Our Story

Wealth Planning with a Personal Touch

The individuals and families we serve are an exceptional group of people. Some are entrepreneurs who have built substantial businesses. Others have pieced together successful corporate careers. Virtually all have achieved financial success and need help in developing a plan to preserve, enhance and ultimately pass along their wealth. Our job is to help them develop highly customized strategies designed to reach their specific goals.

These are uncertain times, and you probably have questions and concerns about what kind of lifestyle you will be able to afford in retirement. You may be focused on supporting charitable organizations, or pursuing any number of other important life goals. We can help you understand the issues and create a plan to help address them. We have the experience and the commitment to delivering outstanding, personalized service. We also have the global resources of Morgan Stanley at our disposal, helping us provide you with sound financial advice, integrated solutions and actionable intelligence across all the world’s major markets.
Services Include
  • 401(k) Rollovers
  • Wealth Management1
  • Alternative Investments2
  • Estate Planning Strategies3
  • Financial Planning4
  • Municipal Bonds5
  • Philanthropic Services
  • Retirement Planning6
  • Sustainable Investing7
  • Wealth Consulting
Check the background of Our Firm and Investment Professionals on FINRA's BrokerCheck.*

Awards & Accomplishments

  • Barbara Finley Named to Forbes "Top Women Wealth Advisors" - 2018
  • Barbara Finley Named to Forbes "Best-in-State Wealth Advisors" - 2018
  • Barbara Finley Named to Forbes "Top 200 Women Financial Advisors" - 2017
  • Steve Hird Named to 2017 Presidents Club at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
  • Barbara Finley Named to 2017 Presidents Club at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
  • Sean Finley Named to 2017 Pacesetter's Club at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
  • Ben Wierwill Named to 2019 IN Business 40 Under 40
  • Sean Finley Named to 2018 Pacesetter's Club at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
  • Sean Finley Named to Forbes "Top Next-Gen Wealth Advisors" - 2018
The River Food Pantry

Morgan Stanley Foundation

United Way of Dane County

University of Wisconsin Athletics

Blackhawk Church

Evans Scholar Foundation

The Road Home

Western Golf Association

Madison Catholic Multicultural Center

The Luke House

Food for the Poor

American Family Children's Hospital Board

    Working With You

    In working with hundreds of clients over the past three decades, we have yet to find two with identical personal and financial circumstances. Like all of our clients, you have your own unique needs and aspirations, and you deserve a customized plan to help reach them. So, before we start talking about your investments, we like to talk about your life. We’ll ask about your plans for retirement and what kind of legacy you want to leave to your heirs. We’ll ask what keeps you up at night, and what gets you excited about going to work in the morning. We’ll use that information to help you develop a strategy that we believe makes the most sense for you.

    We believe it’s vitally important for you to understand where your money is invested, and why those investment vehicles were chosen. We love talking about investment ideas, and are always available to speak with you about your strategy, or any other aspect of your financial life.


      1241 John Q Hammons Dr
      Madison, WI 53717
      (608) 829-2882(608) 829-2882
      (800) 776-7797(800) 776-7797

      Meet The Finley Group

      About Me

      Barbara Steffen Finley, CIMA
      Senior Vice President
      Senior Investment Management Consultant
      Wealth Advisor
      As an investment consultant in the financial services industry since 1983, Barb has built her career on three principles: putting her client’s interests first, providing exceptional personal service and taking an integrated approach to comprehensive wealth management. Her focus is on developing asset allocation frameworks and tax-efficient equity portfolios targeting long-term capital appreciation for high net worth individuals and family groups.

      A Madison native, Barb graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a B.B.A. and earned her M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota. She is also a graduate of the Morgan Stanley/Wharton Institute’s Senior Account Executive Program, and earned the CIMA designation given by the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She served as the Co-Chair of the Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor Council from 2012-2015.

      Throughout her career, Barb has received numerous distinctions and professional accolades. Recently, she was named to Forbes’ 2017 list of America’s Top 200 Women Wealth Advisors and was the only advisor honored from Wisconsin. She was recognized by Morgan Stanley as a 2016 MAKER, one of only 16 women within the firm to be honored for her leadership, experience and success. Barb was named to the Top 400 Advisors in 2015 by The Financial Times and was named to Forbes Top Wealth Advisors in 2019.

