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FIVE STAR Wealth Managers


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ANNOUNCING: San Diego’s 2009 FIVE STAR Wealth Managers.

We surveyed consumers, financial service professionals and our subscribers to find the best in client satisfaction wealth managers in the San Diego area. Here they are.

Well over half of the consumer responses in the San Diego area indicated it is difficult to find a wealth manager they trust and rely on (1). Wealth managers, broadly defined, are those individuals who help you manage your financial world and/or implement aspects of your financial strategies. Common examples of wealth managers are financial advisors, life insurance agents, accountants, tax advisors, attorneys, bankers, etc.

With so many wealth managers to choose from, how do you find someone who listens to you, represents your interests and operates with an emphasis on integrity and service? San Diego Magazine can help. For the third year the magazine has partnered with Crescendo Business Services, an independent research firm, to find out which wealth managers successfully satisfied key client satisfaction criteria and overall scored the highest in client satisfaction.

The Selection Process

In July, Crescendo surveyed by mail and phone 40,000 high-net-worth residents in the San Diego area and subscribers of San Diego Magazine. An additional 7,000 surveys were sent to leaders of financial service industry companies.

On the surveys, recipients were asked to evaluate only wealth managers whom they knew through personal experience, and to evaluate them based upon nine criteria: customer service, integrity, knowledge/expertise, communication, value for fee charged, meeting of financial objectives, post-sale service, quality of recommendations and overall satisfaction.

Only original surveys—no copies—returned in their specially designed envelopes were accepted as valid. By August, stacks of surveys had arrived and Crescendo began carefully scoring each wealth manager. Both positive and negative evaluations were included in the scoring. Only wealth managers with five years of experience in the financial services industry were considered.

Next, each wealth manager was reviewed for regulatory actions, civil judicial actions and customer complaints as reported by FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) and other regulatory agencies.

Then, before finalizing the list, wealth managers were reviewed by a blue-ribbon panel. The blue-ribbon panel comprised individuals from within the financial services industry. Although panelist comments were incorporated into the final score, safeguards were built into the review process to reduce the ability of panel members to influence the composition of the final list on the basis of company affiliation.

Best in Client Satisfaction

The resulting list of 2009 FIVE STAR Wealth Managers represents those wealth managers, of those evaluated in the San Diego area, who scored highest in client satisfaction. These wealth managers represent less than 3 percent of the wealth managers in the San Diego area. Only 288 of the top-scoring wealth managers made this year’s list. To make the list more user-friendly, wealth managers have been grouped based upon their primary financial service. Each wealth manager has also listed up to three additional financial services that they provide their clients.

Although this list will certainly be a useful tool for anyone looking for help in managing their financial world or implementing aspects of their financial strategies, it should not be considered exhaustive. Undoubtedly, there are many other excellent wealth managers who, for one reason or another, are not on this year’s list.


As with any research or recognition program, it is important that we provide you the following declarations:
• The 2009 FIVE STAR Wealth Managers do not pay a fee to be included in the research or the final list of FIVE STAR: Best in Client Satisfaction Wealth Managers.
• The overall evaluation score of a wealth manager reflects an average of all respondents and may not be representative of any one client’s evaluation.
• The FIVE STAR Award is not indicative of the wealth managers future performance.
• Wealth managers may or may not use discretion in their practice and therefore may not manage their client’s assets.
• The inclusion of a wealth manager on the FIVE STAR Wealth Manager list should not be construed as an endorsement of the wealth manager by Crescendo Business Services or San Diego Magazine.
• Working with a FIVE STAR Wealth Manager or any wealth manager is no guarantee as to future investment success nor is there any guarantee that the selected wealth managers will be awarded this accomplishment by Crescendo in the future.
• For more information on the FIVE STAR Award and the research/selection methodology, go to: fivestarprofessional.com/wmresearch.

List compiled by Crescendo Business Services. Names in boldface also appear in the profiles that follow. Wealth Manager additional financial services: AC=Accounting; BK=Banking; BP=Business Planning; CG=Charitable Giving; EP=Estate Planning; FP=Financial Planning; IN=Insurance; IV=Investments; LC=Long-term Care; TS=Trust Services; TX=Taxation; WP=Will Preparation


Raymond Simas
San Diego National Bank


Keith Eck
Keith C. Eck Financial & Insurance Services

Matthew Fromm
Fromm Investment Management

Ernie Linkous
Linkous Group

Jeremy Martinson
MetLife Securities


Lawrence Andrews
RBC Wealth Management

William E. Beamer
Beamer, Lauth, Steinley & Bond

Ted Cranston
DLA Piper

Stacy DenHerder
DenHerder & Associates

Thomas A. Henry, Jr.
Henry & Cahill

David Hickson
Hickson Kipnis & Barnes

John J. Jacobs
Capital Accounts

Shahryar Kashanchi
MetLife Securities

Heidi Klippel
Law Offices of Heidi Klippel

Dennis Mainard
QRS & Associates

Brittany Oates
Centara Capital

Jack Reagan
ATS - Advanced Trustee Strategies

Charles Scott
Kimball Tirey & St. John

Lon Showley
Showley & Thompson

Michele A. Tutoli
Armstrong, Fisch & Tutoli

Joan Walsh
Foster Walsh

Joel Weissler
Weissler Law Group

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