Our Team


James W. O'Connor, President

Jim has been the owner and President of BestVest since 1999. His experience in the securities industry dates back to 1981 and includes over 30 years in broker-dealer management, institutional and retail financial advisory services, credit union member investment services, portfolio management, principal trading and regulatory examinations. He holds numerous principal and registered representative licenses, insurance licenses and is a Certified Public Accountant in PA. Jim is a past president (1999) and current member of the Philadelphia Securities Association. He also serves as a Board Member of a credit union and coach of a local university ice hockey team. Jim is a graduate of St. Joseph’s University.


W. Gresham Cooney, Chief Compliance Officer

Gresham has been with the firm since 2001 as Chief Compliance Officer. He is responsible for all facets of compliance and the day to day operations of the firm. Gresham has over 25 years of Industry Experience including managing Floor Equity and Option operations on the PHLX for Janney Montgomery Scott. Prior to that, Gresh traded Fixed Income Securities and Over the Counter Equities on a principal basis. He also managed compliance, trading, fixed income, technology, and other aspects of brokerage operations for another regional brokerage firm for eight years. Gresham has been very active in the securities industry working with the Philadelphia Securities Association, the Fixed Income Club of Philadelphia, and with the Investment Traders Association of Philadelphia. Gresham holds numerous principal, registered representative and insurance licenses. He is a graduate of the University of Richmond.


Denise Devlin, Head Trader

Denise is our agency and riskless principal trader who joined BestVest in 2001. She handles the firm’s equity, fixed income and option trading. Prior to BestVest, Denise had worked as a trader for numerous Philadelphia based investment firms since 1985. She is a past president of the Investment Traders Association of Philadelphia 2003-2004 and has been an ITAP member since 1986.


John Dunfee, Institutional Sales Trader

John is the firms Institution Sales trader, he manages the institutional sales process, internally and externally, working with colleagues, pension administrators, health & welfare administrators and consultants with fund allocations. With 30 years of experience in the financial service industry and has demonstrated achievements in delivering high quality sales and service. John has been able to utilize outstanding customer relations, project management, negotiation and conflict resolution skills to assess clients' needs and build rewarding business relationships. John is continually growing the firm into a leading institutional sales trading firm specializing in equities, options and ETF's.


William F. Geilfuss, Investment Product Coordinator

Bill assists the firm with new investment product review and selection. He has been in the financial services industry for 33 years. His investment product knowledge includes a wide array of investment products from individual securities to options, mutual funds and ETF’s. Bill has been involved in the securities industry as both a branch manager and retail wire house financial advisor. He most recently was the recipient of the 2012 Five Star Wealth Management Award. Bill is a graduate of Penn State University.


Jerry Vuono, Registered Representative 

Jerry is a registered representative who has extensive experience as a financial advisor with over 22 years experience. He is licensed in Life Health, Annuities, Property and Casualty. Before joining BestVest in February of 2013, Jerry worked for major wire houses such as Cetera, Oppenhimer and Co. and Ryan Beck/Stifel Nicholas. Jerry is fluent in Italian and holds the title of "Cavaliere" from the Republic of Italy.


Ellen O'Connor, Office Manager

Ellen has been with the firm since 2001 and is responsible for the overall office management of BestVest and assists with Compliance and Insurance Licensing. Prior to BestVest, Ellen was employed in numerous administrative capacities with Wertheim Schroeder and Co. and White Weld. She is a business major at Delaware County Community College.


Lynn Resch, Operations

Lynn has been working with the firm since 2001. She holds her Life and Variable Life/Annuity License and series 6 and 63 licenses. As a member of our support team Lynn enjoys assisting our financial advisors in setting up new accounts and working with their clients. She values the relationships that she has formed with the company’s clients and looks forward to establishing new ones.


Michael Cirard, Manager of Advisory Services

Michael is the firm's Manager of Advisory Services, an investment advisor, and a firm principal. Michael has been with the firm since September 2014, but has worked in the industry for 5 years. Michael is a trader and manager of the firm's Equity, Fixed Income, and Option Trading for the firm's Discount Brokerage Clients. Michael has a B.S. in Finance and B.S. in Accounting (Widener U, 2009), as well as, a M.B.A. from Widener University (2010).