Our Story

The Bellwether Group is a team of five Financial Advisors and three support staff at Morgan Stanley. Unlike the typical financial advisor with hundreds of clients, we devote the full talents and resources of our team to serving the needs of fewer than 100 families. This allows us to provide a premium level of service tailored to each client's unique needs.

Our clients' priorities are our own. We leverage our decades of experience along with the resources of Morgan Stanley to create comprehensive wealth management strategies tailored to our clients' unique goals. This has been our mission throughout our careers, and we look forward to meeting with you to discuss how we can create a financial plan aimed at the future you want for yourself and your family.

We have a dedicated Portfolio Management team who assists you, the decision-maker, in determining the appropriate asset allocation decisions. Our Portfolio Managers have the technical and analytical skills to do the primary research and due diligence for every investment recommendation we make for our clients. Carefully crafting each portfolio, we emphasize diversification, tax efficiencies, risk mitigation, capital preservation and long-term growth. We are proud of the service and resources that we offer our clients, and we welcome the opportunity to offer this same level of excellence to you and your family.
Services Include
  • Retirement Planning1
  • Trust Accounts2
  • Alternative Investments3
  • Business Succession Planning4
  • Estate Planning Strategies5
  • Financial Planning6
  • Municipal Bonds7
  • Precious Metals8
  • Professional Portfolio Management9
  • Wealth Management10
  • Divorce Financial Analysis11
  • Philanthropic Management12
Check the background of Our Firm and Investment Professionals on FINRA's BrokerCheck.*
  • Aimee Cogan Named to Forbes Top Women Wealth Advisors 2019
  • Aimee Cogan Named to Forbes Best-In-State Wealth Advisors 2019 +
  • Aimee Cogan Named to Barron's 2019 "Top 1,200 Financial Advisors"
  • Aimee Cogan Named to Barron's 2018 "Top 100 Women Financial Advisors"
  • Aimee Cogan Named to Barron's 2018 "Top 1,200 Financial Advisors"
  • Aimee Cogan Named to Shook and Forbes 2018 "Top Wealth Advisor Moms”
  • Aimee Cogan Named to Barron's 2017 "Top 100 Women Financial Advisors"
  • Aimee Cogan Named to Barron's 2017 "Top 1,200 Financial Advisors"
  • Aimee Cogan Named to Barron's 2016 "Top 100 Women Financial Advisors"
  • Aimee Cogan Named to Barron's 2016 "Top 1,200 Financial Advisors"
  • Aimee Cogan Named to The Financial Times' "Top 400 Financial Advisors"
  • Aimee Cogan awarded 2016 Girls Incorporated "She Knows Where She's Going Award"

Our Process

At the Bellwether Group, we believe our high-net-worth clients are best served by wealth management plans that encompass and coordinate every aspect of their financial lives including cash-flows, investments, insurance, wills, trusts and estate plans.

WHAT WE BELIEVE
We believe in a premium level of service.
We believe in experience, education, and training.
We believe that the tools we can offer you are second to none.
We believe in the right fit.

We keep our client roster limited because we believe that successful wealth management begins with the right fit between clients and advisors. We invite potential clients to meet with us to share their needs and expectations. We look forward to working with families who seek the kind of long-term, fully engaged relationship we offer our clients. The bond we form with our clients is fundamental to our mission, and it is our hope that it lasts a lifetime.The Bellwether Group is a team of four Financial Advisors and three support staff at Morgan Stanley.

Unlike the typical Financial Advisor with hundreds of clients, we devote the full talents and resources of our team to serving the needs of fewer than 100 families. This allows us to provide a premium level of service tailored to each client’s unique needs.

With just over $932 million under management*, we are able to offer our clients over 100 years of combined experience in the banking and financial services industry. Our team includes a Chartered Financial Analyst®, A Family Wealth Director, a Certified Financial Planner™, a Certified Investment Management Analyst®, and a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor®. These advanced designations truly set us apart, and help us offer innovative thinking based on some of the best practices in the industry.

*Total client assets as of January 2019

    Reserved

    Morgan Stanley's Reserved Living & Giving Program

    Reserved Living & Giving is a complimentary loyalty program, with over 50 offers and discounts from premier brands, designed to enhance your lifestyle beyond traditional wealth management services. The program provides access to exclusive partner offers, insights from Morgan Stanley thought leaders and inspiring philanthropic stories.

