Top CFOs is pleased to announce The Top 50 Financial Advisors of Tampa for 2022. The city offers an abundance of opportunities for those looking to build and grow their career in several fast-growing industries. This year’s awardees are guiding those individuals in their financial pursuits. They are advising high-net-worth individuals, small businesses, and families towards financial freedom. They provide an unmatched expertise for decisions around money matters, personal finances, and long-term investments.
Among this year’s awardees is John Mathews, Managing Director & Head of Private Wealth Management for UBS Financial Services, who leads the ultra-high-net worth client segment for the entire firm nationwide. Also awarded is Michael Valdes, Private Wealth Advisor and Managing Director of the Valdes Group of Merrill Private Wealth Management, who closely tracks the impact of macro-economic movements to refine strategies and tactics in light of changing market themes. Awardee Hollee Kier, Co-Founder and Financial Advisor of Artistry Wealth Management of Northwestern Mutual, brings 33 years of financial industry experience to her clients and has been recognized for her commitment to excellence in service.
This year’s awardees share a passion and commitment to their client’s financial sustainability. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 50 Financial Advisors of Tampa for 2022.
1. John Mathews
Managing Director & Head of Private Wealth Management, UBS Financial Services
John Mathews is Head of Private Wealth Management (PWM) and a member of the Wealth Management Americas' (WMA) Executive Committee for UBS Financial Services. He is responsible for WMA's ultra-high-net worth businesses and oversees the strategic direction and management of the PWM division, providing support to the firm’s wealthiest clients and driving growth in this important segment. In 2015, his role expanded to include responsibility for the Americas Global Family Office and Business Development Group to streamline UBS' ultra-high-net worth offerings and service. Mathews plays an instrumental role in coordinating the delivery of the full range of the firm’s worldwide resources, which includes the integration of global solutions from the Investment Bank, Global Asset Management, and the Private Bank.
Mathews has direct responsibility for all Private Wealth Management offices in the U.S., with primary locations in New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston, and Los Angeles. He started his career as a financial advisor for E.F. Hutton & Co. in Tampa, Florida and transitioned his business in 1994 to PaineWebber, which would go on to be acquired by UBS. Mathews parlayed his experience as an advisor as he took on roles as a branch manager, complex manager, and then regional director. Mathews most recently served as regional director for the Southeast Region. Mathews earned an undergraduate degree in political science and government from the University of Florida.
2. Patrick Griffith
Senior Financial Advisor & SVP, Morgan Stanley
Patrick Griffith is a Senior Financial Advisor and Senior Vice President with Morgan Stanley. He has more than 28 years of experience in the wealth management industry, including six years as a producing branch manager. Serving high-net worth individuals and business owners, he is dedicated to providing each client with outstanding service and the finest individually tailored approach to financial and investment strategies. At the heart of his philosophy is a passion to earn each client's trust and respect through working hard with integrity and transparency and to build enduring relationships.
Griffith takes the time to know each client as an individual and as an investor, focusing on what matters most to them and how they think and feel about investing. He works with clients to establish personalized goals, to prioritize those goals, and to develop a plan to most effectively pursue those goals. Committed to frequent and clear communication, Griffith talks or meets with clients regularly to assess progress and adjust strategies as necessary. Understanding that most clients are extremely busy, he also strives to simplify and organize their financial lives, providing assistance in the areas of equity and fixed income investing, education and retirement planning, estate planning services in conjunction with clients' CPAs and attorneys, intergenerational wealth transfer and life insurance analysis. Griffith is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania and received his master’s degree from Villanova University.
3. Michael Valdes
Private Wealth Advisor & Managing Director, Merrill Private Wealth Management
Michael Valdes has provided wealth management services and strategies to ultra-high-net worth individuals since 1985, when he joined Merrill. As the Founder and Senior Advisor of the Valdes Group, Michael directs a Merrill Private Wealth Management team that caters to the distinctive needs of a distinguished clientele. Michael applies the knowledge he has gained from more than three decades of integrated wealth management. His experience with asset allocation modeling, concentrated and restricted stock strategies, alternative investments, and portfolio diversification help him to pursue a client's investment goals with insight and steady resolve. A disciplined portfolio manager, he closely tracks the impact of macro-economic movements on investment returns, refining strategies and tactics in light of changing market themes.
