Whatever your organization’s goals or your personal goals may be, we will work with you to develop a customized financial strategy designed to help you pursue what’s most important.

We start with what’s important to you

We take the time to listen and learn about the needs and goals of your institution and its employees – it’s these real-world insights that guide our strategies and personalized service.

About Us

Experience Transformed Into Insight and Ability for Individuals and Institutions

The J&R Group is a team of skilled professionals with more than 100 years of combined experience in the field of investments and financial services.

We have our roots in offering financial advice and investment guidance to affluent families and high-net-worth individuals, and this commitment to individual clients endures to this day. We have built relationships with families that extend to two or three generations, and a number of individual clients have been with us for a decade or more. We're gratified by the constancy and strength of these relationships.

Over the years, we have expanded our services to private and public companies that offer 401(k) plans and other benefit plans to employees. Timothy Jenkins, James Radler, Joel Gershon and Michael Ribich hold the title of Retirement Benefits Consultant with advanced training and experience in plan design. We also offer consulting services and philanthropic management capabilities to nonprofit institutions, including foundations, endowments and associations, through Joel Gershon, who holds the title of Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Institutional Consultant. All of the team's efforts are supported by the strengths and skills of each team member.

While we are headquartered in Chicago, we serve individual clients, companies offering retirement benefit plans and nonprofit institutions throughout the United States.

Approach

Working with us means working with advisors truly dedicated to your success and the success of your organization. Our approach is simple, transparent and supported by insightful investment guidance. Helping you pursue your goals and the goals of your organization starts with getting to know you. Our job is to understand what matters most to you. We’ll work together to create a strategy that reflects your investment personality and is built around your priorities. You’ll have the flexibility to decide how you want your portfolio managed and understand fees associated with each offering. You’ll receive ongoing advice to help you navigate changes in your life.

Institutional Consulting

As a Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Institutional Consultant, The J&R Group is among a select group of highly qualified and credentialed consultants who can provide the in-depth knowledge and customized service and assistance institutional investors need to navigate today’s financial landscape and be responsive to evolving market trends.

Retirement Benefits Consultant

As Bank of America Merrill Lynch Retirement Benefits Consultants (RBC), The J&R Group is one of select group of highly qualified and credentialed Merrill Lynch advisors specialized in defined contribution plans who can add value to your plan by:

  • Offering access to 3(21) fiduciary services1
  • Helping you shape your investment strategies
  • Offering thoughtful advice without a proprietary investment requirement
  • Providing periodic reporting and helping you understand results and measurements to assist you in managing your plan over time
  • Working with you to create a plan that is designed to drive employee engagement and positive participant behavior
  • Assisting in the delivery of employee financial wellness programs and education
  • Helping employees connect their life priorities with their finances to help them pursue what matters most to them

Focus On Individuals and Families

We offer clients a breadth of strategies, premier customer service and financial tools based on their unique circumstances. No matter what your goals may be, we begin by defining and prioritizing your financial goals based on the following seven areas:

  • Health: Managing healthcare expenses, now and in the future
  • Home: Upsizing, downsizing, remodeling or buying a vacation home
  • Family: Taking care of your family and other people in your life
  • Leisure: Spending your free time in meaningful ways
  • Giving: Volunteering, mentoring others and giving to charities
  • Work: Working in retirement, selling or starting a business
  • Finance: Bringing it all together and defining your financial goals
We'll also draw on our industry knowledge and experience to make recommendations for strategies around the following: 
  • Risk management
  • Trust and estate planning services
  • Investment management
  • Provide access to Bank of America for credit and banking needs

Meet the Team

Our team is comprised of talented and experienced individuals committed to building strong client relationships based on trust and personalized service.

Additional Resources

is supported by talented specialists who have experience working with institutions and share a strong commitment to guiding investment programs and strategic decision making.

James G Nagrant

James G Nagrant

Wealth Management Lending Officer NMLS # 444459

Solutions for Institutions

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Helping institutions meet their investment needs

We put the resources and intellectual capital of Bank of America and Merrill Lynch to work for institutional clients like you by delivering thoughtful advice and sophisticated investment strategies through focused client-centric consulting. We help organizations like yours address today’s complex investment challenges through an integrated, goals-based investment process that enables them to redefine success, manage risk and help fulfill their missions.