      Barb’s community involvement includes serving on the Advisory Board of American Family Children’s Hospital. She is also a member of the Madison Estate Council. In her free time, she enjoys skiing, golfing, biking and travel.
      Securities Agent: WI, WV, WA, VA, TX, TN, SC, PA, OR, OK, OH, NY, NV, NM, NH, NC, MO, MN, MI, MD, MA, KY, IN, IL, ID, IA, HI, GA, FL, DE, DC, CO, CA, AZ; Managed Futures; Transactional Futures/Commodities; General Securities Representative; BM/Supervisor; Investment Advisor Representative
      NMLS#: 1265265

      About Me

      Sean Finley
      Financial Advisor
      Sean joined Morgan Stanley in 2013 and began his career in Chicago with
      the Morgan Stanley Client Advisory Center. Since joining our team, he
      has focused his efforts on financial planning, equity research and impact
      investing. Sean was a Finance Major and graduate of the Tippie College
      of Business at the University of Iowa.
      In 2018, Forbes named Sean as a “Top Next-Gen Wealth Advisor” and
      Morgan Stanley has honored Sean in their “Pacesetters Club (2017 and
      2018).” He is proud to be a third generation financial advisor and
      credits his Grandfather, John Steffen, as being his first mentor.
      A Madison native, Sean loves sports, especially skiing and golf. He enjoys
      cheering on his Big Ten favorites, the Hawkeyes and Badgers! Sean is
      married to a Middleton Kindergarten teacher, Danielle. They love spending
      time with their dog, Saylor - a very active and friendly Goldendoodle.
      Securities Agent: WI, IL, WV, WA, VA, TX, TN, SC, PA, OR, OK, OH, NY, NV, NM, NH, NC, MO, MN, MI, MD, MA, KY, IN, ID, IA, HI, GA, FL, DE, DC, CO, CA, AZ; General Securities Representative; Investment Advisor Representative
      NMLS#: 1288308

      About Me

      Patrick Finley
      Vice President
      Group Director

      Pat takes pride in developing effective personal and professional relationships with each of his clients by offering a personalized approach to professional investing.  Working as an investment advisor since 2001, he has the knowledge and experience to educate clients about their portfolios and assist with the development of their financial plans.  Pat will work with you to develop clear goals and uncover those things that truly motivate and inspire you.
      Pat holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Psychology and Industrial Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently serves on the University of Wisconsin Athletic Board, the Executive Board of Directors for the National W Club, involved with the United Way of Dane County, and an Alumni Supporter of the UW-Madison Swimming and Diving Team. 
      A Madison native, Pat enjoys spending time with his family, golfing, skiing and watching the Badgers. Pat is married to Barb and they have two children, Sean and Elizabeth.

      About Me

      Benjamin F. Wierwill, CFP®
      Vice President
      Director of Business Strategy

      A member of the team since 2006, Ben concentrates on helping individuals, families, and small business owners proactively navigate the four lifecycles of wealth management: Accumulation, Protection, Distribution (During Life), and Distribution (After Death). Ben is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional, a certification that comes with extensive training in financial planning, estate planning, insurance, investments, taxes, employee benefits and retirement planning strategies.
      Ben focuses on treating clients the way he would like to be treated-the Golden Rule. A lifetime resident of the Madison area, Ben holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was a recipient of In Business Magazines 40 Under 40 - a publication that recognizes individuals who excel both in their industry and community. He is a lifelong golfer and enjoys travel, volunteering through his church, and Wisconsin Badger sports with his wife and family.

      About Me

      Joseph D. Weiss, CFP®, ChFC®
      Associate Vice President
      Wealth Management Associate

      Joe started his career in 2002 with Morgan Stanley as a Financial Advisor. His past experience as both a Financial Advisor and Business Service manager helps him be a superior resource for our clients. His knowledge of Morgan Stanleys resources and access is second to none.
      As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional, or CFP® professional and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), Joe focuses on financial, retirement, & estate planning strategies as well as, insurance, taxation planning strategies, and investment management.
      Joe graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh earning a Bachelors Degree in Finance and Economics.  He and his wife, Michelle, live in the Madison area with their two sons.  Joe enjoys competing in triathlons, coaching his sons sports team, fishing at the family cottage in northern WI and watching Badger sports.

