Tune out the noise: Wealth planning for the year ahead

Hear from a panel of experts as they explore how rising interest rates, high inflation and increased volatility are impacting the economy, how family dynamics are changing estate planning and hear some actionable strategies for investors to consider in 2023.

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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.

Jonathan E Kass

Barron's "Hall of Fame" 2020
Published throughout 2020. Rankings based on data current list.

Barron's "Top 100 Private Wealth Management Teams" 2021 - 2022
Published annually in April. Rankings based on data as of December 31 of prior year.

Barron's "Top 100 Financial Advisors" 2010 - 2023
Published annually March - April. Rankings based on data as of December 31 of prior year.

Forbes "Best-in-State Wealth Advisors" 2019 - 2022
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 - 2023
Published annually in February - March. Rankings based on data as of September 30 of the prior year.

Robert M. Freeman, Jr.

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

Brian A. Premo

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

Forbes "Top Next-Generation Wealth Advisors" 2018
Published on July 25, 2018. Rankings based on data as of March 31, 2018.

Forbes "Best-in-State Next-Generation Wealth Advisors 2019
Published on September 4, 2019. Rankings based on data as of March 31, 2019.

Who We Are

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.

Jonathan Barry Rank

Senior Wealth Management Lending Officer

Bank of America, N.A.

NMLS #642155

Delilah Blanco

Wealth Management Banking Specialist


Paul Vincent Barbarino

Employee Benefits Specialist

Bank of America, N.A.

Where do we begin? It starts with you.

At Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, 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

KF Group Welcome

Managing wealth requires perspective. At The Kass/Freeman Group, we recognize that no two families are alike, which is why our most important job is to appreciate all the intricacies and priorities facing you and your family.    

With more than 70 years of collective experience, we begin our process by getting intimately involved with you and your family to better understand your distinctive situation. It is this foundation of understanding that enables us to create highly tailored, sophisticated solutions to address your family’s complex, personal needs. We believe that understanding you and your family is the best place to begin when planning for your financial future: where you are today, where you want to be tomorrow, and what you hope to accomplish along the way.

Although every client has unique priorities, one commonality is that regardless of their goals, they simply do not have the time or inclination to properly tend to their family’s finances. Our value is to serve as the core of your financial team and enhance your life through personalized attention, exceptional service, and knowledgeable advice and guidance so you can focus on what’s most important to you and your family.

Every member of our team brings essential academic, professional, and financial training necessary to serve all your wealth management needs. More important than the intellectual strength and knowledge our backgrounds represent, our collaborative nature and the depth and breadth of our decades of real-world experience helps us tend to a multitude of areas of your financial life, no matter how complex.

We are honored to be recognized by Barron’s “Top 100 Private Wealth Management Teams” list in 2021 and 2022 (*Published annually in April. Rankings based on data as of December 31 of prior year) and Forbes "Best-in-State Wealth Management Teams" list in 2023 (*Published on January 12, 2023. Rankings based on data as of March 31, 2022). We look forward to serving you and multiple generations of your family for many years to come.

*Source: The Barron’s “Top 100 Private Wealth Management Teams” list, published annually in April. Rankings based on data as of December 31 of prior year.
The Barron’s “Top 100 Private Wealth Management Teams” list is a ranking of wealth management teams that specialize in serving individuals and families. The teams are ranked on a variety of factors, including their size and shape, the regulatory records and credentials of their members and the resources they have at their disposal to serve their client bases. The Barron’s “Top 100 Private Wealth Management Teams” ranking considered advisors with a minimum of seven years financial services experience and who 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 Rankings are based on the opinions of Barron’s and not representative nor indicative of any one client’s experience, future performance, or investment outcome and should not be construed as an endorsement of the advisor. Barron’s does not receive compensation from advisors, participating firms and their affiliates, or the media in exchange for rankings. 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. Barron’s is a trademark of Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.

*Source: The Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Management Teams” list, published on January 12, 2023. Rankings based on data as of March 31, 2022. Data provided by SHOOK® Research, LLC.  Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Management Teams” ranking was developed by SHOOK Research and is based on in-person, virtual and telephone due diligence meetings and a ranking algorithm that includes: a measure of each team’s best practices, client retention, industry experience, review of compliance records, firm nominations; and quantitative criteria, including: 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. Rankings are based on the opinions of Forbes and not representative nor indicative of any one client’s experience, future performance, or investment outcome and should not be construed as an endorsement of the advisor. Rankings and recognition from Forbes 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. SHOOK’s research and rankings provide opinions intended to help investors choose the right financial advisor and team, 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 www.SHOOKresearch.com. SHOOK is a registered trademark of SHOOK Research, LLC.

