Wright Hudak Zabel Group

Wright Hudak Zabel Group

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.

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.

Paul Pellegrini

Wealth Management Banking Specialist

Merrill

Matthew Vandenack

Private Wealth Strategist

Merrill

Bridget Swan

Wealth Management Lending Officer

Bank of America, N.A.

NMLS #426159

Recognition

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.

David C Wright

Barron's "Top 250 Private Wealth Management Teams" 2024
Published on May 10, 2024. Rankings based on data as of December 31, 2023.

Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Management Teams” 2023-2024
Published annually in January. Rankings based on data as of March 31 of prior year.*

Forbes "Best-in-State Wealth Advisors" 2018 - 2024
Published annually Jan- April. Rankings based on data as of June 30 of prior year.

Barron's "Top 1,200 Financial Advisors: State-by-State" 2014 - 2024
Published annually in February - March. Rankings based on data as of September 30 of the prior year.

Barron's "America's Top 1,000 Financial Advisors: State-by-State" 2009 - 2013
Published annually in February. Rankings based on data as of September 30 of the prior year.

Michael J Hudak

Barron's "Top 250 Private Wealth Management Teams" 2024
Published on May 10, 2024. Rankings based on data as of December 31, 2023.

Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Management Teams” 2023-2024
Published annually in January. Rankings based on data as of March 31 of prior year.*

Forbes "Best-in-State Wealth Advisors" 2022-2024
Published annually Jan- April. Rankings based on data as of June 30 of prior year.

Barron's "Top 1,200 Financial Advisors: State-by-State" 2014-2024
Published annually in February - March. Rankings based on data as of September 30 of the prior year.

Barron's "America's Top 1,000 Financial Advisors: State-by-State" 2009-2013
Published annually in February. Rankings based on data as of September 30 of the prior year.

Robert P Zabel

Barron's "Top 250 Private Wealth Management Teams" 2024
Published on May 10, 2024. Rankings based on data as of December 31, 2023.

Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Management Teams” 2023-2024
Published annually in January. Rankings based on data as of March 31 of prior year.*

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

The Wright Hudak Zabel Group

Our group works with and for a select group of clients, most of whom have created wealth in a single generation. We offer guidance to a wide variety of people, including business owners, entrepreneurs, senior corporate executives and their families. We serve clients located across the country from our offices in Chicago, Illinois and Phoenix, Arizona overseeing $4.1 billion in total assets.1

Our senior partners have received a number of accolades:

    • Barron’s "Top 250 Private Wealth Management Teams," 2024.2
    • Forbes "Best-in-State Wealth Management Teams," 2023 - 2024.3
    • Forbes "Best-in-State Wealth Advisors," 2018 – 2024.4
    • Barron’s “Top 1,200 Financial Advisors,” 2009 – 2024.5
    • Financial Times ”Top 400 Advisors,” 2016 – 2017.6


1As of close of business 06/07/2024.
2Barron's "Top 250 Private Wealth Management Teams" 2024.
Published on May 10, 2024. Rankings based on data as of December 31, 2023.
3Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Management Teams” 2023 - 2024.
Published annually in January. Rankings based on data as of March 31 of prior year.
4Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Advisors” 2018-2024.
Published annually Jan – April. Rankings based on data as of June 30 of prior year.
5Barron’s “America’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors: State-by-State” 2014-2024
Published annually in February-March. Rankings based on data as of September 30 of prior year.
Years prior to 2014, this Barron's list consisted of 1,000 advisors.
6Financial Times ”400 Top Financial Advisers” 2016-2017.
Published annually Mar – April. Rankings based on data as of June 30 of prior year. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 strategies, 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.

Core Services

Often, prospective clients are referred to us after a liquidity event occurs or when a milestone event is anticipated. Our core services include guiding clients in portfolio construction, tactical reallocation and rebalancing. We take into account specific wealth objectives, your time horizon, tolerance for risk, income and liquidity needs, tax sensitivities and our assessment of opportunities in the capital markets. We know that tax efficiency is a key to investment returns and growing your wealth in the short and long term. Among the services we offer through access to Merrill specialists are:

  • Post-event wealth structuring strategies
  • Pre-merger and acquisition and pre-initial public offering strategies
  • Concentrated stock, diversification and monetization strategies
  • Portfolio construction, reviews and tax minimization strategies


*Merrill, its affiliates, and financial advisors do not provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.

Our Mission

Our primary investment objective is to grow portfolio assets over time, while preserving capital and minimizing risk. We build on more than 50 years of collective financial services experience and a deep knowledge of the capital markets to guide a select group of clients in making strategic investment decisions.

Our collective experience gives us extensive insight into the dimensions of managing your net worth, investing prudently and preserving your wealth for future generations. As Merrill private wealth advisors, we combine the individual attention and independent advice and guidance you would expect from a financial services boutique with the global resources and technological capabilities of one of the largest wealth management firms in the U.S.

Thoughtful Questions and Careful Listening

This process is designed to guide clients in articulating their most cherished goals and deepest concerns—not only in the financial realm, but in their lives. We ask searching questions like these:

    • What do you want to accomplish with your wealth?
    • What are your life goals and priorities?
    • How do you envision your family in five, 10 or 20 years?
    • Do you want to plan for the transfer of wealth to the next generation or leave a legacy of values, beliefs and life lessons?

Through careful listening, we can help clients to tailor highly customized, proactive wealth management strategies that align with their individual goals and needs.


 

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.

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.