About Us

Messner & Smith, founded in 1984, has provided investment counsel to clients in San Diego and nationally for more than 25 years, achieving numerous professional accolades for long-term investment performance. 

Our portfolio managers and client service managers work with clients and prospective clients to determine their needs, suitable investment strategies, provide counsel and manage the process of setting up and maintaining investment accounts. Ellis Smith, Michael Collins and the firm’s Director of Research, Kevin Dukesherer, function as co-managers for all equity strategies, forming a creative and collaborative team approach to evaluating securities and building and managing client portfolios. 


About Us
Ellis Smith

Ellis Smith led the retirement fund of a large California construction company as Portfolio Manager and Administrator prior to founding his own investment firm in 1974, Ellis C. Smith Investment Counsel, Inc. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Business Administration, University of California Los Angeles, in 1965, and pursued graduate studies at San Diego State University. Ellis is a former Chairman of the Board of the San Diego Downtown YMCA and President of the Executive’s Association of San Diego. He also served as a commissioned officer in the United States Naval Reserve.

H. Michael Collins

After earning a degree in Mechanical Engineering at North Carolina State University in 1962, Michael served 2 years as a 1st Lieutenant in the US Army Intelligence Corps. In 1965 he trained at the New York School of Finance for the Investment banking firm Eastman Dillion Union Securities. He served with that firm for 4 years in San Diego and then co-founded San Diego Securities.In 1988 Michael moved from securities brokerage to the fee-based side of the investment business with Rice Hall James & Assoc., subsequently serving as Managing Director of Van Kasper Advisers in San Francisco and a principal of his own firm. He moved his clientele to Messner and Smith in 2014.

He has served as Chairman of the Board of the Sharp HealthCare system, the Natural History Museum of San Diego and on various other non-profit boards including currently the Board of the San Diego Library Foundation. He remains on the investment committees of Sharp, The Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, The Mingei Museum and St. Paul’s Manor.

Kevin Dukesherer

Kevin Dukesherer joined Messner & Smith in 2002 as an equity analyst and portfolio manager, becoming the firm's Director of Research in 2006. He began his career in Chicago with Harris Associates L.P., which managed the Acorn and Oakmark Funds, before joining investment banking and brokerage firm Kemper/EVEREN Securities as an equity analyst in 1991. Thereafter he was an equity analyst and portfolio manager with RNC Capital Management in Los Angeles. Kevin has a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce from DePaul University and completed graduate work at DePaul’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. Kevin was awarded the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1993, and has been a member of the national CFA Institute and various local CFA chapters since that time.