And More

Beyond our experience, we offer access to the deep intellectual capital and broad capabilities of Bank of America Corporation and its affiliates. If we identify a need we can’t service myself, we can connect you with the people and resources to help you. Through our network of advisors, we strive to deliver strategies to help you manage the day-to-day and long-term responsibilities required in pursuing your institution’s goals. As we work together to address your evolving needs, we can make the broad capabilities of Bank of America Corporation feel much more accessible.

For Plan Sponsors

Your role as a plan sponsor is more challenging than ever, and it’s not something to face alone. We bring the resources and thought leadership from Bank of America Corporation and its affiliates to bear in helping you provide a strong, healthy and fully compliant program that runs smoothly, engages your employees and makes your job easier. We can help you focus on the areas that may be helpful to plan success, including Fiduciary Advisory Services1 and Education and Plan Services appropriate for your plan.2

Fiduciary Advisory Services1

  • Merrill Lynch accepts ERISA 3(21) fiduciary responsibility3 for investment advice and recommendations made in the best interest of your plan Investment Policy Statement (IPS)* and investment menu design based on your plan goals and participant needs4 
  • Comprehensive due diligence processes to identify appropriate investment opportunities 
  • Proactive delivery – online and by your advisor – of in-depth investment performance reporting every quarter 
  • Fiduciary Advisory Services Report providing plan metrics and demographics, fund analysis and market trends

Education and Plan Services2

Plan Design
  • Review of plan demographics to help keep plan on track with objectives
  • Review of plan features and services for potential enhancements
  • Coordination and implementation of new plan features and services
  • Engagement in annual plan compliance testing
Employee Education
  • Communications strategy development
  • Coordination and presentation of enrollment meetings and retirement planning seminars
  • General financial, retirement and investment information
  • Asset allocation education and interactive investment materials
Relationship Management
  • Annual plan meetings and service reviews
  • Participation in committee meetings
  • Access to thought leadership and relevant industry news and trends

 

1 Fiduciary Advisory Services is an investment advisory service sponsored by Merrill Lynch. It will only be offered to defined contribution plans recordkept by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and plans recordkept by our Advisor Alliance providers. It is available for plans up to $500 million in plan assets. For more information on plan eligibility speak to your Merrill Lynch advisor.

2 Education and Plan Services are non-fiduciary services required for Advisor Alliance plans and optional for MLII plans.

3 The Merrill Lynch Fiduciary Advisory Services Client Agreement and the related fee schedule and the Merrill Lynch Fiduciary Advisory Services program Brochure and other disclosure documents include information about the program, including Merrill Lynch’s fiduciary responsibilities pursuant to ERISA section 3(21).

4 Merrill Lynch and its representatives [or advisors] will provide investment advice or recommendations solely on a nondiscretionary basis with regard to qualified retirement plans. All discretionary and investment decisions concerning qualified plans, including which investments to offer under a qualified plan and approval of the IPS, are to be made solely by the plan sponsor. Please see the Merrill Lynch Fiduciary Advisory Services program Brochure for additional information.

For Employees

All our efforts revolve around helping your employees pursue their goals. With Bank of America Corporation’s long legacy of service excellence, we take a holistic approach to helping your employees connect their life priorities and financial priorities—in and beyond their benefit plans. By broadening our view to include an employee’s entire financial picture, both in and out of plan, we believe we can help your employees better manage and gain control of their finances.

  • Holistic approach to helping improve overall financial wellness
  • Personalized plan saving and investing advice through Advice Access1
  • Comprehensive employee education program
  • Choice of service channels – in person, by phone or self-directed online

1The Advice Access service uses a probabilistic approach to determine the likelihood that participants in the service may be able to achieve their stated goal and/or to identify a potential wealth outcome that could be realized. Additionally, the recommendations provided by Advice Access may include a higher level of investment risk than a participant may be personally comfortable with. Participants are strongly advised to consider their personal goals, overall risk tolerance, and retirement horizon before accepting any recommendations made by Advice Access. Participants should carefully review the explanation of the methodology used, including key assumptions and limitations, which is provided in the Advice Access disclosure statement. It can be obtained through Benefits OnLine® or through your representative.

IMPORTANT: The projections or other information shown in the Advice Access service regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results and are not guarantees of future results. Results may vary with each use and over time.

