Our Story

The origin of the phrase “Downeast” is typically traced to nautical terminology referring to direction, rather than location. Throughout the 1800s, while sailors hauled goods up the coast of New England, a strong wind would often be at their backs pushing them along, or “downwind” in an easterly direction. One can understand how the two terms “down” and “east” soon came to be combined as an expression of intended direction.

The Downeast Group seeks to embody the spirit of the expression – propelling and guiding our clients to their intended destination.

For over 25 years, our Portland-based practice has centered on proactive holistic advice and intimate client service for hard-working, successful Maine individuals and businesses while providing perspectives shaped over multiple market cycles.

Managing wealth involves far more than managing an investment portfolio.

We believe achieving financial success starts with a comprehensive wealth strategy. We help define what is most important to our clients and implement the strategies that are suited for their needs, whether they are accumulating wealth or investing for income, solidifying a retirement plan or planning a distribution approach that meets lifestyle and legacy goals.

Our focus is to earn our clients’ confidence and build a relationship of trust.

We work closely with our clients to define objectives, explore alternative solutions, and navigate towards the financial strategies that are most appropriate for them. As our relationship evolves, we hope to be regarded as a valued professional resource that can help make decisions more informed on any financial issue.

We take pride in bringing complementary skills and perspectives to our clients.

Working as a team affords us the opportunity to provide our clients with a high level of service not only through the quality of solutions we offer, but through the attentiveness and personalization with which we deliver them. We pride ourselves as a boutique client experience coupled with the resources of a global leader in Morgan Stanley.
Services Include
  • Professional Portfolio Management1
  • Retirement Planning2
  • Planning for Education Funding3
  • Estate Planning Strategies4
  • Philanthropic Management5
  • Cash Management and Lending Products6
  • Business Planning7
  • Life Insurance8
  • Long Term Care Insurance9
  • Corporate Retirement Plans10
  • Alternative Investments11
  • Sustainable Investing12
Check the background of Our Firm and Investment Professionals on FINRA's BrokerCheck.*

Our Value

  • Independence and Objectivity
    We represent our clients and their interests rather than any specific company, investment manager, or product. With an open-architecture platform, we take an unbiased approach to identifying and implementing optimal solutions, based on each client’s circumstances, time horizon, tolerance for risk, cash flow requirements, personal convictions, and other variables.
  • Intellectual Capital and Resources
    Our clients can benefit from the scope and scale of resources of one of the world’s largest wealth management firms. We gain insight from Morgan Stanley’s globally renowned leading thinkers, strategists and analysts to provide prudent due diligence on capital markets as well as specific investment managers. This affords us greater access as well as lower fees and minimums, while retaining comprehensive and customized solutions.
  • Governance and Transparency
    To continually earn the privilege of working with our clients means to provide a consistent process that is concise and cultivates trust. We focus on educating clients, managing time efficiently, framing advice with client goals in mind, and communicating effectively. From the onset of a new client relationship, we discuss how often they would like to review and keep the emphasis on the topics that are most important to them.
  • Competitive Advisory Pricing
    Investment advisory fees are based on the total value of managed assets at the end of the previous quarter. Our fees compare favorably to those charged by other advisors, many of which may charge separately for financial planning. We combine all managed assets in a household family relationship when calculating fees. We believe this model best aligns us with our clients’ long-term interests.

    For more details, please visit: https://www.morganstanley.com/wealth-relationshipwithms/commissionsandfees
  • Proactive Coordinated Advice
    We serve as the epicenter of our clients’ lives. Many of our clients come to us with strategies that were implemented by different tax, legal, investment and insurance professionals. We appreciate that everything is connected, which is why we collaborate with our clients’ other professional advisors to provide seamless solutions in one place.

Our Process

  • 1. Discover
    We gather information and establish financial objectives with a unique discovery process – one that is focused on your manner of thinking and feeling. We want to know where you came from and where you want to go.
  • 2. Advise
    Working together, we develop an in-depth summary of your goals and how each will be addressed. We’ll discuss what is realistically attainable, our plan assumptions, and run through various scenarios for accomplishing these objectives.
  • 3. Implement
    We create prospective strategies catered to you. Once we have discussed and refined your wealth plan, we work closely with you to implement, paying special attention to how the various parts affect, enhance and integrate with each other. When appropriate, we will suggest seeking additional advice or work closely with your other trusted advisors on particularly complex issues, including family dynamics, estate planning and tax planning strategies and more.
  • 4. Monitor
    Even the best plans are subject to change and require flexibility. We keep up-to-date on your financial position, life changes, and external factors such as tax legislation and adapt your plan accordingly so you stay on track to meet your goals. Our systematic monitoring process ensures regular communication and review.
    • Retirement Plan Consulting
      Sponsoring a retirement plan is more than just time consuming and complicated, it places legal responsibilities on business owners as the plan’s fiduciary. We work in a collaborative and professional manner with Retirement Plan Sponsors to create a reliable process around all critical areas of plan design and oversight.
      Responsibilities as a Retirement Plan Sponsor
    • Sustainable (ESG) Impact Investing
      Investments made with the intention to generate a measureable, positive social and/or environmental impact alongside a financial return is Investing with Impact.