      About Me

      Darci Kruchten
      Portfolio Associate

      Darci brings over twenty-three years of experience in financial services to help address a broad spectrum of customer service needs for clients of the Group. She has intimate knowledge of corporate processes and procedures, and is highly skilled at helping solve problems. Among her many duties, Darci works closely with our clients attorneys to coordinate our mutual efforts on estate and trust accounts.
      Darci earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Rehabilitation from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and holds her Series 7 and 65 licenses. She and her husband George live in Cross Plains and have three daughters. Darci also enjoys Badger hockey, yoga, and is an avid runner.

      About Me

      Ann L. Peiss
      Senior Registered Client Service Associate

      Ann Peiss brings over 28 years of diverse work experience in the financial services industry to the service of the teams clients. Anne is responsible for the groups day-to-day administrative and operational activities and focuses on maintaining a high client service level.  She is registered and holds her Series 7 and 63 licenses.
      Ann has lived in the Madison area her entire life. She enjoys attending live concerts and traveling with family.

      Investment and Market Perspectives

      On the Markets


      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
      The Simple Six-Step Retirement Checkup

      The Simple Six-Step Retirement Checkup

      Given market volatility in 2018, checking in on your retirement plan may be one of the wisest New Year’s resolutions you can make.


      Working closely with you to guide your wealth and investments through the most challenging market cycles.
      • Asset Management
      • Wealth Planning
      • Traditional Investments
      • Alternative Investments
      • Impact Investing
      Investing in Artificial Intelligence and Automation

      Investing in Artificial Intelligence and Automation

      AI is an exciting growth area, but the investing opportunities are not always obvious. Here’s how to integrate this theme into your portfolio.


      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
      A Parent's Guide to Talking to Your Kids About Money

      A Parent's Guide to Talking to Your Kids About Money

      Raising kids to be smart about money requires creating an environment where they are neither insecure, nor overconfident about family finances.

      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
      • Corporate Pension Funds
      6 Keys to Building a Startup

      6 Keys to Building a Startup

      Entrepreneurs share ideas and learnings from the experience of starting a company.


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

      Choosing an Environmental Charity

      There are a multitude of non-profits dedicated to helping protect the environment. Here’s how to choose where you want to give.

      Insights and Outcomes

      Thought Leadership for our ultra high net worth clients, which contains thought-provoking articles, authored by leading experts from Morgan Stanley Family Office Resources.
      Art as An Asset
      CRC 2274738 01/19

      Art as An Asset

      Art may play a significant role in the context of a collector's overall wealth. Generally, a collector may differentiate financial assets, including stocks, bonds and real estate, from other possessions, such as art.


      Explore ideas and inspiration with captivating, original lifestyle stories created exclusively for Morgan Stanley clients.
      Make Your Words Memorable

      Make Your Words Memorable

      Master public speaking with savvy tips from the pros.

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      Ready to start a conversation? Contact The Finley Group today.
      Market Information Delayed 20 Minutes
      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.

      2Alternative 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.

      3Morgan 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.

      4Morgan 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.

      5Income 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.

      6Morgan 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.

      7The 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.

      The information, products and services described here are intended only for individuals residing in states where this Financial Advisor is properly registered as described in this site.

      Morgan Stanley reserves the right, to the extent permitted under applicable law, to retain and monitor all electronic communications. Morgan Stanley will not accept purchase or sale orders via any Internet site, social media site and/or its messaging systems. Morgan Stanley does not endorse and is not responsible and assumes no liability for content, products or services posted by third-parties on any Internet site, social media site and/or its messaging systems. All electronic communications are subject to terms available at the following link: https://www.morganstanley.com/disclaimers/mswm-email.html. Any profiles and associated content are for U.S. residents only.

      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.

      Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”) is not implying an affiliation, sponsorship, endorsement with/of the third party or that any monitoring is being done by Morgan Stanley of any information contained within the website. Morgan Stanley is not responsible for the information contained on the third party website or the use of or inability to use such site. Nor do we guarantee their accuracy or completeness.

      The views, opinions or advice contained within third party websites or materials are solely those of the author, who is not a Morgan Stanley employee, and do not necessarily reflect those of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, or its affiliates. The strategies and/or investments referenced may not be appropriate for all investors as the appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor's individual circumstances and objectives.

      *References to length of service at Morgan Stanley include years at Morgan Stanley and predecessor firms.

      CRC 2019752 10/2018