The Tracy Group

Private Wealth Advisors

The Tracy Group

Private Wealth Advisors
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We provide highly customized services supported by the broad capabilities of a global institution. Working with a limited number of wealthy clients, we are able to offer you and your family personalized attention for all aspects of your financial life, now and for future family members.

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.

David Tracy

David Tracy

Managing Director

Private Wealth Advisor

310.407.4802
Charles  Tharnstrom

Charles Tharnstrom

Managing Director

Private Wealth Advisor

310.407.4803
Christopher  Chapin

Christopher Chapin

Managing Director

Private Wealth Advisor

310.407.4805
Leonard  Kortekaas

Leonard Kortekaas

Managing Director

Private Wealth Advisor

310.407.4804
John  Paffendorf

John Paffendorf

Managing Director

Private Wealth Manager

310.407.4961
Steve  Lazny

Steve Lazny

Vice President

Private Wealth Relationship Manager

310.407.4806
Lindsey  Leikam

Lindsey Leikam

Assistant Vice President

Private Wealth Analyst Relationship Management

310.407.4809
Christopher Alan Anderson

Christopher Alan Anderson

Private Wealth Associate

310.407.4810
Matthew E Segalla

Matthew E Segalla

Registered Analyst

310.407.4843
Karen  Leung

Karen Leung

Assistant Vice President

Private Wealth Analyst Investments

310.407.4968
Jose O Govea

Jose O Govea

Assistant Vice President

Private Wealth Analyst Relationship Management

310.407.4963

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

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.

The Tracy Group

Our team of investment professionals provides financial services and investment strategies to a select group of highly accomplished individual and institutional clients. Located in Century City, Los Angeles we serve clients throughout the United States. Our team is led by five veteran advisors, David Tracy, Charles Tharnstrom, Chris Chapin, Len Kortekaas, and John Paffendorf who collectively have over 115 years of investment experience. We cater to sophisticated individuals, families and institutions who value the intellectual rigor and clear mindedness of our approach. Clients include entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 executives, hedge fund, private equity and investment management principals, entertainment professionals, ultra affluent families, owners of private corporations and non-profit organizations.

Our Investment Approach

We believe that wealth should be managed to achieve outcomes that are personally meaningful to each of our clients. Combining the behavioral and financial components to investing requires experience and a deep understanding our clients and the purpose for their wealth. As such we spend significant time assessing and quantifying each client’s investment personality and risk tolerance. Next we assist them in quantifying and articulating their specific purposes and goals. Ultimately we create and implement customized discretionary portfolios designed to meet those personally meaningful purposes and goals. Our client’s portfolios prioritize liquidity, consistency and net return after taxes and fees.



We are very experienced investors. We are actively engaged in the investment markets continually assessing market inefficiencies and identifying assets that are improperly placed. As portfolio managers we do not blindly follow a given model. Rather we recognize that in times of market stress historical models no longer work and all asset classes move downward in unison. Recognizing the limitations of model driven portfolios we apply a collaborative and nimble approach that spurns the herd mentality relying more on market insight and the knowledge we have gained over multiple market cycles.

The Breadth of Our Services

The clients we serve have complex needs. We look to be a single resource for the varied demands that significant wealth can entail. Our longevity as a team has provided us with an extensive network of contacts within and outside of the Firm. We are a gateway to in-depth advice and guidance in multiple disciplines:





  • Wealth planning services including trust and estate planning services, wealth transfer, philanthropy and next generation education and involvement

  • Liquidity event strategies and planning

  • Concentrated and restricted stock strategies

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

  • Alternative investments

  • Institutional services: manager selection and oversight




Some or all alternative investments may not be suitable 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 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 Tracy Group