Michael earned an undergraduate degree from Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is involved in a number of community philanthropies, including The V Foundation for Cancer Research, The Straz Center for the Performing Arts, St. Joseph's Hospital, and Jesuit High School.
4. Hollee Kier
Co-Founder & Financial Advisor, Artistry Wealth Management of Northwestern Mutual
Hollee Kier is the Co-Founder and Financial Advisor of Artistry Wealth Management of Northwestern Mutual. She brings over 33 years of experience in the financial services industry and business ownership. She joined Northwestern Mutual in 1999 and quickly propelled into a servant led position. She was offered a leadership role and was appointed as a field director in 2005 and then went on to managing director in 2008, in which she served until 2021.
Kier relies not only on her own knowledge and experience, but also on the expertise of her team of specialists available through the Northwestern Mutual Network. Together, they provide innovative solutions and professional direction to help clients accomplish their objectives. Kier graduated from Warner University with an undergraduate degree in business management.
View the complete list of awardees.
5. Steve Siembak
VP of Personal Banking Wealth Management & People Insights, Citi
Steve Siembak is a Vice President of Personal Banking Wealth Management & People Insights for Citi. Citi’s mission is to serve as a trusted partner to their clients by responsibly providing financial services that enable growth and economic progress. Their core activities are safeguarding assets, lending money, making payments, and accessing the capital markets on behalf of their clients. They have 200 years of experience helping their clients meet the world's toughest challenges and embrace its greatest opportunities. Siembak has 16 years of experience. He began his career in 2006.
Before joining Citi, Siembak was a business development and client executive at Trademark Recruiting and Consulting and before that, he worked with Altimeter Solutions, a technical consulting firm that specializes in providing its clients the highest quality analytical/technical consultative services. Earlier in his career he worked with Deloitte Consulting. Siembak graduated from West Virginia University with an undergraduate degree.
7. Jared Hermann
First VP & Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley
Jared Hermann is a First Vice President and Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley. He began his financial services career in 2001 at Merrill Lynch and over the years has built a successful practice, advising successful individuals and families, business owners and nonprofits on how to better understand and manage their total financial picture. Hermann deliberately keeps his practice to less than 100 families so he can deliver a white-glove experience.
A defining theme throughout his career has been a genuine passion to guide clients in making informed and confident decisions about their wealth, so they can simplify their lives and strengthen their family’s financial future. As a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and a Chartered Retirement Planning Specialist®, Hermann enjoys educating clients and helping them achieve new levels of success as they plan for retirement and other long-term goals. He graduated from Liberty University with an undergraduate degree in finance.
10. Larry Bevis
SVP of Wealth Management, UBS Financial Services
Larry Bevis is a Senior Vice President of Wealth Management with UBS Financial Services. He first joined the firm in 1991. Bevis works with organizations and foundations to design custom solutions for their investment needs. He assists in developing investment policy statements for institutions and consistently updates institutions portfolios to adapt to the ever-changing market environment. Additionally, Bevis has extensive experience at building comprehensive financial plans for high-net-worth and ultra-high-net worth individuals and families. Once he has developed a fluid roadmap for a financial future, he monitors investable assets ensuring each is appropriately diversified.
Previously, Bevis was a VP of investment management at Kidder Peabody. He earned an MBA in finance from Eastern New Mexico University and an undergraduate degree in business administration and finance from The University of Florida.
11. Julie Dimare
Private Wealth Advisor & VP, U.S. Bank
Julie Dimare is a Private Wealth Advisor and Vice President with U.S. Bank. She first joined the bank in 2021. In her role, Dimare provides comprehensive wealth management strategies tailored to her clients’ specific needs. These strategies encompass investment management, private banking, trust and estate services, and wealth planning. She takes the time to understand each clients’ unique needs and directs teams of specialists, often working closely with local centers of influence, such as divorce attorneys and long-term care directors. Dimare’s primary focus is to provide services that help clients and their families ensure they are always in a proactive position of choice when planning for their financial dreams, goals and aspirations.
