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Smith Warren and Associates

Private Wealth Advisors
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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.

Reed H. B. Smith

Reed H. B. Smith

Managing Director

Private Wealth Advisor

Champ D. Warren, III

Champ D. Warren, III,

Managing Director

Private Wealth Advisor

Barry C. Goldblatt

Barry C. Goldblatt

Senior Vice President

Private Wealth Manager

J. S. Duke Jones

J. S. Duke Jones,

Assistant Vice President

Senior Private Wealth Relationship Manager

Christopher  Fontenot

Christopher Fontenot

Wealth Management Specialist

Nancy T. Sawyer

Nancy T. Sawyer

Senior Private Wealth Client Associate

Tamara  Dupont

Tamara Dupont,

Senior Private Wealth Client Associate

John Vaclavik

John Vaclavik,

Registered Private Wealth Client Associate

Jenny Buncic

Jenny Buncic

Private Wealth Client Associate

Ellie Triesch

Ellie Triesch,

Private Wealth Senior Relationship Manager

Dustin  Humrich

Dustin Humrich

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.

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Grady West III

Wealth Strategist


Kenneth C. Sprague

Kenneth C. Sprague

Senior Structured Credit Executive

Bank of America, N.A.


Merrill is proud of our advisors who’ve received recognition from financial industry publications or directly from Bank of America Corporation. We believe they are setting the standard for exemplary client service.

Reed H. B. Smith

Barron’s “Top 50 Private Wealth Advisory Teams” list in 2019.

Barron’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors in 2021

Champ D. Warren, III

Financial Times –“Top 400 Financial Advisers”  2017

Barron’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors in 2021

Barron’s “Top 50 Private Wealth Advisory Teams” list in 2019.

Barry C. Goldblatt

Barron’s “Top 50 Private Wealth Advisory Teams” list in 2019.

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

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.

Smith Warren and Associates

Smith Warren and Associates is a leading wealth management team that caters to the needs of ultra-high-net worth clients. Located in Houston, we work with corporate executives, entrepreneurs, business owners, affluent families, and family offices throughout the Southwest who are drawn to our customized approach, in-depth knowledge, and ingrained service ethic. As a ten-person team, we draw upon the talents of many individuals, all focused on the same goal: delivering value to the client. Our team members are distinguished not only by their accolades and training, but also by their decades of real-life wealth management experience. We invite clients to gauge the difference that experience makes.

Estate Planning and Wealth Transfer

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A well-crafted wealth transfer and estate plan can help you implement your vision for the future and create enduring benefits for the people and causes that matter most to you.

With a deep understanding of your goals and priorities, Smith Warren & Associates, working together with Merrill trust and insurance specialists and your estate planning attorney, can help you identify strategies to:

  • Provide for the people and causes that you care about.
  • Avoid burdening loved ones in the event of incapacity and after you are gone.
  • Preserve assets and see that they are distributed and used in the way you envision.
  • Avoid probate and the cost, time and public disclosure associated with it.
  • Pass on values to family members.

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 Competitive Edge

Our team is distinctive in its focus and its depth. We work exclusively with an elite group of clients who encounter opportunities and complexities as a result of substantial wealth. We have built our team to respond to the particular needs of clients, from large-scale issues like portfolio management, tax minimization, and estate planning strategies, to day-to-day issues like bill paying and account organization. We relish the opportunity to streamline clients’ financial lives so that they can focus on the family and business pursuits they find most rewarding. Our wealth management process begins by identifying and understanding client desires and concerns. We then apply the full resources of our team and engage the global capabilities of Merrill Lynch to advance client interests and pursue client goals.

Our Emphasis on Risk Management

Having attained exceptional success, clients come to us to preserve and nurture their wealth. Our investment approach places a premium on the management of risk. We believe strongly in the value of diversification, enhanced through the skillful application of investment acumen and sound judgment. Our team has particular depth in investment research and analysis. We supplement the renowned research ability of Merrill Lynch with that of our internal research staff, developing customized investment portfolios that reflect client goals, timelines, lifestyle needs, and risk thresholds. We have guided a number of clients through liquidity events, and have detailed experience in pre-and-post IPO planning, concentrated stock management, and restricted stock management.

Our Offerings

Our team offers a range of strategies and services that address the financial needs and lifestyle demands of affluent clients:

  • Asset management

  • Alternative investments*

  • Executive-suite services (pre-and post-IPO planning; concentrated stock; restricted stock)

  • Estate planning strategies

  • Tax minimization strategies

  • Credit and lending through Bank of America, N.A.

  • Investment Banking Resources

  • Philanthropy

*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.

Smith Warren and Associates

Private Wealth Advisors