Top 100 bank advisors, 1 – 25

Bank Investment Consultant is pleased to roll out its annual list of the top all-around advisors in the bank channel. Our signature ranking factors in multiple measures of individual performance — namely, AUM, production, percentage growth in both AUM and production, fee business and the ratio of production-to-AUM — and combines them into one composite score.

This way we capture the advisors with the best overall performance. The highest-ranking advisors aren't necessarily those who hit it out of the park in one or two categories and fared poorly in others. Instead, the most outstanding stars are those who do well across the board even if they aren't the absolute best in a specific area.

The annual AUM figures listed are as of the end of August; and the trailing-12 production figures are for the 12-month period ending Aug. 31.

This year's ranking of the top 100 advisors is divided into four segments. We introduce the top 25 here, with the remainder in three subsequent slideshows.

Full Top 100 coverage:
Top 100 bank advisors: Who’s in and how they got there
Top 100 bank advisors (1-25)
Top 100 bank advisors (26-50)
Top 100 bank advisors (51-76)
Top 100 bank advisors (76-100)
A chance encounters changed this advisor’s career

25. James MarquardtRJ.jpg
25. James Marquardt
Bank: Bremer Bank
Location: Rochester, MN
TPM: Raymond James
2018 AUM: $177.63 million
2017 AUM: $117.80 million
2018 Production: $1.14 million
2017 Production: $887,700
Fee-based business: 69%
Production/AUM: 0.63%
Years in current job: 3
Total years in industry: 30

James Marquardt says his approach to advising has evolved for the better in some ways, and gone full circle in others. When he started his career, he knew very little about the business, he says. He started with a firm that taught him to script and memorize his presentation and discovery interviews, as well as a closing interview. He learned the process of selling and advising, but everyone got the same presentation and the same exposure to products. As his business grew and he became more established in the community, and sought to educate himself, he became more confident and proficient.

Now he does more discovery, and works with a team, so clients tend to feel more important as they receive a premier experience with his entire team at their disposal. Much of the team’s process utilizes electronic signatures to allow clients to take care of the forms at their convenience. He says it surprised him when even some of his retired clients gravitated to the electronic signature process. But it saved them time and expedited the process immensely, he says.
24. Kelly Karren, LPL.jpg
24. Kelly Karren
Bank: Premier America Credit Union
Location: Chatsworth, CA
TPM: LPL Financial
2018 AUM: $133.95 million
2017 AUM: $114.65 million
2018 Production: $1.02 million
2017 Production: $711,100
Fee-based business: 65%
Production/AUM: 0.76%
Years in current job: 11
Total years in industry: 18.1

Having an engineering background helps Kelly Karren focus his attention to detail. It also enables him to anchor his planning process by breaking down a client’s picture into smaller pieces so they can more easily understand the issues they're facing.
23. DanielZhao Citi.jpeg
23. Daniel Zhao
Bank: Citibank
Location: New York
TPM: None
2018 AUM: $143.26 million
2017 AUM: $112.40 million
2018 Production: $1.24 million
2017 Production: $772,700
Fee-based business: 20%
Production/AUM: 0.86%
Years in current job: 5
Total years in industry: 22

When Daniel Zhao first meets clients, he usually lets them do most of the talking. This helps him learn about their families, issues that concern them, their aspirations and risk tolerances. Over the years, he has learned that most clients are either too aggressive or conservative when it comes to investing. He feels his job is to educate them on constructing a diversified portfolio that will help to achieve their financial goals without taking on excessive risks. “I treat my clients as personal friends, meeting their families and visiting on weekends,” he says. What’s more, since many of his clients are wealthy new immigrants and foreigners, he has developed an innate understanding of their special needs.
22. John McRaeRJ.jpg
22. John McRae
Bank: Citizens National Bank
Location: Meridian, MS
TPM: Raymond James
2018 AUM: $455.69 million
2017 AUM: $417.79 million
2018 Production: $3.16 million
2017 Production: $2.63 million
Fee-based business: 56%
Production/AUM: 0.69%
Years in current job: 19
Total years in industry: 25
John McRae’s approach to advising is getting to know the client on a personal basis. He watches their kids grow up, and then hopefully forms a working relationship with them as well. His group spends a lot of time educating clients on building diversified portfolios, and then gives them time. “We live in a CNN world where we are up-to-the minute every five minutes. You can't look at your investments that way.” He says several of his clients grow timber, which takes 30 years to harvest. And he teaches the market is similar in that you have to look at it over the long-term. Short-term fluctuations happen but he keeps a longer focus.
21. BradleyGoldberg Citi.jpg
21. Bradley Goldberg
Bank: Citibank
Location: Chicago
TPM: None
2018 AUM: $403.56 million
2017 AUM: $365.44 million
2018 Production: $2.83 million
2017 Production: $2.44 million
Fee-based business: 85%
Production/AUM: 0.7%
Years in current job: 25
Total years in industry: 25