    Reserved clients can take advantage of a wide range of offers, including:
    Travel and cultural experiences from best-in-class planners
    Special pricing from iconic beauty, retail and automotive brands
    The latest fashion, wine and sweets from select emerging brands

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    Click the link below to see current offers:

    Location

    2 North Tamiami Trail
    Ste 1100
    Sarasota, FL 34236
    US
    Direct:
    (941) 363-8515(941) 363-8515
    Toll-Free:
    (800) 237-9441(800) 237-9441

    Meet The Bellwether Group

    About Me

    Aimee D. Cogan is Managing Director, Senior Investment Management Consultant, and Co-Founder of the Bellwether Group.  With over 20 years of experience in banking and the financial services industry, Aimee provides comprehensive wealth management for high net worth clients.  She focuses on the team’s alternative investments, foreign currencies, precious metals, and separately managed accounts (SMAs).

    Following her childhood love of math, Aimee earned a B.S. degree in Finance from the University of Florida.  She started at SunTrust Bank, where she spent 12 years as a Financial Advisor and was consistently ranked among the bank’s top five advisors nationally.  Committed to continuing education, Aimee is a Certified Financial Planner™ and a Certified Investment Management Analyst®.  In addition, Aimee has earned the Family Wealth Director designation from the firm, a status achieved because of her sophisticated approach to the complex financial needs of affluent families.

    Aimee’s talents have been recognized both nationally and regionally. She serves as a member of Morgan Stanley’s Financial Advisors Council and has been Chair of Morgan Stanley’s Consulting Group Council for 2013 and 2014.

    She instrumentally supports the Ringling College of Art and Design, Asolo Repertory Theater, and Girls Inc.  When away from the office, she enjoys traveling with her family.  Aimee lives in Sarasota with her husband Chris.
    Securities Agent: TX, FL, VA, UT, TN, SC, RI, PA, NY, NJ, NC, MT, MN, MI, MD, KY, IL, GA, DE, DC, CT, CO, CA, AK; Managed Futures; General Securities Representative; Investment Advisor Representative
    NMLS#: 1290495

    About Me

    Richard T. Williams, III is a Senior Vice President, Senior Portfolio Management Director, and Co-Founder of The Bellwether Group at Morgan Stanley. With over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, Rich focuses on fundamental analysis, equity research, and portfolio asset allocation. He also manages the Bellwether Tactical Core Value Portfolio and provides strategic guidance on taxable bond investments and portfolio hedging.

    Rich’s love of the stock market began at age 13 when he used the money he earned from mowing lawns to purchase his first stock. After his graduation from the University of Florida with a B.S. in History, he entered the financial services industry in 1993 as a Vice President, Client Consultant for the large investment firm Manning and Napier Advisors, Inc. Subsequently, he spent seven years as one of Wachovia Wealth Management’s top private bankers. In 2005 he moved to Merrill Lynch’s Private Banking and Investment Group as Vice President, and he joined Morgan Stanley in 2009.

    With a strong belief in financial education, Rich has earned the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) designation, thus acquiring advanced analytical and portfolio management skills, along with enhanced investment strategies. Rich conducts an in-depth analysis of each investment he chooses for his clients’ financial plans. This analysis is ongoing as he regularly makes adjustments to adapt to changing market conditions.

    Rich is a member of the CFA® Institute and the CFA® Tampa Bay Society. He is a former Chairman of the Board of the Wellness Community, and a past Board Member and Treasurer of Forty Carrots Family Center, a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening families through educational programs. Rich resides in Sarasota with his wife Kristen and their three young children.
    Securities Agent: TX, FL, VA, SC, RI, PA, NY, NJ, NC, MT, MN, MI, MD, KY, IL, GA, DE, DC, CT, CO, CA, AK; Managed Futures; General Securities Representative; Investment Advisor Representative
    NMLS#: 1290429

    About Me

    Scott Rockwell is a Vice President, Financial Advisor, and Co-Founder of The Bellwether Group at Morgan Stanley. With over 25 years of experience in banking and the financial services industry, Scott concentrates on technical analysis, equity research, portfolio asset allocation, risk management, and municipal bond investments. He also manages the group’s Momentum Growth and Dividend Growth Portfolios.

