Our Story & Services

The Pasadena Group at Morgan Stanley, Pasadena, CA, is a financial advisory group focusing on a full-range of wealth management strategies for high net worth clients, families, corporations and non-profits. Comprised of a unique group of individuals, our team focuses different areas helping to ensure our clients are served at the highest possible level, no matter what their needs are.

We believe in best practices. Whether working on 401(k) rollovers, corporate retirement plans, family wealth planning, or helping individuals get to and through retirement, we apply a fine-tuned and sophisticated approach for each. Our team of professionals is honored to provide objective and competent guidance to sustain and maintain our clients' financial strategies.

Our collective experience and proprietary research approach, perfected by our in-house analyst, and the resources provided by Morgan Stanley's Global Investment Committee, have allowed us to serve our clients in ways that many other financial advisory teams just aren't capable. We also speak 6 languages collectively, enabling us to communicate with clients in Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Armenian, Croatian, and English.

In order to keep ahead of the markets, we meet regularly with our various money managers seeking to help our clients preserve their wealth, while simultaneously building on it.
Services Include
  • Corporate Retirement Plans1
  • Endowments and Foundations2
  • Wealth Management3
  • 401(k) Rollovers
  • Financial Planning4
  • Lending Products
  • Corporate Cash Management
Check the background of Our Firm and Investment Professionals on FINRA's BrokerCheck.*

To Retirement, Through Retirement

For over 32 years The Pasadena group has utilized and further developed a deep level of expertise in financial planning, which has allowed us to chart a path of proven financial success for our clients through the following steps:
  • Designing a Plan to Achieve Goals
    A holistic goals-based approach to wealth management allows us to tailor a planning and investment framework that considers key aspects of a client’s life, including retirement age, healthcare costs, home buying, cash management, legacy needs, and potential withdrawal strategies.
  • Embedding an Investment Strategy to Get Clients on Track
    Once goals are assessed, various investment proposals are considered to help clients get on track in accordance with their risk tolerance. The tools we apply link to the latest asset allocation models, research and ideas provided by Morgan Stanley and verified by our team of experts, so that we can provide our clients with advice when and where it's most needed.
  • Tracking Progress to Goals
    Using these goals as a benchmark, the investment strategy is continuously evaluated to ensure clients are on track. Some of this we are able to do in advance utilizing Morgan Stanley’s sophisticated financial planning software LifeView, for the rest we maintain a strict review process that is consistently attended to by our team of experts.
  • Staying Flexible as Goals Change
    It is our responsibility to stay on track with the planning and investment strategies as circumstances and goals change. We help adjust priorities and introduce additional solutions as needed based on shifts in priorities for our clients and any changes in the financial markets.

Corporate Retirement Plans

Our 401(k) and 403(b) Retirement Plan Investment Advisory Services are designed to assist the plan sponsor and trustee(s) with fulfilling their fiduciary obligations with respect to plan oversight and decision-making. We currently advise over 60 corporations and not-for-profits throughout the country, serving over 15,000 employees collectively. Additionally, as a team of Corporate Retirement Directors, we are amongst the few teams on the West Coast that can help consult with publicly traded companies as well as retirement plans over $10,000,000. Our services include:

ERISA 3(21) Co-Fiduciary Status or ERISA 3(38) Full Investment Discretion
Investment Policy Creation & Review
Prudent investment screening processes through criteria set forth by the Investment Policy Statement
Bilingual Participant Education (in 6 languages)
Quarterly Performance Reporting & Ad-Hoc
Fund Searches, Target Date Analysis
Stable Value Due Diligence & Research
Fee Benchmarking
Plan Design Consulting
Recordkeeper Search
Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Plans

