Through effective collaboration, the diversified experience of the investment team promotes creative investment solutions. 


John E.Q. Orner, MBA
President & Chief Investment Officer

Mr. Orner has served as Treasurer & Chief Investment Officer for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota for most of his 25-plus year tenure within the organization. In his current hybrid role, John Orner is responsible for the oversight of Aware’s investment strategies, portfolio operations and financial risk management, and he envisioned the value of sharing Aware’s disciplined investment process with other organizations.


John E. Kaprich, CFA
Investment Director

With over 20 years of investment experience as a portfolio manager and Chief Investment Officer, Mr. Kaprich knows what it is like to sit in the “hot seat”. His collaborative approach was identified as a critical element in building the Aware team. John Kaprich knows that the “secret sauce” is not only the process, but how you leverage your staff to execute with discipline. Under John’s leadership, the Aware team has advanced internal trust levels that encourage each individual member to embrace healthy discussion to challenges investment angles with deliberate thought and fresh analysis.


Andrea M. Roemhildt, CPA
Investment Manager

Ms. Roemhildt oversees credit strategy, including portfolio construction and trading. The extensive background that Andrea brought to the team six years ago continues to show itself everyday. Her financial insight and problem-solving ability are well-respected by her teammates. Ms. Roemhildt has been a key-player in the investment discipline and technology development of Aware, mapping the future and the “smarts” to Aware’s origination as an organization.



Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.
— Steve Jobs


Ian C. Carroll, CFA
Head of Corporate Research

Employing a 20-year veteran of credit research was a critical and strategic hire for Aware. Ian Carroll’s experience provides a broad perspective across multiple sectors as well as through economic cycles – that focuses on both the top-down and bottom-up analysis that is essential to the investment team’s active return, relative value management approach. Ian most recently came from CalPERS Global Fixed Income, where he was a senior analyst on the corporate credit research team. Ian also held senior credit positions at Rabobank, N.A. and Standard & Poor’s.


Stephen J. Smitley
Head of Structured Products

Mr. Smitley is responsible for evaluating opportunities, assessing risk and the overall portfolio management of Structured Credit investments. Prior to joining the organization, Stephen Smitley was with Carval Investors as a member of the Structured Products Investment team. As a “Senior” in the structured product space, he is well-connected among his peer group. Earlier in his career Stephen held roles in structured finance and loan servicing at Black River Asset Management, GMAC-RFC and IndyMac.


Zheng (Daniel) Rong, Masters in Financial Mathematics
Quantitative/Risk Analyst

Zheng (Daniel) Rong is responsible for Aware’s proprietary quantitative analysis in asset allocation optimization and tail risk management. Daniel is the “wizard behind the curtain” that makes our “run the math” concepts come to life. Prior to joining Aware, he completed several internships in quantitative analysis while completing both his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Minnesota.


Mary A. Gronseth, MBA
Portfolio Specialist

Ms. Gronseth is a portfolio specialist, responsible for analyzing portfolio performance, global investment performance standards (GIPS) and Aware’s client communication. Her experience includes corporate level cash management and investment analysis within a family office environment. Mary’s role at Aware leans on her “devil is in the details” orientation and her solid understanding of Aware’s competition in the market place, firmly grasping competitive strategies and manager orientations.


Jayson Alexander, CFA, JD
Chief Compliance Officer

Compliance professionals with investment acumen, legal background and practical risk governance intuition don’t grow on trees. Mr. Alexander’s career path has proven that these skills develop with experience and critical career choices. Jayson has been a critical contributor to the planning, development and launch of Aware Asset Management. 



Aware Asset Management’s Form ADV 2A and 2B are available upon request and provide additional information about each team member’s educational background and any required disclosures.