      The Downeast Group is excited to promote Morgan Stanley’s Investing with Impact capabilities. Whether our clients are interested in climate change and fossil fuel aware investing, or prefer exposure to companies committed to better gender diversity and equality, we are well-positioned to help deliver impact via customized solutions based on clients’ financial and impact goals.
      Investing With Impact - Overview
    • Alternative Investments
      Morgan Stanley is a global leader in alternative investments, offering a comprehensive suite of products that encompasses both proprietary and third-party managers.

      Alternative investments describe a spectrum of strategies that cannot be accessed through traditional fixed income and equity markets. These strategies have the potential to help lower volatility and increase diversification in clients’ portfolios.
      The Case for Alternative Investments

    Location

    100 Middle St
    3rd Fl
    Portland, ME 04101
    US
    Direct:
    (207) 771-0800(207) 771-0800
    Toll-Free:
    (800) 442-6722(800) 442-6722

    Meet The Downeast Group

    About Me

    After a two year stint in West Africa in the US Peace Corps followed by consulting work for the United Nations Development Programme, Mike started his investment career with the firm of EF Hutton in 1984. Mike gravitated to institutional and high net worth consulting in 1988 when his firm was acquired by what would eventually become Smith Barney. Ever since, Mike has had the opportunity of helping affluent investors, businesses and institutions meet their financial goals.

    In 2000, Mike was awarded the Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) designation and has been a member of the Investment Management Consultants Association for the past 18 years. Mike served on a committee of the Greater Portland United Way for 25 years, and has served as Board Chair of Portland Ovations from 2013 to 2015. He indulges his passions for biking, skiing, sailing and hiking mostly within the beautiful confines of his native state of Maine. He and spouse of 38 years Nancy Grant look forward to grandchildren from son Oscar and daughter Elise.
    Securities Agent: ME, WI, WA, VT, VA, SC, RI, PA, OH, NY, NV, NM, NJ, NH, NE, ND, NC, MT, MN, MI, MD, MA, IL, IA, GA, FL, DE, DC, CT, CO, CA, AZ; Managed Futures; Transactional Futures/Commodities; General Securities Representative; Investment Advisor Representative
    NMLS#: 1380626

    About Me

    For over 20 years, Rick has helped families develop comprehensive financial plans and sound investment strategies to help them remain financially independent. In 2008, Rick earned the Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) designation, recognized by the financial services industry as the standard for advanced investment consulting. In addition, Morgan Stanley has lauded Rick’s consistent excellence in providing a wide range of wealth management services to his clients, naming him to the Firm’s prestigious Master’s Club in 2018.

    Before joining Morgan Stanley in 1994, Rick was a two-year captain of the Boston University varsity basketball team. He credits time as a student-athlete as a key contributor to developing his work ethic, leadership ability and organizational skills. Rick has spent countless hours volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters, changing the lives of children since becoming a Big Brother in 1996. Rick lives in Cape Elizabeth with his wife and two children. He feels fortunate to live a state that allows him to enjoy his favorite hobbies; fishing, skiing, white water sports, snowmobiling and cycling.
    Securities Agent: ME, WA, VT, VA, SC, RI, PA, OH, NY, NV, NM, NJ, NH, NE, ND, NC, MT, MN, MI, MD, MA, IA, GA, FL, DE, DC, CT, CO, CA, AZ, AL; Managed Futures; General Securities Representative; Investment Advisor Representative

    About Me

    Drawing on over 18 years of experience in wealth management, Andy serves successful families and business owners, focusing his talents on financial planning and portfolio construction. In 2018, Andy was named to the firm’s prestigious Master’s Club. In 2008, he earned a Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) designation. Andy has also earned Morgan Stanley’s Family Wealth Advisor (FWA) designation, demonstrating an ability to work closely with families to understand not just their finances, but also their individual and collective goals and how they may impact one another.

    Andy graduated in 1995 from the University of Maine with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. He worked as a consulting engineer for five years and spent eight years in the Army National Guard serving time between the Mountain Infantry and Engineering Divisions.

    He and his wife Kate live in Gorham with their two sons Wyatt and Gavin. In his spare time, he can be found at his camp on Moosehead Lake or doing any number of outdoor activities from fly fishing to coaching youth soccer.
    Securities Agent: ME, WA, VT, VA, TX, SC, RI, PA, OH, NY, NV, NM, NJ, NH, NE, ND, NC, MT, MN, MI, MD, MA, IA, GA, FL, DE, DC, CT, CO, CA, AZ, AR; Managed Futures; General Securities Representative; Investment Advisor Representative

    About Me

    Brian works with a range of clients from investors focused on sustainable (ESG) investing to business owners focused on tax-efficient wealth accumulation to retirees maintaining a secure retirement. In keeping with Downeast Group practice, Brian works with clients to develop a financial plan and implement a subsequent investment strategy specifically designed to help meet each client’s unique individual goals.

    Brian is a native of South Portland, Maine where he attended South Portland High School. He received his undergraduate degree from Bentley University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Finance. After a brief stint living in the Greater Boston area, working in the life insurance industry he decided to move back to his home state to build his wealth management practice. He is currently enrolled in Bryant University’s CFP® Program.

