John Ledford
Senior Vice President, Wealth Management Advisor
NMLS #1272746
13355 Noel Road
Dallas, TX 75240
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As your Merrill advisor, the focus in working with you is to connect all aspects of your financial life to help you prioritize and pursue the goals that matter most to you.

John Ledford is a Senior Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. John provides sustained financial leadership, direction, and advice to high-net-worth individuals, entrepreneurs, executives and families throughout the United States. He acts as the “quarterback” of the client team in developing, implementing and reviewing each client’s customized wealth management plan. A deeply experienced Advisor, John has witnessed some of the most difficult markets and issues facing clients and investors today. With a keen interest in behavioral finance, he looks to help clients avoid the common investing biases and mistakes that are often a roadblock to successful investing.
John has earned national accolades for his work, recognition that he believes reflects the caliber of the clients he serves:

  • Forbes “Best-In-State Wealth Advisors,” 2021-2024 (Published annually Jan – April. Rankings based on data as of June 30 of prior year).
  • Forbes “Best-In-State Wealth Management Teams” 2023-2024 (Published annually in January. Rankings based on data as of March 31 of prior year).
Clients come to John with diverse needs. Senior executives often engage his help in unwinding the intricacies of their wealth, including concentrated and restricted stock strategies, diversification strategies and wealth-transfer initiatives. Business owners look to John for pre- and post- liquidity event strategies, from optimizing their businesses ahead of a potential sale to creating an income stream after a sale has taken place. Retirees, in turn, seek John’s assistance in modeling an effective roadmap for the years ahead, from the timing and sources of cash flow to tax-sensitive investing. Finally, multi-generational families turn to John for guidance in saving for higher education, transferring wealth to children and grandchildren, or enhancing the long-term security of special-needs family members.

John draws on an extensive background in wealth management and training at many of the top Wall Street investment firms. He began his career as a Financial Advisor in 1998 with UBS, where he served for more than a decade. Subsequently, he moved to Morgan Stanley, where he was a Senior Vice President in Wealth Management. In 2016, John and his team moved to Merrill where he advises and serves as a one-stop destination for integrated wealth management strategies. He earned his B.A. in Psychology, Cum Laude, from the University of Oklahoma and his M.A. in Finance from the University of Texas at Dallas. He holds the Certified Private Wealth Advisor® certification administered by the Investments & Wealth Institute (The Institute), taught in conjunction with Yale University School of Management.

John serves on the Alumni Association of Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas and is an active volunteer with the Highland Park School District. He also volunteers as a youth football and basketball coach with the YMCA. Previously, John has been active with the North Texas Food Bank, American Cancer Society and Salvation Army.

John and his wife Kelley have two sons and a daughter. He loves spending time with his family, supporting his children in their activities, tending the grill on weekends, and sampling IPAs.
*Source: The Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Advisors” list, published annually Jan - April. Rankings based on data as of June 30 of prior year.

Data provided by SHOOK® Research, LLC. Forbes Best-in-State Wealth Advisors ranking was developed by SHOOK Research and is based on in-person, virtual, and telephone due diligence meetings to measure best practices; also considered are: client retention, industry experience, credentials, review of compliance records, firm nominations; and quantitative criteria, such as: assets under management and revenue generated for their firms. Investment performance is not a criterion because client objectives and risk tolerances vary, and advisors rarely have audited performance reports. SHOOK’s research and rankings provide opinions intended to help investors choose the right financial advisor and are not indicative of future performance or representative of any one client’s experience. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Neither Forbes nor SHOOK Research receive compensation in exchange for placement on the ranking. For more information, please see SHOOK is a registered trademark of SHOOK Research, LLC.

*Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Management Teams” list. Opinions provided by SHOOK* Research, LLC and is based on in-person, virtual and telephone due-diligence meetings and a ranking algorithm that measure best practices, client retention, industry experience, credentials, compliance records, firm nominations, assets under management and Firm-generated revenue (investment performance is not a criterion because client objectives and risk tolerance vary). SHOOK’s rankings are available for client evaluation only, are not indicative of future performance and do not represent any one client’s experience and available for investor help in evaluating the right financial advisor and not an endorsement of the advisor. Compensation was not received from anyone for the rankings study. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Details available at the SHOOK Research website. SHOOK is a registered trademark of SHOOK Research, LLC.
Forbes "Best-in-State Wealth Advisors", 2021-2024
(Published annually Jan – April. Rankings based on data as of June 30 of prior year.)
Forbes "Best-in-State Wealth Management Teams", 2023-2024
(Published annually in January. Rankings based on data as of March 31 of prior year.)
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Meet Our Professional Staff
Raymond Salinas
Wealth Management Client Associate
Mastura Zahid
Officer, Registered Senior Wealth Management Client Associate
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.
Jocelyn T Smith
Retirement Specialist
Tabitha Namuli
Wealth Management Banking Specialist
Lisa C. Gratz
Wealth Management Lending Officer
NMLS #536196
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Investments & Wealth Institute™ (The Institute) is the owner of the certification marks CPWA® and Certified Private Wealth Advisor®. Use of CPWA®, and/or Certified Private Wealth Advisor® signifies that the user has successfully completed the Institute’s initial and ongoing credentialing requirements for wealth advisors.
John Ledford is registered to do business in AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, PR, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VI, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY.