in implementing all types of investment strategies. This experience allows Carswell to perform the diligence needed to take the guess-work out of this type of investing. Carswell’s deep breadth of experience in this area allows us to monitor our client’s capital once it has been invested with the selected firm instead of blindly allowing these types of firms to invest for our clients.

    Back to Philosophy   |   Read about Our Core Strategy