Eric Walton joined Spence Asset Management in 2000. As the President, Mr. Walton oversees the growth and development of the firm, oversees day-to-day operations, and manages personnel. He is also responsible for coordinating the management of the firms investment committee and managing institutional/ individual marketing activities.


He earned his Bachelor's Degree from New Mexico State University in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance. In 2005, Mr. Walton became a partner in Spence Asset Management.


In addition to various boards and committees served on within the community, Eric is proud to be the President of the Spence Asset Management Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the company. He chairs the committee responsible for all grant giving from the Foundation.


James Spence co-founded the firm in 1992. Mr. Spence is the co-creator of the model and strategy Spence Asset Management follows in managing the equity positions at the firm. From his decades of experience navigating the markets, he assists in formulating tactical and asset allocation decisions within the firm’s investment strategy.


Mr. Spence graduated with honors from New Mexico State University, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Individualized Studies. He started in the investment industry in 1983 with Quinn and Company. At the time, Quinn and Company was the only New Mexico-based member of the New York Stock Exchange. As a result of a merger, Mr. Spence joined A.G. Edwards and Sons. In 1992, he left A.G. Edwards and Sons to form Spence Asset Management, formerly known as Lord, Spence and Associates.



Sheila Walton joined Spence Asset Management in 1996 and is the co-creator of the investment philosophy of the FOCUS Equity product. She sits on the firm's Investment Committee where she is responsible for formulating investment ideas using fundamental analysis and extensive due diligence.


Mrs. Walton is a licensed principal and supervises all compliance monitoring and procedures. She acts as the firm's Chief Financial Officer, supervising portfolio accounting, billing and performance reporting. Mrs. Walton also handles the retail equity trading for the firm and monitoring of retail accounts.


Mrs. Walton attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and New Mexico State University. She graduated with honors from New Mexico State University with a degree in Economics and a Minor in English. She continued her education during a three-year study of the Chartered Financial Analyst program. She completed the program and was awarded a CFA charter in September of 2004. In 2005, Mrs. Walton became a partner of Spence Asset Management.


Sheila is also a member of the Spence Asset Management Foundation grant committee.


Scott Kozney joined Spence Asset Management in 2007. Mr. Kozney sits on the firm's Investment Committee where he is responsible for formulating investment ideas using fundamental analysis and extensive due diligence. He performs institutional trading activities and a multitude of support activities.


Prior to joining the Spence Team, Mr. Kozney spent five years with Cordillera Asset Management, where he served a variety of roles including Head of Trading, Senior Research Analyst, and Mid-Cap Portfolio Manager. Previously, he gained experience at Unicom Capital LLC, a hedge fund based in Denver, Colorado. There he launched his career serving as an equity trader.


Mr. Kozney earned his Bachelor of Science in Finance with a minor in Economics and Accounting from the University of Colorado at Boulder where he graduated with top honors, Summa Cum Laude. Mr. Kozney was awarded his CFA charter in August of 2007.

Patrick Grooms, CFP, MBA

Patrick Grooms serves as a Financial Advisor and is registered as an Investment Advisor Representative. In addition to assisting individual and institutional clients, he is the newest member of the Investment Committee, joining the Spence Asset Management team in 2016.  He assists the investment committee in formulating investment ideas as well tactical allocations based upon market conditions.


Patrick brings a diverse financial background to the team. He started his career as an intern with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management then left the financial services industry to be a business analyst for Los Alamos National Labs. After relocating back to Las Cruces, Patrick became a financial advisor with Edward Jones and then US Bancorp.


Patrick earned a Bachelor Degree from New Mexico State University in 2006. Graduating with honors, he majored in Finance, Human Resource Management and has a minor in Economics.  He then went on to further his education and earn his MBA from NMSU in 2008.


Carrie Nestle joined Spence Asset Management in early 2006. As head of operations, Ms. Nestle handles day-to-day office management. She assists in many compliance functions and offers clients immediate assistance for service requests and questions. She also oversees the firm’s billing and performance reporting systems.


Mrs. Nestle graduated from Wisconsin Tech with a degree in Finance. She began a career in the financial services industry in 1981 at Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 1982, she was transferred to Houston, Texas and joined National Business Analysts, an affiliate of New England Financial. In 1993, Mrs. Nestle transferred to El Paso, Texas with New England Financial.

Angela Leighty

Angela Leighty joined Spence Asset Management in 2019.  She is responsible for immediate client assistance and service requests.  She also serves as an administrative liaison to Spence Asset Management’s team of financial advisors.


Ms. Leighty graduated from New Mexico State University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance.  She began her career as an accountant with Rubin, Kasnett & Associates in Bethesda, Maryland.  In 2002 she joined Bridgewater Wealth & Financial Management in Bethesda, Maryland; a full service accounting and financial services firm.  Ms. Leighty oversaw day to day operations for clients as well as performed accounting and compliance functions for the firm.


SPENCE ASSET MANAGEMENT | 3529 Foothills Rd., Las Cruces, NM 88011 | 575.556.8500

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The information contained herein is for informational purposes only without regard to any particular user’s investment objectives, risk tolerances or financial situation and does not constitute investment advice, nor should it be considered a solicitation or offering to investors. To determine if investment in a Separately Managed Account with Spence Asset Management is an appropriate investment for you please call 1.800.230.1840.


Investment Advisory Services are offered through Spence Asset Management, a federally registered Investment Advisor. Investment Advisory Services offered through RIA of Spence Asset Management, a Registered Investment Advisor to all residents of the United States.