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Stewardship Financial Planning Process

Through our Stewardship Financial Planning Process, we gain insight into our client’s unique values and preferences for money and philanthropy.

We provide a comprehensive, customized financial plan that integrates, tracks, and optimizes wealth.

Our Stewardship Process focuses on helping clients live a prosperous life and creating value in all that they do.

By providing clients with the needed clarity in their financial lives, they are in a better position to focus on their causes and concerns. And they are in a better position to recognize and capture future opportunities.

Working together with our clients, the Stewardship Planning Process puts us in a position to navigate the complex dimensions of our client’s financial lives.

We cut through the noise to focus on what really matters and to make sure our clients’ financial lives are in sync with their core values.

The Stewardship Planning Process helps the families we serve create clarity, confidence and the capabilities that are crucial in helping them become great stewards of all their wealth.

In the book, The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck defines unique ability as cathexis, a state in which we “cathect,” or break down the walls between ourselves and the thing we love to do or the person with whom we love to be.

No matter how old you are or what stage in life you are in, our focus is on helping you discover a greater future. Whether it’s starting a business, transitioning that business to a family member or employees or selling it. Starting a family or dreaming of a future for your grandchildren and their children. The next day should be filled with opportunities to do it better than the day before. No matter what the task is, when you live your life doing what you love and are confident in your capabilities, you are thriving.

Stewardship Executive Summary (SES) is an important document that summarizes your current financial circumstances

  • Your Family
  • Professional Advisors
  • Goals
  • Strategies to achieve your goals
  • Approach to fulfilling on these strategies

Stewardship Financial Planning Process

The SES is a working document that is kept up to date, and is modified as your financial situation evolves.

The SES provides a summary of what we have done in the past, what we are currently working on, and what needs to be addressed in the future.

This working document is designed to provide a clear and precise summary of every aspect of your personal wealth management process.

Jeannie Ewing-Nicholson

Operations Manager

Jeannie started her career in the Financial Services industry in 1994 with Oppenheimer & Company. As part of the De Groote Financial Group, Jeannie is responsible for the operational needs of the firm including cash management and account administration. With her upbeat attitude and attention to detail, Jeannie provides an efficient streamlines experience to ensure clients meet their goals. Jeannie enjoys travel, outdoor activities, Pilates, and is a football and basketball fan. She resides in Westlake Village with her husband, daughter and son.

Mary-Ellen Lykken

Executive Assistant

Mary-Ellen, Executive Assistant at DFG, keeps the office running smoothly by providing administrative support and assisting with scheduling and organization. With a background in human resource and office management, Mary-Ellen comes from the non-profit and services industries.

Outside of the office, Mary-Ellen is committed to the advancement of independence and productivity for those with disabilities. By telling her story of the challenges and joys of raising a child with complicated disabilities, she hopes to help others navigate similar circumstances.

She is happiest when visiting her two grown sons. Otherwise, you can find her competing on the pickleball courts.

Sara Mariniello

Operations Manager

Sara is new to the financial industry only starting in 2022 when she was hired at De Groote Financial. As Operations Manager, Sara is responsible for all the paperwork surrounding opening accounts and investment paperwork and is also responsible for much of the client communication. Sara has her bachelor’s in science and nursing from Concordia University, Texas and worked as nurse for over a year prior to moving back to California. She loves all things sports and church related and is likely spending every free moment with her Husband visiting family in Texas and New Jersey.

Fadi Ahmed

Chief Operations Officer and Chief Compliance Officer

Fadi works with clients to ensure an exceptional experience. He coordinates and assures the planning process and wealth management tools are at your fingertips to provide the clarity you deserve and the transparency and access to all your accounts. Fadi ensures the data and information is reflective in our planning software. All changes and updates flow through his desk and he coordinates those changes with the rest of our team.

Andrew Krout

Wealth Advisor, Co-Chief Investment Officer

Andrew Krout is a Wealth Advisor at De Groote Financial Group, LLC. He also serves as a Co-Chief Investment Officer for the firm, focused on wealth management.

Previously, Andrew served as CIO with Kelly Financial in Boston Massachusetts since 2013. He is a licensed investment advisor representative and insurance producer. He graduated from Saint Francis University with a bachelor’s degree in both finance and accounting. He is a candidate for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation. Andrew holds life insurance licenses in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut.

Andrew is passionate about serving his clients and investment management and how to apply news and current events to investment decisions. He played Division 1 golf in college, and still enjoys playing and watching the sport in his free time.

David Darst

Co-Chief Information Officer

David Martin Darst, CFA is an Investment Advisor to DeGroote Financial Group, specializing in asset allocation and product selection. Previously, David served for 17 years as a Managing Director and Chief Investment Strategist at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, with the responsibility for Asset Allocation and Investment Strategy. He joined Morgan Stanley in 1996 from Goldman Sachs, where he held Senior Management Posts within the Equities Division and earlier, for six years as Resident Manager of their Private Bank in Zurich.

David is the author of 13 books, including bestsellers The Art of Asset Allocation, 2nd Edition (McGraw-Hill), and The Little Book that Still Saves Your Assets (John Wiley & Sons). He also appears as a frequent guest on CNBC, Bloomberg, FOX, PBS, and others, and has contributed articles across a variety of publications.

David graduated with a BA in Economics from Yale University, and earned his MBA from Harvard Business School. He has lectured extensively at Wharton, Columbia, INSEAD, and New York University Business Schools, and for nine years, David served as a visiting member at Yale College, Yale School of Management, and Harvard Business School. He is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts and the CFA Institute. 

Doug De Groote

Managing Director

Doug is a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) with an MBA in Financial Planning, and is an active member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA). Before establishing De Groote Financial Group, Doug founded the United Wealth Management division of United Capital. Prior to that, Doug was a partner at Crowell, Weedon and Co. He regularly contributes to a variety of financial and general media.

Doug’s passion, and what he believes, is that everyone deserves the opportunity; they deserve to have the freedom and responsibility to be pro-active in achieving independence and financial success.

Doug’s life is focused around his family, wife and three children, and making sure they get the foundation that is necessary for them to have the awareness of the opportunities that abound in our great country.

Doug helps increase his client’s awareness and success, to identify and take advantage of opportunities that present themselves and help protect them from some of the pitfalls or obstacles that are thrown in our paths. With regards to their financial circumstances, Doug helps his clients identify their goals, plan for various outcomes and manage their assets to help them make their vision a reality.