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The Gsell Group

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Our experienced team offers a knowledgeable perspective, investment strategies and personal service focused on your institution’s specific needs and goals.

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 the people it serves – it’s these real-world insights that guide our strategies and personalized service.

About Us

Mission

mission is simple: to help institutional investors pursue their goals through insightful investment guidance and thoughtful management of their financial assets.

Approach

We can offer boutique-like attentiveness and accessibility combined with the global perspective and industry experience of Bank of America Global Institutional Consulting. Our team is passionate about helping clients strengthen and grow their organization, and helping institutions fulfill their goals and missions. When you work with The Gsell Group, you can expect a high level of commitment, teamwork, personalized service and customized strategies.

Institutional Consulting

As a Bank of America Global Institutional Consultant, The Gsell 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 Retirement Benefits Consultants (RBC), The Gsell Group is one of a select group of highly qualified and credentialed Merrill  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
  • Educating employees on connecting their life priorities with their finances to help them pursue what matters most to them
1Fiduciary Advisory Services is an investment advisory program sponsored by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (also referred to as “MLPF&S” or “Merrill”). MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, Member SIPC and a wholly owned subsidiary of BofA Corp. MLPF&S. MLPF&S 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 Fiduciary Advisory Services Brochure for information on the program including a description of the series and related fees.

Equity Compensation Plan Services

As a Bank of America Equity Plan Consultant, The Gsell Group can help support your equity plan administration needs. In addition, we can help you position your company as an employer of choice in today’s market for talent while helping your employees manage their equity awards. We can help explain the choices equity plan participants have when exercising equity awards and provide guidance on individual wealth and retirement planning needs.

Meet the Team

The Gsell Group is among a select group of Merrill advisors who have met the rigorous requirements to be a designated Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Institutional Consultants, Retirement Benefits Consultants and Equity Plan Consultants

Additional Resources

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

Tricia Kropp

Tricia Kropp

Trust Specialist

Bank of America, N.A.

Recognition

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

Bruce E Gsell

Barron’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors in 2014-2020

Financial Times –“Top 401 Retirement Plan Advisers” 2015 - 2019

Barron’s “Top 30 Institutional Consultants” 2017

Wealth Management “Top 100 Wirehouse Advisors in 2016

Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Advisors”  2018

Goran Bojovski

Forbes “America’s Top Next-Generation Wealth Advisors”  2018

Barron’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors in 2016-2020

Barron’s “Top 50 Institutional Consultants” 2018 and 2020

Barron’s “Top 30 Institutional Consultants” 2017

Financial Times –“Top 401 Retirement Plan Advisers” 2015-2019

Solutions for Institutions

BOA logo

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 Services 1 and Education and Plan Services 2 appropriate for your plan.

Fiduciary Advisory Services1

Through Fiduciary Advisory Services, we can help you design and maintain an investment menu.
  • Investment Policy Statement (IPS)3
  • Comprehensive due diligence processes to identify appropriate investments 
  • Proactive delivery – online and by your designated advisor – of investment performance reporting every quarter 
  • Report providing fund analysis and market trends.

1 Fiduciary Advisory Services is an investment advisory program sponsored by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (also referred to as “MLPF&S” or “Merrill”). Merrill 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 Fiduciary Advisory Services Brochure for information on the program including a description of the series and related fees.

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

3 IPS service is not available for FAS Discretionary. The plan sponsor is responsible for the approval and final adoption of the IPS.

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 Access
  • Comprehensive employee education program
  • Choice of service channels – in person, by phone or self-directed online

Advice Access is an investment advisory program sponsored by Merrill that uses a probabilistic approach to determine the likelihood that participants in the program may be able to achieve their specified annual retirement income 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 document (ADV Part 2A) statement. It can be obtained through Benefits OnLine or through your representative.

IMPORTANT: The projections or other information shown in the Advice Access program 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.

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

The retirement and financial needs of your employees, as well as the responsibility those needs create for you as an employer, are important to you. We offer the solutions your employees may need to help pursue their financial goals and maintain financial wellness. Our array of resources and experience 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

Through our Defined Contribution Investment Consulting (DCIC) program 1 we can help you construct and maintain an appropriate investment menu and act as an ERISA 3(21) fiduciary 2 for your plan. Our Designated Advisors take the time to understand the needs of your organization and to work with you to develop an investment policy statement and investment menu aligned with your plan’s objectives. Your Designated Advisor remains actively involved with your plan with investment performance reports and advice and guidance as needed to help you manage investments over time.

1  Defined Contribution Investment Consulting (DCIC) is an investment advisory program sponsored by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (also referred to as “MLPF&S or “Merrill”). It is only available to defined contribution plans, typically with greater than $10 million in assets, for which an external provider serves as recordkeeper (plans with recordkeeping services provided through Merrill or Advisor Alliance are not eligible for DCIC), and subject to certain requirements. For more information on plan eligibility speak to your Merrill Designated Advisor.

