The 20 Best Financial Advisers


These are the Boston area's best high-end investment managers and financial planners, chosen from thousands of nominations made by securities firms, banks, and others, and based on assets managed, customer satisfaction, community involvement, compliance, experience, and assessments by coworkers and clients.

1. Raj Sharma
Merrill Lynch, Boston, 800-926-5579, www.fa.ml.com/sharmagroup
Typical account size: $10 million; typical net worth of clients: $10 million; total team assets: $4.5 billion; percentage of accounts worth under $1 million: 1

An Emerson grad who once worked as a DJ in India, Sharma started his own team, the Sharma Group, inside Merrill Lynch.

2. Marc A. White Jr.
JPMorgan Private Bank, Boston, 617-310-0715, www.jpmorgan.com/privatebank
Typical account size: $20–30 million; typical net worth of clients: $30–50 million; total team assets: $2.6 billion; percentage of accounts worth under $1 million: n/a

White is managing director of JPMorgan Private Bank here.

3. John D. Spooner
Citigroup Smith Barney, Boston, 617-589-3500, www.smithbarney.com
Typical account size: $1–2 million; typical net worth of clients: $5 million; total team assets: $2.7 billion; percentage of accounts worth under $1 million: 40

In his trademark bow tie, Beacon Hill money man Spooner is adviser to the stars (Jack Nicholson was his guest last summer for 18 holes at The Country Club) and author of such books as Do You Want to Make Money or Would You Rather Fool Around?

4. William J. Sullivan
UBS Financial Services, Boston, 617-261-1000, www.ubs.com
Typical account size: $5 million; typical net worth of clients: $25 million; total team assets: $700 million; percentage of accounts worth under $1 million: n/a

Sullivan works with a team of four that includes his wife, Sarah.

5. Andrew H. Zimmerman*
Merrill Lynch, Boston, 800-723-7934, www.fa.ml.com/zt_group
Typical account size: $5 million; typical net worth of clients: $10 million; total team assets: $850 million; percentage of accounts worth under $1 million: 5

An avid squash player, Zimmerman manages money for a select group of around 200 families, endowments, and corporations.

6. Susan C. Kaplan
Kaplan Financial Services/Linsco/Private Ledger, Newton, 617-527-1557, www.kaplan-financial.com
Typical account size: $2 million; typical net worth of clients: $10 million; total team assets: $720 million; percentage of accounts worth under $1 million: n/a

In addition to her day job, Kaplan moonlights as cohost of WTKK's The Money Show.

7. Donald Little
UBS Financial Services, Boston, 617-261-1000, ubs.com
Typical account size: $2–5 million; typical net worth of clients: $15–20 million; total team assets: $750 million; percentage of accounts worth under $1 million: 15

Little founded the regional institutional equity sales department at Kidder, Peabody before it became part of UBS. He's also a horseman who established the Fidelity Investments Jumper Classic.

8. Michael A. Trethewey*
Merrill Lynch, Boston, 888-682-3530, www.fa.ml.com/zt_group
Typical account size: $2–20 million; typical net worth of clients: $5–100+ million; total team assets: $850 million; percentage of accounts worth under $1 million: 5

Trethewey is a member of the Beacon Society, which promotes Sherlock Holmes stories to kids.

9. James Minchello
Citigroup Smith Barney, Boston, 617-589-3500, www.smithbarney.com
Typical account size: $5–20 million; typical net worth of clients: $10 million; total team assets: $4.8 billion; percentage of accounts worth under $1 million: n/a

Barron's named Minchello one of America's top 100 financial brokers last year.

10. Stephen Howlett
Morgan Stanley, Boston, 800-829-9199, www.morganstanley.com
Typical account size: $5 million; typical net worth of clients: $10 million; total team assets: $847 million; percentage of accounts worth under $1 million: 20

Hingham native Howlett is a Vietnam vet and a trustee of the High Street Cemetery and the Hingham Congregational Church.

