Shankar B Iyer



Shankar is celebrating 25 years with Merrill Lynch. Since joining the firm in 1993 and joining his best friend (and best man), Mark Verschuur, to form the group, Shankar has never looked back. Instead, Shankar has helped clients look forward – to goals that typically reflect their love of family and concern for the greater good. 

In recognition of his stature among an affluent clientele and industry professionals, Shankar was named to Forbes "Best-in-State Wealth Advisors” List in 2018*. 

Shankar’s rigorous industry training allows him to serve clients as their needs change and lives evolve. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certificant, a designation awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.

Given his reputation for thought leadership and clear communications, Shankar was a firm-approved media representative for nine years – making regular appearances on local network radio and television affiliates, and being featured in a variety of print publications, including Merrill Lynch's Advisor Magazine. Among the topics he discussed were managing market volatility (financially and emotionally), staying focused on long-term investment outcomes, the benefits of tax minimization and estate planning strategies, and the importance of goals-based planning (before the expression was in vogue). 

Shankar’s areas of focus include portfolio management, retirement planning, and legacy and philanthropic planning. To help ensure that the needs of all stakeholders are represented, Shankar often conducts “family summits” in which two and three generations of client families are invited and participate.

Born in Chicago and raised in its western suburbs, Shankar graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Today, he resides in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago with his wife, Renee, and their two children. Outside of the office, Shankar shares his passions with his family – traveling, playing tennis, boating up in Wisconsin, enjoying live music and snowboarding out west. Shankar is also actively involved in fundraising efforts that support Chicago-based Spark Ventures, and The Shelby Goldstein Memorial School (which feeds and educates more than 300 orphans in Zambia, Africa).

*Neither Merrill Lynch nor any of its affiliates or financial advisors provide legal, tax or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.

*Source: Forbes "Best-in-State Wealth Advisors" list, February 2018. For more information about the selection criteria, go to Forbes is a trademark of Forbes Media LLC. All rights reserved. These rankings and ratings are not representative nor indicative of any one client's experience, future performance, or investment outcome.  

*Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. owns the certification marks CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP® in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP® Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.


    University of Wisconsin - Madison


    Forbes' "America's Top State-by-State Advisors"

Professional Staff

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

Where do we begin? It starts with you.

At Merrill Lynch, your financial advisor focuses on the things you care about most- family, goals and priorities - even as they change over the years.

Understanding Your Life

Welcome to the Verschuur / Iyer Group

At The Verschuur/Iyer Group, clients come to us with wealth – yet many wrestle with the right balance for enjoying it, passing it along, or supporting a worthy cause.

Some clients have managed wealth on their own and require a cohesive strategy or added layer of sophistication and financial wisdom. Others are referred to us following divorce or another difficult transition – and can benefit from our “hands-on, hands-held” approach to helping them make informed decisions (rather than emotional ones).

By serving a limited number of client families, we can provide service and attention in boutique-like fashion – backed by the vast resources of a global financial institution. While clients are diverse in their achievements, most are highly educated and financially astute – attorneys (including senior partners), surgeons and other physicians, senior-level corporate executives, business owners, creative professionals, and multiple generations of affluent families residing in Illinois and more than ten other states.

What distinguishes us?

• We have worked together for 19 years and were “best men” at each other’s wedding. Clients treat our entire team like members of their families. We are passionate about serving client families, just as we are about caring for our own.

• Our tradition of bringing a disciplined, planning-based approach to clients. This allows us to appreciate what clients hope to achieve, what they believe stands in their way, and how we can help them feel confident about the road ahead.

• Our highly professional and proactive service model. This is shared by our stellar support staff. Like our clientele, we are highly driven. By collaborating internally and with each client, we can provide superior wealth management – the kind that helps clients anticipate and prepare for the next opportunity or challenge. We look forward to serving you with the same degree of diligence and intelligence.

What We Believe

At The Verschuur/Iyer Group, we are inspired to give clients a level of certainty (rather than fear). When a client smiles an realizes that he or she will likely have enough money to satisfy a cherished goal, we share their optimism and joy.

Given the ambitious nature of clients, we focus on helping them pursue paths that may be uncommon – but ones that bring meaning to their years of hard work. We recognize that new opportunities and obstacles will invariably present themselves. That’s why we speak with clients regularly, not when the calendar tells us to. We also believe:

• Clients’ goals act as our compass in directing the strategies we create. It’s important that we help clients identify and clearly articulate what they envision (for themselves and those they love). Our effectiveness hinges, to a significant extent, on showing clients what they need to save and the risk they need to take – to put goals within reach.

• In addition to taking careful measure of a client – their wealth and attitude toward wealth – we evaluate our performance, by asking ourselves questions that remind us of our commitment to clients: “Are we doing everything possible to help enhance and preserve the quality of clients’ lives and lifestyles? How can we best fulfill the responsibility we believe we have to client families – and the trust they place in us?”

• Clients are drawn to our ability to deliver goals-based investing, a seasoned perspective on market behavior, and genuine care and integrity. Clients’ referrals tell us they’re pleased with the experience.

• We manage investment risk first and growth second. As highly skilled, long-term investors, we use the firm’s exceptional research and models. We manage risk by diversifying across asset classes, rebalancing in a disciplined manner, and aiming for tax efficiencies. We also think it’s critical to engage with each spouse, their growing children and their adult children.


My process is designed to deliver a customized, consistent experience to assist clients not only in wealth accumulation and preservation, but in areas that go beyond portfolio management. My ability to provide access to the investment insights of Merrill Lynch and the banking convenience of Bank of America offers a way for clients to manage all of the pieces of their financial lives. I can be a financial resource, helping clients with the process of transferring wealth to the younger generation.

Focus On Individuals and Families

I work primarily with high-net-worth individuals and families. I’ll begin by getting to know you as we explore the following seven priorities together:

  • 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
I work closely with other trusted professionals to help clients pursue their goals, drawing on the investment insights of Merrill Lynch and access to the banking convenience of Bank of America as we do so.

Your Financial Strategy

We offer you access to the investing insights of Merrill Lynch, trust and fiduciary services from U.S. Trust, 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.

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 give you peace of mind* that you're on track to help 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.

  • Sample client review agenda
  • Sample Wealth Outlook Report
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 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.

Let’s Have a Conversation

Helping you reach your goals starts with getting to know you personally. Through understanding what matters most to you, I can help you create a financial strategy that reflects your personality. Only then can I 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 financial 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 financial advisor.

Transcript of Video 

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 Lynch, 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.