Welcome

From humble beginnings in the early 1970s, the Swanson Group has grown into a well-established, full-service, outsourced family office and institutional investment consulting business, responsible for managing more than $1.1 billion in client assets (August 2018). We have the capability and resources to become your "Family CFO" and offer holistic services across the following categories: asset management, family governance, succession planning, lifestyle advisory, family wealth education, lending, estate planning strategies, trust services, risk management and more.

Most professional advisors work with hundreds of different families and accounts. At the Swanson Group, we intentionally focus on a smaller pool of select clients. By maintaining a manageable 20-to-1 client to advisor ratio, we are able develop a deeper understanding of your needs and goals, and then craft highly customized solutions to address them using tailored, objective advice.

While serving sophisticated clientele nationally from our offices in West Des Moines and Chicago, we have always remained true to our Midwestern roots. We value patience, competence, hard work and forthright advice, and we believe our clients deserve nothing less.

We begin new relationships at a minimum of $10mm of investable assets. Contact us to learn more.
Capabilities
  • Pre-Liquidity Planning
  • Family Governance & Wealth Education
  • Comprehensive Wealth Planning
  • Philanthropy Management
  • Proprietary Investment Opportunities
  • Investment Management
  • Open-Architecture Platform
  • Manager Selection
  • Sustainable & Responsible Investing
  • Risk Management
Check the background of Our Firm and Investment Professionals on FINRA's BrokerCheck.*

About PWM

Founded in 1977, Private Wealth Management is the division of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management that is dedicated to serving the firm’s most affluent clients, including some of the world’s most accomplished entrepreneurs, executives and stewards of multigenerational wealth. Functioning as an exclusive investment boutique within a global financial firm, we deliver sophisticated solutions that leverage the intellectual capital and insight of Morgan Stanley’s substantial global resources. Drawing on a deep understanding of your financial life, our goal is to help you:
  • Manage investments with an unwavering focus on your financial strategy and personal goals
  • Create comprehensive, multigenerational wealth management plans based on your needs, challenges and the values that guide your life and legacy
  • Simplify financial complexity to help you achieve clarity and control
Private Wealth Management Highlights
  • Approximately 250 teams1  specialized in assisting individuals and families with $20MM+ in investable assets
  • Over $330 billion in AUM2
  • Comprising 26% of the Barron’s Top 100 Financial Advisors list for 20173
  • Direct access to ultra high net worth experts in philanthropy, family dynamics, wealth transfer, lifestyle advisory and other areas of interest to ultra high net worth families
1 Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, December 31, 2017
2 Morgan Stanley Internal Compensable Revenue Report, December 31, 2017
3 Barron’s Top 100 Financial Advisors, April 2017

Approach

Discovery Process
Investing the time to learn about you and your family; your assets and liabilities and the risk exposures, enables us to formulate strategies and customize the relationship to your needs.
Formulation of Tax, Trust and Estate Strategy
Working with your tax and legal advisors, we help analyze your income and estate tax circumstances to identify and tailor planning techniques that may be used to address your objectives.
Creation of Customized Strategic Asset Allocation
Your customized asset allocation reflects risk, opportunities and taxation across multiple entities, while integrating your investing and estate plans.
Integration of Tactical Asset Allocation
Short-term adjustments seek to capitalize on temporary market distortions. Before making adjustments, we analyze the impact of taxes and trading costs on potential returns.
Implementation of a Customized Wealth Strategy
After comprehensive due diligence and analysis of expected results across multiple market scenarios, strategies are chosen from our expansive investment platform.
Ongoing Assessment
In coordination with your other advisors, we can conduct ongoing reviews and comprehensive reporting to ensure that your strategy adapts to changing financial and family needs.

Clients

Our team focuses on affluent families with complex estates, individuals before and/or after a business sale or other liquidity event, private foundations, family offices, and other small to mid-sized endowments and foundations.

We are a multi-generational family business that relates especially well to other multi-generational family businesses undergoing an ownership transition.

    Location

    505 Market St
    Ste 300
    West Des Moines, IA 50266
    US
    Direct:
    (515) 224-5544(515) 224-5544

    Meet The Swanson Group

    About Me

    Keith focuses on strategic investment policy reviews, asset allocation and portfolio optimization, all of which guide the team’s disciplined investment process. Keith has decades of experience working with complex multi-generational family estates. 
     