    Scott is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a B.S. in Business Administration and Finance. He spent eleven years at Bank of America, with over six years as a Commercial Relationship Manager and nearly five years as Senior Vice President in the Private Banking Division. His focus was on middle-market companies, high net worth individuals, and municipal finance. After three years as a Private Wealth Advisor at Merrill Lynch, Scott came to Morgan Stanley in 2009 and co-founded The Bellwether Group with Aimee Cogan and Rich Williams.

    With more than two decades of financial experience, Scott works with his team to research, analyze and implement investment solutions best suited for his client's specific goals and objectives. His experience in municipal bonds is especially valuable for high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals and families.

    Actively involved in his community, Scott serves as Chairman of the board for the Easter Seals of South West Florida. He enjoys all sports and has volunteered as a youth football and baseball coach over the past seven years. He currently volunteers as an assistant lacrosse coach for Cardinal Mooney high school. Scott resides in Sarasota with his wife Crystal and two children.
    Securities Agent: FL, VA, TX, SC, RI, PA, NY, NJ, NC, MT, MN, MI, MD, KY, IL, GA, DE, DC, CT, CO, CA, AK; Managed Futures; Transactional Futures/Commodities; General Securities Representative; Investment Advisor Representative
    NMLS#: 1295597

    About Me

    Kathy Francoletti is a Senior Vice President, Family Wealth Advisor and Certified Trust and Financial Advisor with The Bellwether Group. With more than 36 years in the banking and financial services industry, Kathy focuses on comprehensive wealth management for individuals and business owners.

    Kathy studied Business Management at Lake Michigan College and entered the banking industry in 1978 with a predecessor of Wells Fargo Bank. Throughout her career, Kathy has continually enhanced her knowledge base and skill set by earning several banking and trust certifications from the American Institute of Banking. In 2003 she earned the designation of Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA®) from the Institute of Certified Bankers. This elite certification is awarded to financial professionals who have extensive knowledge and training in taxes, investments, financial planning, trusts, and estates. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley as a Financial Advisor in 2011, Kathy rose to the level of Senior Private Banker at Wells Fargo Private Bank.

    At Morgan Stanley, Kathy has earned the prestigious designation of Family Wealth Advisor. This certification allows her to help clients manage the complexities of generational wealth, estate planning from the family perspective, philanthropy, and family enterprises.

    An active member of her community, Kathy has volunteered for many years with organizations that serve the needs of women and children. She previously served as President on the boards of the Women’s Resource Center and Girls, Inc. of Sarasota County. She still actively volunteers with Girls Inc. as a Board member and assists with fundraising for the American Cancer Society. Kathy lives with her husband Tom in Englewood, where they enjoy golf, theatre, and spending time with their daughter in Orlando.
    Securities Agent: FL, VA, TX, RI, PA, NY, NJ, NC, MT, MN, MI, MD, KY, IL, GA, DE, DC, CT, CO, CA, AK; General Securities Representative; Investment Advisor Representative
    NMLS#: 545462

    About Me

    Rochelle Nigri is a Financial Advisor with The Bellwether Group at Morgan Stanley. She focuses on concierge financial planning, divorce financial analysis and portfolio risk analysis for her clients. Rochelle joined the team in 2014 as a Marketing Associate responsible for marketing, public relations, business development and client relations. Her career as an advocate for clients has been developed over 2 generations: first as a runway & print model in New York, Florida, and Italy, and then returning to her academic roots she honed her relationship management career over 10 years at Saks Fifth Avenue, Dolce PR, and SRQ MEDIA Group. Rochelle earned her B.A. from the University of South Florida with a double concentration in Economics and International Relations, and a minor in Business. She holds the securities Series 7, 63, 65, 31, and Florida Life, Health and Variable Insurance licenses.

