the team
/
vision & mission
/
about us

About Us

who we are

A cutting-edge, independent and privately owned wealth management firm.

Headquartered in Needham, Massachusetts, with an office in New York City.

A skillful and committed team of portfolio managers, private wealth advisors and planning specialists.

Commons Capital Advisors has created a dynamic organization offering effective, flexible, and visionary financial services to a select client base, transcending the capabilities and limitations of traditional firms.

We work across continents and across cultures, calling upon all that our distinctive team have learned and have lived, to create innovative and decisive possibilities with the certainty of action.

We are endlessly exploring the conditions and the opportunities that lie ahead.

We are relentless specialists. An unqualified “no” does not apply.

We are impartial advisors, providing advice on the best of the best in breed.

We work collaboratively to achieve our goals both quickly and efficiently.

Our greatest assets are our energy, our dedication, our determination, our acumen.

Vision & Mission

our vision & mission

With today’s exponential pace of change, opportunities from traditional sectors and disruptive innovations require agility and vision to act decisively. For those driven to seize opportunities, Commons Capital Advisors offers a team who fulfill ambitions and turn visions into reality.

We construct personalized strategies according to our clients’ needs by bringing together the traditional aspects of comprehensive private wealth management with a firm entrepreneurial spirit. We continually explore the wide range of disruptive services and expertise on global markets.

While our clients have differing goals and different measures of success, they all rely on our relentless energy and proficient expertise to achieve their objectives.

The Team

01 — 04

Michael Manschot

managing director

portfolio manager

Michael Manschot

managing director

portfolio manager

Michael Manschot

managing director

portfolio manager

02 — 04

Malik A. Smith, CSNA, CLTC

first vice president

private wealth advisor

Malik A. Smith, CSNA, CLTC

first vice president

private wealth advisor

Malik A. Smith, CSNA, CLTC

first vice president

private wealth advisor

03 — 04

Jonathan D. Straus, CSNA

founding principal

portfolio manager

Jonathan D. Straus, CSNA

founding principal

portfolio manager

Jonathan D. Straus, CSNA

founding principal

portfolio manager

04 — 04

Rose M. Thompson, CRPC®

senior vice president

private wealth advisor

Rose M. Thompson, CRPC®

senior vice president

private wealth advisor

Rose M. Thompson, CRPC®

senior vice president

private wealth advisor

Michael Manschot

managing director
portfolio manager

T     617.431.7200
F     857.401.9207
E     Email Michael

Michael joined Commons Capital Advisors in 2017 as a Portfolio Manager and Managing Director of our New York City office. He is a seasoned investment manager with 20 years of experience, of which 16 years were spent as a hedge fund portfolio manager. He has extensive experience investing in the major asset classes including domestic and international equities, fixed income, publicly traded real estate and commodities. Michael has a deep understanding of how to utilize options and short selling to enhance client portfolios while reducing beta.

Michael monitors a wide variety of economic, monetary, and market indicators in order to optimize risk-adjusted returns. Michael is involved in all aspects of portfolio management including stock screening, modeling of earnings and balance sheet projections, investigative research, interviewing management teams, and risk management.

From 2002-2016, Michael was co-portfolio manager of the CRM Windridge hedge fund (which at its peak had more than $700 million under management) at Cramer Rosenthal McGlynn. The hedge fund focused on macro, industry and company research.  

In 2000, he was the junior member of a two-person team that received proprietary capital from ING to start a real estate securities hedge fund (Windridge Partners).  He transitioned to Cramer Rosenthal McGlynn in 2002 in a lift out of Windridge Partners.

From 1997 to 2000, he was an associate analyst in research covering Real Estate Investment Trusts at Furman Selz (which was acquired by ING).

Michael received a Master’s of Science degree in Economics from The Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Michael is an avid skier and tennis player and is involved in the Wide Horizons for Children charity.

