KM & Associates

800 Green Valley Road
Suite 400
Greensboro, NC 27408
Phone: 336.574.8271
Directions to Branch

"Professional insight and perspective, developed through diligent hard work and experience, are required to manage wealth today. Each day, we commit 100% of our focus and abilities to help you pursue a more productive financial future."

- Erick J. Ellsweig, CIMA®

Senior Vice President–Wealth Management
Wealth Management Advisor

Providing Customized Financial Guidance

KM & Associates is a seasoned team of wealth management professionals – highly educated, extensively trained and broadly experienced in finance and investing.

Over the years, we have expanded our skill sets and professional certifications to address the ever-increasing wealth management needs and challenges you face today. Our practice is multidimensional and client-focused.

Extensive Capabilities

We have a core focus on developing diversified investment portfolios designed to support your wealth management strategy and help you pursue your objectives. Drawing on the investment insights of Merrill Lynch and the banking convenience of Bank of America, we can also assist you with other dimensions of wealth structuring, including:

  • Intergenerational wealth transfers
  • Estate and legacy planning services
  • Retirement income strategies
  • Liquidity management and other business services
  • Concentrated stock/concentrated wealth strategies
  • Personal and commercial banking, through Bank of America

Client Facts

From our offices in North Carolina, we work closely with a select number of affluent individuals and families from the Southeast and throughout the country. By design, we maintain a low client-to-advisor ratio so we have the time, energy and resources to deliver advice and guidance tailored to you in a personalized manner.

Individuals we serve include entrepreneurs and other professionals, C-suite executives, entertainers and business owners. Often, they come to us seeking strategies to preserve the wealth they've worked so hard to build. Our objective is to help them maintain their financial independence and set a strategy designed to move them toward their long-term goals.

"We work with you to set reasonable goals and return expectations. Then we help you structure your portfolio to pursue a projected return level while balancing acceptable risk."

- Christopher L. Kohly, CFP®

Analyst Relationship Management

What Is Important to You?
The Discovery Process

A wealth management strategy should have scope and scale. It should take into account every aspect of your financial life. During initial meetings, we will take the time necessary to develop a detailed profile of you and your financial situation. This is our chance to listen and discover what role wealth plays in your life. It's our opportunity to understand your financial vision–and your concerns.

  • What are your immediate liquidity needs from your investments? Is your current lifestyle sustainable over the long term?
  • How much investment-related income will you need to live comfortably in retirement? Are you concerned about outliving your assets?
  • What is the balance between your assets and liabilities? Is your wealth too concentrated in one stock or your own business venture?
  • Is leaving a financial legacy important to you? Do you have strategies in place for charitable giving or transferring wealth to the next generations of your family?

Answers to questions like these provide a foundation for the goals-based, individualized wealth management strategy we create together.

Understanding and Managing Risk

It's easy to forget that, in investing, risk can work for you as well as against you. We use various Merrill Lynch Wealth Management diagnostic tools to evaluate your tolerance for risk versus the projected investment returns needed to reach your goals. We also consider liquidity needs, time horizon, lifestyle maintenance questions, and your ambitions to grow your wealth to meet aspirational goals when we assess your risk tolerance.

It is too simplistic to calculate how much risk you can or should take in your investment portfolio based only on your age. For example, we may implement conservative, long-term preservation-of-capital strategies for both a 65-year-old who has retirement income needs and a 40-year-old entrepreneur whose other wealth is concentrated in his or her business.

"The Merrill Lynch platform stands out in terms of breadth, depth and flexibility. You have access to investment opportunities in important capital markets throughout the world."

– David Marcus, CFA®

Vice President
Investment Associate

How We Think Through Your
Portfolio Structure

Diversification, asset allocation and research are the building blocks of our approach to structuring your portfolio. Generally, we recommend apportioning your investment capital across a range of asset classes that may include:

  • Equities (domestic and international | all sectors, all capitalizations)
  • Fixed income (corporates, municipals, governments, agencies | all maturities, all credits)
  • Cash and cash equivalents
  • Real estate
  • Alternative investments, such as hedge funds, commodities and private equity partnerships

Before we suggest any investment, our team researches it, gauges the potential downside risk and considers how it may correlate with other assets in the portfolio. Once again, our goal is to help you structure your portfolio balancing risk and return.

Discretionary Portfolio Management

Erick J. Ellsweig is a qualified portfolio manager. You can delegate to Erick investment management responsibilities for your portfolios, meaning that he has discretion over certain investment decisions surrounding your investment strategy. Once he has confirmed your goals and life priorities, as well as identified your portfolio investment objective, time horizon, risk factor and liquidity needs, he will recommend targeted asset allocations for your portfolios to help meet your specific investment objectives. Granting Erick authority allows him to respond to market changes, price volatility and global events with the ability to make adjustments, if needed, to help your portfolio stay on track to pursue your goals.

