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McKinley Carter Named To CNBC Top 100 List

WHEELING, W.Va. — CNBC, the nation’s leading business/financial news source, has named McKinley Carter Wealth Services, headquartered in Wheeling, W.Va., to its Top 100 List of (Fee-Only) Wealth Management Advisors for 2015.

What does fee-only mean? To be considered for the list, CNBC focused on firms that are SEC-registered investment advisors (RIAs) with a fiduciary responsibility to act in their clients’ best interest. These advisory firms don’t accept any fees or compensation based on product sales; instead, they charge a fee for their advice. These fees are either asset-based or, as advisors can also provide more comprehensive advice, the fees may be project-based.

CNBC placed McKinley Carter at #80 on its list, which means, among a national landscape of about 15,000 RIAs, the firm is performing at the top 1% of all firms in the U.S. For company founder David McKinley, this recognition is confirmation of a business model he has employed from the start.

“For our team, this national acknowledgement from CNBC is very significant. It validates what has always been important to us and what is articulated in our corporate mission — to provide superior customer service and prudent, thoughtful investment advice, always with our client’s best interests in mind,” McKinley said. “How do we accomplish that? We have built a highly skilled and credentialed team of advisors that is backed by a professional operations team, all of whom are supported by some of the best technology and investment tools available.”

The firm currently operates with nearly 40 employees among five regional offices, which are located in Wheeling, Charleston, and Parkersburg (WV), Pittsburgh (PA), and Gaithersburg (MD).

“Even though our employees are housed in different regions, we connect seamlessly using our virtual meeting tools and sophisticated software programs,” McKinley Carter Chief Administrative Officer Lori Payne said. “Communication is always flowing and our team never hesitates to lean on the expertise and talents we are fortunate to have in-house. For the client, that translates to a client-focused, team service approach that is unlike any other.”

With an emphasis on delivering important and valuable advice on everything financial, McKinley Carter encourages professional development and certification among its employees as evident by their in-house designations which include Certified Financial Planners (CFPs), Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), Juris Doctor (JD), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF), Chartered Retirement Planning Counselors (CRPCs), Registered Paraplanners (RPs), and Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE).

In establishing its Top 100 List, the CNBC Digital editorial team, along with Meridian-IQ, first collected data from such entities as the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, state regulators, and state insurance commissioners focusing on the following criteria: assets under management, having staff with professional designations (CFP, CFA, etc.), work with third-party professionals (e.g. attorneys or CPAs), average account size, growth of assets, years in business, number of advisory clients, and providing advice on insurance solutions.

A very important step in their analysis was to apply the AdviceIQ Regulatory Compliance Review (RCR) process to their master list to remove from consideration any firm that had a record of complaints, actions, or disclosures from any regulator such as SEC, FINRA, state regulators, and state insurance commissioners.

In addition to investment management and trust services, McKinley Carter offers corporate retirement plan and nonprofit advisory services. “We stepped into these markets because we saw a void in services that we knew we could fill for clients,” Kathleen McDermott, director of Nonprofit Advisory Services, said. “We found there was a disconnect between organizations’ investment programs and the development of defined strategies to help them achieve their overall financial goals.”

Some examples of the value-added services McKinley Carter’s Nonprofit Advisory Services provides are endowment strategy, board governance consulting, and financial sustainability reviews.

“In today’s world, clients have access to a great deal of financial information and are looking for advisors who, not only understand the market, but also understand their unique situations, and make decisions with their goals in mind,” McKinley said. “But what truly sets us apart is that we have this whole team of highly qualified professionals that are available to support one another and collaborate with our clients’ outside tax and legal advisors to produce the best possible result for the client.”

The foundations of McKinley Carter were laid in the early years of the last decade when David McKinley (Wheeling, WV) and Will Carter (Charleston, WV) independently established companies to provide more comprehensive, accountable, and professional help for clients with their assets than was available from local banks, brokerage firms, money managers, and insurance agencies in their respective communities.

In 2007, their companies merged, with McKinley as President and Will Carter as Director of Wealth Management. Since then, McKinley Carter has recruited accomplished advisors from Pittsburgh, the Washington D.C. metro area, and Parkersburg WV, growing from 15 to nearly 40 employees and from $280 million to almost $900 million in assets under management.

McKinley Carter Wealth Services is an SEC-registered independent wealth management firm with offices in Pittsburgh, PA, Charleston, Parkersburg and Wheeling, W.Va, as well as Gaithersburg, MD. The firm provides Wealth Management and Trust Services for individuals and families committed to growing and protecting their wealth across multiple generations; Retirement Planning Services for businesses focused on the long-term financial success of their owners and employees; and Nonprofit Advisory Services for nonprofit organizations seeking long-term financial security and sustainability.

Link to the CNBC Top 100 Wealth Advisors List:

McKinley Carter is an SEC-registered investment adviser. For information pertaining to McKinley Carter’s fees and services, please contact McKinley Carter for a copy of our disclosure statement as set forth on our Form ADV. For information pertaining to our registration status, refer to the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website (

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