The Ryan, Palmesano and Zhang Group


The Ryan, Palmesano and Zhang Group

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Merrill Lynch
Wealth Management
The Ryan, Palmesano and Zhang Group recognizes that wealth management is an evolving process.

Our team delivers customized services based on each client's unique circumstances. We build lasting client relationships in which they turn to us for guidance at every stage of their financial lives.
Client-Focused Financial Guidance

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The Ryan, Palmesano and Zhang Group is a Fort Lauderdale–based multi-generational wealth management team. We strive to offer financial guidance with a focus on client service. Our goal is to connect all aspects of clients’ financial lives. We bring decades of collective experience to the work we do creating customized wealth management strategies designed to help individuals preserve, enhance and manage wealth throughout their lifetime and leave a legacy for family and community.

We work with a diverse group of clients at different stages of their financial lives. They range from active business owners, executives and professionals to retirees who are enjoying the wealth they worked hard to create. Although their goals may differ, they often share common values, such as a strong work ethic and a commitment to philanthropy and financial education for future generations. We are pleased that many of the relationships we have built with clients and their families extend deep into families, sometimes as far as the fourth generation.

Our team strives to put clients at the center of everything we do. We find it gratifying that many of the people we work with recommend us to their colleagues, family and friends. If you are seeking a different level of customized financial guidance, we invite you to get to know us. 

Your Goals Are the Starting Point


"Our goal as financial advisors is to identify clients' life priorities and align our approach with their goals."

-Michael G. Ryan | Managing Director | Senior Financial Advisor

What does wealth mean to you and your family? Our team delves deep to learn all we can about your immediate and long-term wealth management needs, goals and aspirations.
We seek to gain a thorough understanding of your values and what is most important to you:
  • When do you want to retire and how much money will you need to maintain your lifestyle in retirement?
  • Which intergenerational financial issues are of greatest concern to you—for example, providing for children’s or grandchildren’s education, or transferring wealth to future generations?
  • Do you wish to leave a philanthropic legacy?
By listening to and learning from you, we can help you define your goals and design strategies to pursue the objectives that are most meaningful to you and your family. We are experienced in offering guidance on a range of wealth management issues, including:
Retirement income. No matter how much wealth you have accumulated, you may be concerned about making it last throughout your lifetime and beyond. Using sophisticated retirement income analysis tools, we can help you assess your financial needs and expectations for retirement. After you retire, we can assist you in developing strategies designed to generate income and monitor spending—with the goal of mitigating the risk of outliving your resources and eroding your legacy.
Leaving a legacy. We can guide you in developing tax minimization strategies for the distribution of wealth.
Personal philanthropy. Many wealthy clients find purpose in giving to the charitable causes that are most meaningful to them. Our team can help you design long-term strategies for thoughtful, focused giving.
Financial education. Teaching younger generations about the responsibilities of managing wealth is a value that many families share. Helping clients provide financial education for Generation X and Millennial family members is a particular focus for our team.
Managing unexpected wealth. Clients often seek our financial guidance following a liquidity event, such as a business sale or inheritance, that requires a higher level of skill and attention.
For families with particular wealth management needs, our team is a bridge to the investment resources of Merrill Lynch and the banking convenience of Bank of America. We can access a broad range of capabilities to help you with the different aspects of your financial life, from asset management and estate planning services to assistance through Bank of America with trusts, real estate financing and liability management.

Customizing Your Investment Strategy


"Helping clients understand the true meaning of risk is one of the most important things we do. For many people, the greatest risk may be outliving their financial assets." 

–Joseph A. Palmesano | Senior Vice President | Wealth Management Advisor

The Ryan–Palmesano Group views your investment portfolio as a means to pursue your financial goals, not an end. We consider your investment strategy in the context of a broader approach to wealth management. Through our discovery process, we develop a deep understanding of your goals and values that forms a foundation for the strategies we suggest for you.

Using sophisticated Merrill tools, combined with our own insights, we help clients define their investment personality and gauge their ability to tolerate risk and market volatility. We work closely with clients to educate them about the different forms risk can take, and the role it plays in pursuing investment objectives.
When we design strategies for allocating the assets in individual portfolios, we consider client-driven criteria such as personal preferences, liquidity needs, risk profile and time horizons for pursuing specific goals. We generally recommend a broad range of asset classes that may include alternative investments, such as private equity, where appropriate.

The investment strategies we recommend are implemented entirely through third-party managers. We select managers based on BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research and our own careful evaluation of their performance. Our approach to manager selection is transparent, and we take the time to explain why we recommend particular managers based on whether we believe they are a good fit with your investment style and the goals you wish to pursue.

Tracking progress is integral to your investment strategy. Throughout our relationship with you, we will conduct periodic financial reviews and make recommendations to keep your investment strategy aligned with your financial goals and any important changes in your life.

*Some or all alternative investments may not be suitable for certain investors. Certain alternative investments carry significant risk and are not subject to the same regulatory oversight as mutual funds and other traditional investments.  For these reasons, access to alternative investments may be limited to investors who are designated as sophisticated, high-net-worth investors. 

*Any information presented in connection with BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research is general in nature and is not intended to provide personal investment advice. The information does not take into account the specific investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any specific person who may receive it. Investors should understand that statements regarding future prospects may not be realized. BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research is research produced by BofA Securities, Inc. (“BofAS”) and/or one or more of its affiliates. BofAS is a registered broker-dealer, Member SIPC, and wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation. BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research does and seeks to do business with companies covered in its research reports. As a result, investors should be aware that the firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this report. Investors should consider this report as only a single factor in making their investment decision.