11. Laurence H. Knowlton
UBS Financial Services, Boston, 617-261-1000, www.ubs.com
Typical account size: $2 million; typical net worth of clients: $5 million; total team assets: $570 million; percentage of accounts worth under $1 million: 20

Knowlton provides commission-free financial services for Jack Williams's Endowment for Wednesday's Child, which funds special-needs adoptions.

12. Jack G. Stevenson
Banc of America Investment Services, Boston, 800-800-1784, www.bankofamerica.com
Typical account size: $2.5 million; typical net worth of clients: $5 million; total team assets: $650 million; percentage of accounts worth under $1 million: n/a

Stevenson serves on the board of the MSPCA-Angell.

13. Scott Finlay
Wachovia Securities, Boston, 617-342-1400, www.wachoviasec.com
Typical account size: $750,000–3 million; typical net worth of clients: $2–10 million; total team assets: $320 million; percentage of accounts worth under $1 million: 41

In addition to slaloming through the market, Finlay is a member of the National Ski Patrol.

14. Todd Conklin
Morgan Stanley private wealth management, Boston, 617-757-8837, www.morganstanley.com
Typical account size: $20–30 million; typical net worth of clients: $30–50 million; total team assets: $1.043 billion; percentage of accounts worth under $1 million: n/a

Conklin has spent 13 years at Morgan Stanley, six in Boston.

15. Brian Murphy
Morgan Stanley private wealth management, boston, 617-757-8829, www.morganstanley.com
Typical account size: $20–30 million; typical net worth of clients: $30–50 million; total team assets: $1.043 billion; percentage of accounts worth under $1 million: n/a

Murphy is a founding member of Morgan Stanley's Boston office.

16. Debra Brede
D. K. Brede Investment management/ commonwealth financial network, Needham, 781-444-9367, www.bredeinvestment.com
Typical account size: $1 million; typical net worth of clients: $3 million; total team assets: $296.5 million; percentage of accounts worth under $1 million: n/a

Brede also serves as a trustee of the Boston Rescue Mission.

17. Barbara B. Schaye
Credit Suisse, Boston, 617-856-3000, www.credit-suisse.com
Typical account size: $3–5 million; typical net worth of clients: $5–20 million; total team assets: $233 million; percentage of accounts worth under $1 million: n/a

Schaye sits on the boards of trade organizations and is a Peabody Essex Museum overseer.

18. Ron Hertel
Wachovia Securities, Boston, 617-342-1400, www.wachoviasec.com
Typical account size: $1–2 million; typical net worth of clients: $1–10 million; total team assets: $265 million; percentage of accounts worth under $1 million: 20

A financial adviser for 36 years, Hertel now often works with second-generation clients.

19. Mark Winthrop
LPL Financial Services, Linsco/Private Ledger, Westborough, 508-836-5500, www.lpl.com
Typical account size: $2 million; typical net worth of clients: $2–10 million; total team assets: $555 million; percentage of accounts worth under $1 million: 15

Winthrop started out investigating tax shelters for the IRS.

20. Mary B. Mullin
Merrill Lynch, Boston, 800-846-6718, www.fa.ml.com/mh
Typical account size: $1+ million; typical net worth of clients: $10+ million; total team assets: $581 million; percentage of accounts worth under $1 million: 11

Mullin provides financial planning services to affluent families and small-business owners. 

How We Did This: Net worth of clients includes investable assets, excluding primary residence. Team assets include custodied and noncustodied assets that adviser and team advise. Where the adviser is a member of a team, he or she is ranked on individual assets or percentage of contribution to the team. Prepared for Boston magazine by R. J. Shook and Shookbook LLC. Copyright © R. J. Shook. This material may not be reprinted or published without written consent from R. J. Shook. For more information or to nominate an adviser for future lists, visit wcorg.com. R. J. Shook and Shookbook LLC are independent of the firms involved and do not receive compensation from the firms or their affiliates, financial advisers, or the media in exchange for these rankings. Client portfolio performance is not a criterion.

*Represents partners.

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