Advice Access is an investment advisory program sponsored by Merrill Lynch. Merrill Lynch offers a broad range of brokerage, investment advisory and other services. There are important differences between brokerage and investment advisory services, including the type of advice and assistance provided, the fees charged, and the rights and obligations of the parties. It is important to understand the differences, particularly when determining which service or services to select. All recommendations must be based on the suitability requirements of the client. Please refer to the Advice Access Brochure for information on the program including a description of the services and related fees.

Advice Access is only offered to defined contribution plans recordkept by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. For more information on plan eligibility speak to your Merrill Lynch advisor.

Investment Solutions

We provide access to a full suite of investment solutions to help you manage assets for non-profit organizations, foundations, endowments and corporate retirement and pension plans. Our level of involvement is based on your preference — from traditional consulting, to client-directed implementation, to full discretionary outsourced CIO services. We work with your CFO, board of directors and investment committee to develop a tailored investment strategy that is consistent with your culture, goals, preferences and risk profile.

Disciplined Investment Process

We follow a disciplined process that helps to address your organization’s changing needs and provides you with a potentially higher probability of achieving your long-term investment goals.

1

Investment Policy Statement Development and Review

Act as liaison between institutional clients and Merrill Lynch’s Investment Policy Statement (IPS) service, which creates and modifies an IPS, based on the client’s investment goals and objectives.

2

Strategic Allocation Modeling

Customizable asset allocation based on the Merrill Lynch insightful capital market assumptions.

3

Investment Manager Due Diligence

Recommend investment solutions leveraging Merrill Lynch’s thorough and rigorous due diligence process.

4

Investment Manager Search and Selection

Advanced portfolio construction techniques combined with client specific objectives and Merrill Lynch’s capital market guidance.

5

Portfolio Strategy

Leverage Merrill Lynch’s global intellectual capital including tactical tilts to help increase returns.

6

Performance Measurement

Monitor, quantify and evaluate performance to identify opportunities to refine the portfolio’s overall strategy, based on the Investment Policy Statement.

Endowments, Foundations and Nonprofits

We understand the issues nonprofits, endowments and foundations address in funding their missions in an ever-changing financial climate. Drawing on the global resources of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, we offer insight, guidance and personalized service to help institutions develop and execute investment strategies focused on what matters most to them and the people they serve.

Consider the broad spectrum of our investment management and advisory solutions, including:

  • Investment consulting services
  • Access to fiduciary asset management
  • Impact investing
  • Board governance and education
  • Fundraising & planned giving strategies
  • Cash and liquidity management
  • Nonprofit industry insights

Impact investing and/or Environmental Social Governance (ESG) investing has certain risks based on the fact that ESG criteria excludes securities of certain issuers for nonfinancial reasons and therefore, investors may forgo some market opportunities and the universe of investments available will be smaller.

Defined benefit plans

Whether your defined benefit plan is an active part of your overall benefit offering, is closed to new participants, or fully frozen, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s service model allows you to outsource the many administrative tasks associated with the maintenance of a pension plan to fulfill plan obligations and manage risk.

Key services include:

  • Investment consulting service
  • Open architecture investment management platform
  • Liability driven investment implementation
  • Actuarial services and discretionary investment management

Supporting a strong retirement plan and helping to keep it on track

We understand the retirement and financial needs of your employees, as well as the responsibility those needs create for you as an employer. We offer the solutions your employees may need to help pursue their financial goals and maintain financial wellness. Our array of resources and expertise is designed to help meet your employees’ financial needs in ways that make sense for your company — strategically, operationally and financially. You and your employees will have a team of experienced and passionate advocates for financial wellness on your side. Our team will make your priorities their own so you can focus more on your business.

DCIC

To help you meet your fiduciary responsibilities, we can offer investment solutions which are vetted by the investment due diligence process of the Chief Investment Office (CIO). Merrill Lynch will accept ERISA 3(21) fiduciary responsibility for the investment advice provided through DCIC. We believe that putting the expertise of a specialized Merrill Lynch financial advisor to work for your plan is a smart solution to help you meet your fiduciary responsibilities. We can offer thoughtful advice on how to create an investment lineup that fits your organization’s needs, as well as provide support to help manage investments over time.

Workplace Insights™ | Public Policy & Trends

Access information about the issues, laws and industry changes that are being considered and what these changes can mean to you and your employees.

