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MLCS Group

Individual and Institutional Consulting
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MLCS Group is proud to be recognized #1 in Oklahoma on the 2024 Forbes "Best-In-State Wealth Management Teams" list for the second consecutive year. (Published annually in January. Rankings based on data as of March 31 of prior year).

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

We focus on addressing the investing and wealth management needs of institutions and high net worth individuals and families. We work closely with clients to determine their needs and aspirations so that we can craft customized strategies to help them pursue their goals.

Approach

No matter how you choose to work with us, you can expect caring and committed service from a team that believes in placing clients at the center of everything we do. We strive to be attentive to details, and we encourage clients to contact us about matters both big and small.

Retirement Benefits Consultant

As Bank of America Retirement Benefits Consultants (RBC), MLCS 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. Please refer to the Fiduciary Advisory Services Brochure for information on the program including a description of the series and related fees.

Institutional Consulting

As a Bank of America Global Institutional Consultant, Morgan Martin of the MLCS 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.

*Global Institutional Consulting is part of the Global Wealth & Investment Management business of BofA Corp. Institutional Investments & Philanthropic Solutions (“II&PS”) is part of Bank of America Private Bank, a division of Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC, and a wholly owned subsidiary of BofA Corp. Trust and fiduciary services and other banking products are provided by wholly owned banking affiliates of BofA Corp., including Bank of America, N.A. Global Institutional Consultants mentioned herein are registered representatives with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (also referred to as “MLPF&S” or “Merrill”) and may assist you with investment products and services. The nature and degree of advice and assistance provided, the fees charged, and clients’ rights and Merrill’s obligations will differ depending upon the products and services actually provided. Banking activities may be performed by wholly owned banking affiliates of BofA Corp., including Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC. Brokerage and investment advisory services are provided by wholly owned non-bank affiliates of BofA Corp., including Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (also referred to as “MLPF&S” or “Merrill”), a registered broker-dealer and investment adviser and Member SIPC.

Meet the Team

Our team is comprised of talented and experienced individuals committed to building strong client relationships based on trust and personalized service.

Additional Resources

MLCS 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.

Ed Fuentes

Ed Fuentes

Employee Benefits Specialist

Bank of America, N.A.

Tyson M Hickle

Tyson M Hickle

Wealth Management Banking Specialist

Merrill

Steve Richer

Steve Richer

Employee Benefits Specialist

Bank of America, N.A.

We start with what’s important to you

At Bank of America, 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.

Solutions for Institutions

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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 broad 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

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 ourselves, 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 help make the broad capabilities of Bank of America Corporation feel more accessible.

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.

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. 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
  • Online investment advisory programs that offer participant advice; Personal Retirement Strategy that provides online advice and guidance to help participants pursue their retirement income goals through a recommended asset allocation and, if the participant elects, a discretionary managed account, Merrill Managed, for an additional fee or Advice Access that helps participants by providing asset allocation recommendations and ongoing investment management through its optional PersonalManager® service, for a fee.
  • Comprehensive employee education program

Personal Retirement Strategy is an online investment advisory program sponsored by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. (“MLPF&S” or “Merrill”) that uses a probabilistic approach to determine the likelihood that participants in the program will accumulate sufficient total assets to achieve their annual retirement income goal. The recommendations provided by Personal Retirement Strategy 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 Personal Retirement Strategy. Participants should carefully review the explanation of the methodology used, including key assumptions and limitations, as well as a description of services and related fees, which is provided in the Personal Retirement Strategy Brochure (ADV Part 2A). It can be obtained through Benefits OnLine or through the Retirement Benefits Contact Center.

Advice Access is an online investment advisory program sponsored by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. (“MLPF&S” or “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. 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 as well as a description of services and related fees, which is provided in the Advice Access disclosure document (ADV Part 2A). It can be obtained through Benefits OnLine or through the Retirement Benefits Contact Center.

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.

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.

CIO Chart Book Outlook Summary

This document summarizes Bank of America Chief Investment Office asset class views and illustrates the CIO market outlook and positioning through a collection of graphs and tables.

Solutions for Individuals

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Virtual Family Office-Like Experience

MLCS group prioritizes building strong and lasting relationships with clients, ensuring their financial well-being and facilitating a smooth transition to the next generation often serving as a virtual family office.

Establishing Trust and Appropriate Solutions: From the outset, we focus on developing a deep understanding of each client's financial goals, values, and priorities. Through regular meetings and open communication, we build a relationship based on trust, confidentiality, and transparency. Together with the client, we create a customized wealth management plan that aligns with their long-term objectives. This plan encompasses financial strategies, estate planning strategies, and philanthropic initiatives. By regularly reviewing and adjusting this plan based on evolving circumstances, we help ensure that it remains aligned with the client's changing needs and goals. 

As a leader in the the client's virtual family office-like experience, we actively engage in multi-generational planning. This involves fostering financial literacy and education among the next generation, facilitating discussions on wealth transfer, and preparing heirs for their roles and responsibilities. We organize family meetings and workshops to address topics such as financial management, investment principles, and governance structures. By involving the next generation early on and providing them with the necessary tools and knowledge, we work to help ensure a smooth transition of wealth and empower them to make informed decisions in the future.

When the time comes for transitioning the relationship to the next generation, we work closely with the client to implement a well-defined succession plan. This plan includes the transfer of leadership roles, preservation of wealth, and guidance for the incoming generation. We facilitate a comprehensive handover process, helping to ensure that the next generation has a clear understanding of the family's values, financial strategies, and the role of our office. Throughout this transition, we maintain open lines of communication with both generations, providing ongoing support and guidance to help ensure a seamless continuation of the family's financial legacy.


*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.

 

Approach

Every relationship begins with a conversation, helping you identify and prioritize which goals matter most to you. Whether it's transferring wealth to the next generation, customizing your financial approach to help you pursue your passions, or providing advice and guidance to help you stay informed, we start by listening to learn more about you and your family.

Capabilities

Merrill’s process is designed to help deliver a customized, comprehensive experience to assist you not only in wealth accumulation and preservation, but in areas that go beyond investments. Providing you with access to the investment insights of Merrill, trust and fiduciary services from Bank of America Private Bank, and the banking and lending solutions of Bank of America offers a way to help you manage all of the pieces of your financial life. Working one-on-one with a Merrill advisor means you have a single point of contact to help you with potential strategies for transferring wealth to the younger generation.

Join us

Let’s Have a Conversation

There is no substitute for a one-on-one relationship with a Merrill financial advisor committed to your needs.