Michael Manschot

managing director
portfolio manager

T     617.431.7200
F     857.401.9207
E     Email Michael

Michael joined Commons Capital Advisors in 2017 as a Portfolio Manager and Managing Director of our New York City office. He is a seasoned investment manager with 20 years of experience, of which 16 years were spent as a hedge fund portfolio manager. He has extensive experience investing in the major asset classes including domestic and international equities, fixed income, publicly traded real estate and commodities. Michael has a deep understanding of how to utilize options and short selling to enhance client portfolios while reducing beta.

Michael monitors a wide variety of economic, monetary, and market indicators in order to optimize risk-adjusted returns. Michael is involved in all aspects of portfolio management including stock screening, modeling of earnings and balance sheet projections, investigative research, interviewing management teams, and risk management.

From 2002-2016, Michael was co-portfolio manager of the CRM Windridge hedge fund (which at its peak had more than $700 million under management) at Cramer Rosenthal McGlynn. The hedge fund focused on macro, industry and company research.  

In 2000, he was the junior member of a two-person team that received proprietary capital from ING to start a real estate securities hedge fund (Windridge Partners).  He transitioned to Cramer Rosenthal McGlynn in 2002 in a lift out of Windridge Partners.

From 1997 to 2000, he was an associate analyst in research covering Real Estate Investment Trusts at Furman Selz (which was acquired by ING).

Michael received a Master’s of Science degree in Economics from The Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Michael is an avid skier and tennis player and is involved in the Wide Horizons for Children charity.

Malik A. Smith, CSNA, CLTC

first vice president
private wealth advisor

T     617.431.5157
F     857.401.9207
E     Email Malik

Throughout the 14 years Malik has worked in the financial services industry, he has demonstrated a unique focus and dedication to helping others pursue what matters most to them. He specializes in financial planning for entrepreneurs, athletes, executives and hardworking families with a thoughtful, forward-thinking approach. A marathon runner himself, he understands what it means to set goals, to adapt as needed, to persevere. He knows what it takes to cross over that finish line, 26.2 miles later.

“My priority is to ensure my clients' comfort when discussing their finances." Malik's reassuring style encourages open dialogue on clients' more sensitive needs and goals. His clients are part of his "extended family" and he proactively works to design the plan needed to realize their life dreams.

Originally from Houston, Malik has resided in Boston for over 20 years. He actively volunteers in his community and sits on the board of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts (ULEM). He currently serves as their Treasurer and oversees the management of the financial affairs of the organization.  In 2018, in memory of his grandparents, Malik ran the Boston Marathon in support of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts and fundraised a significant amount of money for the organization. Malik ran the Marathon again in 2019, raising funds for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Malik attended Morehouse College in Atlanta and began his financial career focused on institutional trading at State Street. Realizing his dream of working with retail investors, Malik joined Merrill Lynch in 2005. Additionally, he worked at KCG, Morgan Stanley and Alex Brown, a division of Raymond James, before joining Commons Capital Advisors in August 2019.

Malik has a myriad of interests including memberships to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) and the Esplanade Association, which works to restore and enhance Boston’s Charles River Esplanade. He loves to experience different cultures through travel, food and good conversation. He can often be found on the basketball court or golf course, when not running.

Malik A. Smith, CSNA, CLTC

first vice president
private wealth advisor

T     617.431.5157
F     857.401.9207
E     Email Malik

Throughout the 14 years Malik has worked in the financial services industry, he has demonstrated a unique focus and dedication to helping others pursue what matters most to them. He specializes in financial planning for entrepreneurs, athletes, executives and hardworking families with a thoughtful, forward-thinking approach. A marathon runner himself, he understands what it means to set goals, to adapt as needed, to persevere. He knows what it takes to cross over that finish line, 26.2 miles later.

“My priority is to ensure my clients' comfort when discussing their finances." Malik's reassuring style encourages open dialogue on clients' more sensitive needs and goals. His clients are part of his "extended family" and he proactively works to design the plan needed to realize their life dreams.

