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The Valdes Group

Private Wealth Advisors
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You face a range of opportunities as well as complexities. We offer a limited number of individuals and families boutique-like service, broad global resources and customized financial strategies to help simplify your life so you can spend more time pursuing what matters most 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.

Michael J. Valdes

Michael J. Valdes

Managing Director

Private Wealth Advisor

813.273.8544
Michael Bruce Shimberg

Michael Bruce Shimberg,

Managing Director

Wealth Management Advisor

813.273.8639
Velen D. Thompson

Velen D. Thompson,

First Vice President

Wealth Management Advisor

813.273.8634
Darby H Duncan

Darby H Duncan

Senior Vice President

Financial Advisor

813.273.8503
Kyle R Melear

Kyle R Melear,

Financial Advisor

813.273.8563
Alexandra  Valdes

Alexandra Valdes

Financial Advisor

813.273.8535
Rebecca A Mangual

Rebecca A Mangual,

Private Wealth Analyst Investments

813.273.8514
Candice  Cason

Candice Cason,

Private Wealth Investment Management Specialist

813.273.8512
Kimberly A Bunting

Kimberly A Bunting

Senior Private Wealth Associate

813.273.8513
Mary Ann Chivers

Mary Ann Chivers

Senior Private Wealth Associate

813.273.8518
Cori  Wells

Cori Wells

Registered Senior Client Associate

813.273.8570
Tracy  Poon Tip

Tracy Poon Tip

Registered Client Associate

813.273.8508
Ariel W Giddings

Ariel W Giddings

Registered Client Associate

813.273.8576
Lauren Janel Longo

Lauren Janel Longo

Senior Private Wealth Associate

813.273.8558
Dianna Van Camp

Dianna Van Camp

Registered Client Associate

813.273.8664

Additional Resources

Jason Albano

Jason Albano

Trust Specialist

Bank of America, N.A.

Michael Duffy

Michael Duffy

Wealth Strategist

Merrill Lynch

Sheau-Lei H Ellison

Sheau-Lei H Ellison

Structured Credit Executive

Bank of America, N.A.

Recognition

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

Michael J. Valdes

Forbes’ “America’s Top 250 Wealth Advisors” in  2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016

Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Advisors”  2020, 2019, 2018

Financial Times –“Top 400 Financial Advisers”  2020, 2018

Wealth Management “Top 100 Wirehouse Advisors in 2016, 2015

Michael Bruce Shimberg

Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Advisors”  2020, 2019

Financial Times –“Top 401 Retirement Plan Advisers” 2017, 2018

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.

The Valdes Group

The Valdes Group operates as a boutique financial practice within Merrill Private Wealth Management. We are a group comprised of industry professionals that delivers all the resources of a global institution through one single point of contact. We work with individuals, entrepreneurs, families, and businesses to serve their complete wealth management needs to deliver a family-office experience where each client gains customized support and disciplined financial oversight. Our goal is to always provide the education, resources and transparency that keep clients informed, while having the freedom to pursue unique opportunities across the broad financial landscape.

Collaboration

Our mission is to understand each client’s primary purpose for their wealth. By embracing their values, opinions, and perspectives we are able to create an advisory environment that inspires the freedom to think differently. By constantly analyzing the financial markets and researching opportunities specific to each individual, we seek to find the most efficient way to help each client achieve their financial objectives using a goals-based wealth management approach.

Customized Support

Our service model provides the stability clients need to prepare for the future. Each associate has a distinct industry background that complements the full spectrum of capabilities and personalized services we deliver to help simplify our clients’ lives. Through active/passive portfolio management, daily financial oversight, multigenerational planning, lending solutions and beyond from Bank of America, clients gain lifelong, collaborative advisors who guide and serve them and their families with what we believe is an industry-leading standard of support.

Core Values

Integrity, trust, discipline, and open communication comprise the essence of The Valdes Group. With everything we do, we offer transparency to help clients make more informed decisions. Our priority is to provide the financial acumen that enables each client to confidently and consistently know they are moving on the right path toward their financial goals. With each client we serve, we value their relationship, both personally and professionally, and share joy in enhancing their lives.

