Bank of America Coronavirus Resource Center See details


Private Wealth Advisors
Learn more about an advisor's background on
FINRA's BrokerCheck

Your journey requires customized strategies tailored to your unique goals and priorities. We serve a limited number of individuals and families, allowing us to offer personalized, boutique-like services to help you simplify your life and pursue what’s important to you.

Meet the Team

The private wealth advisors with Merrill Private Wealth Management are rigorously trained to help meet your specialized needs with relationships based on trust and personalized service.

Thomas R Blanchfield

Thomas R Blanchfield

Managing Director

Senior Consultant

Justin  Vaicek

Justin Vaicek

Managing Director

Private Wealth Manager

Scott  Smeltzer

Scott Smeltzer,

Assistant Vice President

Private Wealth Investment Management Specialist

Kimberly B Clarke

Kimberly B Clarke

Senior Private Wealth Client Associate

Edward  Beyer

Edward Beyer,

Private Wealth Business Development Specialist

Wendy Diana Torres

Wendy Diana Torres

Registered Private Wealth Client Associate


Additional Resources

The following specialists do not make securities recommendations. Please contact your Merrill Private Wealth Advisor if you have questions about how a specialist might be able to assist you.

Aaron Deming

Aaron Deming

Senior Wealth Management Lending Officer

Bank of America, N.A.

NMLS #637451

John G Manalili

John G Manalili

Senior Structured Credit Executive

Bank of America, N.A.

Solutions designed to help you achieve your goals

As a client of Merrill Private Wealth Management, you have access to services and resources ordinarily reserved for the world’s largest institutions. We work with individuals, families spanning multiple generations, business owners and executives. Using a goals-based wealth management approach, we put our clients at the center of every personalized strategy.

Our Approach

A Commitment to Service

Merrill Private Wealth Management is committed to providing a select group of clients with highly personalized one-on-one service. When you work with us, our knowledgeable, rigorously trained private wealth advisors will gain a deep understanding of your goals, help you develop a multigenerational wealth strategy, and help you update your approach as needed. We are committed to providing you access to the investment insights of Merrill and the banking convenience of Bank of America, and Merrill will continue to invest in client tools and new technology to enhance your overall experience as you and your private wealth advisor pursue what’s most important to you.

Our Philosophy

We believe your unique goals should be at the center of all of your financial decisions and form the foundation of your financial strategy. Because significant wealth requires customized goals-based financial strategies, we believe in building lasting relationships with a limited number of clients, taking the time to understand your most important priorities for today, tomorrow and your long-term future. Our philosophy celebrates collaboration. Working with a team of specialists, we draw on the resources and insights of a global financial institution to create strategies that reflect your aspirations for yourself and current and future generations of your family. Finally, we believe that while significant wealth brings complex challenges, our experience, passion and perspectives can help you simplify your life.

Blanchfield Vaicek Group

Located in Southern California the Blanchfield Vaicek Group works with a select number of ultra affluent clients to devise and deploy wealth management strategies that enhance clients’ financial lives. As of June 1, 2021, clients have entrusted our team with over $2 billion in assets. We work exclusively with individuals and families infusing our approach with personal warmth and an emphasis on life’s most important priorities.

Our Distinctive Client Profile

We are privileged to serve an elite group of highly successful individuals; many are senior corporate executives, company founders or private entrepreneurs. Though varied in their individual paths to wealth these clients share several characteristics. They typically have experienced a singular event that has transformed their wealth outlook. They may have sold a business, received a large wealth transfer or amassed a concentrated stock position. They recognize that they are able to sustain their lifestyle through their financial assets, but want direction and tactics to pursue an informed strategy. These clients still have goals for their money. In the same way that they have opportunistically approached their businesses they also approach their wealth. We call this mindset “goals based wealth management” and it is a pillar of our service model.

Our Edge

Our team offers clients in depth experience combined with dedicated service. We are old enough to have amassed a storehouse of practical knowledge yet young enough to apply our considerable energy to propel client interests. We look to foster long term relationships not only serving our current generation of clients, but successive generations. We serve clients with a humility and care that testifies to our deep rooted interest in their lives. Clients engage us for our skill, but they stay with us because of our unwavering focus on their interests. We take the time to know clients well. We insist on customized strategies recognizing that affluent clients deserve and demand a nuanced approach that cannot be mass produced. Our team structure promotes depth of service and responsibility. We nurture a collegial environment that promotes a warm and personalized client experience.

Our Experience in Diversifying Concentrated Positions

Concentrated wealth poses significant challenges. Clients seek diversification and liquidity, but are often perplexed by regulatory requirements and timing constraints. Our team has significant experience in navigating the hurdles that concentrated positions can involve. We believe that there is no substitute for experience in this arena. We have helped a number of clients move from concentrated equity positions to diversified investment portfolios. We help clients anticipate and respond to single event risk identifying tactics and strategies to decrease exposure, enhance diversification and increase liquidity. Our team is well versed in Rule 144/145 Filings. We recognize that a workable diversification strategy is built on sound analytics and attentive implementation.

Our Range of Services

As members of Merrill Private Wealth Management we are a gateway to the services and strategies required by significant wealth:

  • Tax minimization strategies
  • Income oriented investment management
  • Investment diversification through asset allocation
  • Hedging and monetization of concentrated positions
  • Integrated banking offerings with 24 hour personal customer service
  • Trust and estate planning services
  • Personal banking services through Bank of America, N.A.
  • Residential and securities based lending through Bank of America, N.A.
  • Private equity investments
  • Philanthropy
  • Family meetings

Merrill, its affiliates, and financial advisors do not provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.
Asset Allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets.
Some or all alternative investments may not be in the best interests for certain investors. Certain alternative investments carry significant risk and are not subject to the same regulatory oversight as mutual funds and other traditional investments. For these reasons, access to alternative investments may be limited to investors who are designated as sophisticated, high-net-worth investors.



Let's have a conversation

Your dedicated Merrill Private Wealth Management team is ready to help you pursue what’s most important to you.

Our Vision

For clients of substantial means, Merrill Private Wealth Management provides an experience that is both powerful and personal. We are dedicated to helping you pursue your goals for today while developing an approach designed to support your family members for the years to come.

Your private wealth advisor and team of specialists work with a limited number of clients, enabling them to focus their time, training and passion on helping you simplify your personal and business finances and prepare your next generation.

Boutique-like service with the access to the investment resources of Merrill and banking convenience of Bank of America

We combine the personalized attention and feel of a smaller firm with the power and insights of a global financial institution, creating financial strategies tailored to your unique situation.

A relentless commitment to transparency and customized strategies

As our client, know we are working in your best interests, providing goals-based financial strategies designed to anticipate and help meet your evolving financial needs.


Private Wealth Advisors