The thought of starting our own financial advisory firm first came to us during the 2008 financial crisis. It was surprising and concerning to Mark and I as we learned so many had so little idea about their own finances. With the mergers of banking with brokerage beginning, we also had significant concerns about how that would work. Our entrepreneurial spirits and passion for serving our clients in the best way possible, led us to write our first plan for a business. However, we shelved this original plan. My business grew significantly by referral after the crisis. These additional successes at Merrill Lynch for me, and significant success at Guggenheim Partners for Mark, kept us in place for several more years.
In 2012, I retired from Merrill Lynch to focus on our family and my own personal health. After receiving my diagnosis of autoimmune diseases in 2013, I finally knew what I had to do to bring myself back to good health. Mark’s responsibilities at Guggenheim Partners continued to grow. This included consulting on investments with some of the largest advisors and institutions around the country, helping them achieve their client’s goals. Mark became an exchange traded fund (ETF) expert. He took a leadership role in 2012, overseeing the growth and servicing of Guggenheim Partners’ ETF business. Mark was instrumental in helping them build their brand and grow their ETF business assets from $600 million in 2009 to $32 billion in 2015. The business was subsequently sold shortly thereafter. In September 2015, Mark made the decision to leave Guggenheim and look for another opportunity to help grow a business. Shortly after, we “dusted off” our business plan.
Today at Lenity Financial, Inc. we see an opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of others through our passionate response to their financial issues. Exceptional service to our number one priority – our clients – is foremost, while we work to bring change to the financial industry. Lenity Financial is a dynamic, spirited financial services firm bringing clarity, transparency, and an amazing personalized experience to each client.
Mark and I sincerely thank you for taking the time to read our story. We look forward to working with you at Lenity.
Lenity Financial, Inc.
Lisa combines a sincere desire to help people make better financial choices with her nearly 20 years of experience at Merrill Lynch, most recently as a vice president of investments and business financial advisor. Making it her mission to help others achieve a financially sustainable and healthful lifestyle, Lisa is also considered an industry thinker and has been interviewed by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) and the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Lisa also speaks on financial health and wellness and write’s regularly on the topic.
Lisa is a resident of Geneva, Illinois and chooses to be active in a variety of organizations related to her profession such as Women in ETFs as well as to her family and passions. Lisa is the past president of the St. Charles Breakfast Rotary Club, past president of the Geneva Middle School North PTO, a member of the Geneva Women’s Club, the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, and Geneva Women in Business.
Lisa is a past recipient of Rotarian of the Year, as well as earning the Fundraising Performance Award for her Rotary Club. In addition to her involvement in the community, Lisa enjoys biking and pursues organic gardening. She says her personal mission is “to be thankful for what I have each and every day and to be kind and generous to others, myself and our environment.” Not surprisingly, her favorite quote is:
“Do the best you can until you know better; once you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou
Mark believes in life-long learning, so he continually works toward gaining knowledge to better his life and that of those around him. He is a Certified Financial Planner™ and a Certified Investment Management Analyst™. Along with his wife, Lisa, he is a co-founder and senior managing director of Lenity Financial, Inc., where he helps their clients attain their goals through solid financial planning and decision making.
Along with obtaining a financial planning certificate from DePaul, Mark is a graduate of the Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) Education Program from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He passed Level I of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) Program. Mark is considered an expert on exchange-traded funds and often speaks about the subject and has been quoted in Financial Planning Magazine. Mark is also considered an industry thinker and has been interviewed by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) and the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
Professional memberships include: Financial Planning Association (FPA®), the Investments & Wealth Institute®, and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). On a different note, Mark is a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA™).
Mark has passed FINRA Series 7, 24, 31, and 66. Mark also participates in the IRS Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) which aims to recognize the efforts of non-credentialed return preparers who aspire to a higher level of professionalism. Those who choose to participate spend 18 hours of continuing education, including a 6 hour federal tax law refresher course with test. Mark believes this ongoing education helps to provide additional insights that are important to serving his clients.
Mark chooses to spend his spare time reading and biking, often at the family’s favorite Michigan getaway. As to a favorite quote from Mark; you’re likely to hear him say that “You can’t take advantage of an opportunity unless you know it exists.”
You can only earn CFP® and CIMA® designations after you complete required college-level educational coursework and pass an exam, as well as finish at least three years of full-time relative experience. Additionally, an individual agrees to be bound by a strict code of ethics and pass a background check. Once earned, they must complete a requisite number of continuing education hours every two years to maintain their certification.