    Foundations and Endowments

    We are collectively involved in the community by serving on many boards in Pasadena. Our extensive work with foundations and endowments includes providing fiduciary advice and guidance to hospitals, not-for-profit boards, churches, and botanical gardens, to name a few. Our services include:
    • Assistance in the Development or Evaluation of Investment Policy
      - Achieve committee consensus
      - Establish investment objectives
      - Review policy constraints
      - Establish customized performance benchmarks
      - Define strategic policy allocation
    • Active Style Allocation Advice
      - Quarterly market commentary
      - Global Investment Committee outlook
      - MS recommended asset allocation strategy
    • Manager Searches and Manager Recommendations
      - Customized manager searches
      - Proprietary manager analysis for covered investment products
    • Portfolio Analytics
      - Portfolio analyses or portfolio characteristics reports
      - Performance attribution reports (on selected investment products)
    • Performance Measurement
      - Customized performance reports
      - Quarterly reporting
      - Absolute and risk-adjusted performance
    • Manager Evaluation Analysis
      - Evaluation of investment managers on Global Investment Manager Analysis platforms
      - Published manager reports
    • Execution Services - (Included with Asset-Based Fee Arrangement only)
      - No commissions on stock transactions effected through Morgan Stanley, LLC Consulting Group trading desk
      - No markups or markdowns on bond transactions effected through Morgan Stanley, LLC Consulting Group trading desk


    55 South Lake Ave
    Ste 700
    Pasadena, CA 91101
    (626) 304-2400(626) 304-2400
    (800) 362-6992(800) 362-6992

    Meet Pasadena Group

    About Me

    Richard has been with Morgan Stanley for 27 years and has a long history of consulting corporate retirement plans. He is among the elite few of advisors within Morgan Stanley appointed to consult publicly traded companies and other large institutions, being given the title of Corporate Retirement Director. Richard has also been awarded the Chartered Retirement Plans SpecialistSM designation (CRPS®) from the College for Financial Planning. He also holds the title of Senior Institutional Consultant for his work with numerous non-profits, health care organizations, foundations and endowments.

    Richard has been member of Morgan Stanley’s distinguished Corporate Client Group since 1998. In 2015 and 2016, he was named to the Financial Times “Top 401 Retirement Advisers” list. Many advisors often come to Richard for advice and best practices on 401(k) and 403(b) plans. Richard is also a big proponent of educating plan sponsors on their fiduciary duties and preparing retirement plan participants to be retirement-ready. He is currently on Fidelity's 401(k) Advisory Council and previously on Prudential's Retirement Advisory Council.
    Richard studied Finance at The University of Central Florida, and was a three-time All-American goalkeeper during his time there. He holds many records at the university to this day, and was drafted professionally by the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League (NASL). In his free time, Richard enjoys traveling, attending sporting events, and cooking.
    Securities Agent: CA, WA, VA, UT, TX, TN, SC, PA, OR, OH, NY, NV, NM, NJ, ND, NC, MI, MD, MA, KS, IL, ID, FL, DC, CO, AZ, AL; Managed Futures; General Securities Representative; Investment Advisor Representative
    NMLS#: 1273051
    CA Insurance License #: 0C79641

    About Me

    Ara has been with Morgan Stanley for over 32 years. He is a Senior Vice President and a Corporate Retirement Director (CRD). As one of a handful of Corporate Retirement Directors with the firm nationwide, Ara is dedicated to helping corporate clients as well as individuals, businesses and organizations interested provide customized, high level of service and knowledge to their employees and plan participants. As a Corporate Retirement Director, Ara serves as a resource to other financial advisors at Morgan Stanley who seek professional experience with corporate retirement plans. Ara has extensive experience and training in retirement planning and earned his designation as a Chartered Retirement Plans SpecialistSM (CRPS®) from the College for Financial Planning.  Additionally, Ara has been recognized as a Senior Investment Management Consultant for his efforts with the firm’s Consulting Group services division, working with foundations, endowments, institutions and families.

