Broker Check

Meet The Team

Keith Brandt, CFP®, CDFA®, CRPC®


If you’re going to trust someone to guide you through one of the most complicated seasons of your life, you want someone like Keith Brandt on your side of the table. As the President and founder of California Wealth Transitions, he has set the bar incredibly high for the level of service he provides to his clients. Beginning his career with Merrill Lynch in 1983, his extensive knowledge, training, and more than 35 years of experience set him apart from other experts in the financial industry. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard College, in addition to his designations as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC), and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA). His skills and training make him more than equipped and capable to guide you through this season with expertise.

While you may think as President he simply manages his firm, you’d be wrong. Keith knows his clients by name and takes a hands-on approach, putting his years of experience to work for the benefit of each individual who walks in his door. His down-to-earth approach and ability to break down complex strategies into understandable advice will put you at ease instantly. When he isn’t meeting with new or existing clients, or collaborating with attorneys and CPAs for his clients, Keith is spending time with his wife Nicki and their two daughters. He has a passion for participating in sports and traveling.  

Nicki B. Brandt

Vice President

Nicki’s passion for serving others comes shining through each day at California Wealth Transitions. She is keenly interested in knowing you, on an individual level, far beyond what your finances say about who you are. She wants to know your story, what makes you want to get up each day and keep going. You could say she brings the personal side to every service at our firm. As the Vice President, Nicki keeps the firm running behind the scenes, managing schedules and taking care of bond trades.  She also has deep experience in the financial industry since joining Merrill Lynch in 1983.

She attended Skagit Valley College and has been married to Keith since 1987. Outside of the office, Nicki has many talents. She manages the family ranch in Montana and enjoys spending time with her two daughters.

Brandi Pugh

Director of Client Services

Brandi’s focus each day is your satisfaction. In her role as Director of Client Services she is deeply concerned with anticipating each client’s needs, directing all activities for our client service department. She also serves as our HR and Office Manager, overseeing the team’s operation staff, handling many of the firm’s administrative tasks, and working closely with Keith to monitor all client accounts.

Her professionalism and more than 28 years of experience makes Brandi an irreplaceable member of our team. She resides in Valley Center with her husband and takes great pleasure in watching who her three children are becoming in their adulthood.

Kaela Tinucci

Client Relationship Manager

Kaela is our resident client relationship expert. She takes great pride in ensuring each one of our clients receives the true California Wealth Transitions experience, feeling valued and respected throughout each interaction with our team. As our Client Relationship Manager, Kaela is often the first point of contact for our clients and goes out of her way to make sure your every idea, challenge, and joy is shared with our entire team. It’s rare to see Kaela without a smile as she goes about her work and establishes new accounts, fulfills all client requests, keeps impeccable records, and monitors retirement distributions as well as asset transfers. If you have a question about a transaction, Kaela will know the answer.

With more than 12 years of experience in the financial industry, Kaela is well equipped to serve our clients. She attended San Diego State University and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. In addition to all the hats she wears for our firm, she is also a wife and a mother to two beautiful children.

Blake Murphy, CIMA

Financial Advisor

Blake Murphy

Do you have big goals for retirement? You need a coach like Blake to help you visualize the future and create a master plan. 

Blake has deep knowledge through his background in investing and financial planning, working with individuals to realize not only their professional goals, but also their personal ones. He greatly enjoys working with people from many different walks of life including retirees, corporate executives, and entrepreneurs. With his natural inclination toward analysis, he works alongside his clients to build retirement plans, break down the nuances of executive compensation packages, and develop growth/exit plans for businesses. Blake is an accomplished financial advisor and earned his CIMA®️(Certified Investment Management Analyst) designation in 2019 offered by the Investments & Wealth Institute taught in conjunction with the Yale School of Management. 

After graduating from the University of Alabama in 2012 with a degree in finance and accounting, Blake began his career in financial services. He worked in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama for four years and then transitioned to San Diego to capitalize on the potential for growth in his career.

In true California style, Blake and his wife Margie live by the beach with their dog, Milo. In his free time he enjoys golfing, surfing, and cheering on the Crimson Tide on Saturdays.