    For his entire professional career of more than 40 years, Keith has been with Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management (PWM) and its predecessor firms, focusing on institutional capital markets and family wealth planning. He is a member of the Investment Management Consultants Association and holds the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) designation from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is also an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF). In recognition of his accomplishments, Keith was named to the Financial Times Top 400 Investment Advisors in 2015 and 2016.

    Keith holds a B.A. from Iowa State University. He lives in Des Moines, IA with his wife, Nancy. Outside the office, Keith serves as a trustee for Self Help International, a microfinance organization, and he enjoys spending time with his six (soon to be eight) grandchildren.
    Securities Agent: TX, IL, IA, CO, WA, VT, SD, SC, PA, OR, OH, NY, NJ, NE, NC, MO, MN, MI, ME, MA, KS, FL, DE, DC, CT, CA, AZ; Managed Futures; Transactional Futures/Commodities; General Securities Representative; BM/Supervisor; Investment Advisor Representative
    NMLS#: 1279609

    About Me

    Meredith focuses on wealth planning with a specific focus on family dynamics. Meredith has over a decade of experience in working with complex multi-generational family estates on issues ranging from wealth transfer and philanthropy to lifestyle advisory and sophisticated estate planning strategies.

    Prior to joining the team, Meredith worked as an internal wholesaler at Calamos Investments with an international client base of advisors. She also worked at Strong Investments, providing guidance to 401(k) clientele on managing their retirement assets. She is a member of the Investment Management Consultants Association and holds the Certified Investment Management AnalystSM designation from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

    Meredith earned a B.S. in international business and marketing from Marquette University. She serves as treasurer of the University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation and development chair at the Ronald Knox Montessori School. She lives in Wilmette, IL with her two children, Emma and Will, and she enjoys travel and good food.
    Securities Agent: TX, IL, IA, WA, VT, SD, SC, PA, OR, OH, NY, NJ, NE, NC, MO, MN, MI, ME, MA, KS, FL, DE, DC, CT, CO, CA, AZ; Managed Futures; General Securities Representative; Investment Advisor Representative
    NMLS#: 1278940

    About Me

    Jonathan focuses on managing client relationships, portfolio construction, business development and working with multi-generational family business owners on their business succession and charitable endeavors. Jonathan also leads the team’s investment decisions related to private capital strategies.

    Jonathan joined Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management (PWM) in 2011 after six years in New York City, where he started his career in the institutional capital markets division of Bear Stearns. Immediately prior to joining the Morgan Stanley PWM team, Jonathan served as a senior manager research analyst at Titan Advisors, a $6 billion hedge fund and private capital investment management firm based now in Stamford, CT. At Titan, Jonathan was a member of the firm’s eight-person manager selection committee and performed due diligence on hundreds of emerging and established alternative investment managers during his time there.

    Jonathan received his B.S. in business and economics from Lehigh University, where he graduated cum laude. He also holds the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designation, as well as the Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA) designation, which he obtained at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. 

    Outside the office, Jonathan serves on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa and on the board and investment committee for the Dowling Catholic High School Foundation.

    He lives in Des Moines with his wife, Chelsea, and daughter, Sloane, and twin boys, Perry and Sutton. In his free time, Jonathan enjoys time with his family, reading, eating good food and playing tennis.
    Securities Agent: TX, IA, WA, VT, SD, SC, PA, OR, OH, NY, NJ, NE, NC, MO, MN, MI, ME, MA, KS, IL, FL, DE, DC, CT, CO, CA, AZ, AK; Managed Futures; General Securities Representative; Investment Advisor Representative
    NMLS#: 1290624

    About Me

    Rachel focuses on assisting clients in reviewing and updating investment policy statements, determining strategic asset allocation and working with complex multi-generational families with their investment, estate, trust and tax planning strategies, and philanthropic initiatives. She also leads the team’s investment decisions related to fixed-income asset allocation strategy and manager selection. 

