Teamwork is integral to our practice. The talented group working with Steve has a deep understanding of what Bank of America Merrill Lynch can offer clients. Together we can navigate the specialized resources and capabilities to choose those that are suited to your organization’s needs.

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 its employees – it’s these real-world insights that guide our strategies and personalized service.

About Us

About Us


The Penton–Telerico Group is a team that provides consulting services and investment advice to institutions. Steven R. Penton is among a select group of Merrill Lynch financial advisors who have been specially designated as Global Institutional Consultants after undergoing a rigorous selection process that includes a review of institutional client experience and a comprehensive, multidimensional professional assessment. Global Institutional Consultants are required to possess advanced professional credentials, such as the Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) designation.

Teamwork is integral to our practice. The talented group working with Steve has a deep understanding of what Bank of America Merrill Lynch can offer clients. Together we can navigate the specialized resources and capabilities to choose those that are suited to your organization’s needs.

What we do today is a continuation of what our founder started in the mid 1970s. We are proud to work with the same level of sophisticated institutions across the country. The Penton-Telerico Group serves diverse institutional clients, including:

  • Defined-benefit pension plans—private, public and Taft-Hartley
  • Endowments and nonprofit industry associations
  • Defined-contribution retirement benefit plans—primarily 401(k)s and profit-sharing plans
  • Private and public nonprofit foundations
We also provide investment services to a select number of families whose exceptional wealth is suited to an institutional investment approach.

Our client base is national in scope, although it is concentrated in the Midwest. Please call or e-mail us for further information or if you would like to discuss how The Penton–Telerico Group can be of service to you or your organization.

Foundations and Endowments


Our goal in working with foundations, endowments and other nonprofits is to help them pursue their objectives or stated missions.

We collaborate closely with managers, oversight committees and investment stewards to truly understand the organization and support them as they act in their fiduciary capacity.

We believe that the most productive investment strategies for nonprofit enterprises are linked to their strategic objectives, governance issues, investment policy considerations and risk management. Our disciplined, six-step process is designed to be the strategic connection between an organization’s mission and its investment portfolio.

We also consult with nonprofits on donor development and endowment building, spending policy analysis, trust and custody services, tax reporting and Bank of America fiduciary services. In these areas, we are supported by specialists in the Institutional Investment & Philanthropic Solutions group of Bank of America.

"Institutions today face daunting investment decisions. We are proponents of open-architecture investment strategies that address the unique needs of foundations, endowments and pension plans. We offer each client the benefits of our own skills and experience, amplified by the thought leadership, renowned research and extensive capabilities of a global firm. We believe it's a powerful combination."

Steven R. Penton, CIMA®
Senior Vice President
Wealth Management Advisor
Global Institutional Consultant

Benefit Plans


Defined-Contribution Plans

A defined-contribution plan is a valuable benefit for employees and can affect their job satisfaction and productivity.

We work with sponsors to improve the efficiency and design of their defined-contribution plan. A typical first step is to review the plan and the third-party vendors for cost, efficiency and performance. The Penton–Telerico Group has extensive experience in:

  • Developing diversified investment menus that align with the needs of participants and management
  • Designing or revising benefit plans
  • Establishing education and communications programs designed to help equip participants for rational, forward-looking financial decision making
Sponsors of large to mega plans may want to consider fully outsourced, turnkey service from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, one of the nation’s largest full-service defined-contribution plan administrators.

Defined-Benefit Plans

Defined-benefit plan sponsors have turned to The Penton–Telerico Group for access to resources that can help in devising a broad range of investment strategies designed to normalize contribution expenses, as well as for assistance in adopting new plan designs and in outsourcing key administrative and recordkeeping functions to enhance cost management.

