Merrill lynch

The Speers Group

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Merrill Lynch
Wealth Management

We bring an impressive circle of executives and other wealthy individuals a sophisticated suite of financial strategies commensurate with the opportunities and challenges they face.


At The Speers Group, we have a proud history that continues to be told – more than 50 years after our founding. Today, we serve an ambitious, high-net-worth clientele of women and men residing in more than 35 states – active and retired C-suite and other senior corporate executives, as well as private business owners, physicians, attorneys, accountants, and generations of families.

With no typical client, we begin our work with no assumptions. Still, most clients are financially astute, self-made individuals who share an entrepreneurial mindset and the goal to monetize their years of hard work. With a service model and commitment similar to that of a multi-family office, clients can expect our full attention, combined acumen, and the extensive resources of our firm.

Having managed clients’ money and emotion amid 1987, 2000, 2008 and 2020 volatility, we feel good knowing virtually all of those clients remain with us today. We believe that’s due in large part to our ability to mitigate investment risk. Still, our focus remains on clients’ lives, not only their bottom lines.

On a given day, our clients face myriad decisions about managing concentrated equity positions, providing for employees with defined and non-qualified plans, selling their enterprises, planning for retirement, or creating a legacy. Working collaboratively as a team, we are committed to delivering an exceptional measure of knowledge and know-how. Clients deserve our care and consideration. We are proud to be their “first call” for any financially related issue.
In addition to our team’s insights, we allow clients to benefit from others we’ve assisted in similar positions. We feel fortunate to have long memories and relationships. Speaking for our entire team, we are as proud of the referrals we receive as the results we deliver.

Planning is Everything

At The Speers Group, the core of our offering is a disciplined, planning-based approach we’ve honed for years. Its purpose? To help clients prioritize and pursue their most cherished goals, for themselves and the people they love. Working simultaneously across multiple disciplines, we focus on the broad canvas of clients’ financial pictures with a perspective on wealth planning meant to provide enduring benefits.

Engaging with clients and their families as often as possible, we strive to build a highly personalized and proactive dynamic. Rather than wait for clients to encounter challenges or decisions that we can foresee, we stand behind them by getting out in front of circumstances they anticipate and those they don’t. This allows us to present recommendations with sufficient time for clients to decide how to proceed.

By revisiting topics of discussion over the course of each client relationship, we can adjust each financial strategy so that decisions move in sync with a client’s needs and outside factors. To help ensure that they’re better equipped to attain meaningful financial goals, we make it our business to keep clients informed and on track. Our ultimate goal is to create a boutique-like experience in which frequent discussions can help clients avoid hurried and emotional decisions.

From exercising stock options, to exit planning, to generational transfer of assets, to supporting a worthy cause, we work to appreciate what’s on a client’s mind and in their heart. That’s why we ask questions, “What have you wanted to do that you haven’t done yet? What do you want this money to do when you’re not here? Why have you come to us? And what role would you like us to play?” Our intent is to help clients thoughtfully consider the many aspects of their lifestyles and livelihoods before expressing their objectives.

Beyond each client, we extend our focus to “the next generation.” Talking to their adult children who’ve recently graduated college or are buying their first home,for example, we try to encourage wise financial habits. We also host family meetings so that a parent’s intentions can be explained and discussed.

Additionally, we look to help optimize both sides of clients’ balance sheets – assets and liabilities – and determine whether protective components such as insurance might help insulate their wealth. We also talk to clients about Social Security scenarios and the rising costs of health care, as well as tax minimization and estate planning strategies. In everything we do, we analyze what may be missing, as well as what is.

Having served dozens of clients and generations of their families, we have become a repository of knowledge. It is our privilege to address what clients envision in the short team and later, for themselves and their children.

Distinct Investment Approach

At The Speers Group, our investment process is highly analytical and customized for each client. Offering what we call “lifetime investing,” our objective is to help clients optimize their family’s wealth, minimize tax consequences, and create needed liquidity – in the short- and long term.

