Gerald A. Townsend CPA/PFS/ABV, CFA®, CFP®, CMT

Chief Executive Officer

Gerald A. Townsend is President of Townsend Asset Management Corp., a registered investment advisory firm.

Gerald brings a wealth of experience and an extensive background to our clients. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM (CFP®) practitioner, a Chartered Financial Analyst  (CFA®) charterholder, and a Chartered Market Technician (CMT). In addition, he has also received the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) and Accredited in Business Valuation designations from the American Institute of CPAs.

Gerald holds an undergraduate degree from East Carolina University and a graduate degree from North Carolina State University. He is a member of the Financial Planning Association, the American Institute of CPAs, the Market Technicians Association and the CFA Institute. Prior to founding TAM in 1982, he worked for a large CPA firm and an investment advisory firm.

As a frequent speaker and writer, Gerald has been quoted in USA Today, Changing Times, Business North Carolina and other publications, and has been recognized by Money magazine as one of the nation`s top financial advisors.  He writes timely articles for the Townsend newsletter as well as website, and is invited to appear regularly on local television stations to offer market commentary.

Click here to read some of Gerald's recent publications.

James Tarkenton CFA®, CFP®

Chief Investment Officer

James Tarkenton is the PresidentChief Investment Officer for Townsend Asset Management Corp.

James has been evaluating investment opportunities since 1998.  As a generalist analyst and portfolio manager, he has researched multiple asset classes and capital markets.  He is a Chartered Financial Analyst® charterholder and a member of the CFA® Institute.  James is also a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM (CFP®) practitioner.

James graduated with a degree in Finance from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he was also a catcher on their Division I baseball team. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree with honors from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Prior to joining Townsend in October of 2018, James was a Managing Director at a $6 billion asset management firm in California. In evaluating investments’ sustainability, risks and financial strength, James facilitates the optimization of client portfolio construction for both returns and risk.

James has been quoted in Barron’s and Bloomberg News multiple times discussing stocks and investing.  He has participated in multiple investment panels as well as made solo presentations discussing the investment environment and individual securities.

Caleb Griffith CFP®

Chief Operations Officer

Caleb Griffith is the Chief Operations Officer with Townsend Asset Management Corp and has been with the firm since 2006.

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner (CFP®), he has the knowledge and expertise to help families and businesses identify their financial goals and develop an implementation process to accomplish those goals.  His extensive background in tax preparation and planning gives him additional insight when providing comprehensive financial planning services to our clients.

He is passionate about the individuals he works with and committed to helping them understand the impact of financial decisions over time.

Caleb is a graduate of N.C. State University with a B.S. degree in Accounting. Prior to attending N.C. State University, he was a scholar athlete at Lenoir Community College in Kinston, NC.

Click here to read Caleb's articles.

Arne Morris CPA/PFS

Wealth Advisor

Arne Morris is a Wealth Advisor at Townsend Asset Management Corp.

Arne, a Certified Public Accountant and Personal Financial Specialist, has a stellar track record of 32 years in Public Accounting and Wealth Management.  Prior to joining Townsend in 2016, he served 16 years as Director of Wealth Management Services at RSM (McGladrey) Wealth Management, LLC.  Committed to public service, Arne serves on several local boards including Wake Technical Community College Foundation, Raleigh Housing Authority, and Garner Athletic Association.

Arne’s approach is to deliver holistic financial planning services to clients that integrate their investments, risk management needs, tax planning, cash flow planning and estate planning.  He measures his success by his clients’ ability to live comfortably, fully and purposefully.


Leon Abbas CFP®

Wealth Advisor

Leon Abbas is a Wealth Advisor with the firm and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner (CFP®).

He holds a BS degree in Agricultural Economics from Iowa State University, a MS in Economics from Montana State University and a Ph.D. in Economics from Oregon State University. 

Leon was a Professor at North Carolina State University and a principal of Abbas Financial Services, Inc. and Financial Balance Corp. prior to joining Townsend Asset Management Corp in 2001. 

Click here to read Leon's articles.

Michele Stewart

Tax Accountant

Michele Stewart has joined Townsend Asset Management Corp. as a Tax Accountant.  Michele is from Raleigh, NC and graduated from Wake Technical Community College with an Accounting degree.  

Michele brings to the firm over 30 years of accounting, tax-preparation, bookkeeping and customer service experience.  She is meticulous to detail and provides quality service to clients.

Tracey Ellis

Client Service and Communications Manager

Tracey Ellis is Client Service and Communications Manager at Townsend Asset Management Corp.  A native of North Carolina, she earned her B.S. degree in Business with a minor in Finance from Barton College in Wilson.

Tracey has many years of experience providing customer service and brings to the firm strong communication and problem-solving skills.  She specializes in relationship-building and facilitating excellent teamwork.