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Merrill lynch

Campbell, Johnson & Earl

Wealth Management Group
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Merrill Lynch
Wealth Management

By examining myriad factors that comprise our clients’ financial lives
– and embracing their most cherished goals –
our experienced team continue to provide value that spans generations.


At the Campbell, Johnson & Earl Wealth Management Group, we take a distinctive, multi-disciplined approach to wealth management. We expect you’ll find that it is different, more comprehensive, and more meaningful than what you may have found elsewhere.

As a team and individually, we have been consitently recoginized for excellence by the industry. Our group was named to the 2023 Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Management Teams” List* (Published on January 12, 2023. Rankings based on data as of March 31, 2022.)  What’s more, each of our advisors has earned professional credentials and accolades that reflect their ongoing training and national reputation. We feel privileged to bring clients a rare blend of experience and expertise.

As long-time colleagues, our advisors trace their roots to the fields of economics, finance, applied mathematics, and the practice of law. Applying our competencies, we are able to create “idea leverage” – putting our heads together to deliver forward-thinking recommendations that serve clients’ best interests.

With our strong and ongoing emphasis on planning, we help clients achieve benefits that extend beyond dollars and cents – to feeling financially secure in the present and feeling optimistic about the future. By doing our jobs well, we can help clients who work and play hard, rest easily.

(Please note: Because the development of effective planning strategies is critical to our approach and your success, we devote an entire section to it, at left. We hope you’ll read it.)

*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.

Who Do We Serve

A diverse and ambitious clientele in Virginia and more than 20 other states – active and retired business owners, physicians, attorneys, engineers, shipping and transportation executives, and generations of their families. We also work closely with medical practices and law firms whose retirement plans we handle.

Our wide-ranging ages and interests allow us to work naturally with older and younger clients – laying the groundwork for close and enduring relationships. Many clients have become our close friends – sharing their happy and sad news with us, as friends do.

As an established group, we take a “team approach” in which we share perspectives and provide clients with our deep reserve of knowledge and know-how. This dynamic has created immeasurable benefits for clients who sell their enterprises, transition from a work life to a retirement lifestyle, look to leave a family legacy, or are challenged by difficult life events.

We are well aware that clients can choose from thousands of advisors. That’s why we are so passionate about our efforts and delivering what we believe is a superior and consistent level of wealth management.

Our Passion for Planning

At the Campbell, Johnson & Earl Group, we are devoted to knowing clients exceedingly well – personally and financially. By intentionally serving a limited number of households, we can engage more frequently in thought-provoking conversations that revolve around their interests, not just their finances. It is our intention to know what’s on clients’ minds and in their hearts – without having to consult our notes.

From multi-layered retirement and estate planning, to succession and exit planning, liability management, and cash management strategies, we operate very much like a family office – looking at a client’s full financial picture before addressing any part of it.

Given our backgrounds, we have tremendous respect for the role and importance of estate planning strategies. We also have a natural affinity for identifying, optimizing, and maintaining tax efficiencies for clients throughout the year, not just at tax time.

As a planning focused advisory team, we believe that effective planning is about rapport, not a report. Recognizing that clients can make vastly improved decisions in an environment they understand and in which they feel understood, we educate and encourage a values-based approach. The quality and longevity of our client relationships remind us of the roles we play and the trust we’ve earned.

Experience tells us “the conversation with clients is critical.” How do they want to live? How do they want their children to live? What financial lesson do they want to pass on? What’s most important to them? What brings them joy and what keeps them awake at night? What if something happened to them last month – how would their family be doing next month?

Many clients aren’t sure how much money they’ll need to enjoy a fulfilling retirement lifestyle or what’s entailed in planning the sale of their company. Others want to create a legacy that reflects their values and prepare their children for the responsibilities of stewarding wealth. Rather than make assumptions, we make time for friendly, candid conversations at clients’ kitchen tables, offices, or our conference table.

Taking a surgical approach to “family wealth” planning, we meet clients where they are, assist them in articulating their financial goals and what steps should be taken to achieve them, and protect what matters most to them. Our initial conversations may touch on cash flow, budgeting, investment objectives, personal and business circumstances, legacy planning, and titling of assets.

Of course, our efforts require an extra measure of time that many advisors do not expend. However, we believe that clients deserve our very best and extended focus when positive and enduring results can be achieved.

Corporate Retirement Plans, Lending, and Exit Planning

At the Campbell, Johnson & Earl Wealth Management Group, we’ve earned the opportunity to serve many of the region’s most successful entrepreneurs and their broader enterprises. Clients have leaned on our experience and expertise to address their distinct, wide-ranging, and complex financial needs.

Our mission? To accelerate your “financial wellness” – as it relates to you, your business, and employees.

A robust retirement plan can be instrumental in tax planning for those at every level in your enterprise. It is also a powerful tool to help employees prepare for a comfortable and dignified retirement.  