We work side by side with the Retirement and Benefit Plan Services group of Bank of America Merrill Lynch so that clients may choose the services that best meet their needs, including:

  • Discretionary, fully outsourced investment management, with Bank of America, N.A., acting as a fiduciary1
  • Partially outsourced investment advisory services
  • De-risking and liability-driven investment (LDI) strategies
  • Institutional trust and custody
  • Pension payment services
  • Plan recordkeeping, administrative and participant services
  • Actuarial services
"The demands on pension fund overseers and nonprofit managers have never been greater. I try to reduce some of the burdens by providing insightful guidance and by extending the capabilities of your staff. This frees you to focus on more pressing management responsibilities and allows you to leverage the team's skills and experience and the vast capabilities of Bank of America Merrill Lynch."

Steven R. Penton, CIMA®
Senior Vice President
Wealth Management Advisor
Global Institutional Consultant
1. Bank of America, N.A., an affiliate of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, will act as a fiduciary in providing investment services to defined-benefit plans and will manage plan assets consistent with the duties and standards established under ERISA, including its oversight of any third-party investment managers. Merrill Lynch and its representatives do not provide investment advice with regard to defined-benefit plans where Bank of America, N.A., is a fiduciary.
2. Actuarial services are provided through a partnership with Milliman, one of the world’s largest actuarial consulting firms.

Meet The Group

"As a team, we work exceedingly well together. Each of us has a unique personality and different outside interests, but when it comes to serving clients, we are very much alike. We share a strong sense of dedication and commitment, and we’re driven by professionalism."

Mark L. Telerico
Senior Vice President
Senior Financial Advisor
Portfolio Manager

Additional Resources

Penton-Telerico 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.

Solutions for Institutions

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Helping institutions meet their investment needs

We put the resources and intellectual capital of Bank of America and Merrill Lynch 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.

And More

Beyond our experience, we offer access to the deep intellectual capital and broad capabilities of Bank of America Corporation and its affiliates. If we identify a need we can’t service myself, we can connect you with the people and resources to help you. Through our network of advisors, we strive to deliver strategies to help you manage the day-to-day and long-term responsibilities required in pursuing your institution’s goals. As we work together to address your evolving needs, we can make the broad capabilities of Bank of America Corporation feel much more accessible.

Investment Solutions

We provide access to a full suite of investment solutions to help you manage assets 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.


Investment Policy Statement Development and Review

Act as liaison between institutional clients and Merrill Lynch’s Investment Policy Statement (IPS) service, which creates and modifies an IPS, based on the client’s investment goals and objectives.


Strategic Allocation Modeling

Customizable asset allocation based on the Merrill Lynch insightful capital market assumptions.


Investment Manager Due Diligence

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


Investment Manager Search and Selection

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


Portfolio Strategy

Leverage Merrill Lynch’s global intellectual capital including tactical tilts to help increase returns.


Performance Measurement

Monitor, 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 Merrill Lynch, 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.

Consider the broad spectrum of our investment management and advisory solutions, including:

  • Investment consulting services
  • Access to fiduciary asset management
  • Impact investing
  • Board governance and education
  • Fundraising & planned giving strategies
  • Cash and liquidity management
  • Nonprofit industry insights

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 Merrill Lynch’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


To help you meet your fiduciary responsibilities, we can offer investment solutions which are vetted by the investment due diligence process of the Chief Investment Office (CIO). Merrill Lynch will accept ERISA 3(21) fiduciary responsibility for the investment advice provided through DCIC. We believe that putting the expertise of a specialized Merrill Lynch financial advisor to work for your plan is a smart solution to help you meet your fiduciary responsibilities. We can offer thoughtful advice on how to create an investment lineup that fits your organization’s needs, as well as provide support to help manage investments over time.

Workplace Insights™ | Public Policy & Trends

Access information about the issues, laws and industry changes that are being considered and what these changes can mean to you and your employees.

Solutions for Individuals

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We believe that the best financial strategy is the one that helps you pursue your goals. That's why, from the start, we talk about your aspirations and encourage you to ask questions about issues that matter most to you. Worried about managing future health care expenses? College on the horizon? Considering the sale of a business or purchase of a home? Preparing to pass your wealth on to future generations? With access to the investing insights of Merrill Lynch and the banking convenience of Bank of America, we will work with you to develop strategies that are designed to address your priorities and financial needs.


