Service Through Excellence

The Bentley Group (Left to Right): Kimberlyn Beltran; Robert Ottaviano; Bryan Gould; Michael Souza; Louis Tedesco; Amanda Rocca; Glenn Ambach; Michael Tedesco; and Russell Hall.

That is the motto of The Bentley Group at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, located in UTC La Jolla. This four advisor team currently manages $350 million as of January 2012, but focuses a majority of their time ensuring that their clients experience a boutique-practice feeling.

When asked ‘what is the most important element of your business?’, Russ Hall, senior vice president, responds, “That every one of our clients feels well cared for. Managing our clients’ wealth is a very personal relationship involving a huge level of responsibility. We take our relationships seriously, and do whatever we can to make sure that our clients maintain a sense of calm. In this volatile environment we have increased the level of risk-management and attention that we provide to our clients’ financial needs. It all comes down to having comfort knowing that your investments are in line with your financial goals.”

The Bentley Group has scaled their practice to deliver a higher level of service to their clientele. The four partners, Russ Hall, Mike Souza, Michael Tedesco, and Bryan Gould are each responsible for certain areas of concentration.

Mike Souza, senior portfolio manager, describes this approach in more detail: “Our clients demand the highest level of attention and aptitude. It’s illogical to expect that one person would be an authority in every area of finance. We’ve built a team to add multiple layers of proficiency, and to leverage each others’ strengths. With the added resources come enhanced capabilities,” he notes. “Russ brings 22 years of experience in the industry and oversees preservation portfolios, in addition to acting as liaison to public companies seeking investment banking and cash management. Bryan is our point person for financial planning, and was recently featured in a “Research Magazine” article titled ‘Five Questions for a Top Retirement Advisor; a Discussion with Bryan Gould’. Michael Tedesco is a former chief financial officer, and currently manages liquidity strategies for senior level corporate executives as well as portfolio oversight and design for high-net-worth families and foundations. I act as the team’s Chief Investment Officer – mapping market strategies and handling the day-to-day portfolio management,” states Souza.

The Bentley Group also has two other advisors, Glenn Ambach and Robert Ottaviano, who each contribute in many ways. Glenn is a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) and operates as the team’s analyst, monitoring portfolio holdings and researching economic statistics to help determine portfolio direction. Bob has 42 years of experience in the industry and currently serves as a relationship manager and fixed income specialist for the team. Another resource on the team is Michael’s father, Louis Tedesco. Lou joined Michael in the practice 8 years ago after an incredibly successful 35-year career as president, CEO and chairman for a number of public and private corporations. Lou’s primary involvement with the group is that of a liaison and advisor with our business owners and senior executive clientele. The group also has a dedicated support staff with Amanda Rocca, a senior registered client service associate and Kimberlyn Beltran, service associate.

The Bentley Group executes client strategies using a unique money management platform that offers a level of transparency not commonly found with traditional advisors. Access to this platform is strictly limited to qualified advisors based on training, experience, integrity, and a commitment to shoulder the burden of managing client assets without bias.

Bryan Gould discusses the team’s investment process. “Our group is convinced that a comprehensive financial plan lays the foundation for success. This enables us to understand our clients’ needs and comfort levels, and helps set specific goals that we can use to create a customized portfolio. Our Investment Committee meets frequently to review direction, portfolio strategy and individual positions, and our open forum process allows us to collaborate and share ideas. This reinforces our commitment to our clients: Service through Excellence.”

Each quarter, the Bentley Group hosts a conference call to update their clients about portfolio strategies, changes within the group, and financial planning topics. Michael Tedesco, first vice president, states “This call is also open to the public and is a great way for people to learn more about who we are. We always want to maintain a direct line of communication with our clients and client candidates. We help people stay informed during difficult markets, and provide the direction necessary to stay on track with their long term investment goals.”

The team’s next market update conference call will be in early April. If you are interested in participating or to learn more about The Bentley Group, please refer to the website: or call (858) 643-5079. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, Member SIPC