Solutions for Individuals

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Customized Strategies for Individuals and Families

We offer affluent families and high-net-worth individuals a full-service wealth management experience focused on their needs. Our objective is to help these clients accumulate, grow and preserve their wealth and help them advance toward life goals that are most meaningful to them.

Core Services and Capabilities

  • Customized wealth management strategies
  • Asset allocation and globally diversified investment portfolios
  • Retirement income planning
  • Intergenerational wealth transfers
  • Trust and legacy planning services
  • Estate planning services
  • Access to trust and philanthropic services through Bank of America
We believe that asset allocation is a key element in investment success. We consider a broad range of asset classes, including fixed-income and equities. For certain qualified investors, we may suggest alternative investments such as hedge funds and private equity partnerships.

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A financial road map aimed at pursuing an individual's goals, liquidity needs, time horizon and risk profile is at the heart of our relationship with each client. We work with families and individuals to clarify priorities, then chart a course targeted to each objective. This conversational process lets us understand your unique situation.

Philosophy

We believe that the best financial strategy is the one that helps you pursue your goals. That's why, from the start, we talk about your aspirations and encourage you to ask questions about issues that matter most to you. Worried about managing future health care expenses? College on the horizon? Considering the sale of a business or purchase of a home? Preparing to pass your wealth on to future generations? With access to the investing insights of Merrill Lynch and the banking convenience of Bank of America, we will work with you to develop strategies that are designed to address your priorities and financial needs.

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 give you peace of mind* that you're on track to help achieve what's most important to you.

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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.

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

  • Your advisor is never more than a click away within our site or mobile apps
  • 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 Lynch’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. 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.

Your Financial Strategy

We offer you access to the investing insights of Merrill Lynch and the banking convenience of 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.

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FAMILY
Taking care of your family and other people in your life
  • Trust & Estate Services2
  • Education Funding Strategies1
  • Insurance3
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HEALTH
Planning for healthcare expenses now and in the future
  • Long-term Care Insurance3
  • Health Savings Account2
  • Disability Insurance3
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HOME
Upsizing, downsizing, remodeling or buying a vacation home
  • Home Loans2
  • Home Equity Lines of Credit2
  • Securities-Based Lending2
  • Credit Cards2
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WORK
Working in retirement, selling or starting a business
  • Bank of America Business Banking2
  • Exchange Funds1
  • Concentrated Stock Management1
  • Succession Planning1
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LEISURE
Spending your free time in meaningful ways
  • Credit Cards2
  • Securities-Based Lending2
  • Structured Lending2
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GIVING
Volunteering, mentoring others and giving to charities
  • Donor-Advised Funds2
  • Private Foundations2
  • Charitable Trusts2
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FINANCE
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.

Approach

We begin every relationship with a conversation, helping you to identify and prioritize which goals matter most to you. Whether that's transferring wealth to the next generation, customizing financial strategies that help you pursue your passions, or simply providing advice and guidance to help you stay informed, we start by listening to learn more about you.

Merrill Lynch developed the Investment Personality Assessment to help us get to know your investing preferences. By gaining a deeper understanding of how you think and feel about investing through this assessment, we can help customize the financial strategy we develop together.

Your approach to investing

Drawing upon research in the field of behavioral finance, Merrill Lynch developed the Investment Personality Assessment to help us get to know you better as an investor and potentially help you refine your own investing preferences. By gaining a deeper understanding of how you think and feel about investing through this assessment, we can customize the financial strategy we develop together to help you with your approach for what matters most to you. Our Investment Personality Assessment is one of the ways to help me get to know you – to understand your goals and priorities. These questions will give you a sense of the full assessment and help us provide you with additional insights and resources.

Understanding your goals and priorities

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

Capabilities

You can’t feel good about your finances unless you know exactly where you are, where you want to go, and how much you may need to get there. We work with you to develop a customized financial strategy, drawing on the best thinking of our firm, to help you with your financial future. We will manage all aspects of your relationship, making it clear what you’re paying for and what you’re getting. As your life and the markets change, we will meet periodically to help make sure you’re on track in pursuing your goals and to adjust your strategy as needed for the journey ahead.

Let’s Have a Conversation

There is no substitute for a one-on-one relationship with a Merrill Lynch financial advisor committed to your needs... Request an Appointment

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