Previously, Dimare was a Synovus private wealth market executive and an SVP, and before that, a premier banker at SunTrust. Earlier in her career she worked with LaSalle Bank as a financial services consultant. Dimare earned an undergraduate degree in business administration from North Central College.
13. Sean McHale
SVP and Florida Regional Manager of Wealth, Hancock Whitney
Sean McHale is a Senior Vice President and Florida Regional Manager of Wealth for Hancock Whitney. Hancock Whitney offers a wide array of banking and financial services at locations in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Through a steadfast commitment to their century-old core values, they’ve created a company culture built around respect, diversity and teamwork that recently landed Hancock Whitney on Forbes’ list of America’s Best Midsize Employers. Their core values are lived out by the actions of their associates throughout their footprint. McHale has 25 years of experience. He began his career in 1997.
Before joining Hancock Whitney, McHale was a regional director, team director and wealth advisor at BB&T and before that, a relationship manager, team leader, client advisor, managing director, and EVP at SunTrust. McHale graduated from Rutgers University with an MBA in finance and from the University at Buffalo with an undergraduate degree in statistics.
14. Jennifer Garbowicz
Private Client Advisor & SVP, Bank of America Private Bank
Jennifer Garbowicz began her professional career 17 years ago. Today, she is a Private Client Advisor and Senior Vice President with Bank of America Private Bank. Along with her team of seasoned professionals, she works closely with clients to create strategies for managing the complexities of significant wealth, today and for future generations. They provide a range of services tailored to each client's goals. These include strategies for investment management, preparing for liquidity events and philanthropy, as well as trust and estate planning services and credit solutions.
Garbowicz first got her start in 2005 as a principal and an SVP at Sabal Trust Company. She graduated from the University of Tampa with an MBA and from Eckerd College with an undergraduate degree.
17. Jeffrey Tillman
VP & Wealth Management Advisor , Fidelity Investments
Jeffrey Tillman is a Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor with Fidelity Investments. At Fidelity, their goal is to make financial expertise broadly accessible and effective in helping people live the lives they want. They do this by focusing on a diverse set of customers, from 23 million people investing their life savings to 20,000 businesses managing their employee benefits, to 10,000 advisors needing innovative technology to invest their clients’ money. They offer investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, and many other financial products. Tillman has 17 years of experience. He began his career in 2005.
Before joining Fidelity Investments, Tillman was an institutional fixed income trader and fixed income portfolio manager at Fixed Income and before that, an institutional fixed income sales representative at Wells Fargo Securities. Earlier in his career he worked with Merrill Lynch as a financial advisor. Tillman graduated from the University of Florida with an MBA and from the University of North Florida with an undergraduate degree in business administration.
View the complete list of awardees.
18. Jonathan Ferro
VP & Private Wealth Advisor, Synovus
Jonathan Ferro is a Vice President and Private Wealth Advisor with Synovus. He first joined the firm in 2022. Ferro is a certified financial planner who advises high-net-worth individuals, families, and small business owners in the areas of wealth optimization, tax minimization, and asset protection. He also leverages his trust and fiduciary administration experience in properly advising beneficiaries with complex needs.
Previously, Ferro was a financial advisor at Edward Jones and before that, a VP and trust advisor at Regions Private Wealth Management. Earlier in his career he worked with Merrill Lynch as an investment services advisor. Ferro earned a JD from Florida Coastal School of Law and an undergraduate degree in finance from the University of Florida.
19. Christopher Reynolds
VP of Investments & Senior Financial Advisor, Wells Fargo Advisors
Christopher Reynolds is a Vice President of Investments and Senior Financial Advisor with Wells Fargo Advisors. For over 3 decades, He has worked with a select group of clients by helping them with their financial and investment needs. Since 2006 he has focused on helping those clients accumulate, manage, and distribute their wealth by creating sound investment strategies and developing sensible retirement income plans that are crafted to meet the needs of each client’s specific situation. Personal contact is a hallmark of his practice. He primarily serves in the advisory role by working with individuals, families and small business owners by providing objective and unbiased advice.