Originally from Houston, Malik has resided in Boston for over 20 years. He actively volunteers in his community and sits on the board of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts (ULEM). He currently serves as their Treasurer and oversees the management of the financial affairs of the organization. In 2018, in memory of his grandparents, Malik ran the Boston Marathon in support of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts and fundraised a significant amount of money for the organization. Malik ran the Marathon again in 2019, raising funds for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Malik attended Morehouse College in Atlanta and began his career financial career focused on institutional trading at State Street. Realizing his dream of working with retail investors, Malik joined Merrill Lynch in 2005. Additionally, he worked at KCG, Morgan Stanley and Alex Brown, a division of Raymond James, before joining Commons Capital Advisors in August 2019.

Malik has a myriad of interests including memberships to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) and the Esplanade Association, which works to restore and enhance Boston’s Charles River Esplanade. He loves to experience different cultures through travel, food and good conversation. He can often be found on the basketball court or golf course, when not running.

Jonathan D. Straus, CSNA

founding principal
portfolio manager

T     617.431.5155
F     857.401.9207
E     Email Jonathan

Jonathan is the Founding Principal of Commons Capital Advisors. He has worked for many of the big Wall Street firms over his career including Smith Barney, Tucker Anthony, RBC Dain Rauscher, Advest and Merrill Lynch/Bank of America ― three of them by way of acquisition.

Jonathan has an extensive background providing comprehensive wealth management advice and services to individuals, multigenerational families, businesses and institutions. He is a member of a select group of advisors who can offer personalized, discretionary asset management services. This enables him to function as your personal portfolio manager and to construct a portfolio that is aligned with your investment objectives, time horizon, risk tolerance, and overall financial strategy.

For the last 10 consecutive years, Jonathan received the Boston Magazine FIVE STAR Wealth Manager Award for Overall Satisfaction. Five Star Professional partnered with Boston Magazine to conduct research to identify a select group of wealth managers who are exceptional in both their ability and their commitment to overall satisfaction. Fewer than 3% of the 20,000 wealth managers in the Boston area were selected.

For the last 9 years, Jonathan was named to the Barron's Winners Circle Top Independent Advisors and invited to attend the annual conference. The Barron's Winner's Circle Top Independent Advisors Summit brings together the best in the business. It is designed to facilitate a free-flowing exchange of information, ideas and insights through peer-based communication and an unwavering focus on best practices and winning wealth management strategies.

Jonathan received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Hartford. He is the former President of the 124 Beacon Street Association Trust, an avid fly fisherman and an active volunteer with many local charities and foundations.

Jonathan D. Straus, CSNA

founding principal
portfolio manager

T     617.431.5155
F     857.401.9207
E     Email Jonathan

Jonathan is the Founding Principal of Commons Capital Advisors. He has worked for many of the big Wall Street firms over his career including Smith Barney, Tucker Anthony, RBC Dain Rauscher, Advest and Merrill Lynch/Bank of America ― three of them by way of acquisition.

Jonathan has an extensive background providing comprehensive wealth management advice and services to individuals, multigenerational families, businesses and institutions. He is a member of a select group of advisors who can offer personalized, discretionary asset management services. This enables him to function as your personal portfolio manager and to construct a portfolio that is aligned with your investment objectives, time horizon, risk tolerance, and overall financial strategy.

For the last 10 consecutive years, Jonathan received the Boston Magazine FIVE STAR Wealth Manager Award for Overall Satisfaction. Five Star Professional partnered with Boston Magazine to conduct research to identify a select group of wealth managers who are exceptional in both their ability and their commitment to overall satisfaction. Fewer than 3% of the 20,000 wealth managers in the Boston area were selected.

For the last 9 years, Jonathan was named to the Barron's Winners Circle Top Independent Advisors and invited to attend the annual conference. The Barron's Winner's Circle Top Independent Advisors Summit brings together the best in the business. It is designed to facilitate a free-flowing exchange of information, ideas and insights through peer-based communication and an unwavering focus on best practices and winning wealth management strategies.