"The KM & Associates client service model is built on communication, responsiveness, courtesy and accuracy. Our entire team is committed to delivering consistent, high-quality service that exceeds your expectations."

- Kimberly Reece and Kristen Fisher Swindell

Registered Client Associates

Clients Nationwide, Local Connections

We are proud of our ability to provide personalized coverage to clients in many states, and we're equally proud of our connections to Greensboro, the city we call home. Erick J. Ellsweig's family owned a home furnishings manufacturing business in North Carolina for four generations. As a former executive of that company, he knows numerous business leaders and is familiar with the challenges facing entrepreneurs. Other team members have gone to college here, are raising families here and are actively involved with civic organizations throughout Greensboro proper and Guilford County.

Global Resources

Part of what KM & Associates offers to all clients is access to the remarkable investing resources of Merrill Lynch and banking convenience of Bank of America. Among these resources is BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research, which in 2013 was ranked as the top research organization by Institutional Investor magazine.* With approximately 500 analysts in more than 20 countries (as of April 2014), the group offers in-depth market and economics research, as well as access to high-quality investment ideas.

For families with elite levels of wealth, we are a gateway to the Private Banking and Investment Group of Merrill Lynch. We work with HB Associates of Atlanta, Georgia. Led by Private Wealth Advisors Roger Hunt and Scott Bass, this group concentrates on the special situations and unique challenges of managing the financial complexities of ultra-high-net-worth

Working With Your Other Advisors

As experienced professionals, we recognize that your other trusted advisors can make valuable contributions to your overall wealth management strategy. At your direction, we will work with your CPA, tax preparers, trust and estate attorneys, or other members of your professional advisory team to help see that the elements of your wealth strategy mesh together.

*In its December 2013 issue, Institutional Investor magazine announced BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research as the Top Global Research Firm for 2013, based on surveys held throughout the year. The magazine creates rankings of the top research analysts in a wide variety of specializations, drawn from the choices of portfolio managers and other investment professionals at more than 1,000 firms. For more information about this award, go to

Get to Know Us

  • View Erick J. Ellsweig's Profile

    Erick J. Ellsweig
    Wealth Management Advisor

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  • View David Marcus's Profile

    David Marcus
    Investment Associate

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  • View Joseph (JJ) Marcus's Profile

    Joseph (JJ) Marus
    Financial Advisor

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  • View Christopher L. Kohly's Profile

    Christopher L. Kohly
    Analyst Relationship Management

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  • View Kimberly Reece's Profile

    Kimberly Reece
    Registered Senior Client Associate

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  • View Kristen Fisher Swindell's Profile

    Kristen Fisher Swindell
    Registered Client Associate

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  • Additional Resource

    View Brian W. Smith's Profile

    Brian W. Smith*
    Wealth Management Banker
    Bank of America, N.A.

    View Profile

*Denotes that this person is a shared resource and relationships may change.



Senior Vice President–Wealth Management
Wealth Management Advisor
Portfolio Manager

Erick offers wealth management strategies that serve as a compass for wealthy families and individuals, helping them to pursue their long-term financial goals. He was recognized by Barron's as one of America's Top 1,000 Financial Advisors for four consecutive years through 2013 and as one of America's Top 1,200 Financial Advisors in 2014. Erick is a qualified portfolio manager who, in addition to providing traditional advice and guidance, can help clients pursue their objectives by building and managing his own personalized or defined strategies, which may incorporate individual stocks and bonds, Merrill Lynch model portfolios and third-party investment strategies. When servicing clients through the firm's Investment Advisory Program, a portfolio manager may manage his strategies on a discretionary basis. He also holds the Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) designation. Erick is a member of The Investment Management Consultants Association.

Prior to joining Merrill Lynch in 2001, Erick spent seven years as an executive in the home furnishings industry. He was a founding member of Young Home Furnishings Professionals, an organization that seeks to attract young managerial talent to the industry. Erick graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor's degree in political science and earned a law degree at Brooklyn Law School in New York. He does not provide legal advice in his role at Merrill Lynch.

Erick has been involved with the Greensboro community for many years. He has served on the Future Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro and the investment committee of the Greensboro Jewish Foundation. Erick is a past trustee of the Greensboro Jewish Federation and B'nai Shalom Day School. Erick has been a co-chairman of the Alumni Division of the Greensboro Day School Annual Fund and is currently a member of its Alumni Board. He also currently serves on the Alumni Admissions Council for Northwestern University and on the board of directors of the Weatherspoon Art Museum. Erick completed a half marathon a few years ago and has undertaken a new challenge: golf. He lives in Greensboro with his wife, Kim, and their three children, Ace, Ethan and Aerin.