Our Achievements

Michael Valdes:

Forbes Magazine #1 “Best-in-State Wealth Advisors” list for 2020, 2019, and 2018

Forbes Magazine "America's Top 250 Wealth Advisors" list for 2020 ,2019, 2018, 2017, 2016

Financial Times “Top 400 Financial Advisors” list in 2017, 2018, 2020

WealthManagement Magazine #49 “Top 100 Wirehouse Advisors in America” list for 2016

Michael Shimberg:

Forbes #35 "Best-in-State Wealth Advisors" list for 2020

Forbes #48 “Best-in-State Wealth Advisors” list for 2019

Financial Times “Top 401 Retirement Advisers” for 2018 and 2017


 *Source: The Forbes "Best-in-State Wealth Advisors" list, January 16, 2020. For more information about the selection criteria, go to http://details-he.re/cQUujC . Forbes is a trademark of Forbes Media LLC. All rights reserved. These rankings and ratings are not representative or 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: The Forbes "America's Top Wealth Advisors" list, August 25, 2020. For more information about the selection criteria, go to http://details-he.re/xJOmtV. Forbes is a trademark of Forbes Media LLC. All rights reserved. These rankings and ratings are not representative or 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: The Financial Times "400 Top Financial Advisers" (FT 400) list, April 16, 2020. For more information about the selection criteria, go to http://details-he.re/fTgbvQ . The Financial Times "400 Top Financial Advisers" (FT 400) list is an independent listing produced annually by Ignites Research, a division of Money-Media, Inc., on behalf of the Financial Times. All rights reserved. Rankings and recognition from the Financial Times 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: WealthManagement Magazine’s “Top 100 Wirehouse Advisors in 2016” list, May 1, 2016. For information about the selection criteria, go to http://details-he.re/YmYuUA. WealthManagement Magazine is a trademark of Penton Media, Inc. 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.

* Source: Financial Times "Top 401 Retirement Advisers" list, September 2018. For more information about the selection criteria, go to http://details-he.re/qCbAvZ . The Financial Times "Top 401 Retirement Advisers" list is an independent listing produced by the Financial Times (September 2018). All rights reserved. These rankings and ratings are not representative nor indicative of any one client’s experience, future performance, or investment outcome.

Nonprofit organizations

Your passion drives your organization’s mission, and you depend on an investment portfolio and an effective staff to carry on its important work. As private wealth advisors with Merrill Private Wealth Management, we have experience working with nonprofit organizations. We possess a keen understanding of the challenges you face, including maintaining operational efficiency and productivity through uneven market circumstances, growing competition for donations, and increased fiduciary requirements. Drawing on our extensive capabilities to help you fulfill your organization’s mission, we can provide access to the customized services your organization needs with discretion and skill, such as strategic planning, portfolio management, administrative and board support, and advisory solutions.

Family Offices

 As private wealth advisors with Merrill Private Wealth Management, we work with prominent families to help them manage the ongoing complexities they face. Our deep experience with family offices enables us to tailor a range of services to help meet your specific needs. We can provide access to Merrill for investment and wealth management, and to Bank of America for governance, asset custody and administration, as well as assisting in the financial education of younger family members. In working with you to create and implement plans reflecting your specific intentions, our goal is to help your family enterprise succeed, and that your knowledge and values are passed along to the next generation. Together, we will focus on strategies that recognize the unique nature of your family’s mission, history and goals.

Women

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.

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.

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.

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 portfolios we construct are carefully designed to promote stability, efficiency and growth, and to perform effectively 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.

Intergenerational Family Wealth

As a family that spans multiple generations, you have needs that go beyond protecting and preserving assets, tax minimization strategies and designating heirs. Your goals also likely include passing on values and helping the next 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.

Community Involvement

Members from our team participate and are actively involved in supporting the following organizations:

Academy of the Holy Names
Jesuit High School
Tampa Prepatory School
The V Foundation for Cancer Research
St. Joseph's Hospital
Christ the King Church
Metropolitan Ministries
Habitat for Humanity
Children's Miracle Network
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Meals On Wheels of Tampa
Academy Prep Center of Tampa
The Straz Center for the Performing Arts
Cristo Rey Tampa High School










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.

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.

The Valdes Group

Private Wealth Advisors