Merrill Lynch

Hammond, Drake, Bush & Associates

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Merrill Lynch
Wealth Management

"Our team's philosophy, approach and commitment to service build on the pioneering legacy of Charles Merrill. It is a privilege to service clients and we remind ourselves of that principle in our work every day."
John L. Hammond III, CAIA, CFP®, CIMA®
Managing Director
Wealth Management Advisor
Senior Portfolio Advisor

Hammond, Drake, Bush & Associates


Experienced Wealth Management Offered By People Who Care

What do we believe sets Hammond, Drake, Bush & Associates apart from other wealth management teams? Consider the caliber of our team—our two financial advisors have extensive experience in developing financial, investing and wealth transfer strategies with families with substantial wealth. We understand complex portfolios, concentrated stock, equity compensation, business partnerships, family trusts and inherited wealth. In fact, whatever your financial outlook, chances are we've helped clients in similar situations.

As you look for a team to help you manage your wealth, please consider the service we offer people like you. Through our experience, we find that we fit a certain kind of client, and we may be just the team to help you and your family on your financial journey.

Our financial advisors are supported by four client associates hand-picked for their talent and service acumen. Everyone on our team seeks to offer you an exceptional client service experience. We want our team to be the people you call first in a moment of need or decision making.

Utilizing Goals-Based Wealth Management

In helping you manage your wealth, we strive to analyze the many aspects of your financial world: your sources of income, expenses, present portfolios, insurance, retirement and tax-deferred assets. From there, we want to have conversations about your goals—what you'd like to pursue personally and professionally, in the short and long term. Our aim is to use this learning to help you develop customized strategies for handling your assets now and smartly targeting your future objectives. From experience, we know that if we can help the various components of your financial life function more smoothly, in a coordinated fashion, then we can help you move steadily toward your goals. In particular, moving wealth among family members demands insightful management perspectives and distinct skills.

While it's important for us to help you grow and preserve your wealth, it's just as important for us to understand where you want it to take you. We do this by keeping up with the events of your life and how these events are affecting the things you value most. We also sit down with you to map out the known milestones and real-world concerns that can affect your family and finances in the coming months and years.

Investing and Allocation Strategies That Fit With Your Outlook

At Hammond, Drake, Bush & Associates, we approach investing by evaluating your present financial outlook and considering various investing pathways that make sense for your goals. Most clients have multiple objectives throughout their lives, so we help you structure the allocation of your investments into distinct components targeting these goals. Broadly categorized, these components are usually focused on the chronology of your financial journey.

Our team uses a disciplined process to evaluate your present portfolio and recommend changes and future allocations.

Start with "Why?"

Clients often have multiple portfolios built up over many years and may have holdings that no longer fit in their present outlook. Our challenge is to look at each security, ask, "Why is this asset in the portfolio? What purpose does it serve? How will it affect and mesh with the new investment structure we recommend?" Then we help you answer those questions with strategy.

Seek Opportunity

Whether we help you manage all or a portion of your wealth, we engage in highly detailed investment analysis to identify key opportunities, optimal timetables and responses to various market and economic factors. We also use highly sophisticated asset allocation models that consider an extensive range of investment options in seeking to help you pursue your goals.

Understand Risk

Investment risk is just one component of your portfolio. There may be risks associated with taxes, interest rates, currency fluctuations, opportunity costs and other exposures. We seek to understand your tolerance for risk and make clear the proper places for and level of risk in your portfolio.

Advice and Guidance Designed Especially For Affluent Families

Hammond, Drake, Bush & Associates is privileged to help manage wealth with families throughout Chicago and in other areas across the country. In these families, hard work and enterprise continue with each generation. Over the decades, they've been smart about accumulating wealth, and can call on us for experienced advice and guidance to help them preserve it. We know these people—they are our friends, our neighbors, the people who use their resources to build and uphold communities in any number of quiet ways.

We care about the same things they do, and we use our experience and skills to help clients develop financial strategies customized for them.

Affluent families have needs that go beyond ordinary. From where they live, to where they learn, to how they plan their lives, they operate at a different level. We strive to deliver the exceptional skill, focus and responsiveness clients demand and deserve.

  • While you might interact mainly with one advisor, you can expect the insight and strength of our entire team to support your wealth management efforts.Susan A. Bush, Senior Vice President, Senior Financial Advisor


Merrill is proud of our advisors who’ve received recognition from financial industry publications or directly from Bank of America Corporation. We believe they are setting the standard for exemplary client service.

John L. (Jack) Hammond III

Forbes "Best-in-State Wealth Advisors" 2022 and 2023
Published annually Jan- April. Rankings based on data as of June 30 of prior year.

Barron's "Top 1,200 Financial Advisors: State-by-State" 2014, 2016-2022
Published annually in February - March. Rankings based on data as of September 30 of the prior year.

On Wall Street "Top 40 Advisors Under 40" 2014 and 2015
Published annually in Jan. - Dec. Rankings based on data as of Sept 30 - Dec 31 of prior year.

Financial Times "400 Top Financial Advisers" 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Published annually Mar - April. Rankings based on data as of June 30 of prior year.

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.

Maggie Sobczyk

Wealth Management Banking Specialist


Julie A Kelsey

Senior Wealth Management Lending Officer

Bank of America, N.A.

NMLS #1010805

Staying on Track

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

Reviews to help you
stay on track

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

    Changes in your life
    and to your goals

    Your life and goals change. As these changes occur, we can update your approach to reflect them.


    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

      Let’s Have a Conversation

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

      Why Merrill?

      As Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Advisors, we will sort through the financial complexities of your life, helping you build a customized investment approach to address your needs and 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.

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      Transcript of Video 

      No question too big or moment too small
      For every question you have, every decision you make and every answer you need, we are with you to listen and help guide you along the many paths your life can take. Watch this video to see some questions we can address together.

      The Power of the Right Advisor®
      Working with a dedicated Merrill advisor means you get personalized investment strategies from Merrill plus access to comprehensive financial solutions only Bank of America can deliver.

      Personalized advice from a dedicated financial advisor.

      We get to know you and your family, your financial situation and what matters most to you.

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

      Drawing from our experience and the best thinking of Merrill, together we will design an approach that reflects your unique needs, priorities and financial situation.

      Adjusting your investment approach as your life and the markets change.

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