    In addition to his professional accomplishments, Ara is a strong believer in community service and is active on the board of his local church, his children’s schools, athletics and educational charities. He also serves on various nonprofit boards.
    Securities Agent: CA, WA, VA, UT, TX, SC, PA, OR, OH, NY, NV, NM, NJ, ND, NC, MI, MD, MA, KS, IL, ID, FL, CO, AZ, AL; Managed Futures; General Securities Representative; Investment Advisor Representative
    NMLS#: 1265356
    CA Insurance License #: 0A00896

    About Me

    Dean has been with Morgan Stanley Wealth Management for over 25 years.  He is a Senior Vice President, Wealth Management and a Financial Advisor focused on serving the financial needs of individuals, endowments and foundations with long-term investment strategies.  He also focuses on retirement income planning.  Dean joined the Pasadena Group in May of 2017. 

    His education factors extensively into his acumen as a financial advisor.  Dean has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Bowling Green State University, and a Master in Business Administration degree from Xavier University.  He has also completed post-graduate work at Claremont Graduate School in Claremont, CA.

    When he's not at work, Dean volunteers on several local community organizations, including The Pasadena Tournament of Roses, Pasadena City College’s Business Administration Advisory Committee and is a member of the Rotary Club of Pasadena. Dean resides in Pasadena with his wife Karen.
    Securities Agent: CA, WA, VA, UT, TX, SC, PA, OR, OH, NY, NV, NM, NJ, ND, NC, MN, MI, MD, MA, KY, KS, IN, IL, ID, GA, FL, CO, AZ, AL; Managed Futures; General Securities Representative; Investment Advisor Representative
    NMLS#: 1278870
    CA Insurance License #: 0B22278

    About Me

    Jon, a Corporate Retirement Director and Financial Advisor, joined The Pasadena Group at Morgan Stanley in 2011 after graduating from Fordham University with a B.S. in Finance and a minor in Economics. He has completed the Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) certification jointly through the Wharton School of Business and the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA). Jon also earned Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist? designation (CRPS®) from the College for Financial Planning as well as the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® designation (AIF®) from Fi360's Center for Fiduciary Studies. Furthermore, as a testament to Jon's dedication to the industry, he has been invited since 2015 to sit on TIAA-Nuveen's DC Advisory Council. Jon has an area of focus in investment consulting, plan design, enrollments, participant education, relationship management, target date fund analysis, fund searches, and vendor searches.

    While at Fordham University, Jon was a part of the NCAA Division 1 men’s soccer team. Even after graduating, he still enjoys playing in recreational leagues. Jon is a member of Pasadena's preeminent young professional organization, the Pasadena Jaycees – an organization committed to leadership development through community service; he previously sat on the Board for 2 years as the Treasurer. Additionally, Jon also recently coached at Damien High School where, as a student, he played and helped win two CIF-SS Division 1 soccer championships. Jon also enjoys competing in recreational soccer leagues, 5K’s and traveling.
    Securities Agent: CA, WA, VA, UT, TX, TN, SC, PA, OR, OH, NY, NV, NM, NJ, ND, NC, MI, MD, MA, KS, IL, ID, FL, DC, CO, AZ, AL; Managed Futures; General Securities Representative; Investment Advisor Representative
    NMLS#: 1316515
    CA Insurance License #: 0H73917

    About Me

    Shirley joined Morgan Stanley in 2010, shortly after receiving a B.A. in Economics, Politics, and Philosophy from Pomona College in Claremont, California. In 2017, Shirley earned an M.B.A. with a specialization in Finance from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, which she attended full-time. Today, Shirley is a Financial Advisor where she focuses on assisting clients define and prioritize financial goals and identify the critical resources that will help clients support their retirement plans. Shirley uses performance data to model various wealth planning and investment performance scenarios using Morgan Stanley’s proprietary financial planning tools. Shirley’s fluency in written and conversational Spanish allow for enhanced 401(k) participant education and enrollment.