Many of our clients take on considerable financial risk – with much of their wealth represented by company equity, which is often illiquid and highly concentrated. Led by our analyst, Colin Plunkett, we implement our individual security financial strategy tailored in each case to help mitigate risk and enhance returns.

Experience tells us that it’s more cost effective – and advantageous overall – for clients to own individual stocks and bonds. For this reason, we use Merrill* and external research to identify companies with strong balance sheets, higher-than-average earnings probability, efficient management, and other factors. As active managers, we select each holding and, therefore, can be fully accountable to clients – explaining what they own and why. We also review each client’s portfolio, make adjustments as needed, and speak frequently with our firm’s global and sector analysts.

In the spirit of helping clients explore and prosper from new situations, we may introduce them to alternative investments* – what may be a combination of real estate, hedge funds and private debt. This allows clients to benefit from non-correlated assets that we deem attractive, affordable and likely to offer reduced volatility.

Whether we formulate a growth, preservation or distribution strategy, we weigh a client’s tolerance for risk, investment timeline, liquidity needs and other factors. We also exercise “tax diligence” throughout the year, not just at “tax time.” Of course, our efforts require an extra measure of time that many advisors do not expend. However, we believe that effort is certainly worthwhile, when positive and enduring results can be achieved.

*BofA 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. Any information presented in connection with BofA 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.

*Some or all alternative investment programs may not be in the best interest of certain investors. No assurance can be given that any alternative investment’s investment objectives will be achieved.

White-Glove Service

At The Speers Group, we are fascinated with the clients we serve. And we’re curious about what led them to our door.

Some clients “outgrow” their previous advisors’ abilities, or the capabilities of their firms. Others reach a point where the complexities of their financial situations demand a more enlightened approach to building and preserving their wealth. Still, most new clients say their previous advisors failed to focus on their overall financial picture, or that less attention was provided than anticipated.

Put simply, our ambition is to provide concierge-level service in ways that each client finds meaningful – with uncompromised attention and reliable responsiveness. Anything less is less than professional and certainly less than our clients deserve.

Having earned a reputation for providing white-glove service to three and four generations of families, we appreciate clients who place their trust in our discretion and ability to offer helpful guidance. In each instance, we do (and say) what we believe is in a client’s best interest, even if straightforward suggestions may be difficult for them to hear.

As we unveil who we are, clients feel comfortable doing the same. Often, they tell us what they’ve never shared with anyone – a troubling business matter, a health concern, or a new issue relating to a possible beneficiary.

With our team members’ ages aligning nicely with those of clients, we’ve cultivated enduring relationships in which mutual interests and experiences make conversations comfortable, rather than a formality. Our ages also help ensure the continuity of thought and awareness that many clients find beneficial.

Anchoring our ability to provide outstanding service is our experienced support staff. We cater to our clients’ specific needs – from paying bills, to arranging wire transfers, to even setting up hotel accommodations for clients who travel extensively.

In every instance, we work to streamline clients’ financial to-do lists, increase the stability of their wealth, and bring them confidence – so that they can enjoy the people and passions in their lives.


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.

Brian K Speers

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" 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023
Published annually in February - March. Rankings based on data as of September 30 of the prior year.

Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Management Teams” 2023
Published on January 12, 2023. Rankings based on data as of March 31, 2022.*

Sam Arpino

Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Management Teams” 2023
Published on January 12, 2023. Rankings based on data as of March 31, 2022.*

Patrick C. Bronge

Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Management Teams” 2023
Published on January 12, 2023. Rankings based on data as of March 31, 2022.*

Meet Our 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.

James G Nagrant

Senior Wealth Management Lending Officer

Bank of America, N.A.

NMLS #444459

Evan Smolak

Wealth Management Banking Specialist


Nicholas A. Beilfuss

Wealth Strategist


Past Events

Policy Update

May 23rd, 2023|10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

You’re invited to a webinar with the Speers Group and guest, Jim Carlisle, for a Policy Update from Washington DC.

During this event, we will discuss : Debt ceiling, current geopolitical landscape and US dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency.

Webex link:

    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 AdvisorTM
        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.