Vice President
Investment Associate

David brings more than 20 years of experience to the KM & Associates team. Prior to rejoining Merrill Lynch in 2009, he helped design wealth management strategies for high-net-worth clients at another investment firm, and managed investment portfolios at a large insurance company. He began his financial career as a fixed-income analyst in the Merrill Lynch Asset Management group.

David holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) designation. In addition to passing a rigorous set of exams and meeting educational and professional requirements, CFA charter holders are obligated to adhere to a strict code of ethics and standards governing their professional conduct. David's educational credentials include an MBA degree in finance from Saint John's University in Queens, New York, and a bachelor's degree in accounting from Pace University. In his role with Merrill Lynch, David does not provide tax advice.

The Marcus family—David, his wife, Anita, and their four children—relocated to Greensboro from Long Island, New York, when David joined the KM & Associates team. In his leisure time, David enjoys swimming, bicycling, cooking and reading.



Assistant Vice President
Financial Advisor

A Greensboro native, JJ returned to the Triad in May 2013 to join KM & Associates at Merrill Lynch after spending four years with the Private Wealth Management Group at Goldman Sachs in Atlanta. At KM & Associates, he and his team offer high-net-worth families and individuals wealth management strategies tailored to their needs and designed to help them pursue their long-term financial objectives. His responsibilities include helping develop and implement customized portfolio and tax minimization strategies and providing estate and retirement planning services.

JJ received his MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management with a concentration in investment management. Before Sloan, he spent five years in Greensboro working for his family's construction business. He is also an alumnus of N.C. State University, where he received his bachelor's degree in zoology/pre-med. An accomplished swimmer, JJ was a collegiate all-American, member of the 1999 USA Pan Pacific Games team and two-time U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier.

JJ still swims recreationally and also enjoys golf, scuba diving and skiing. He and his wife, Jordan, also enjoy traveling and spending time with their two dogs, Brodie and Spike.



Analyst Relationship Management

Chris has been committed to helping clients develop strategies to pursue a wide range of financial goals since he joined Merrill Lynch in 2003. He holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM designation, awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., and focuses on strategies for retirement and education needs.

Chris graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a bachelor's degree in business. He and his wife, Kelly, live in Greensboro with their son, Matthew. Chris enjoys golf, fishing, boating and diving, and is also active in the Civil Air Patrol.



Registered Senior Client Associate

Kim began her career with Merrill Lynch in 1981. She has provided operational and administrative support to KM & Associates since joining the team in 1990. Her goal is to provide an exceptional level of service to clients with the utmost care and concern. Kim attended Belmont Abbey College and majored in business administration. She and her husband, Tim, live in McLeansville, North Carolina, and have two adult daughters, Anna and Abby. Away from the office, Kim enjoys reading, golf and traveling.



Registered Client Associate

Since Kristen joined Merrill Lynch in 2006, she has enjoyed getting to know clients well and providing them with caring, personalized service. Her aim is to provide clients and KM & Associates with superior support in all service areas. Kristen graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a bachelor's degree in human development. Kristen and her husband, Martin, live in Greensboro, North Carolina. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, yoga and traveling.



Vice President
Wealth Management Banker
Bank of America, N.A.

Additional Resource

You may also benefit from the experience of a wealth management banker from Bank of America, N.A., who can provide strategic and personalized banking guidance focused on your needs. Working together, your financial advisor and wealth management banker can draw upon an expansive array of cash management, credit and other lending solutions designed to fit into your overall financial strategy and help you pursue your financial objectives. Brian W. Smith, Vice President, Wealth Management Banker, supports your financial advisor and his team. Brian has been in the financial services/banking industry since 2001 and joined Bank of America in 2007.

Brian graduated from Elon University in 2001 with a bachelor's degree in finance and accounting. He and his wife, Courtney, live in Greensboro with their two children, Connor and Aubrey. Leisure time activities include fishing, cooking and mountain biking. He also finds time to volunteer as a member of the board of The Humane Society of the Piedmont and the Martinsville Area Community Foundation.

*Denotes that this person is a shared resource and relationships may change.

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Erick Ellsweig is registered to do business in:AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, SC, TX, VA, WI

Joseph (JJ) Marus is registered to do business in:AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, NC, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, PA, SC, TX, VA, VT

For questions regarding registration information please contact your Financial Advisor.
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