    Outside of his work at Morgan Stanley, he is a volunteer with the Big Brothers Big Sisters Organization, serves on the board of the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization, and board member of the Bentley Alumni - Portland Maine Chapter. In his free time he enjoys skiing, traveling and exploring Portland’s great restaurant scene. Brian lives in Portland with his fiancée Laura and their dog Chester.

    The returns on a portfolio consisting primarily of Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) aware investments may be lower or higher than a portfolio that is more diversified or where decisions are based solely on investment considerations. Because ESG criteria exclude some investments, investors may not be able to take advantage of the same opportunities or market trends as investors that do not use such criteria.
    Securities Agent: VT, ME, WV, WI, WA, VA, UT, TX, TN, SC, RI, PA, OR, OH, NY, NV, NM, NJ, NH, NE, ND, NC, MT, MN, MI, MD, MA, IN, IL, IA, HI, GA, FL, DE, DC, CT, CO, CA, AZ; General Securities Representative; Investment Advisor Representative
    NMLS#: 1539487

    About Me

    Mike applies his background and experience to support the Downeast Group’s commitment to helping clients define their financial goals and implement an organized financial plan to achieve them. He focuses on initial development and annual review of client financial plans as well as addressing specific needs and service issues of clients.

    An alumnus of Bentley University, Michael received a B.S. in Finance in 2011 and M.S. in Financial Planning in 2012. He has earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP®) designation. Prior to joining the Downeast Group in 2016, Michael worked as an Associate for Commonwealth Planning Group, a Boston-based financial planning firm. He holds FINRA Series 7 and 66 licenses as well as a Maine Life and Health Insurance license.

    Mike resides in Freeport with his wife, Emily and their two dogs, Arya and Crowley. In his off time he enjoys exploring the trails at various state parks, camping, and swimming. He and Emily also volunteer as foster parents for adoptable dogs through a local rescue organization.

    About Me

    Jennifer is integral to our client service experience, and provides operational and administrative experience to the team. Her duties include assisting with the account opening process, performing maintenance on accounts, processing deposits and withdrawals, and maintaining mandatory distribution requirements for retirement accounts.

    She has been a member of the Downeast Group since 2005. Prior to joining the team, she worked for several years in the Smith Barney branch in Bellingham, WA both in the operations department and sales support.
    Jennifer graduated from the University of Phoenix in 2004 with a B.S. in Business Administration. She currently holds FINRA Series 7 and 66 licenses.

    Jennifer enjoys spending her free time outdoors with her husband Steve, daughter Grace, and their dogs. She also serves on the board of the parents’ association for Grace’s gymnastics team.

    About Me

    Lauren provides invaluable administrative, operational, and trade support to the team. Primarily, she is responsible for the implementation and oversight of managed account platforms, execution of investment modifications, and assisting the group with business management tasks such as appointment scheduling and client meeting preparation.

    Lauren joined the Downeast Group in 2007 as a Client Service Associate. She has over 15 years of experience in the banking and investment industry, having worked for the Maine Credit Union League as a Senior Credit Union Support Specialist prior to joining Morgan Stanley.

    Raised in the Moosehead Lake region of Maine, Lauren graduated from St. Joseph’s College in Standish with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications. She currently holds FINRA Series 7 and 66 licenses. Outside of work you can usually find Lauren and her husband Alex cheering on their two sons at a baseball, basketball or soccer game.
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    • Long Term Care Insurance
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    • Trust Services
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    Business Planning

    Helping you on key aspects of your business such as ownership, liquidity and developing opportunities.
    • Succession Planning
    • Business Planning
    • Retirement Plan Sponsors
    • Qualified Retirement Plans
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    • Donor Advised Funds
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    Ready to start a conversation? Contact The Downeast Group today.
    Market Information Delayed 20 Minutes
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    2Morgan 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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    Investment, insurance and annuity products offered through Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC are: NOT FDIC INSURED | MAY LOSE VALUE | NOT BANK GUARANTEED | NOT A BANK DEPOSIT | NOT INSURED BY ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY

    7Morgan 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.

    8Insurance products are offered in conjunction with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC’s licensed insurance agency affiliates.

    9Insurance products are offered in conjunction with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC’s licensed insurance agency affiliates.

    10Tax 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.

    11Alternative 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.

    12The returns on a portfolio consisting primarily of Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) aware investments may be lower or higher than a portfolio that is more diversified or where decisions are based solely on investment considerations. Because ESG criteria exclude some investments, investors may not be able to take advantage of the same opportunities or market trends as investors that do not use such criteria.

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    The securities/instruments, services, investments and investment strategies discussed in this material may not be suitable for all investors. The appropriateness of a particular investment, investment strategy or service will depend on an investor's individual circumstances and objectives. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC recommends that investors independently evaluate particular investments, strategies and services, and encourages investors to seek the advice of a Financial Advisor or Private Wealth Advisor. This material does not provide individually tailored investment advice. It has been prepared without regard to the individual financial circumstances and objectives of persons who receive it.

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