Reynolds earned undergraduate degrees from Jacksonville State University and an MBA from the University of Alabama. He also holds a diploma from The Graduate School of Banking at LSU and both Series 7 and 66 registrations, CFP® designation, and life insurance licenses. Reynolds is proud to be a Kiwanian and past president, treasurer of the JSU Board of Governors, and board member for Quality of Life Health Services.
24. Steven Acuff
SVP of Wealth Management, Raymond James
Steven Acuff began his professional career 35 years ago. Today, he is a Senior Vice President of Wealth Management with Acuff & Linington Wealth Management of Raymond James. At Acuff & Linington Wealth Management, their clients have worked hard to accumulate wealth so they deserve a wealth management team who will work as hard to manage and preserve it. For this reason, their team endeavors to provide exceptional service, expertise and continuing education to clients. Acuff and his team specialize in the comprehensive wealth planning and investment management needs of affluent families, businesses, and medical professionals. Their areas of practice include investment management, risk management, legacy/estate planning, tax planning, retirement planning and education planning.
26. Gino Lavorgna
Financial Advisor, Florida Financial Advisors
Gino Lavorgna is a Financial Advisor with Florida Financial Advisors, a comprehensive financial planning and wealth management firm with highly skilled certified financial advisors specializing in serving the needs of Floridians. Their team has a keen focus on helping its clients realize their dreams. Lavorgna started with the firm at its infancy 5 years ago. Today, they service over 2,000 households and have grown to 7 markets in 4 different states, and have been a top rated financial planning firm over the past three years.
Lavorgna was heavily involved with business development and growth of the firm. He was named a partner in 2018 and started a leadership role in the organization. He became a field vice president in 2021, although he still services his personal clients as a practitioner while running the day-to-day operations of the Tampa branch. Lavorgna graduated from the University of Tampa with an undergraduate degree in business administration.
29. Clark Mason
Financial Advisor & Branch Director, RBC Wealth Management
Clark Mason began his professional career 26 years ago. Today, he is a Financial Advisor and Branch Director of RBC Wealth Management. Through RBC Wealth Management, he offers a single source for the financial advice and services required, and connects his clients with specialized professionals for complex decisions as necessary. Mason’s services include investment strategies, retirement planning, and estate planning.
Mason has been dedicated to helping clients achieve their financial goals since 1996. After graduating from the University of South Florida, he joined William R. Hough & Co. as a financial consultant. In 2004 Hough merged with RBC Wealth Management. In addition to his services as a financial advisor, Mason serves on numerous charitable boards in the Tampa Bay area.
30. Sean Weber
Executive Director & Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley
Sean Weber has been helping people plan for and enjoy financially secure futures for over 20 years. He currently serves as an Executive Director and Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley. His early career had him working with high net-worth individuals in Boulder, Colorado. He developed dynamic plans using investments and debt strategies to help grow and preserve their wealth. Weber left Colorado for Florida in 2000 and joined Merrill Lynch in Tampa. Weber and his team continued to focus on helping his clients develop comprehensive retirement income solutions when he moved to Morgan Stanley in 2011. Weber’s clients who are in this program benefit from his ability to manage their assets with portfolio strategies uniquely designed to help them meet their personal investment objectives. He is passionate about not only helping build financially secure futures for his clients, but also understanding their motivations and unique situations. His dedication to his clients drives him to customize the appropriate retirement income solution for each individual.
Weber is a graduate of the University of Colorado in Boulder with an undergraduate degree in economics. He is an enthusiastic volunteer at Metropolitan Ministries, Feeding Tampa Bay, Ronald McDonald house, and his children’s school.
32. Molly Croyle
Financial Advisor, Prudential Financial
Molly Croyle has over 30 years of experience in financial services. She began her career with EF Hutton in Washington, DC, followed by 6 years as a branch administrator for Kidder Peabody in Baltimore, MD and Washington DC. In 1994 she became a registered sales assistant for a top producing advisor in the DC area and a few years later she became a financial advisor. Croyle joined Prudential Advisors in October 2019.