Brad Goldberg believes that without a good financial plan, there is no roadmap for where clients are going. He begins by helping clients answer two basic questions they need to ask: “Am I going to be ok?” and, “What are the things that I’m not thinking about?” Goldberg aims to address those questions and helps keep clients from running into things that might be in their blind spots.
20. Jason Holt2LPL.jpg
20. Jason Holt
Bank: F&M Bank
Location: Kannapolis, NC
TPM: LPL Financial
2018 AUM: $190.35 million
2017 AUM: $165.33 million
2018 Production: $1.71 million
2017 Production: $1.55 million
Fee-based business: 77%
Production/AUM: 0.9%
Years in current job: 17.6
Total years in industry: 23.2

An even-keeled demeanor and knowledgeable approach helps Jason Holt foster trust and dependability, making clients comfortable referring friends and family to him. His business model consists of a disciplined investment management process combined with personalized service. He says his aim is to build lasting relationships based on trust, integrity and superior client service.
19. Laura PedroncelliRJ.jpg
19. Laura Pedroncelli
Bank: First Tech Federal Credit Union (Addison Avenue Investment Services)
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
TPM: Raymond James
2018 AUM: $277.95 million
2017 AUM: $239.02 million
2018 Production: $1.85 million
2017 Production: $1.54 million
Fee-based business: 81%
Production/AUM: 0.66%
Years in current job: 6
Total years in industry: 20

Laura Pedroncelli specializes in helping clients make the shift from working to retirement. The transition from saving for the last 30 to 40 years to being comfortable taking that hard-earned money out and turning it into a paycheck can be overwhelming, she says. She has found that helping educate people with this 180-degree turn from saving to spending is the key to nourishing a relationship and keeping them as long-term, loyal clients. She describes herself as a teacher as well as an advisor. In this age of information, people are deluged with data and choices. So instead of overwhelming them with industry jargon, she simplifies the complex world of investments and helps them understand what they are doing and why.
18. DavidDarshan Citi.jpg
18. David Darshan
Bank: Citibank
Location: New York
TPM: None
2018 AUM: $268.85 million
2017 AUM: $217.37 million
2018 Production: $2.10 million
2017 Production: $1.90 million
Fee-based business: 90%
Production/AUM: 0.78%
Years in current job: 13
Total years in industry: 19

David Darshan believes that listening is the cornerstone to a long-standing relationship. Being placed in a position of a client’s trust is a privilege and an honor, he says, so it’s critical to listen to their needs and never choose short-term gains at the cost of increased risk. Learning new things and having a commitment to continuing to learn helps him make better decisions.
17. Anthony Gugino LPL.jpg
17. Anthony Gugino
Bank: Tompkins Financial Corp.
Location: Pittsford, NY
TPM: LPL Financial
2018 AUM: $272.04 million
2017 AUM: $176.59 million
2018 Production: $1.17 million
2017 Production: $987,700
Fee-based business: 99%
Production/AUM: 0.43%
Years in current job: 4.4
Total years in industry: 33.7

