Focus and Banking & Finance

GR Merrill Lynch team honored

Barron’s rated group among Michigan’s top institutional consultants.

May 15, 2015
| By Pete Daly |
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The 16-member Veldheer, Long, Mackay & Bernecker Group in Grand Rapids has been selected by Barron’s magazine as Michigan’s top institutional investment team and the seventh-ranked institutional team in the nation.

The group includes partners Jim Veldheer, Timothy Long, William Mackay and Scott Bernecker.

The Grand Rapids office, 250 Monroe Ave. NW in downtown, concentrates on advising corporations, foundations, endowments, pensions, defined contribution plans and high-net-worth families on strategies for managing their assets.

This is the first year Barron’s has ranked institutional consulting teams.

“This is a team award, and we share the recognition with our clients, our VLMB associates here in Grand Rapids, and the institutional leadership across the firm of Merrill Lynch,” said Veldheer.

“We have been committed to providing excellent advisory services to institutions and high-net-worth individuals for over 40 years.”

The wealth management firms in the Barron’s ranking were evaluated on a range of criteria, including: institutional investment assets overseen by the team; the number of clients served by the team; and the number of team members and their regulatory records.

Also considered were the advanced professional designations and accomplishments represented on the team.

Barron’s published “Ranking the Institutional Financial Advisors” April 18; it was the first time the publication has ranked institutional consultants. Over the previous 12 years, it has ranked the top personal wealth advisors in each state.

The finance magazine said it was “venturing into new territory, ranking advisory teams who guide institutions — foundations, endowments, pensions, defined-contribution plans and the like.”

It said there is a “pressing need for guidance in this area” because most of the board members of those institutions are there in a part-time capacity — even as the complexity of institutional investing increases along with the level of regulation such as ERISA and emergency fiduciary mandates.

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