The Speers Group
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
2021 Spring Road
Suite 700
Oak Brook, IL 60523
(630) 954.6396
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We bring an impressive circle of executives and other wealthy individuals a sophisticated suite of financial strategies commensurate with the opportunities and challenges they face.
The Speers Group
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
Welcome

At The Speers Group, we have a proud history that continues to be told – more than 50 years after our founding. Today, we serve an ambitious, high-net-worth clientele of women and men residing in more than 35 states – active and retired C-suite and other senior corporate executives, as well as private business owners, physicians, attorneys, accountants, and generations of families.

With no typical client, we begin our work with no assumptions. Still, most clients are financially astute, self-made individuals who share an entrepreneurial mindset and the goal to monetize their years of hard work. With a service model and commitment similar to that of a multi-family office, clients can expect our full attention, combined acumen, and the extensive resources of our firm.

Having managed clients’ money and emotion amid 1987, 2000, 2008 and 2020 volatility, we feel good knowing virtually all of those clients remain with us today. We believe that’s due in large part to our ability to mitigate investment risk. Still, our focus remains on clients’ lives, not only their bottom lines.

On a given day, our clients face myriad decisions about managing concentrated equity positions, providing for employees with defined and non-qualified plans, selling their enterprises, planning for retirement, or creating a legacy. Working collaboratively as a team, we are committed to delivering an exceptional measure of knowledge and know-how. Clients deserve our care and consideration. We are proud to be their “first call” for any financially related issue.
 
In addition to our team’s insights, we allow clients to benefit from others we’ve assisted in similar positions. We feel fortunate to have long memories and relationships. Speaking for our entire team, we are as proud of the referrals we receive as the results we deliver.

Recognition
Brian Speers
Managing Director, Senior Financial Advisor
Barron's "America's Top 1200 Financial Advisors State-by-State", 2017, 2019-2022
(Published annually in March. Rankings based on data as of September 30 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.)
The Speers Group
Forbes "Best-in-State Wealth Management Teams", 2023-2024
(Published annually in January. Rankings based on data as of March 31 of prior year.)
About Us
Planning Is Everything

At The Speers Group, the core of our offering is a disciplined, planning-based approach we've honed for years. Its purpose? To help clients prioritize and pursue their most cherished goals, for themselves and the people they love. Working simultaneously across multiple disciplines, we focus on the broad canvas of clients' financial pictures with a perspective on wealth planning meant to provide enduring benefits.

Engaging with clients and their families as often as possible, we strive to build a highly personalized and proactive dynamic. Rather than wait for clients to encounter challenges or decisions that we can foresee, we stand behind them by getting out in front of circumstances they anticipate and those they don't. This allows us to present recommendations with sufficient time for clients to decide how to proceed.

By revisiting topics of discussion over the course of each client relationship, we can adjust each financial strategy so that decisions move in sync with a client's needs and outside factors. To help ensure that they're better equipped to attain meaningful financial goals, we make it our business to keep clients informed and on track. Our ultimate goal is to create a boutique-like experience in which frequent discussions can help clients avoid hurried and emotional decisions.

From exercising stock options, to exit planning, to generational transfer of assets, to supporting a worthy cause, we work to appreciate what's on a client's mind and in their heart. That's why we ask questions, "What have you wanted to do that you haven't done yet? What do you want this money to do when you're not here? Why have you come to us? And what role would you like us to play?" Our intent is to help clients thoughtfully consider the many aspects of their lifestyles and livelihoods before expressing their objectives.

Beyond each client, we extend our focus to "the next generation." Talking to their adult children who've recently graduated college or are buying their first home,for example, we try to encourage wise financial habits. We also host family meetings so that a parent's intentions can be explained and discussed.

Additionally, we look to help optimize both sides of clients' balance sheets – assets and liabilities – and determine whether protective components such as insurance might help insulate their wealth. We also talk to clients about Social Security scenarios and the rising costs of health care, as well as tax minimization and estate planning strategies. In everything we do, we analyze what may be missing, as well as what is.

Having served dozens of clients and generations of their families, we have become a repository of knowledge. It is our privilege to address what clients envision in the short team and later, for themselves and their children.

Meet Our Team
Brian Speers,

CRPC™

Managing Director, Senior Financial Advisor
630.954.6396
Patrick Bronge,

CFP®

Senior Vice President, Financial Advisor
630.954.6293
Sebastian Arpino,

ChFC®, CFP®, CRPC™

Financial Advisor
630.954.6256
Marta B Begley
Assistant Vice President, Wealth Management Associate
630.954.6275
Bonnie L Kaufmann
Wealth Management Client Associate
630.954.6394
Mary Arlene Kane
Wealth Management Client Associate
630.954.6292
Blake Willis,

CRPC™

Registered Wealth Management Client Associate
630.954.6398
Additional Resources
The following specialists do not make securities recommendations. Please contact your Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Advisor if you have questions about how a specialist might be able to assist you.
Evan Smolak
Wealth Management Banking Specialist
Merrill
Nicholas A. Beilfuss
Wealth Strategies Advisor
Bank of America, N.A.
James G Nagrant
Senior Wealth Management Lending Officer
Bank of America, N.A.
NMLS #444459
About Merrill

Bringing fresh perspectives to your financial life

The financial decisions you make today can help determine the future you build for yourself and your family. Carving a clear path forward starts with connecting your life and finances. A Merrill advisor provides access to the investing insights of Merrill and banking capabilities of Bank of America to help you make informed decisions as you pursue your goals.

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Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor™, CRPC™, and the CRPC™ logo are certification marks or registered certification marks of The College for Financial Planning Institutes Corp. in the United States.
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and the CFP® (with plaque design) in the United States, which it authorizes use of by individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.