With a strong tax background, Tony Gugino aims to provide a level of service that looks and feels like a family office for all clients. Due to a modest upbringing, he remains grateful to those who gave him a chance early in his career and have supported him since, and tries to give back both as a mentor in the financial industry and to the community at large.
16. Pat FaulknerRJ.jpg
16. Pat Faulkner
Bank: TowneBank
Location: Williamsburg, VA
TPM: Raymond James
2018 AUM: $217.31 million
2017 AUM: $183.94 million
2018 Production: $1.55 million
2017 Production: $1.24 million
Fee-based business: 77%
Production/AUM: 0.71%
Years in current job: 6
Total years in industry: 33

Pat Faulkner says that clients experience a family-office atmosphere from his group, and are served based on more than just numbers. Their unique wants and needs become the central focus of planning, with risk management and long-term strategy at the forefront. He notes the “vast capability” of his team, in which several members have worked together for more than 20 years. Between them, the group has more than 300 years of experience in the financial industry. The team includes three CFP registered advisors, an RICP and a CFA. Combining that with marketing events to entertain clients and their friends has been a hallmark of the group. Clients regularly refer friends and family, he says.
15. Greg ScottRJ.jpg
15. Greg Scott
Bank: Summit Bank
Location: Panama City, FL
TPM: Raymond James
2018 AUM: $239.14 million
2017 AUM: $212.90 million
2018 Production: $1.84 million
2017 Production: $1.47 million
Fee-based business: 83%
Production/AUM: 0.77%
Years in current job: 10
Total years in industry: 16

Greg Scott says his group seeks to gain perspective into what brings their clients joy and purpose. What are their goals, their visions and their fears? Who and what do they love? What kind of legacy do they want to leave behind? Asking these critical questions gives him a thorough understanding of their financial roadmap and provides valuable information to develop and implement a long-term investment strategy tailored to making these visions a reality.
14. MichaelKruchten LPL.png
14. Michael Kruchten
Bank: First Midwest Bank
Location: Joliet, IL
TPM: LPL Financial
2018 AUM: $207.67 million
2017 AUM: $185.17 million
2018 Production: $1.90 million
2017 Production: $1.69 million
Fee-based business: 97%
Production/AUM: 0.91%
Years in current job: 14
Total years in industry: 20.6

Mike Kruchten always reminds himself of the need to constantly communicate changes regarding clients’ financial goals. And he stays relevant in our digital age by adopting technology faster than most advisors. One example is his utilization of an automated marketing campaign integrated within his CRM, touching on real time market events and headlines as they unfold.
13. Michael CooneyRJ.jpg
13. Michael Cooney
Bank: First Tech Federal Credit Union (Addison Avenue Investment Services)
Location: Bellevue, WA
TPM: Raymond James
2018 AUM: $205.05 million
2017 AUM: $170.24 million
2018 Production: $1.54 million
2017 Production: $1.21 million
Fee-based business: 78%
Production/AUM: 0.75%
Years in current job: 6
Total years in industry: 19

Michael Cooney works mostly with employees of tech firms — Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Facebook, as well as many start-ups and video game companies. “My clients have some of the most brilliant minds around and I learn from them in every meeting I have,” he says. He rebuffs the common mantra of offering different tiers of service to clients. His philosophy is different. “I work with all my clients as if they are all my top clients, and I believe that by doing so, I earn their trust and develop deeper relationships as a result.” He says he is excited to see what the next five years brings as the industry changes and technology evolves.
12. OscarSanz Cit Intl.jpg
12. Oscar Sanz
Bank: Citibank (International)
Location: Miami, FL
TPM: none
2018 AUM: $237 million
2017 AUM: $175.00 million
2018 Production: $1.71 million
2017 Production: $1.33 million
Fee-based business: 13%
Production/AUM: 0.72%
Years in current job: 15
Total years in industry: 8

Oscar Sanz works for Citibank's International Personal Bank, which serves non-U.S residents. He says his approach is one of teamwork. He has seven members on the team fully dedicated to service clients' needs. This is a relationship business, he says, that goes far beyond picking a stock, bond or portfolio online. “We embrace the digital age and we use it through digital tools that help us to facilitate and provide better service to our clients.”
11. AlexMarks Citi.jpg
11. Alex Marks
Bank: Citibank
Location: Chicago
TPM: None
2018 AUM: $730.61 million
2017 AUM: $634.82 million
2018 Production: $4.40 million
2017 Production: $3.49 million
Fee-based business: 57%
Production/AUM: 0.6%
Years in current job: 28
Total years in industry: 30