    During her time at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, Shirley served as the Director of Private Wealth Management for the Investment Finance Association, where she continues to provide current students with tailored career counsel. During her tenure at Pomona College she was a sponsor for the Chicano Latino Student Affairs. Today, she is a proud member of the Los Angeles Latino Deal Makers and regularly volunteers to mentor high achieving but underrepresented scholars of all backgrounds for college or graduate school matriculation. She especially enjoys traveling, watching documentaries, and spending quality time with friends and family.
    Securities Agent: CA, WA, VA, UT, TX, SC, PA, OR, OK, OH, NY, NV, NM, NJ, NE, ND, NC, MT, MN, MI, MD, MA, KS, IL, ID, HI, FL, CT, CO, AZ, AL; General Securities Representative; Investment Advisor Representative
    NMLS#: 1719818
    CA Insurance License #: 0M12875

    About Me

    Joe joined the Pasadena Group at Morgan Stanley in 2005. As a Consulting Group Analyst for the Pasadena Group, he resolves a myriad of issues that arise from day to day operations, analyzes money managers for institutional and high net worth clients, and creates sophisticated customized reports. Joe regularly conducts filters to evaluate fund selections for employer sponsors and various retirement plans. He participates in monthly training programs and meetings with other firm analysts nationwide to develop investment strategies and further refine his technical skills.

    Joe graduated from the University of California, Riverside with an M.B.A. and a B.S. in Business Administration. During his time in the MBA program, Joe was designated to host two classes as a teaching assistant in managerial accounting. He earned his designation as a Chartered Retirement Plans SpecialistSM (CRPS®) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA) from the College of Financial Planning and Institute of Management Accountants. As a native Hong Kong born Chinese, Joe is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese. In his leisure time, Joe enjoys traveling and various outdoor activities with his wife and family.
    CA Insurance License #: 0G98159

    About Me

    Ana is a Senior Registered Associate with over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of San Diego and holds the Series 7 and Series 66 licenses. As the team's administrator, Ana oversees the group’s administrative and operational activities.  She helps develop, communicate and implement procedures to best meet the needs of clients and team members.  Ana works as a liaison between advisors, staff and management keeping all apprised of the status of projects and follow up issues. She uses her industry knowledge to build and maintain strong client relationships by directly assisting our investors by answering questions, conducting account specific research, and providing direct Financial Advisor Support.  Ana regularly monitors client accounts to ensure timely and accurate resolution of complex account issues and inquiries. Her attention to detail and commitment to delivering the highest level of personal service to clients make her an integral part of the Pasadena Group.

    In her personal time, Ana enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons.

    About Me

    Debbie Polchow is a Senior Registered Associate.  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. Debbie has been working in the financial service industry for over 20 years.  She previously assisted the Morgan Stanley branch as the assistant to the Branch Manager. She has been working with Dean Billman for over 5 years.  Debbie assists with opening accounts, assisting clients with online access questions, sending out monthly distribution checks to retirees as well as many other activities.  Debbie holds a series 7, 63, 9 and 10 license.

    Debbie has a very active home life in Pasadena with her husband and two dogs. She travels frequently to visit with her daughter and three grandchildren.

    About Me

    Jennifer is a Client Service Associate with over 2 years experience in the financial service industry. Prior to working at Morgan Stanley, Jennifer worked in the legal profession as a Legal Secretary. She assists with various levels of service from opening accounts to assisting clients with online registration as well as sending monthly checks to retirees. Jennifer is also fluent in Spanish.

    Jennifer lives in Pasadena with her two dogs.
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    1Tax laws are complex and subject to change. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”), its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors and Private Wealth Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice and are not “fiduciaries” (under ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code or otherwise) with respect to the services or activities described herein except as otherwise provided in writing by Morgan Stanley and/or as described at www.morganstanley.com/disclosures/dol . Individuals are encouraged to consult their tax and legal advisors (a) before establishing a retirement plan or account, and (b) regarding any potential tax, ERISA and related consequences of any investments made under such plan or account.

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