Strategies for Businesses


"The lack of retirement readiness among American business owners and their employees alike has reached alarming levels. We are here to help close the gap between the necessity of corporate retirement planning and business owners' mis-led fear of the cost in offering such plans."

 –Elle Zhang | Financial Advisor| Portfolio Advisor

Although families are our primary focus, we also work with entrepreneurs, professional practices and management teams to help structure employer-sponsored retirement benefit plans. These may include defined-contribution (such as 401(k) and profit-sharing) and defined-benefit (traditional and cash balance) plans.
As in our work with families and individuals, we focus on active listening to understand the plan sponsor’s goals and objectives. We draw on our skills and experience, as well as Merrill Lynch resources, to:
  • Review the organization’s current plan and identify opportunities to improve plan design
  • Guide plan sponsors in choosing an investment menu tailored to the organization’s needs
  • Recommend strategies to help sponsors grow the plan and encourage participation
Some of the clients we work with own businesses or have their wealth concentrated in company stock. We can help them manage their wealth more efficiently and prepare for the next stage of their financial lives with strategies for selling a business or managing concentrated stock positions and stock options.

Meet the Team

Supported by the global resources of Merrill, our team is comprised of talented and experienced individuals committed to building strong client relationships based on trust and personalized service.

Additional Resources

The following specialists do not make securities recommendations. Please contact your Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Advisor if you have questions about how a specialist might be able to assist you.

Matthew Eller

Matthew Eller

Associate Insurance Specialist

Corey Bilbo

Corey Bilbo

Wealth Management Lending Officer, NMLS #1392632

William F Papenfuss

William F Papenfuss

Trust Specialist

Your Financial Strategy

We offer you access to the investing insights of Merrill, as well as banking, trust and fiduciary services from Bank of America to help you pursue your goals. We will work to help you stay on track, regardless of what the markets are doing.

Taking care of your family and other people in your life
  • Trust & Estate Services2
  • Education Funding Strategies1
  • Insurance3
Planning for healthcare expenses now and in the future
  • Long-term Care Insurance3
  • Health Savings Account2
  • Disability Insurance3
Upsizing, downsizing, remodeling or buying a vacation home
  • Home Loans2
  • Home Equity Lines of Credit2
  • Securities-Based Lending2
  • Credit Cards2
Working in retirement, selling or starting a business
  • Bank of America Business Banking2
  • Exchange Funds1
  • Concentrated Stock Management1
  • Succession Planning1
Spending your free time in meaningful ways
  • Credit Cards2
  • Securities-Based Lending2
  • Structured Lending2
Volunteering, mentoring others and giving to charities
  • Donor-Advised Funds2
  • Private Foundations2
  • Charitable Trusts2
Using your finances to bring it all together
  • Merrill Lynch Investment Accounts1
  • Investment Advisory Accounts1
  • Alternative Investments1
  • Exchange-Traded Funds1
  • Mutual Funds1
  • Closed-end Funds1
  • Fixed Income Products1
  • Options1
  • Annuities3
  • Impact Portfolios1
  • Market-Linked Investments1
  • Securities-Based Lending2
  • Margin1
  • Home Loans2
  • Bank of America Checking and Savings Accounts2
  • Credit Cards2
  • Online Account Access1,2

1Investment products are offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated.
2Banking products are offered by Bank of America, N.A.
3Insurance and annuity products offered through Merrill Lynch Life Agency Inc.

Staying on Track

We understand that both your life and the financial markets can change over time. By periodically checking in to discuss changes in your life and revisiting your financial strategy, our goal is to help you stay on track to achieve what's most important to you.

Regular reviews to help you stay on track
Regular reviews to help you stay on track

We'll meet with you periodically to review your goals and the progress you’ve made toward reaching them. We'll also discuss any adjustments needed to your financial strategy to help you stay on course.

    Monitoring changes in your life and to your goals
    Monitoring changes in your life and to your goals

    Your life and goals change. We can help you keep track of these changes so they can be reflected in your financial strategy.

    Access to what you need, when you need it

    MyMerrill is your online destination for access to your financial information, secure communications, and a robust offering of tools and capabilities

    Your advisor is a click away within our site or mobile apps

    You can manage account security with our customizable security capabilities such as touch ID, one time passcode, and other security features

    Access to your complete financial life is available with My Financial Picture, Merrill's asset aggregation tool

      *Peace of mind is an aspirational state of mind that clients hope to achieve. There are no guaranteed results following completion of the Goals-Based Wealth Management process because markets can fluctuate and investments can lose value. Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Advisors work with clients to help them understand how the goals based wealth management process can help to address their concerns, financial situation and priorities.

      Let’s Have a Conversation

      Helping you reach your goals starts with getting to know you personally. Through understanding what matters most to you, we can help you create a financial strategy that reflects your personality. Only then can we offer an approach that is built around your life priorities and the ongoing advice you need to help you manage fluctuations in the market and changes in your life. Let’s work together to help you achieve your goals.

      Why Merrill Lynch?

      As Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Advisors, we will sort through the financial complexities of your life, helping you build a customized investment strategy to pursue your goals.


      We put you first, every day.
      Learn more about the dedicated one-on-one relationship you can have with a Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Advisor.

      Personalized advice from a dedicated financial advisor.

      Getting to know you is our primary goal.

      A comprehensive approach, built around your life’s priorities.

      Drawing from our experience and the best thinking of Merrill, we will build a strategy that reflects your unique needs, priorities and financial situation.

      Adjusting your plan as your life and the markets change.

      We will work to help you stay on track, regardless of what the markets are doing.