Carpenter Falconi Group at Morgan Stanley Provides Clients With an Exceptional Experience in Financial Planning
By Space Coast Daily // September 20, 2023
Carpenter Falconi Group at Morgan Stanley recently named to 2023 Forbes list of America’s Best-in-State Wealth Management Teams
Tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today,” notes an African proverb. Financial freedom is achieved by developing a plan and staying the course, both of which can be difficult to achieve without the guidance of wealth management teams with the experience and passion to excel for their clients.
Such guidance can be found from the Melbourne-based Carpenter Falconi Group at Morgan Stanley, recently named to the 2023 Forbes list of America’s Best-in-State Wealth Management Teams, an elite list of approximately 3,000 teams from across the country.*
The Carpenter Falconi Group met selection criteria that included the measurement of best practices, client retention, industry experience, credentials, compliance recording and quantitative criteria such as assets under management and revenue generated.
The distinction is a major achievement for the Carpenter Falconi Group, particularly because many of the teams selected are concentrated in major metropolitan areas such as New York and San Francisco.
The list is composed of experienced wealth managers identified as representing the best our industry has to offer who have demonstrated professionalism and dedication to the needs of their valued clients. The ranking serves as a guide to help investors select the wealth management team that would best help them.
“It is a very significant accolade,” said Stephanie Falconi Nemeth, Senior Portfolio Manager, First Vice President and Financial Advisor with the Carpenter Falconi Group.
The Carpenter Falconi Group is part of leading financial services firm Morgan Stanley, with more than 75,000 employees serving the financial management needs of customers in 41 countries. Being part of Morgan Stanley allows access to powerful resources.
“We have best-in-class research, investment capabilities and staff providing top-notch service to our clients, which include corporations, governments, institutions and individuals,” said Carpenter Falconi Senior Vice President Darwin Carpenter.
“We leverage insights from our Global Investment Committee to stay ahead of economic trends and help prepare clients for potential outcomes. We have access to an extensive suite of Alternative Investment portfolio solutions for further diversification, including exposure to private markets for certain qualified investors.”
The Connecticut native grew up in Saudi Arabia, where his father was an accountant for Aramco Oil. The experience instilled in him an appreciation for the precious liberties afforded back in the United States.
Darwin, who began his career with Morgan Stanley almost a quarter of a century ago, has witnessed the positive evolution of the client/financial advisor relationship.
“When I first started, the relationship was very transactional and advisors were rewarded primarily by generating commissions to trade financial instruments and less on providing lasting financial advice to help clients accomplish their goals,” he said.
“Today, we take a consultative approach with the Financial Plan at the foundation of our services and prefer fee-based relationships, which remove the potential for conflicts of interest.”
Decades of Experience
A graduate of the University of Central Florida, Darwin focuses on investment selection and portfolio construction based on technical and fundamental analyses, as well as on the current economic and geopolitical environments. His decades of experience have finely tuned his ability to recognize market changes and their effects on the portfolios the team manages.
“I am committed to advising clients rather than merely providing them with information,” he said.
“Investors increasingly face myriad investment choices. Often, without the advantage of an experienced financial advisor, we see that they may tend to react to short-term events and could easily lose sight of long-term objectives. Our team employs a responsive, proactive approach to communicating with them and maintain a broad view of their financial picture, while concentrating on the details. That way, clients are informed and better prepared to meet the changes and challenges over the long term.”
Like Carpenter, Stephanie Falconi Nemeth is passionate about her profession and its opportunities. She first fell in love with the industry when two financial advisors –from Morgan Stanley, no less – spoke to her fifth-grade class.
“I was mesmerized,” she said.
Stephanie is understandably proud of the work ethic her Ecuadorian parents instilled on her as the family pursued the American Dream. Her father for years worked long hours in multiple grueling jobs before finally achieving his own business success. His daughter did so well in school that she received a scholarship to Nightingale Bamford, an all-girl private school in the Upper East Side.
“I was introduced to a world of immense wealth and felt great pressure to succeed, both academically and in my sport of choice, tennis,” she said. “After four years of exceling in school and sport, I was recruited by Brown University to play on the Women’s Tennis Team.”
Stephanie played #1 position in Singles and Doubles and would have entered the professional circuit, but injury ended her career. She remembered that fifth-grade class lecture and signed on as a financial services representative with MetLife securities before joining Ameriprise Financial, where in five years, she built a successful practice and was training other financial advisors as a producing manager.
Her meteoric success caught the attention of Darwin, who in 2016 invited Stephanie to partner with him at Morgan Stanley. He knew it was crucial to find a younger female advisor who would bring a fresh perspective to serve the next generation. That fact that Stephanie speaks Spanish (and Italian) also benefits another client sector, the area’s Spanish-speaking community.
When she transitioned to Morgan Stanley, almost every household in her former practice at Ameriprise chose to follow her. The team’s assets under management have continued to grow at a rapid pace since she joined Morgan Stanley.
Carpenter and Falconi Nemeth work as a team; Darwin focuses on research, while Stephanie focuses on financial planning.
