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The Cefalu Group

Private Wealth Advisors


BOSTON, MA 02110


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About us

Joseph Cefalu

Joe has provided investment services and strategies to high and ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families since 1998. He began his wealth management career at Goldman Sachs, where he was an ultra-high-net-worth private client advisor. In 2003, he joined UBS, where he continued his focus as an accredited ultra-high-net-worth advisor. Over the course of his career, Joe has worked in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Boston.

Joe joined the Private Banking and Investment Group at Merrill Lynch in 2008, where he heads the Cefalu Group, a dedicated high and ultra-high-net-worth team. Joe, and his associated investment partners comprised of 24 professionals, and an extended team of wealth structuring specialists, work with individuals, families, family offices, and corporate executives throughout the United States in addressing their investment and wealth management needs.

Joe draws upon extensive corporate experience in serving the needs of business owners and executives. Prior to working in private banking, Joe was Managing Director of CRD Consulting, a strategy consulting firm, where he advised CEOs of Fortune 500, mid-cap, and emerging growth companies on issues of strategic positioning and market differentiation. Joe was also a senior management consultant with Coopers & Lybrand, LLC, where he advised CEOs and senior executives on enterprise and market strategy.

Joe holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business, and a B.S. in Business from Babson College. Joe Cefalu is a qualified Portfolio Manager who, in addition to providing traditional advice and gudiance, can help clients pursue their objectives by builidng and managing his own personalized or defined strategies, which may incorporate individual stocks and bonds, Merrill Lynch model portfolio, 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.

Joe serves on the Boards of Directors for The Celebrity Series of Boston, a performing arts and educational organization, as well for Noonan Scholars, whose mission is providing mentoring and educational scholarship opportunities for promising inner-city Boston area high school students. Joe also currently serves as a one-on-one youth mentor through Children’s Friend and Family Services. His past board of director service includes the YMCA, Little League, and private schools, as well as committee membership with Boston Children’s Theater.

Focused on Investment Performance

The Cefalu Group is distinctive in its emphasis on investment performance and accountability. We inherently recognize that prudent investment management drives wealth preservation and enhancement. Clients who select our team recognize the significant tangible value of investment results over time; we invite performance-based metrics in defining our competitive edge.

Our investment philosophy is anchored by wealth preservation and downside risk management. We eschew tradition-bound, generic, and rigid investment approaches, and seek to preserve simplicity and flexibility in our portfolios. In a dynamic and constantly changing marketplace, we work to assess the risk/reward opportunity set of varied investment choices in order to manage downside risk and achieve long-term tax-sensitive compounding of investment returns.

Deliberate in Scale and Scope

The Cefalu Group does not attempt to be all things to all people. We work with a select group of affluent clients who appreciate our highly personalized approach, our detailed knowledge of the issues posed by significant wealth, and our deliberate restraint in fostering an intimate relationship with a limited client base. Clients know us well, and we know them well. Clients have a one-to-one relationship with Joe Cefalu, our team leader, who is integrally involved with the management and execution of our services and offerings.

We typically work with clients who have investable assets exceeding $5 million and net worth exceeding $10 million. Public company CEOs, both current and former, represent a significant portion of clients.

Practical in Advice and Execution

Clients come to us seeking simplicity, not complexity. We work to streamline their range of wealth management decisions, applying our real-life experience and hands-on knowledge. By presenting clients with our “bottom line” analysis, we provide them with the knowledge and comfort they need to make informed, practical decisions. We see little value in “throwing the book” at clients, and overwhelming them with numerous exotic, but little used strategies.

Tapping our expansive network of Merrill Lynch strategic partners and specialists, we connect clients with a wider group of advisors who can provide them with the informed advice they need to manage a broad range of wealth management needs.

Neither Merrill Lynch nor its Financial Advisors provide tax, accounting or legal advice. Clients should review any planned financial transactions or arrangements that may have tax, accounting or legal implications with their personal professional advisors.

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