Jonathan received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Hartford. He is the former President of the 124 Beacon Street Association Trust, an avid fly fisherman and an active volunteer with many local charities and foundations.

Rose M. Thompson, CRPC®

senior vice president
private wealth advisor

T     617.431.5156
F     857.401.9207
E     Email Rose

Rose has provided wealth management advice and services to multi-generational families for over 25 years. She began her career at Merrill Lynch and has worked at Oppenheimer & Co., Bank Hapoalim and TIAA-CREF, one of the largest providers of retirement services globally.

In 2006, she was recruited back to Merrill Lynch, continuing to specialize in retirement planning and earned the CRPC® (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) designation before joining Commons Capital Advisors, LLC in early 2011.

Rose's expertise is advising clients on pre-and post-retirement issues, customizing lifetime retirement income streams that address issues of longevity, inflation, market fluctuations and tax minimization. She is committed to educating and empowering women to make the best financial decisions for themselves. Her approach to serving women, particularly those going through life changes of widowhood, divorce and aging, is truly unique. Rose not only provides customized financial planning and investment management, but also serves as a supportive partner during times of difficulty and change. Through her unparalleled excellence and commitment, Rose has built an extensive “family” of loyal multi-generational clients.

Rose has extensive experience working with TIAA-CREF retirement plans. She has assisted thousands of participants to traverse these complex plans and can provide an in-depth analysis of your TIAA-CREF plan(s) for you, including:

• The rules of your Employer Plans vs. your Supplemental Plans including RA, GRA, SRA, GSRA, and 401A plans
• How Employer Contributions vs Mandatory Employee Contributions vs Voluntary Employee contributions are treated
• Asset Allocation and review of your investments
• Income options for your TIAA-Traditional
• Pros and cons of Annuitization of your contract
• After tax annuities
• Minimum Required Distribution (MRD) options


Rose received a joint Master’s Degree from MIT and Tufts University. She is a long distance swimmer and volunteers at Rofeh International. She has four adult children and is the proud grandmother of four.

Rose M. Thompson, CRPC®

senior vice president
private wealth advisor

T     617.431.5156
F     857.401.9207
E     Email Rose

Rose has provided wealth management advice and services to multi-generational families for over 25 years. She began her career at Merrill Lynch and has worked at Oppenheimer & Co., Bank Hapoalim and TIAA-CREF, one of the largest providers of retirement services globally.

In 2006, she was recruited back to Merrill Lynch, continuing to specialize in retirement planning and earned the CRPC® (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) designation before joining Commons Capital Advisors, LLC in early 2011.

Rose's expertise is advising clients on pre-and post-retirement issues, customizing lifetime retirement income streams that address issues of longevity, inflation, market fluctuations and tax minimization. She is committed to educating and empowering women to make the best financial decisions for themselves. Her approach to serving women, particularly those going through life changes of widowhood, divorce and aging, is truly unique. Rose not only provides customized financial planning and investment management, but also serves as a supportive partner during times of difficulty and change. Through her unparalleled excellence and commitment, Rose has built an extensive “family” of loyal multi-generational clients.

Rose has extensive experience working with TIAA-CREF retirement plans. She has assisted thousands of participants to traverse these complex plans and can provide an in-depth analysis of your TIAA-CREF plan(s) for you, including:

• The rules of your Employer Plans vs. your Supplemental Plans including RA, GRA, SRA, GSRA, and 401A plans
• How Employer Contributions vs Mandatory Employee Contributions vs Voluntary Employee contributions are treated
• Asset Allocation and review of your investments
• Income options for your TIAA-Traditional
• Pros and cons of Annuitization of your contract
• After tax annuities
• Minimum Required Distribution (MRD) options


Rose received a joint Master’s Degree from MIT and Tufts University. She is a long distance swimmer and volunteers at Rofeh International. She has four adult children and is the proud grandmother of four.