“It doesn’t matter what you have, it matters where you are going and how we can help you get there,” Stephanie said. “We help individuals and families create a plan for the future and, even more importantly, help them stick to it.”
Both follow an interactive philosophy of wealth management that positions clients as part of the team.
“When choosing to work with us, clients become like family,” said Stephanie, who has two young children at home. “We want them to feel comfortable enough to approach us with any issue or concern they have about every area of their finances.”
The partners’ individual approach to meeting clients differs, allowing them to feed off each other and attract a diverse clientele. Darwin, while all business, tells very entertaining stories.
Stephanie on the other hand, loves to get lost in the weeds when discussing clients’ Financial Plans, from detailed cash flow reports to lavish vacation plans. However, both are laser-focused in understanding the psychology behind the way individual clients manage their money.
A Team Effort
The Carpenter Falconi Group is more than two partners, however. It is a team, another benefit for clients.
“You can pay a 1 percent management fee for one advisor, or you can spend 1 percent for an entire team of advisors,” Stephanie said.
This year, the group added financial advisor – and Melbourne native – Christian Vargas to the team. Currently the company commander of a drill sergeant unit with the U.S. Army Reserves, Vargas spent a nine-month deployment in Africa as an S4 logistics and supply officer.
A baseball player since age four, Christian played for Melbourne Central Catholic during high school and was a four-year starter at Salve Regina University where he also completed his MBA.
In 2017, Christian earned a summer internship opportunity with the Carpenter Falconi Group. Since he did exceptionally well, the team decided he would be the best fit to join them when the time was right. His military and sports background give him the understanding of leveraging teamwork to score a win and to not take anything for granted.
“I feel privileged to learn from the over 40 years of combined experience that the Carpenter Falconi Group has to offer,” said Vargas.
Because Darwin, Stephanie and Christian have all lived overseas, they can easily relate to a diverse clientele that represents 35 states in the country.
Another team member is Victoria Brewster, a Florida State University graduate who has been part of the financial industry since 1993. Victoria holds a life and variable annuities license and is a Senior Registered Service Associate with Series 7, 31, 63 and 66 licenses.
“Morgan Stanley is one of the largest and best regarded financial firms,” Victoria said. “We have been recognized for helping clients build, manage and preserve financial assets through personalized wealth management programs and exceptional client service.”
Client Service Associate Max Carlson graduated from another Florida college, University of Central Florida, where he earned a degree in business finance in 2022. Max served as corporate finance intern at L3 Harris before joining Morgan Stanley as an intern. He was named Client Service Associate in January of this year.
The team plans to consistently invest in its members so that they are prepared to meet all the challenges of today’s everchanging environment.
“We want to bring forth the best version of ourselves and provide client service that is constantly improving,” Stephanie said.
Beyond Financial Service
Providing service is a principle the team values within their practice and out in the community. Every summer, the Carpenter Falconi Group participates in a food drive benefitting the South Brevard Sharing Center. Along with the local Morgan Stanley branch, the team helped contribute over 310 pounds of food last year. This year, they are on track to surpass that number.
In the spirit of giving back to those that poured into his life, Christian is still strongly involved in baseball.
“I want to encourage others the same way I was encouraged when I was growing up,” he says.
He started his own team, where he coaches and develops players to help them potentially earn athletic college scholarships.
Stephanie is passionate about leading worship at Lineage Church Oceanside where she sings and plays keys. She also partners with their organization to help reach numerous local charities on an ongoing basis.
“Having a healthy spiritual life as well as clearly defined values for our family and practice is paramount to our success,” she says. “I not only want to work with our clients to help see their portfolios grow and their financial goals accomplished, I want their life to be better because we are in it.”
The offices of the Carpenter Falconi Group at Morgan Stanley are at 8150 N. Wickham Rd., Melbourne.
For more information, call 321-255-2400 or visit advisor.morganstanley.com/the-carpenter-falconi-group.
*Forbes Best-In-State Wealth Management Teams. Source: Forbes.com (Awarded Jan 2023) Data compiled by SHOOK Research LLC based on time period from 3/31/21-3/31/22. Please see additional information at the end of the article.
** Source: Forbes.com (Jan 2023) 2023 Forbes Best-In-State Wealth Management Teams ranking awarded in 2023. This ranking was determined based on an evaluation process conducted by SHOOK Research LLC (the research company) in partnership with Forbes (the publisher) during the period from 3/31/21 – 3/31/22. Neither Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC nor its Financial Advisors or Private Wealth Advisors paid a fee to SHOOK Research LLC for placement on its rankings. This ranking is based on in-person and telephone due diligence meetings to evaluate each advisor qualitatively, a major component of a ranking algorithm that includes client retention, industry experience, review of compliance records, firm nominations, and quantitative criteria, including assets under management and revenue generated for their firms. Investment performance is not a criterion. Rankings are based on the opinions of SHOOK Research LLC and this ranking may not be representative of any one client’s experience; investors must carefully choose the right Financial Advisor or team for their own situation and perform their own due diligence. This ranking is not indicative of the Financial Advisor’s future performance. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC is not affiliated with SHOOK Research LLC or Forbes. For more information, see www.SHOOKresearch.com.
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