Selzer & Associates of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management expands to serve the Eastern Shore’s most successful and affluent residents

Written By: Jonathan Westman | Photographer: GRANT L. GURSKY, DANA BARTHOLOMEW

The Eastern Shore is not only one of the most desirable places to live in the country, it’s also home to a substantial collection of highly successful and affluent entrepreneurs, corporate executives and professionals. Their financial matters are vast, and their investment strategies are complex, all of which require dedicated wealth-management specialists to handle their affairs. 

For more than 20 years, the Merrill Lynch Wealth-Management team of Selzer & Associates has established a longstanding reputation for its ability to work directly with clients of substantial means. Based in West Ocean City and licensed in all 50 states, Christine and Brian Selzer specialize in custom income strategies and asset management for their clients. Their knowledge of portfolio diversification, estate planning and business-succession platforms, as examples, assist in administering educated, thorough and confidential management of the wealth entrusted to them. 

To this end, the team of Selzer & Associates has expanded through the hiring of veteran Wealth-Management Advisor Les Dennis and is currently welcoming new clients with significant capital. Qualified candidates must possess a minimum investment capability of $250,000.   

Christine Selzer, CFP®, is the Vice President and Senior Resident Director of wealth management of the firm. Highly educated and respected, Christine launched her wealth-management career with Edward Jones in 2000. Since arriving at Merrill Lynch in 2006, Christine has dedicated herself to serving generations of clients as their lives evolve. Christine is also a Certified Financial Planner and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Corporate Communications from the University of Baltimore and a Master of Science degree in Marketing & Finance from Johns Hopkins University.

Christine’s husband and colleague, Brian, is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor and Senior Financial Advisor who began his financial services career in 2005 and arrived at Merrill Lynch in 2006. Now in his 11th year with the firm, Brian helps clients determine the purpose of their wealth and the possible effects of various strategies on family members. He then provides investment recommendations for retirement and college savings, as well as social security and income-generation strategies. Brian attended Green Mountain College in Vermont. 

Selzer & Associates’ investment philosophies are centrally focused with those of their clients and open communication between the two parties serves to determine a balance of prioritized goals, future aspirations and risk tolerance. The Selzer & Associates Wealth-Management team further assesses their strategies by utilizing the Monte Carlo Simulation, a statistical formula that analyzes over 75,000 historical market cycles to calculate each portfolio’s probability of success. This data serves to as crucial information in determining which investment strategies are best suited for the client.  

“Other firms tend to use one model of investment as their general practice, but we actively manage our clients’ portfolios to best serve their financial needs,” Christine said. “It is a fluid process that includes current market factors and diversification through a number of products, including stocks, Maryland Municipal Bonds, Exchange Traded Funds, Mutual Funds and Market Linked Investments, for example, to align our clients’ assets strategically to their goals.”

Selzer & Associates’ talents are diversified, as well, to provide their clients multiple layers of guidance, including holistic planning for needs associated with insurance, accounting and estate planning; current trend and market-cycle analysis; and annual portfolio evaluations. The firm makes quarterly calls to clients and hosts semiannual to annual face-to-face meetings to discuss current needs and any potential modifications to their long-term goals.

Selzer & Associates also connects personally with their clients and families, hosting groups at Delmarva Shorebirds games and their annual crab feast.

Christine and Brian’s growing client base necessitated the addition of another key contributor to their team, and after a lengthy interview process, they chose Les Dennis to further assist enhance the firm. The addition of Dennis, a highly credentialed and experienced financial advisor celebrating his 20th year in wealth management, further enhances the services Selzer & Associates provides its clients. Les operates with the goal to enhance a client’s full balance sheet, from investments to credit and lending (through Bank of America, N.A.). With broad knowledge of risk management, business-succession and estate-planning strategies, land- and property-exchange tactics, phantom-interest and taxation strategies, Les often aligns his efforts with those of the firm’s specialists, and clients’ CPAs and attorneys.

Client associate Melanie Konoski has been with Bank of America and Merrill Lynch for more than 30 years and serves as the “point person” for clients’ administrative and account needs. Melanie brings her experience and energy to the office each day — delivering on the group’s commitment to provide clients with an exceptional measure of personal attention.

Outside the firm, Christine and Brian are dedicated advocates of a host of local charitable organizations, including Junior Achievement, the American Cancer Society and its Relay for Life initiative, Habitat for Humanity and the Worcester County Veterans’ Memorial (both of their fathers are military veterans). 

“We feel a commitment, too, to expose our sons to the importance of giving back to the community,” Christine said.

During the summer months, you can most often find the Selzer family at the Berlin Little League complex, cheering on Hunter, 15, and Ashton, 11, who are excellent baseball players, and teammates. Brian and Christine have been avid supporters and volunteers of the popular local organization for many years and make an annual family trip to Williamsport, PA, to enjoy the Little League World Series or to watch their beloved Orioles in Baltimore.




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