Croyle works closely with clients to help develop sound investment strategies, emphasizing retirement planning and wealth management. She is passionate about providing her clients with the tools and education they need to navigate life’s financial challenges. Croyle is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional and Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® professional. She holds the SIE, Series 7 and Series 66 registrations, along with securities registrations in 19 states, and Life, Health and Variable Annuities licenses in 10 states. She has been a proud member of the Million Dollar Round Table since 2021. Croyle received an undergraduate degree in marketing from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She grew up in Ohio and moved to Washington, DC after graduating college. She and her husband, Brian relocated to the Tampa Bay area in 2015.
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36. Emmanuel Lelekis
Private Wealth Financial Advisor & Managing Director, Wells Fargo Advisors
Emmanuel Lelekis is a Private Wealth Financial Advisor and Managing Director with Wells Fargo Advisors. He engages clients through his personal approach of listening to their dreams, fears and concerns. With a plan in place, he develops personalized wealth strategies for each client. Lelekis then works relentlessly to execute on their objectives. His personal mission is to “work each and every day to serve and become a trusted advisor and tireless advocate for our clients and their families.”
Lelekis is a seventeen-year veteran of the financial industry. He joined Wells Fargo Advisors in 2007 after spending the first part of his career living in New York City and working as an executive and corporate financial analyst for some of America's largest corporations. In 2017, 2018 and 2019 he was honored to be named as one of Forbes Next Generation Wealth Advisor. Lelekis attended the Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida and graduated with an undergraduate degree in finance and a master’s degree in decision information sciences.
40. Chad Spencer
Managing Director & Financial Advisor, Raymond James
Chad Spencer began his professional career 23 years ago. Today, he is a Managing Director and Financial Advisor with Raymond James, a Florida-based diversified holding company providing financial services to individuals, corporations and municipalities through its subsidiary companies engaged primarily in investment and financial planning, in addition to capital markets and asset management.
Spencer first got his start in 1999 as a first VP at Morgan Stanley. From there, he went on to Wells Fargo Advisors as an SVP of investments and financial advisor, his most recent positions prior to joining Raymond James. Spencer graduated from the University of South Florida with an undergraduate degree in financial planning and services.
41. Heather Weber
Wealth Management Advisor & Managing Director, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
Heather Weber is a Managing Director and Wealth Management Advisor who joined Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in Tampa, Florida in 2006. She began in the financial services industry as a financial advisor in 1997. Weber excels in wealth management for executives of public and private companies and corporations. Her areas of focus include lending on restricted stock (hypothecation loans), risk management strategies for concentrated equity positions, corporate relocation home financing through Bank of America, professional asset management, as well as retirement and estate planning services.
Weber earned an undergraduate degree at the University of Florida and a master’s degree at Tennessee State University. She is a sustaining member of the Junior League.
45. Mark McClintock
Senior Investment Advisor, PNC
Mark McClintock is a Senior Investment Advisor with PNC. For more than 160 years, PNC has been committed to making a difference for their customers, communities and employees. McClintock develops and executes investment strategies in accordance with objectives that have been established in consultation with each individual client. He delivers integrated advice and solutions in building customized portfolios on a risk adjusted basis and utilizes a wide range of investments in managing investment management accounts, fiduciary accounts and IRAs. McClintock works with an experienced team of specialists with expertise in estate planning, banking services and various types of trusts to help clients achieve their financial goals and objectives.
Before joining PNC, McClintock was a managing director and portfolio manager at Evercore Wealth Management and before that, a managing director at SunTrust Bank. Earlier in his career he worked with Paine Webber Jackson and Curtis as an investment executive. McClintock graduated from Florida State University with an undergraduate degree in business.
48. Ian Sandler
Executive Director & Head of Asset & Wealth Management Marketing Compliance, JPMorgan Chase
Ian Sandler is an Executive Director and Head of JP Morgan Asset & Wealth Management Marketing Compliance of JPMorgan Chase. He first joined the firm in 2012 serving as a vice president. In addition to Sandler’s roles with JP Morgan Chase, he is also a Principal of Communications & Marketing for Citigroup. With Citigroup, Sandler approves all investment-related firm marketing materials, correspondence, licensing/designations, press releases, talking points, website content, and live public appearances. He works closely with senior management on new business strategies and models to help develop compliant communications plans and also supervises home office employee email communications to ensure protection of firm and client information.
Sandler graduated from The George Washington University with an undergraduate degree in political science and government.
View the complete list of awardees.