    Committed to being connected to the community, Rochelle volunteers for causes devoted to the arts, education, and the welfare of children and families. In 2010, the Sarasota Young Professionals Group recognized Rochelle with its YPG Leadership Circle Award. Among the organizations she supports are Girls Inc., Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Glasser Schoenbaum Human Services Center, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, and SPARCC Safe Place & Rape Crisis Center.
    Securities Agent: FL, SC, NY, NJ, NC, MN, MI, MD, KY, GA, DC, CT; Managed Futures; General Securities Representative; Investment Advisor Representative
    NMLS#: 1653122

    About Me

    Linda Mikos is a Portfolio Associate at the Bellwether Group. She joined Morgan Stanleys predecessor firm 35 years ago, and during that time has served as Branch Operations Manager and assistant to branch management. Linda is responsible for client service, operations and all related documentation. She holds the Series 7, 31 and 66 securities licenses. A 50-year resident of Sarasota, Linda enjoys reading, gardening and listening to music.

    About Me

    Melanie Barber is a Portfolio Associate at the Bellwether Group. She holds securities licenses including 7, 9, 10, 31, 63, 65 and the Life and Variable Annuity Insurance license. She focuses on analytical reporting and client services. Melanie earned her B.S. in business management from Florida Gulf Coast University and resides on Longboat Key with her husband, Mark, and their daughter, Abigail. They enjoy boating and traveling around the world.

    Investment and Market Perspectives

    On the Markets

    Family

    Creating customized financial strategies for the challenges that today's families face.
    • Estate Planning Strategies
    • 529 Plans / Education Savings Planning
    • Long Term Care Insurance
    • Special Needs Planning
    • Trust Services
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    Philanthropy

    Making sure your philanthropic dollars are managed with the same high quality service as the rest of your wealth.
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    • Foundations
    • Donor Advised Funds
    • Impact Investing
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    Investing

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    • Wealth Planning
    • Traditional Investments
    • Alternative Investments
    • Impact Investing
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    • Business Planning
    • Retirement Plan Sponsors
    • Qualified Retirement Plans
    • Corporate Pension Funds
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    Retirement

    Working with you to understand your life goals and develop a personalized wealth strategy. Today and for the years to come.
    • 401(k) Rollovers
    • IRA Plans
    • Retirement Income Strategies
    • Retirement Plan Participants
    • Annuities
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    Ready to start a conversation? Contact The Bellwether Group today.
    Market Information Delayed 20 Minutes
    Certified Financial Planner™ Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP® (with flame logo)® in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP® Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.

    1Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”), its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors or Private Wealth Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. Clients should consult their tax advisor for matters involving taxation and tax planning and their attorney for legal matters.

    2Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”), its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors and Private Wealth Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. Clients should consult their tax advisor for matters involving taxation and tax planning and their attorney for matters involving trust and estate planning and other legal matters.

    3Alternative Investments are speculative and include a high degree of risk. An investor could lose all or a substantial amount of his/her investment. Alternative investments are suitable only for qualified, long-term investors who are willing to forgo liquidity and put capital at risk for an indefinite period of time.

    4Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”), its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors or Private Wealth Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. Clients should consult their tax advisor for matters involving taxation and tax planning and their attorney for legal matters.

    5Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”), its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors and Private Wealth Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. Clients should consult their tax advisor for matters involving taxation and tax planning and their attorney for matters involving trust and estate planning and other legal matters.

    6Morgan Stanley offers a wide array of brokerage and advisory services to its clients, each of which may create a different type of relationship with different obligations to you. Please consult with your Financial Advisor to understand these differences.

    7Income generated from an investment in a municipal bond is generally exempt from federal income taxes. Some income may be subject to state and local taxes and to the federal alternative minimum tax. Capital gains, if any, are subject to tax.

    8Precious metals are speculative investments and, as such, their value can be subject to declining market conditions.

    9Morgan Stanley’s investment advisory programs may require a minimum asset level and, depending on your specific investment objectives and financial position, may not be suitable for you. Please see the Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC program disclosure brochure (the “Morgan Stanley ADV”) for more information in the investment advisory programs available. The Morgan Stanley ADV is available at www.morganstanley.com/ADV.

    10Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”), its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors or Private Wealth Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. Clients should consult their tax advisor for matters involving taxation and tax planning and their attorney for legal matters.

    11Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”), its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors or Private Wealth Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. Clients should consult their tax advisor for matters involving taxation and tax planning and their attorney for legal matters.

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