Investing: Where do I even start?

In this #WomenInvested Meet Up, hear tips on how to begin your investing journey – or take it to the next level

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Investing: Where do I even start?

In this #WomenInvested Meet Up, hear tips on how to begin your investing journey – or take it to the next level

Watch now

Merrill Lynch

The Verhaeghe Group

Wealth Management

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FINRA's BrokerCheck

Merrill Lynch
Wealth Management

"Outstanding service is something we feel clients deserve, and we strive tirelessly to earn and maintain their trust."
Philip Verhaeghe
Managing Director
Wealth Management Advisor


The Verhaeghe Group offers a comprehensive wealth management experience to high-net-worth individuals, families, corporate executives, business owners, foundations, and more. Our team of highly trained financial professionals are supported by top-notch wealth management platforms and thought leadership programs. Our approach is objective, flexible, and tailored to help meet each client's unique financial needs and goals, whether it's growth, wealth preservation, succession planning, or wealth transfer.

With a disciplined wealth management philosophy, we use a combination of products and services from one of the world's largest full-service investment firms, as well as the expertise of specialists, to provide customized and effective strategies for our clients. Our global perspective helps us stay ahead of financial challenges and identify unique opportunities for our clients.  At The Verhaeghe Group, we start each relationship by taking the time to understand each client's financial situation, allowing us to shape a tailored approach that helps meet their specific needs and goals, especially for affluent families.

Our Approach

Headquartered in Leawood, Kansas, The Verhaeghe Group has distinguished itself by providing customized advice and guidance to a select group of corporate executives, business owners and affluent families.

We are a nine member team, servicing over $853 million in client balances, as of January 2024. We are relentless in our focus on risk-adjusted performance relative to a client’s long-term goals. We bring warmth, compassion and coordination to clients’ wealth management that we feel is distinctive.  

Within our group, Philip Verhaeghe has been nationally recognized by Barron's and Forbes. Phil was awarded the "Barron's 2018 Top 1,200 Financial Advisors" (Published on March 12, 2018. Rankings based on data as of September 30, 2017) as well as Forbes "Best-in-State Wealth Advisors" list in 2018, 2020, 2022 and 2023 (Published annually Jan – April. Rankings based on data as of June 30
of prior year).  

*Source: The Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Advisors” list, published annually Jan - April. Rankings based on data as of June 30 of prior year.

Data provided by SHOOK® Research, LLC. Forbes Best-in-State Wealth Advisors ranking was developed by SHOOK Research and is based
on in-person, virtual, and telephone due diligence meetings to measure best practices; also considered are: client retention, industry
experience, credentials, review of compliance records, firm nominations; and quantitative criteria, such as: assets under management
and revenue generated for their firms. Investment performance is not a criterion because client objectives and risk tolerances vary, and
advisors rarely have audited performance reports. SHOOK’s research and rankings provide opinions intended to help investors choose the
right financial advisor and are not indicative of future performance or representative of any one client’s experience. Past performance is
not an indication of future results. Neither Forbes nor SHOOK Research receive compensation in exchange for placement on the ranking.
For more information, please see SHOOK is a registered trademark of SHOOK Research, LLC.

*Source: The Barron’s “Top 1,200 Financial Advisors: State-by-State” list, published on March 12, 2018. Rankings based on data as of
September 30, 2017.

Advisors considered for the “Top 1,200 Financial Advisors” ranking have a minimum of seven years of financial services experience and
have been employed at their current firm for at least one year. Quantitative and qualitative measures used to determine the advisor
rankings include: client assets, return on assets, client satisfaction/retention, compliance records and community involvement, among
others. This is a list of the top advisors in each state, with the number of ranking spots determined by each state’s population and
wealth. The rankings are based on assets under management, revenues generated by advisors for their firms, and the quality of the
advisors’ practices. Investment performance is not an explicit criterion because performance is often a function of each client’s appetite
for risk. In evaluating advisors, we examine regulatory records, internal company documents, and 100-plus points of data provided by
the advisors themselves. Barron’s does not receive compensation from advisors, participating firms and their affiliates, or the media in
exchange for rankings. Barron’s is a trademark of Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Rankings and recognition from Barron’s
are no guarantee of future investment success and do not ensure that a current or prospective client will experience a higher level of
performance results, and such rankings should not be construed as an endorsement of the advisor.

High-Net-Worth Individuals and Businesses

The Verhaeghe Group focuses on providing high-net-worth individuals and business owners with comprehensive wealth management services. Our team is dedicated to offering a range of potential solutions, premier customer service, and financial tools tailored to help meet each client's unique circumstances and goals. 

We begin by taking the time to understand our clients' financial priorities and define and prioritize these based on the following seven key areas:

  1. Health:
    • Managing healthcare expenses, now and in the future
    • Protecting your health and well-being
    • Preparing for long-term needs
  2. Home:
    • Upsizing, downsizing, remodeling, or buying a vacation home
    • Protecting your property and preserving your assets
    • Preparing for potential real estate transactions
  3. Family:
    • Taking care of your family and other people in your life
    • Providing for your loved ones financially
    • Planning for future generations
  4. Leisure:
    • Spending your free time in meaningful ways
    • Planning for travel, hobbies, and other leisure activities
    • Pursuing your passions and interests
  5. Giving:
    • Volunteering, mentoring, and giving to charities
    • Making a positive impact on your community
    • Supporting causes that matter to you
  6. Work:
    • Working in retirement, selling, or starting a business
    • Planning for a smooth transition into retirement
    • Pursuing entrepreneurial opportunities
  7. Finance:
    • Bringing it all together
    • Defining your financial goals
    • Creating a comprehensive financial plan
We will also draw on our industry knowledge and experience to offer:
  • Potential risk management solutions
  • Trust and estate planning services
  • Potential wealth management solutions
  • Access to Bank of America for your credit and banking needs
This comprehensive approach allows us to create customized strategies that take into account each client's specific needs and goals.

A Balanced Approach to Life and Wealth with an Emphasis on Family

Our team works with clients to nurture a balanced approach to life and wealth, encompassing multiple priorities: family, health, career, and philanthropy. We believe strongly that “success” has many definitions and we strive to be a critical resource for families as they pursue engaged and fulfilled lives.

We recognize that affluence can place unusual demands on families. We offer a range of services to promote the positive transmission of values and wealth between generations. Specifically, we partner with highly respected professionals who can facilitate constructive dialogue within families about their collective vision and expectations of wealth. These sessions enable families to defuse the potential pressures that accompany wealth so that they can more fully enjoy the responsibilities and opportunities that affluence presents.

Our Philosophy

We believe that your unique goals should be at the center of all of your financial decisions and form the foundation of your financial strategy. Because significant wealth requires sophisticated, highly customized strategies, we believe in building lasting relationships with a limited number of clients, taking the time to understand your most important priorities for today, tomorrow and your long-term future. Our philosophy celebrates collaboration. Working with a team of specialists, we draw on the resources and insights of a global financial institution to create strategies that reflect your aspirations for yourself and current and future generations of your family. Finally, we believe that while significant wealth brings complex challenges, our experience, passion and perspectives can help you simplify your life.


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.

Philip Verhaeghe

Forbes "Best-in-State Wealth Advisors" 2018, 2019, 2020, 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" 2018
Published on March 12, 2018. Rankings based on data as of September 30, 2017.

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.

Brent Smitko

Wealth Management Lending Officer

Bank of America, N.A.

NMLS #505779

Dave Kopmeyer

Wealth Management Banking Specialist


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.

      Anthem video thumb.jpg 
      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.