    With more than 32 years in the institutional investment field, Rachel applies her extensive industry knowledge to the management of client portfolios. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management (PWM) in 2014, she co-managed a $12 billion institutional private fixed-income portfolio with Aviva Investors in Des Moines. In addition, she gained experience in private equity and corporate finance from her time at Cybus Capital Markets in Des Moines, where she served as an owner/partner.

    Rachel earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Williams College and completed an executive education program in business administration at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, she holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation and is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Iowa. 

    Outside the office, Rachel is the immediate past president of the board of the Des Moines Public Library Foundation. Other past non-profit board service included treasurer of the Homestead Living and Learning Center, treasurer of the Chrysalis Foundation and board member for Iowa Public Television. She has also served as a board member of Zygogen, a private biotechnology company.

    Rachel and her husband, Jim Lawson, live in Des Moines. In her free time, she enjoys many outdoor activities and is an avid swimmer, runner, biker and occasional triathlete.
    Securities Agent: TX, IA, WA, VT, SD, SC, PA, OR, OH, NY, NJ, NE, NC, MO, MN, MI, ME, MA, KS, IL, FL, DE, DC, CT, CO, CA, AZ; General Securities Representative; Investment Advisor Representative
    NMLS#: 1297874

    About Me

    A voting member of The Swanson Group’s research committee, Dan Berggren is responsible for universal, top-down portfolio construction, as well as for the group’s macroeconomic, geopolitical and capital markets research efforts. His capital markets research is pulled from both external and proprietary resources, and is integrated into the group’s investment strategies for all clients. In his analyst capacity, Dan employs a dynamic, hands-on approach to manager selection and asset allocation analytics across client portfolios. He has directed the team’s strategic portfolio rebalancing efforts for over a decade, and guides The Swanson Group’s tactical asset allocation recommendations. Dan graduated with a B.S. in business marketing from Marist College, and has been with The Swanson Group for his entire 14-year professional career.

    About Me

    Jean Chihak focuses her attentions on the team’s institutional clients, concentrating primarily on traditional manager selection, help with investment policy and strategic/tactical asset allocation. Prior to joining the team in 2015, Jean served as a senior securities analyst for the Principal Financial Group for over 19 years.  In that capacity, she covered the broader global technology and telecommunications sectors, including the hardware, software, semiconductor, internet, IT services, wireless service and wireline communications industries. She also brings global markets experience, having worked in the U.S., European, Japanese and Chinese markets. While at the Principal Financial Group, Jean managed the global technology and telecommunication team and managed domestic commissions. Prior to Principal, Jean work held academic positions in both the finance and economics departments at the University of Northern Iowa. She received her Master of Business Administration from Drake University and bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Northern Iowa, where she graduated summa cum laude.   

    About Me

    A member of The Swanson Group since 2017, Deb Kearney brings over 10 years of financial industry experience to the service of the team’s clients. She works to streamline processes and provide an exceptional service experience. Prior to her current position, Deb worked as a practice manager for a financial firm.  Born and raised in Des Moines, Deb received her Associate of Arts degree in business administration from Grand View University and her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Iowa State University.

    About Me

    Missie Schlegel works to create an outstanding overall service experience for the team’s sophisticated private clientele, focusing on the operational and administrative aspects of the business. Calling on outstanding organizational skills and focusing on the details, Missie assists with the daily administrative tasks and responds promptly and efficiently to ad hoc client requests. She has worked in the financial services industry since graduating from Kirkwood Community College in 2006.

    About Me

    Playing a key support role, Ann Fredericks is primarily responsible for coordinating the team’s travel and managing their expenses.  Ann coordinates the team’s business development while also assisting with the daily and ad hoc operational and administrative tasks. She received her B.S. from Buena Vista University, and has been with the team at Morgan Stanley for four years.
    Economic and Market Perspectives

    On the Markets

    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.

    Managing Significant Wealth

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    • Wealth Transfer & Philanthropy
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    • Family Governance & Wealth Education
    • Lifestyle Advisory
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    The securities/instruments, investments and investment strategies discussed on this website may not be suitable for all investors. The appropriateness of a particular investment or investment strategy will depend on an investor's individual circumstances and objectives. The views and opinions expressed on this website may not necessarily reflect those of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”). This website and its associated content are intended for U.S. residents only.

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