Montgomery Business Journal

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Groce & Oakley Wealth Management Group

Groce & Oakley Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley Couples Vast Experience, Prestigious Designations

March 2016
By David Zaslawsky   
Photography by Robert Fouts 

They are not the only wealth management group in town, but they are the only wealth management group in Montgomery that is not only part of Morgan Stanley, but also have numerous prestigious designations and a combined 57 years of experience.

Meet The Groce & Oakley Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley. Larry A. Groce has 31 years of experience and W. Lawrence Oakley has 26 years of experience. Both are Certified Financial Planners and less than 10 percent of the advisory force can say that.

Oakley has the designation of Certified Investment Management Analyst. He pointed out that a financial planner helps individuals achieve goals, but “it doesn’t teach you anything about investing money.” He studied at Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and knows about “portfolio construction and building efficient portfolios and understanding risk associated with different asset classes and how to combine those asset classes.”

Groce, a senior vice president, has the Senior Portfolio Manager designation. That puts him in an exclusive club as does his 15 years in public accounting. He uses six models for portfolios. “I have the ability to manage funds on a discretionary basis,” said Groce, who is a former chairman of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He was a member of the executive committee for six years.

There’s much more that sets this wealth group apart from others. Oakley has a Family Wealth Director designation and less than 250 of Morgan Stanley’s 17,000 advisers have one. “We spend a lot of time talking through the different strategies and approaches that can be taken to help families preserve the family as well as preserve the wealth,” said Oakley, who is a senior vice president. He said he typically works with business owners.

“How do you transition a business? How do you transition family wealth? How do you transition family values and things that are important, but can’t be folded up and put into a wallet?” he asked. The process can get very complicated, Oakley said, when some members of family work in a business and others don’t.

Of course one of the obvious differences with The Groce & Oakley Wealth Management Group is Morgan Stanley – a big difference. “The resources that are available to us through Morgan Stanley are incalculable as far as if we had to try to provide all those services on our own,” Groce said.

When Groce and Oakley recommend outside managers to handle a client’s account, you can feel quite comfortable. “We probably have the oldest and the deepest and the most experienced due diligence (team) that helps us in the vetting process of identifying, analyzing and underwriting the credibility of those outside managers and making sure we are using appropriate managers,” Groce said.

Oakley said, “What we need to do is allocate our client’s capital to the best minds in the business in a particular area of expertise.”

The five-member firm “is unique,” Oakley said. The support staff has a combined 35 years of experience in the financial industry. Sherry Campbell, senior registered client service associate, has 20-plus years of experience; Muriel Redhead, senior client service associate, has 10 years of experience; and Julie Johnston, registered client service associate, has four years of experience.

“When a client calls in, one of five people (is) going to answer that phone, and not only are the same people going to answer that phone, but they know our clients,” Oakley said. “We spend a lot of time making sure that our support team knows the needs of our clients … They are very instrumental in helping us provide service and simplify our clients’ financial life.”

Website:
morganstanleyfa.com/groce-oakley

Employees:
5

Years in the financial sector:
Larry A. Groce (31)
W. Lawrence 
Oakley (26)

Years with Morgan Stanley:
Groce (8)
Oakley (16)

Minimum investment:
$500,000

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