About UsWe, Kendall and Diane, began working together in 2006 while at Goldman Sachs Private Bank. The Cotten-Padalino Group is now a 4-person team with approximately 35 clients who have entrusted us with over $600 million in assets, as of September 2019. In 2013 we left Goldman Sachs and moved to the Merrill Private Wealth Management Group to provide our clients with third-party investment management, a single fixed fee structure and broader banking capabilities.
We each have over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. Diane spent the early part of her career in New York working on the fixed income trading floor advising companies on bond financings and overall liability management. She learned first-hand how leverage can impact one’s balance sheet and financial stability. Kendall spent a number of years in the 1980s working for an independent family-owned oil and gas company evaluating and acquiring oil and gas properties throughout the U.S. It was a defining time in Kendall’s career as he helped the company’s owners navigate the challenges of an incredibly cyclical and illiquid asset.
Our experiences have led us to develop a very disciplined wealth management process that is focused on helping clients preserve and prudently grow their wealth, while managing the risks of portfolio concentrations, liquidity and leverage.
Kendall and Diane have both been recognized as Forbes "Best-in-State Wealth Advisors" in 2018 and 2019.
Diane was also named as an advisor in Barron's "America's Top 1,200 Financial Advisors: State-by-State" in 2018, Forbes’ "America’s Top Women Wealth Advisors" list in 2017, 2018 & 2019 and Working Mother/SHOOK Research's Top Wealth Adviser Moms in 2017, 2018, & 2019.*
Source: Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Advisors” list, February 2019. The ranking for this list by SHOOK Research is based on due diligence meetings to evaluate each advisor qualitatively, a major component of a ranking algorithm that includes: client retention, industry experience, review of compliance records, firm nominations; and quantitative criteria, including: assets under management and revenue generated for their firms. Forbes is a trademark of Forbes Media LLC. All rights reserved. Rankings and recognition from Forbes/SHOOK Research 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 and such rankings should not be construed as an endorsement of the advisor.
Source: Barron's "Top 1,200 Financial Advisors" list, March 12, 2018. For more information about the selection criteria, go to https://www.ml.com/articles/awards-recognition.html. Barron's is a trademark of Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Rankings and recognition from Barron's 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 and such rankings should not be construed as an endorsement of the advisor.
Source: Forbes "America’s Top Women Wealth Advisors" list, April 30, 2019. For more information about the selection criteria, go to http://details-he.re/SUjZgX. Forbes is a trademark of Forbes Media LLC. All rights reserved. These rankings and ratings are not representative nor indicative of any one client’s experience, future performance, or investment outcome and such rankings should not be construed as an endorsement of the advisor.
Source: Working Mother/SHOOK Research’s "Top Wealth Advisor Moms" list, October 3, 2019. For more information about the selection criteria, go to http://details-he.re/vD5zo4. SHOOK Research is a trademark of SHOOK Research, LLC. All rights reserved. These rankings and ratings are not representative nor indicative of any one client’s experience, future performance, or investment outcome and such rankings should not be construed as an endorsement of the advisor.
Our ClientsThe majority of our clients are entrepreneurs who have sold their businesses, divorced and widowed individuals, or family members who have recently inherited wealth and are newly responsible for its management.
We have significant experience guiding these types of clients through the process of developing a wealth management strategy. We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you, hear your family’s personal story, and discuss your unique vision and priorities.
Your GoalsOur mission is to simplify and modernize our clients’ financial lives, enabling them to pursue their life passions. We take a team approach to working with clients and their other key advisors, typically their trust and estate attorneys and accountants.
We’re committed to helping you and your family think about and deploy your wealth in meaningful ways. For each client, that path is unique. Perhaps you’re interested in funding your grandchildren’s higher education. Or maybe you’re passionate about expanding your art collection and want to assess your financing options. Or perhaps you’re considering a Donor-Advised Fund to support a cause that’s dear to you or someone you love. Your priorities become our priorities.
Our ProcessWe use a four-step process:
1) Document: First, we have in-depth conversations to discern your lifestyle, legacy and aspirational goals. Integral to this step is our analysis of your personal financial statements, including your balance sheet.
2) Create: Next, we develop a fully integrated strategy that includes investments, trust and estate planning services, and traditional banking – each component customized for your goals. Every step of the way we are seeking the lowest cost, most tax-efficient and easiest to understand and execute strategy.
3) Implement: We then assist you in opening and funding investment and banking accounts, while overseeing the completion and execution of your trust and estate documents.
4) Evaluate: Finally, we provide you with online interfaces and apps so that you can monitor your progress toward your goals. We suggest quarterly meetings to assess investment performance and annual meetings with key advisors to evaluate your estate and tax-planning initiatives.
*Banking Services are through Bank of America, N.A.
A Commitment to Service
Merrill Private Wealth Management is committed to providing a select group of wealthy 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, help you monitor it and update your strategy as needed. We are committed to providing you access to the investment insights of Merrill and the banking convenience of Bank of America, and we 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.
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.