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Our Story

McKinley Carter Wealth Services roots begin with David H. McKinley, who, after working for a decade in the financial services industry in Wheeling, West Virginia, envisioned building an independent, multi-site investment advisory and financial planning firm. He wanted to create a firm small enough to provide highly personalized care, but large enough to provide technical expertise, continuity of care, and economies of scale.

2003: As a first step toward this vision, McKinley decided to break away from his broker-dealer affiliation and registered as an independent RIA (Registered Investment Advisory firm) regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

McKinley formed a partnership with Will Carter, a lawyer who, dissatisfied with the quality of services available to him and his clients, had formed Kanawha Investment and Trust Company in 2002 to provide a more comprehensive, independent, and proactive approach to wealth management in Charleston, West Virginia. McKinley and Carter recognized that their different professional and business backgrounds were complementary and McKinley Carter Wealth Services ("McKinley Carter") was born.

McKinley Carter opened an office in the greater Pittsburgh area by partnering with Brian T. Gongaware's NetWorth Investment Advisors, based in Wexford, PA. This merger added extensive investment management experience to an already accomplished investment staff.

2013: The firm opened an office in downtown Parkersburg, West Virginia – further expanding the firm’s geographic footprint in “The Mountain State.”

In December 2013, the firm announced its expansion into the DC Metro market through the addition of Brian Lipton's YellowWood Financial Advisors (YWFA), located in Gaithersburg, MD.

2020: McKinley Carter expands into southwestern Ohio through the addition of LifePlan Financial Group in Dayton, OH, in September 2020. This acquisition grows the firm's advisory team by 25% and adds $350 million to its assets under management, for a total of $1.8 billion.

2020-21: To meet the increasing needs of our growing client base, the Charleston, WV office expands its geographical service area to include the city of Parkersburg and surrounding region.

McKinley Carter's six offices serve individuals, families, businesses, and nonprofits in 41 different states, the District of Columbia, as well as one foreign country. The company has built a team of professional advisors and operations staff members with a broad array of advanced financial experience and credentials in investments, insurance, estate planning, law, accounting/finance, real estate, business/career planning, retirement planning, and banking services.

Who We Are

  • As fiduciaries, our advisors are legally obligated to serve your best interests and avoid conflicts of interest.
  • As coaches, we are committed to building your capacity to advance those financial objectives that only you can perform.
  • As financial strategists and coordinators, our advisors help you design and take the actions needed to secure the services you need to take the best possible care of your total financial situation.
  • As astute observers of markets, politics, technology, and demographics, our advisors will help you assess the impact of global forces on your assets, your community, and your peace of mind.

Throughout all we do, our commitments to our clients are kept foremost in our minds, as we help each to "master their wealth."

* Pictured above is the MCWS Leadership Team of (from left) Chief Administrative Officer Lori Payne, President/Chief Investment Officer David McKinley, Principal/Director of Advisory Services Brian Gongaware, and Director of Wealth Management/Regional Director Ty Phillippi.

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