As Retirement Benefits Consultants (RBC), we are one of a select group of highly qualified and credentialed Merrill teams that specializes in defined contribution plans. Through our Fiduciary Advisory Service, we facilitate discussions around plan design, investment menu design and due diligence, employee education, and reliable guidance on government regulations – while optimizing the plan’s cost structure

Our group draws on our own extensive professional experience and the deep resources of Merrill to help you tailor retirement benefit plans to their requirements and manage those plans as needs evolve. We offer guidance to sponsors of 401(k) plans, defined benefit programs, non-qualified defined contribution plans, and supplemental executive and equity benefit plans.

Specifically, we can provide guidance on designing a new retirement benefit plan or converting an existing one, selecting or changing a plan provider, monitoring plan performance, updating investment menus and educating plan participants. This comprehensive approach helps you – the plan sponsor – provide a strong, healthy, and fully compliant program that runs smoothly, engages employees, and simplifies your role.

As part of Bank of America, we can connect you to a vast range of technologically advanced and secure solutions for liability management and corporate cash management. The firm can also help you gain access to capital markets. When it comes to credit and lending solutions, we can introduce you to options for flexible lines of credit, as well as equipment loans, secured business loans, and SBA loans.

If you are considering expanding, transferring, or selling your business, we can deliver insights and options you may not have considered. Working in tandem with your CPA and attorney, we can also help you quantify the amount of capital your family may need to extract from the business if you enter into a sale and its tax implications. 

In addition, we can connect you to the Private Sale Referral Network (PSRN) at Merrill – a key differentiator of our firm. Working on your behalf, a dedicated deal team will help you find the right investor or buyer for your company. Recognizing that price is only one consideration, we will help you secure a deal structure and terms that align with your priorities for your company and employees.

What Clients Can Expect

At the Campbell, Johnson & Earl Wealth Management Group, our vision of providing superior wealth management is predicated on having a genuine, ongoing appreciation of you – what keeps you up at night and what brings a smile to your face at the end of a productive workday or memorable weekend. 

Given our decades of experience, we rarely see situations we haven’t encountered. We feel fortunate to have long memories and relationships. It is our goal to help you benefit from others we’ve assisted in similar positions.

We are often surprised by the expectations of new clients. Most have only an inkling of the breadth and depth of our offering. As our client, you can expect that we will:

• Assess your overall wealth and its components – where they’re held, and how they can be consolidated to optimize their impact. We will perform an in-depth analysis of your investment allocation with regard to diversification, risk and cash flow and time horizon – to identify redundancies, gaps, and exposures.

• Apply a fiduciary standard to our efforts and always put your needs first. To us, that also means collaborating with you and your spouse (whenever possible) and supporting you and your family members as responsible stewards of your wealth.

• Strive to help you make thoughtful, unhurried decisions, rather than emotional ones. Our efforts are designed to increase the probability of your success, even when life’s challenges may feel overwhelming.

• Work collaboratively with CPA and attorney (with your permission) – helping to direct their implementation of the tax minimization and estate planning strategies we help develop.

• Do our best work when your needs grow in complexity. Putting our heads together, we enjoy meeting challenges. The more you ask us to do, the more value we can deliver.

• Explain what actual outcomes look like, in simple terms, without needless financial jargon. Going beyond spreadsheets, we will illustrate alternate, real-world scenarios and discuss them with you.

• Focus on capital preservation – to help insulate you from needless losses, tax consequences, and inflation. In fact we consider ourselves to be “capital preservation managers” who see the word “preservation” as meaning many things, beyond your investments. To us, it means preserving your values and visions for your life and those who you love.

• Use our firm’s Chief Investment Office for overall strategic direction and the insights of our firm’s award-winning analysts to customize a diversified, risk-managed portfolio for you that spans asset classes, sectors, and borders. Depending on a range of factors, your portfolio may include equities, bonds, ETFs, and alternative investments* (which allow you to benefit from non-correlated assets that we deem attractive, affordable, and likely to offer reduced volatility).

 • Provide concierge-like service. We encourage you to call us for any financial matter. Facilitating transactions and responding in timely fashion, we stand ready to handle details on your behalf – and get it right the first time. We never want you to “ask us twice.”


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 E. Campbell

Forbes "Best-in-State Wealth Advisors" 2021-2022-2023
Published annually Jan- April. Rankings based on data as of June 30 of prior year.

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

Barron's "Top 1,200 Financial Advisors: State-By-State" 2023
Published on March 10, 2023. Rankings based on data as of September 30, 2022.

D. Nathan Johnson

Forbes "Best-in-State Next-Generation Wealth Advisors 2022
Published on August 3, 2022. Rankings based on data as of March 31, 2022.

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

Forbes "Best-in-State Wealth Advisors" 2023
Published on April 4, 2023. Rankings based on data as of June 30, 2022.

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.

Meagan Maples

Wealth Management Banking Specialist


Neil W Phelan

Senior Wealth Management Lending Officer

Bank of America, N.A.

NMLS #108774

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.

      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.