With a keen insight to increase his knowledge of the markets, Alex Marks says it’s important to him to be in the forefront of his clients’ minds. He prides himself on working closely with clients and becoming a trusted partner to the client’s family or business. He considers it a top priority for individuals and families to know that any subject is open for discussion, not just investments.
10. Joshua Giuliano, Citizens.jpg
10. Josh Giuliano
Bank: Citizens Bank
Location: Cranston, RI
TPM: Citizens Investment Services
2018 AUM: $210 million
2017 AUM: $176.00 million
2018 Production: $1.56 million
2017 Production: $1.20 million
Fee-based business: 55%
Production/AUM: 0.74%
Years in current job: 9
Total years in industry: 13

Josh Giuliano focuses on taking the least amount of risk for clients while meeting their financial goals. Because the risk balance is so important, every client discussion touches on why investment diversification and tax diversification are critical to achieving a well-balanced portfolio. He mentors other advisors, which forces him to continually improve his skills.
9. Paul Stetter Jr.RJ.jpg
9. Paul Stetter Jr.
Bank: Fulton Bank
Location: Ephrata, PA
TPM: Raymond James
2018 AUM: $283.43 million
2017 AUM: $234.92 million
2018 Production: $2.49 million
2017 Production: $2.18 million
Fee-based business: 75%
Production/AUM: 0.88%
Years in current job: 10
Total years in industry: 16

Paul Stetter Jr. attributes his success as an advisor at least partially to his empathy for client needs and his ability to customize a variety of investment solutions. He stays engaged in clients’ lives, not just as an advisor but also as a confidant to their parents, children and grandchildren. He works with them throughout all facets of their lives. Through multigenerational connections and technology he has had great success introducing them to many different types of electronic conduits that enable them to increase their knowledge of the financial landscape.
8. Evan Mayer, SunTrust.jpg
8. Evan Mayer
Bank: SunTrust
Location: Boca Raton, FL
TPM: none
2018 AUM: $182 million
2017 AUM: $115.00 million
2018 Production: $1.40 million
2017 Production: $1.10 million
Fee-based business: 70%
Production/AUM: 0.77%
Years in current job: 7
Total years in industry: 15

Evan Mayer’s group focuses on affluent families and utilizes a five-step planning process designed to uncover their wants, needs and wishes. The team aims to develop a plan that will help clients achieve those goals with measurable results and work with other estate professionals. He notes that these days, technology can make asset allocation easy, but robos can’t advise on titling, taxes, retirement contributions, insurance, and long-term care planning along with unique strategies for each client.
7. DavidGuthrie Citi.jpg
7. David Guthrie
Bank: Citibank
Location: New York
TPM: None
2018 AUM: $361.14 million
2017 AUM: $270.55 million
2018 Production: $1.82 million
2017 Production: $1.38 million
Fee-based business: 70%
Production/AUM: 0.5%
Years in current job: 3
Total years in industry: 14

David Guthrie says that most clients want to focus on family, work and an enjoyable retirement and leave the heavy lifting to their financial team. His group’s high-touch service model — and being in the same location for over 12 years — has given them a competitive advantage among their peers and allowed them to provide clients with continuity.
6. Lou RicciardiRJ.jpg
6. Louis Ricciardi
Bank: Bristol County Savings Bank
Location: Taunton, MA
TPM: Raymond James
2018 AUM: $603.03 million
2017 AUM: $371.27 million
2018 Production: $2.60 million
2017 Production: $2.00 million
Fee-based business: 57%
Production/AUM: 0.43%
Years in current job: 9
Total years in industry: 36

Lou Ricciardi enjoys helping clients understand the markets and make sound financial decisions. After earlier stints with PaineWebber and Dean Witter Reynolds, he joined Raymond James in 2009 and has been named to the firm’s Chairman’s Council each year since 2011.
5. Jeff Alger, SunTrust.jpg
5. Jeffrey Alger
Bank: SunTrust
Location: Brentwood, TN
TPM: none
2018 AUM: $220 million
2017 AUM: $180.00 million
2018 Production: $2.00 million
2017 Production: $1.70 million
Fee-based business: 79%
Production/AUM: 0.91%
Years in current job: 11
Total years in industry: 36

