Haapanen family

Brent (left), with his wife, Destiny, and their sons Liam, Calvin, and Clark.

When looking through Brent’s résumé and list of accomplishments, the fact that he is from Durham, a small town in northern California, can be easy to miss. Yet it was this tie to home that led him from Malibu, to Wall Street, to San Francisco’s financial district, and finally to Granite Bay as one of the newest additions to DCA’s growing team.

Brent was drawn to DCA Partners in part due to the grassroots nature of its strategic planning, both for the firm and its clients. “Curt, Steve, and Craig (partners at DCA) are actively building out the long-term vision of the firm and were transparent about intentionally hiring for the next generation. That excited me,” Brent said. “The team gets to collaborate not only on strategic initiatives for the firm, but on how we tell the stories of our clients. There are so many different variables and ways to structure things, and in the end, we have a huge impact on our clients’ lives.”

Early in his career, Brent was hired by Deutsche Bank during its expansion in the west coast. The work was complex and fascinating, and despite the headwinds created by the Great Recession, the technology companies that Brent was working with continued to grow and evolve. While working in Deutsche Bank’s Corporate Banking group, Brent got a taste for solving intricate strategic problems. “We worked on everything from liability management and corporate bond issuance to international liquidity and foreign exchange, all of which were interconnected,” Brent described. “When Apple was looking to analyze its trapped cash and improve its equity position, we analyzed their global liquidity and determined that it was more efficient to raise debt in the public markets and fund a share repurchase than it was to repatriate trapped cash from overseas.” The result: Brent’s team co-led the $17 billion Apple bond issue, the largest corporate issuance ever at the time, and helped manage the share buyback program, creating tremendous value for shareholders and the company.

Brent thrived working with exceptional people in an international setting during his 8 years at Deutsche Bank, but after Brent married his wife, Destiny, the couple decided to start a family—and with that, the international business travel was no longer as attractive as it once was. Brent took a position with JP Morgan Chase in Sacramento, energized by the opportunity to grow and build the commercial banking department and the bank’s presence in the region. He wasn’t job hunting when a former colleague approached him about an opening at DCA Partners. “I tend to stay at jobs long term. It’s very hard for me to accomplish everything I want to accomplish in a short period of time, and if the job was a short- or medium-term challenge, I wouldn’t be as excited about it,” he explained. “But it was immediately apparent that I could learn a lot from the team at DCA, both professionally and personally. There was no way I could walk away from that.”

In just over a year, Craig Mitchell has already made a considerable impression on Brent. “I love working with Craig and observing how process-oriented and intentional he is. It’s a great learning experience to sit with him, absorb, and understand how he thinks.”

Anyone who has met Brent can attest that he yearns to be around smart and interesting people—and people are drawn to him, as well. He’s quick to smile and keep things in perspective. This positive lens on life is due in part to having a sister with special needs. Brent explains, “It allows me to pause and realize the level of importance on things. We can get so hyper focused on a certain transaction or a disappointing outcome, but in the grand scheme of things, we’re all so fortunate.”

Brent’s passion for learning begets a strong commitment and work ethic. “If I were to advise someone who was just starting out, I would recommend they volunteer for everything—show up to every possible meeting and take in as much as you can. You never know what you’re going to learn or from whom you’re going to learn it. You never know what opportunities will arise from those experiences.” As for a piece of advice that Brent learned the hard way? “That’s easy,” Brent smiles. “Always double-check your mute button.”