Jones Zafari Group

Private Wealth Advisors
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As a team with multigenerational members, we understand what it takes to manage significant wealth for individuals and families across generations.  Working with a limited number of high net worth clients, we help bring an insightful perspective, personalized attention and boutique-like services.

Our Videos

Insights, observations, and ideas to help you in your pursuit of your financial goals.

Important Video Disclosures

My team and I will help you fulfill your vision for your family's financial future.

Meet the Team

As our client, you will work with a highly experienced and rigorously trained Merrill Private Wealth Management team who strive to gain a deep understanding of your goals and values and provide access to the banking capabilities of Bank of America and the investing capabilities of Merrill to help provide appropriate solutions designed to help you pursue your financial goals.

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.

Brandon J Sanford

Division Structured Credit Executive

Bank of America, N.A.

Jean Y. Kim

Private Wealth Strategist


Michael Powers

Wealth Strategies Advisor

Bank of America, N.A.

Strategies 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

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.

Intergenerational Family Wealth

As a family that spans multiple generations, you have needs that go beyond preserving assets, tax minimization strategies and designating heirs. Your goals also likely include passing on values and helping the rising generation become effective stewards. We can help with personalized wealth transfer strategies, family wealth education and developing and implementing philanthropic visions. In working with you to create an approach that reflects your family’s intentions and helps ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes, we proceed in a manner that recognizes the complexities of your life challenges and the unique nature of your goals. Our extensive experience working with other families of significant wealth helps  us to see and share best practices to help you achieve them.

Corporate Executives

We understand the complexities that come with your executive position and the extreme demands on your time. We can help you develop a customized strategy that your finances and compensation require. We can help with risk management strategies for your concentrated stock position while navigating complex SEC rules, trading restrictions and reporting requirements. If you’ve just been promoted and would like help evaluating your new compensation plan, or if you’re looking to develop a long-term financial strategy for you and your family — designed to enable you to live life as you want it, with reliable access to cash — we can help simplify your financial life, as well as develop new strategies as your career and goals evolve.

Company Founders, Private Business Owners & Entrepreneurs

When you have built your own business, your personal finances and the life of your company are closely intertwined. You may be thinking about how to invest in your company’s growth while also deciding how best to use your personal assets. Helping ensure the future of your business likely involves employee benefits, retirement plans and succession planning. Helping secure your family’s legacy could entail wealth transfer strategies, trusts and philanthropy. Whatever your specific needs, we at Merrill Private Wealth Management can help entrepreneurs and business owners balance their personal financial lives with their life’s work. We are dedicated in providing the experience and resources to help support your ongoing success.


As a woman, you are well aware of how inaccurate stereotypes about gender and money can be. Beyond some specific challenges — for example, planning for the statistical probability of outliving a spouse — managing your finances means avoiding preconceived assumptions while gaining a full understanding of who you are as an investor and what you want to achieve for your career, your family and your legacy. Merrill Private Wealth Management works with a select group of wealthy individuals and families to help them pursue the goals that matter most to them. We strive to get to know our clients on a personal level so we can offer boutique-like services and the resources of a global firm to create financial strategies specifically for their life and needs.

Foundations and Endowments

An investment portfolio tailored to your needs is crucial to advancing your organization’s mission and carrying on its important work. We have extensive experience working with endowments and foundations and have a keen understanding of the requirements and responsibilities of board and committee members for investment management and financial oversight. The strategies we construct are carefully designed to help promote stability, efficiency and growth under a variety of market conditions. We also offer advice on board governance and reporting, and help in meeting regulatory and operating challenges. We provide access to the customized services your organization needs with discretion and skill.

Entertainment Industry Professionals

As rewarding as success in the entertainment industry can be, income is not always consistent and careers can be subject to swift change. Managing your finances requires a disciplined, knowledgeable and experienced approach to help you make the most of your success, with strategies for helping manage risk and providing for your future. Merrill Private Wealth Management provides personalized, boutique-like services to help you enjoy the rewards of your profession while striving for financial goals that will benefit yourself and your family. Drawing on the extensive capabilities of a global institution, we offer financial strategies aimed at simplifying the complexities of your financial life and building the legacy you envision.