*Solutions are based upon the client’s risk tolerance, time horizon, liquidity needs, overall investment goals and the costs associated with the recommendation.

Our Approach

How do we help you manage wealth? By tailoring strategies to your unique goals.

At The Kass/Freeman Group, we believe everyone has a financial personality, as distinct as fingerprints. To help you manage your assets and income effectively, we work to understand your approach to money, how you earn and use it, and where you want it to take you. We can offer you strategies that evolve as your life and outlook change. The financial structure we envision for you at 55 will probably be far different than one we help you design at 75.

An emphasis on organization and efficiency

Our aim is to analyze the many key aspects of your financial world, from your income and expenses, to credit and debt, to investments, to how you plan to pass on your wealth. You'll get our opinion on what we believe is working and what areas could be improved. We want you to be able to spend less time worrying about financial details and more time doing the things you love.

What should your tomorrow look like?

In addition to helping you manage your financial picture today, we can help you prepare your assets, income and expectations for tomorrow. Whether you want a more traditional retirement filled with leisure activities, or plan on moving to a new career, a new business or a new land, we can customize investment, income and distribution strategies designed to help support the life you choose. We can also offer advice and guidance on advantageous ways to transfer wealth in your lifetime and beyond.

Our Philosophy

Our investment philosophy? We focus on helping to preserve wealth, seeking sensible growth and carefully watching risk.

"What should my portfolio look like?" This is a question we find at the forefront of virtually every client's mind. By and large, these are investors who have been smart about accumulating wealth, but understand that today's financial markets look and act differently than even just a few years ago. At The Kass/Freeman Group, we take a disciplined approach to investing that stresses diversification while seeking to take advantage of current opportunities.

Seeking to preserve capital

As a client, you're probably interested in using your wealth to support your dreams and those of your family. We can offer customized long-term asset preservation and appreciation strategies based on your goals, time horizon, risk profile and liquidity needs. If you need or want income now, we can suggest investments that offer income potential while still maintaining a long-term focus.  Ultimately, we understand that you have worked hard to accumulate your wealth and we want to help ensure that it has longevity.

Looking for sensible growth

We also understand that the retirement landscape is constantly evolving, as people continue to live longer.  Our team can work to pinpoint investments with growth potential that can help extend the longevity of your assets and help bridge any potential retirement "gap."  Because we work to understand your objectives for today and tomorrow, we can help you assess how much growth may be needed and potential avenues for pursuing it.

Helping you to assess risk and progress

Your investments face a number of risks that go far beyond market cycles. Taxes, inflation, economic conditions, and other forces beyond our control can work against your portfolio. Our team periodically reviews and reevaluates your holdings, measures your progress against the risks involved, and suggests different allocations if needed.  Given the constant changes occurring across the globe, we work to help identify new risks and educate you about how they may impact your investments.

Focus On High-Net-Worth Individuals and Business Owners

We  offer clients a breadth of potential solutions, premier customer service and financial tools based on their unique circumstances.

No matter what your goals may be, we begin by helping you define and prioritize your financial goals based on the following seven areas:

  • 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 and giving to charities
  • Work: Working in retirement, selling or starting a business
  • Finance: Bringing it all together; defining your financial goals
We'll 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 material should be regarded as general or educational information on healthcare or Social Security considerations and is not intended to provide specific healthcare or social security advice. If you have questions regarding your particular situation, please contact your legal or tax advisor.

Retirement Plan and Executive Compensation Services

At The Kass/Freeman Group, we’re privileged to help a number of leading businesses offer sensible, cost-effective retirement plans for their employees. Our team offers you access to an advanced array of services designed to cover every key aspect of your company’s retirement plan. You receive access to knowledgeable guidance on investment policy review and fee disclosure statements, menu selection, participation, and much more. As it pertains to the company’s retirement plan, our key areas of focus are on minimizing plan costs, increasing participation, and supporting you as you fulfill your fiduciary standards.

We also have the ability to help companies create executive compensation plans for their managers. Once a compensation plan is established we are then able to help implement the plan and provide education and servicing to participating employees.

Turning Employees into Investors

In addition to helping you as the employer, we also aim to provide a high level of service to your employees. Our job does not end by simply creating a company retirement plan – our goal is to then drive participation by informing your employee base about the plan-specifics and educating them on basic investing principles and how they can pursue all that the plan has to offer. We do this through customized employee education programs held at your company’s office(s) at least on an annual basis.

"We've been able to work with a number of companies to help their employees prepare for tomorrow. We strive to offer you access to a broad range of services designed to cover key aspects of your company's retirement plan."

Jonathan E. Kass, CRPC®

*CRPC® and Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor℠ are trademarks or registered service marks of the College for Financial Planning in the US and/or other countries.

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.

      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.