We begin every relationship with a conversation, helping you to identify and prioritize which goals matter most to you. Whether that's transferring wealth to the next generation, customizing financial strategies that help you pursue your passions, or simply providing advice and guidance to help you stay informed, we start by listening to learn more about you.

Merrill Lynch developed the Investment Personality Assessment to help us get to know your investing preferences. By gaining a deeper understanding of how you think and feel about investing through this assessment, we can help customize the financial strategy we develop together.


Our process is designed to deliver a customized, consistent experience to assist clients not only in wealth accumulation and preservation, but in areas that go beyond portfolio management. Our ability to provide access to the investment insights of Merrill Lynch and the banking convenience of Bank of America offers a way for clients to manage all of the pieces of their financial lives. We can be a financial resource, helping clients with the process of transferring wealth to the younger generation.

Your approach to investing

Drawing upon research in the field of behavioral finance, Merrill Lynch developed the Investment Personality Assessment to help us get to know you better as an investor and potentially help you refine your own investing preferences. By gaining a deeper understanding of how you think and feel about investing through this assessment, we can customize the financial strategy we develop together to help you with your approach for what matters most to you. Our Investment Personality Assessment is one of the ways to help me get to know you – to understand your goals and priorities. These questions will give you a sense of the full assessment and help us provide you with additional insights and resources.

Understanding your goals and priorities

Your life and goals change. We have tools to help you keep track of these changes so they can be reflected in your financial strategy.

Staying on Track

We understand that both your life and the financial markets can change over time. By periodically checking in to discuss changes in your life and revisiting your financial strategy, our goal is to help give you peace of mind* that you're on track to help achieve what's most important to you.


Regular reviews to help you stay on track

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


Monitoring changes in your life and to your goals

Your life and goals change. We can help you keep track of these changes so they can be reflected in your financial strategy.

Access to what you need, when you need it

MyMerrill is your destination for access to your financial information, secure communications, and a robust offering of tools and capabilities.

  • Your advisor is never more than a click away within our site or mobile apps
  • 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 Lynch’s asset aggregation tool

*Peace of mind is an aspirational state of mind that clients hope to achieve. There are no guaranteed results following completion of the Goals-Based Wealth Management process because markets can fluctuate and investments can lose value. Advisors work with clients to help them understand how the goals based wealth management process can help to address their concerns, financial situation and priorities.

Your Financial Strategy

We offer you access to the investing insights of Merrill Lynch and the banking convenience of Bank of America to help you pursue your goals. We will work to help you stay on track, regardless of what the markets are doing.

Taking care of your family and other people in your life
  • Trust & Estate Services2
  • Education Funding Strategies1
  • Insurance3
Planning for healthcare expenses now and in the future
  • Long-term Care Insurance3
  • Health Savings Account2
  • Disability Insurance3
Upsizing, downsizing, remodeling or buying a vacation home
  • Home Loans2
  • Home Equity Lines of Credit2
  • Securities-Based Lending2
  • Credit Cards2
Working in retirement, selling or starting a business
  • Bank of America Business Banking2
  • Exchange Funds1
  • Concentrated Stock Management1
  • Succession Planning1
Spending your free time in meaningful ways
  • Credit Cards2
  • Securities-Based Lending2
  • Structured Lending2
Volunteering, mentoring others and giving to charities
  • Donor-Advised Funds2
  • Private Foundations2
  • Charitable Trusts2
Using your finances to bring it all together
  • Merrill Lynch Investment Accounts1
  • Investment Advisory Accounts1
  • Alternative Investments1
  • Exchange-Traded Funds1
  • Mutual Funds1
  • Closed-end Funds1
  • Fixed Income Products1
  • Options1
  • Annuities3
  • Impact Portfolios1
  • Market-Linked Investments1
  • Securities-Based Lending2
  • Margin1
  • Home Loans2
  • Bank of America Checking and Savings Accounts2
  • Credit Cards2
  • Online Account Access1,2

1Investment products are offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated.
2Banking products are offered by Bank of America, N.A.
3Insurance and annuity products offered through Merrill Lynch Life Agency Inc.

Thought Leadership

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