Technology Entrepreneur

As a technology entrepreneur, you focus relentlessly on what’s next. Yet as you look ahead to each new venture or cutting-edge innovation, it’s important to maintain the financial foundation that helps power your success and helps you take advantage of potential opportunities as they arise. We have experience helping entrepreneurs and business owners balance their personal lives with their life’s work. We understand the challenges you face every day, whether managing your newly achieved success or gaining access to the liquidity you need as seed capital or for personal expenses. We are dedicated in providing the experience and resources to help support your ongoing success.

Jones Zafari Team description

From our four locations in Los Angeles, San Diego, Palo Alto, and Dallas our group of investment professionals provides financial services and strategies for ultra-affluent individuals, families, corporations, endowments, and foundations. Clients who have entrusted us with $30.2 billion in assets as of March 31, 2024. Clients include entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 executives, media personalities, non-profit organizations, and owners of private corporations; accounts range in size from $10 million to over $1 billion.

Our senior partners have received a number of accolades:

Barron's magazine, ranked #1 on "America's Top 50 Private Wealth Management Teams," 2020
Published on April 17. 2020. Rankings based on data as of December 31, 2019.

Forbes, ranked #1 on Forbes’ “Best-In-State Wealth Management Teams” in California-Los Angeles in 2023
The Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Management Teams” list, published on January 12, 2023.
Rankings based on data as of March 31, 2022

Barron’s “Top Private Wealth Management Teams,”  2019-2023
Published annually in April. Rankings based on data as of December 31 of prior year.

Forbes’ “America’s Top Wealth Management Teams Private Wealth,” 2022
Published on November 8, 2022. Rankings based on data as of March 31, 2022.

Barron's Advisor Hall of Fame
Published throughout 2019. Rankings based on data current list.

Barron’s magazine, “Top 100 Financial Advisors nationally,” 2005 – 2023
Published annually Mar – April. Rankings based on data as of December 31 of prior year.

Barron’s magazine, “Top 1200 Financial Advisors State-by-State,” 2009 – 2023
Published annually in February-March. Rankings based on data as of September 30 of prior year.

Barron's magazine, "Top 100 Women Advisors," 2013-2018.
Published annually in June. Rankings based on data as of March 31 of current year.

The Financial Times, ”Top 400 Advisors,” 2013 – 2020
Published annually Jan – April. Rankings based on data as of June 30 of prior year.

Forbes' “America's Top Wealth Advisors,” 2016-2024
Published in April 2023-2024. Rankings based on data as of June of the previous year. Years pre-dating 2023, published annually Aug – Oct. Rankings based on data as of March – June of current year.

Forbes' "America's Top Women Wealth Advisors," 2017-2024
Published annually Feb – April. Rankings based on data as of June 30 –September 30 of prior year.

Forbes' "Best-in-State Wealth Advisors," 2018-2024; Richard Jones and Reza Zafari ranked #1 and #2, respectively in Los Angeles (Private Wealth)
Published annually Jan – April. Rankings based on data as of June 30 of prior year.

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 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 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.

Depth of Experience

We draw upon the combined talents and efforts of all of our team members. The breadth of our group enables us to provide clients with in-depth knowledge within an intimate, attentive framework that is highly focused on their needs. Each client has direct, one-on-one access to a partner of our group. The immediacy of this relationship, combined with the scope of our services, creates a powerful dynamic that seeks to enhance, organize, and streamline clients’ financial lives.

Focused Attention

We inherently recognize that the needs and desires of ultra high net worth clients are distinctive, requiring the upmost professionalism, discretion, and focus. Our strategies and offerings are designed to address clients’ complex and wide ranging financial needs:


  • Investment management


  • Trust and estate planning strategies


  • Brokerage


  • Tax-effective hedging and diversification strategies


  • Credit and banking needs through Bank of America, N.A.


  • Access to family office services



Dedicated Investment Analysis

The open investment platform within Merrill enables our group to access portfolio strategies wherever they are housed. Given the size and scale of our group, we have dedicated resources for investment manager due diligence. Our team conducts over 1,000 calls and meetings with investment managers each year. This commitment to investment analysis provides us with valuable insight into market conditions, investment capacity, new portfolio strategies, and rising talent. We parlay this knowledge into timely strategic and tactical investment approaches that seek to enhance portfolio returns while dampening risk.

Investment Philosophy

We believe that maintaining a contrarian mindset and embracing flexibility are key activities of portfolio construction. The investment goal for our strategies is to provide market-driven returns, with size, style and geographic diversification. We seek to bolster returns through tactical allocations, providing a broad range of investment choices to serve client needs.

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.