2 The Merrill  DCIC Client Agreement and disclosure documents include information about the program, including Merrill’s fiduciary responsibilities pursuant to ERISA section 3(21). Final selection of all investments to be included in the defined contribution plan menu will ultimately be that of the client. Merrill will not advise upon any employer securities, including any employer stock fund, or with respect to any self-direct brokerage option, participant loan balances, in-plan retirement income options, custom funds or Bank of America or Merrill affiliated mutual funds or other affiliated products (including, without limitation, deposit products including Retirement Bank Account).

Helping institutions meet their investment needs

We put the resources and intellectual capital of Merrill 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.

Investment Solutions

We provide access to a full suite of potential investment solutions 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'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 Chief Investment Office capital market assumptions.

3

Investment Manager Due Diligence

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

4

Investment Manager Search and Selection

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

5

Portfolio Strategy

Leverage Merrill's global intellectual capital including tactical tilts to potentially help increase returns.

6

Performance Measurement

Review, 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 Corporation and its affiliates, 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.

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'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

1Advice Access is an investment advisory program sponsored by Merrill that uses a probabilistic approach to determine the likelihood that participants in the program may be able to achieve their specified annual retirement income 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 document (ADV Part 2A) statement. It can be obtained through Benefits OnLine or through your representative.

IMPORTANT: The projections or other information shown in the Advice Access program 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. Merrill 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. Please refer to the Advice Access disclosure document (ADV Part 2A), which is available through Benefits OnLine or a participant service representative, 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. For more information on plan eligibility speak to your Merrill advisor.

Keep the focus on your company's greatest asset — your employees

Designing and administering equity compensation plans is a challenge for many companies. While offering a plan helps you create an ownership culture, managing that plan may require additional expertise. At Bank of America Merrill Lynch, we understand your need for a total equity compensation plan that creates value for your company and its employees. We know the stakes are high — and we have the experience and resources to help you deliver a successful program.

We can support you and your employees with your equity compensation needs, including:

  • Nonqualified and Incentive Stock Options
  • Performance Shares and Units
  • Restricted Stock and Units
  • Dividend Equivalent Units
  • Stock Appreciation Rights
  • Employee Stock Purchase Plans
  • Institutional Trust and Custody Services

Capabilities

Financial reporting

The Award Choice Financial Reporting™ solution is an on-demand, web-based application that provides customized, comprehensive reports and helps to fulfill your ASC 718 requirements.

Employee Stock Purchase Plan Services

With an Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP), corporations can make it possible for employees to purchase company stock at a discount to the fair market value of the stock.

Rule 10b5-1 Trading Plans

We can help your executives design and implement a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan, enabling systematic selling or purchasing of company stock at regular intervals.

Executive Services

We understand the unique needs and challenges your officers, directors, and insiders face in managing their equity awards and transacting in company stock. Your insiders will have access to an advisor who understands the complexity of equity awards and the regulations that may govern their transactions; and who can provide the assistance your insiders will need to get the greatest benefit from their awards.

AwardChoice Financial Reporting™ is also commonly referred to as ACFR. Customization of ACFR reports solely relates to report format and appearance. The manner in which information in ACFR reports is grouped, sorted, filtered and the order in which data appears in the report, along with the format of the report, can be customized to match user preferences. ACFR report customization does not provide for or allow custom calculations to be performed in the course of running reports in the system
  
Implementing a Rule 10b5-1 Trading Plan does not prohibit or prevent legal or regulatory action related to the trades. Trading plans are intended to demonstrate that the purchase or sale of a security of any issuer was not on the basis of material, nonpublic information about that security or issuer and therefore, not in violation of section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10(b)-5.

Additional resources for your organization

When you work with The Gsell Group, you benefit from the experience and knowledge we’ve gained from working with many institutions across the nation. We’ll bring all the latest thinking, insights and research from across Bank of America Corporation:

Bank of America Global Commercial Banking (GCB) provides a full range of commercial banking services to help your organization meet today’s challenges head- on and fuel sustainable growth. Bank of America specialists are committed to providing institutions like yours with banking solutions, including cash management and lending while investment solutions are provided by Merrill. GCB offers institutions solutions designed  to help increase cash flow, streamline benefits plans and expand geographically. GCB brings clients the full capabilities of Bank of America Corporation and its affiliates paired with local service.

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management (MLWM) provides access to market knowledge and financial experience. Merrill  can help your organization make decisions that are appropriate for its needs and goals. Our education and insights can help your organization understand what’s driving today’s markets and tomorrow’s potential global opportunities. MLWM serves clients across the wealth spectrum, with personal advisor relationships that helps each individual investor plan for and pursue their unique financial goals.

“Bank of America Merrill Lynch” is the marketing name for the global banking and global markets businesses of Bank of America Corporation. Lending, derivatives and other commercial banking activities are performed globally by banking affiliates of Bank of America Corporation, including Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC. Securities, strategic advisory, and other investment banking activities are performed globally by investment banking affiliates of Bank of America Corporation (“Investment Banking Affiliates”), including, in the United States, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (MLPF&S) and Merrill Lynch Professional Clearing Corp., both of which are registered as broker-dealers and members of FINRA and SIPC, and, in other jurisdictions, by locally registered entities. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and Merrill Lynch Professional Clearing Corp. are registered as futures commission merchants with the CFTC and are members of the NFA.

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