Knowledge Leaders Capital

An independent, employee-owned, asset management firm

About Us

Knowledge Leaders Capital is a US-Registered Investment Advisor based in Denver, Colorado. The firm identified the Knowledge Effect – the tendency of highly innovative companies to generate excess returns in the stock market — and created the first investment methodology that seeks to capture those excess returns. The Knowledge Leaders investment products seek to transform these excess returns into portfolio alpha for investors. Knowledge Leaders Capital is creator, designer and manager of the Knowledge Leaders Strategy, investment products and separate accounts. Learn more about the academic foundations of the strategy here: Knowledge Effect

Investment Strategy

The Knowledge Leaders Strategy seeks to transform the Knowledge Effect into portfolio alpha. We identify Knowledge Leaders, or highly innovative companies, by measuring a company’s investment in its future growth. Knowledge Leaders possess deep reservoirs of intangible capital as a result of their history of investing in knowledge-intensive activities like R&D, brand development and employee education. Developed by founder Steven Vannelli and based on decades of academic research, our proprietary model adjusts a company’s financial history to capitalize these investments and reveal the companies with the greatest knowledge intensity. The companies that pass our quantitative screen are identified as Knowledge Leaders. We look for the best opportunities among Knowledge Leaders for investment by our actively managed funds. 

Our Team

Steven Vannelli, CFA

Founder, CEO & CIO

Jill Rakowski

Chief Operating Officer

Shawn Paulk

Head of Distribution

Brian Clark

Senior Analyst & Portfolio Associate

Amy Reardon

Head of Marketing & Communications

Austin Mann

Investment Analyst

Thomas Nemechek

Investment Analyst

Firm History


Knowledge Leaders Capital joins SmartX platform for unified managed accounts


Knowledge Leaders Capital becomes 100% employee owned


Firm rebrands to Knowledge Leaders Capital, an independent US Registered Investment Advisor


Founder and Chief Investment Officer Steven Vannelli acquires majority interest in the firm


Firm Launches Knowledge Leaders Developed World ETF (KLDW)


Firm launches KL Allocation Fund (GAVAX, GAVIX)


Based on academic research, Steven Vannelli creates first Knowledge Leaders models for adjusting company financial statements to account for intangible investments


Founder Steven Vannelli establishes Gavekal Capital in Denver, Colorado