Welcome! My name is Brian Gaister and I am the Co-Founder and CEO of Pennington Partners & Co, a private investment office and strategy firm based in Bethesda, MD. Additionally, I am a Co-Founder and Partner at SaaS Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on early stage enterprise technology. I serve on the investment committee of both firms. As a passionate investor and entrepreneur, I hope to make a positive impact on everyone that I interact with.
Education and Background
I had privilege to grow up in an entrepreneurial family. Whether working in the warehouse of our family business at a young age or doing door to door newspaper sales, I learned the importance of getting your hands dirty and hard work. I gained an understanding that we as people, have an incredible opportunity, to make a positive impact on the world.
I attended the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business and earned a Bachelor of Science in International Business. I am a Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) and a Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®). Both certifications are awarded by the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA®) in conjunction with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
I spent eights years at the investment banks (Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch) prior to starting my own firm. I have been actively investing in companies for 10 years. With the valuable knowledge and experience I gained working for these multinational firms, along with being active in multiple family companies, I co-founded Pennington Partners and SaaS Ventures in 2016.
I am passionate about mentoring fellow entrepreneurs and investors to succeed, having experienced first-hand how daunting and challenging investing and setting up a company can be. Previously, I taught economics and served as an Advisory Board Member of the Academy of Finance at Howard County, Maryland for 10 years. I have stayed connected with many of the students that I mentored as part of the program. I am a member of Nexus Global, becoming part of a global movement to bridge communities of wealth and social entrepreneurship.
Passionate about giving back to the community, I serve on the economic council for Jewish Community Services in Baltimore, Maryland as well as on the investment committee for the Bender JCC of Greater Washington. It is my honor to serve as a committee member for the Holocaust Museum Tribute Dinner, as my grandfather was a holocaust survivor and my great uncle was on Schindler’s List. Lastly, I am an active member of National Young Leadership Cabinet through the Jewish Federation.
If you would like to know more, please get in touch through email or connect with me via social media. I welcome the opportunity to get to know you!