Jeffrey Alger’s thorough discovery process allows him to pinpoint individual client needs, goals and objectives. Such attention to detail helps foster good relationships with clients of all ages because, as he notes, even in this digital age, younger clients appreciate wisdom and experience over robo investing. Indeed, client-first is a mantra he practices every day.
4. Christopher Barron2018, Citi.jpg
4. Christopher Barron
Bank: Citibank
Location: New York
TPM: None
2018 AUM: $322.24 million
2017 AUM: $269.31 million
2018 Production: $2.27 million
2017 Production: $1.87 million
Fee-based business: 93%
Production/AUM: 0.71%
Years in current job: 12
Total years in industry: 17

Christopher Barron uses an investment approach that prioritizes the "why" with his clients. He explains the foundations of his recommendations and why they are consistent with clients’ objectives. His team also tries to understand what’s motivating clients’ goals, investment experience and family dynamics. He says this leads to deeper relationships and clients who have the peace of mind in knowing his team is dedicated to their financial success. Because of this thoughtful approach, most of his referrals come from existing clients.
3. Brock Kidd2018RJ.jpg
3. Brock Kidd
Bank: Pinnacle Bank
Location: Nashville, TN
TPM: Raymond James
2018 AUM: $426.32 million
2017 AUM: $363.36 million
2018 Production: $2.71 million
2017 Production: $2.08 million
Fee-based business: 83%
Production/AUM: 0.64%
Years in current job: 16
Total years in industry: 23

Bank Investment Consultant’s #1 advisor on last year’s list, Brock Kidd clocks in at #3 this year. In addition to working with some of the wealthiest families in his home state, Kidd works with several well-known professional athletes and “high-profile music folks.” He noted that with different lifestyles and objectives come many different solutions. “We are proud of the diversity that our group of clients represent,” he says. In addition to developing asset allocation models, his team also meets with clients’ estate planning attorneys and accountants. He tries to differentiate his practice by providing concierge service.
2. AndrewVahab2018 Citi.jpg
2. Andrew Vahab
Bank: Citibank
Location: New York
TPM: None
2018 AUM: $1.06 billion
2017 AUM: $815.05 million
2018 Production: $5.41 million
2017 Production: $4.13 million
Fee-based business: 60%
Production/AUM: 0.51%
Years in current job: 15
Total years in industry: 15

Andrew Vahab maintains a strong balance between quantitative and qualitative skills. He combines his core competencies in financial planning and capital markets with an approach he calls “over communicating and evolving with clients’ needs.” His strength is in balancing both sides of the coin, he says. Of digital technology, he says there’s no turning back; the sky is the limit when it comes to guidance, and technology is the driving force.
1b. Jamie Hare2018RJ.jpg
1. James Hare
Bank: Pinnacle Bank
Location: Nashville, TN
TPM: Raymond James
2018 AUM: $320.02 million
2017 AUM: $177.17 million
2018 Production: $1.88 million
2017 Production: $1.47 million
Fee-based business: 99%
Production/AUM: 0.59%
Years in current job: 11
Total years in industry: 20

Most of James Hare’s high-net-worth clients are referrals from estate-attorneys, CPA’s and bankers. He characterizes himself as an old-school advisor with only “a handful” of clients. He uses a portfolio of high quality stocks and bonds, rarely purchase mutual funds and never uses annuities. Since most of the assets he manages are in taxable accounts, owning individual securities helps with tax and gift planning at year-end, he says. Each family’s assets are individually managed because no family is the same and most are fairly complicated.

Managing a practice like this has capacity constraints, which is why he has a soft minimum of $5 million. He has a LinkedIn account, but says he’s “probably the least social media savvy advisor in the country.” As he tells younger advisors, “no family with significant wealth has ever hired an advisor because they have a pretty website. Wealthy families expect close personal relationships with their trusted advisors and that’s hard to replicate online.”

Read more about Jamie in our profile article.
MORE FROM FINANCIAL PLANNING