The McLaughlin Group

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

We calm down complexity for successful families, helping them address key decisions in their financial lives. We understand wealth and all that goes with it, working with discretion and care to pursue positive outcomes across multiple generations as families clarify their financial identities.


 

Meet the Team

The private wealth advisors with Merrill Lynch’s Private Banking and Investment Group are rigorously trained to meet the specialized needs of individuals and families of wealth. We build relationships based on trust and personalized service.

Dugan John McLaughlin

Dugan John McLaughlin

Managing Director

Private Wealth Advisor

865.521.8805
Michael (Mickey)  Johnson

Michael (Mickey) Johnson

Senior Vice President

Private Wealth Advisor

865.521.8813
Eddy  Smith

Eddy Smith

Assistant Vice President

Private Wealth Manager

865.521.8821
Kimberly Jill Whitted

Kimberly Jill Whitted

Senior Private Wealth Associate

865.521.8815
Lori J Robertson

Lori J Robertson

Private Wealth Associate

865.521.8817
Mitchell Stratton

Mitchell Stratton

Registered Client Associate

865.521.8846

Partners and Specialists

Michael Duffy

Michael Duffy

Wealth Strategist

Strategies designed to help you achieve your goals

As a client of the Private Banking and Investment Group at Merrill Lynch, 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

Welcome

Families like yours with significant wealth face multiple demands and competing priorities such as maintaining your lifestyle, staying healthy, preparing the rising generation, seeking meaningful philanthropic opportunities, and taking advantage of new tax laws, all while keeping your capital prudently invested.* The McLaughlin Group serves as a critical resource, helping families think through these and other issues in an effort to help you make smart, informed financial decisions.  We appreciate the hard work and ingenuity you’ve invested into your family, your company, and your community. We want to help you to pursue enhanced outcomes in each of these areas.

* Neither Merrill Lynch nor its Financial Advisors provide tax, accounting or legal advice. Clients should review any planned financial transactions or arrangements that may have tax, accounting or legal implications with their personal professional advisors.

About Our Team

Significant wealth brings a host of opportunities—and challenges—that can be difficult to wade through. That’s where we come in. We’ve helped people like you many times before, so we know what you should consider, and what you should avoid. Our goal is to help you capitalize on the advantages and avoid the pitfalls of managing your hard-earned wealth. We’ve worked together as a team for more than 15 years and have earned our reputation by serving families like yours.

We welcome the opportunity to help you and those you care about move forward with poise and reassurance. Our team’s founder, Dugan McLaughlin, has earned a number of national accolades, underscoring our team’s emphasis on consistency and care:

  • Barron's: "Top 1,200 Financial Advisors," 2011-2018**
  • Forbes: "Best-in-State Wealth Advisor," 2018
Source: Barron's "Top 1,200 Financial Advisors" list, March 12, 2018. For more information about the selection criteria, go to http://details-he.re/M6jwj7. Barron's is a trademark of Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Years prior to 2014, this Barron's list consisted of 1,000 advisors.

Source: Forbes "Best-in-State Wealth Advisors" list, February 2018. For more information about the selection criteria, go to http://details-he.re/UbRCGT. Forbes is a trademark of Forbes Media LLC. All rights reserved.

The ranking or ratings shown here may not be representative of all client experiences because they reflect an average or sampling of the client experiences. These rankings or ratings are not indicative of any future performance or investment outcome.

Private Business Owners

If you are considering expanding, transferring, or selling your business, talk to us. We’ve been through this process many times before. We’ve built our team to cater to your needs and those of your family members. We can provide you with insights and options you may not have considered, and we’ll handle these discussions with the sensitivity and discretion you deserve. Through it all, you’ll receive a level of service that testifies to your importance to us, day in and day out.

Businesses are complicated. There is often a very fine line between where the business stops and the family starts.  Our thorough process helps you quantify the amount of capital your family will need to extract from the business if you were to enter into a sale.  We provide access to cash-flow models and identify expenses that would transition from the business back to the family. 

We’re good collaborators, particularly for complex business transactions with many moving parts. We’ll work closely with your trusted tax and legal advisors, helping promote sound communication and effective teamwork. We also connect you to the Private Sale Referral Network (PSRN) at Merrill Lynch, one of the most important differentiators of our firm. We’ll introduce you to a deal team that will help you find the right investor or buyer for your company. The team will work to optimize outcomes for your business, employees and community, serving your needs discreetly. We recognize that there’s more than price to consider; we’ll help you secure a deal structure and terms that align with your priorities.

If you are considering a liquidity event, we know the ideal timing, sequence, and synchronization. We also know the factors to consider, sensitive to your unique priorities and preferences:

  • Business structure
  • Wealth Transfer Opportunities
  • Portfolio Diversification Needs
  • Cash Flow Projections and Analyses
  • *Tax Implications
  • Charitable Giving Strategies

Intergenerational Family Wealth

We appreciate that your story is distinct; we’ve been privileged to help other successful families, each with a unique history and family dynamic. We’ll help you cement the vision and values that have been the foundation of your success, fostering a “ripple effect” on succeeding generations.

We look to promote sound stewardship by educating your children and grandchildren about the privileges and responsibilities that accompany significant wealth. Family values are not simply about money; they are about individuals coming together. We work with you and your loved ones to cultivate the habits and mindsets that can help families grow, preserve, and pass on wealth effectively. We have extensive experience in facilitating family meetings, mentoring rising generations, and building communication within families. These practices can have a significant impact on a family’s long-term outlook, cohesiveness, and harmony.

Statistics suggest that 90% of the time, significant wealth will not survive beyond the third generation. We strive to help clients forge a different path by introducing best practices from other families who have learned to successfully navigate and grow wealth for multiple generations. We’ll connect you to peer families who have undergone similar events. Their insights will help you weigh your options, reduce stress and amplify positive outcomes for you and the people you love.

Service that Endures

Exceptional service is something that is easy to talk about, but hard to deliver. We focus on living up to—and exceeding—your expectations.

We believe our service team is without peer. Our Private Wealth Associates are vital to your happiness and our success:

  • We are painstaking. Our goal is precision. It’s a high bar that we set for ourselves.
  • We are consistent. Our Associates have been assisting families like yours for decades. We help you determine what you need, and when you need it.
  • We are empathetic. Your joys and your challenges become our own. We treat you as we would treat our own family members.
  • We are reliable. We don’t turn the lights out until things are squared away and questions resolved.
  • We are focused. We work with a limited number of families, knowing them exceptionally well.
  • We are discreet. Your privacy is extremely important to us.

A Commitment to Service

Merrill Lynch’s Private Banking and Investment Group 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 its success and update your strategy as needed. We are committed to providing you access to the investment insights of Merrill Lynch 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.

Our Philosophy

We believe that 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 sophisticated, highly customized 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.

Let's have a conversation.

Your dedicated Private Banking and Investment Group team is ready to help you pursue what's most important to you.

Our Vision

For clients of substantial wealth, Merrill Lynch’s Private Banking and Investment Group provides an experience that is both powerful and personal. We are dedicated to helping you pursue your goals for today while developing a wealth strategy designed to support your family members for the years to come.

A trusted one-on-one relationship
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 as stewards of wealth.

Boutique-like service with the access to the investment resources of Merrill Lynch 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 strategies tailored to your unique situation.

A relentless commitment to transparency and customized strategies

As our client, know that we are working in your best interests, providing sophisticated strategies designed to anticipate and meet your evolving financial needs.

The McLaughlin Group