Wealth management is the process of helping clients reach their goals while also managing risk. That merging of risk management and goal setting can also be applied to serving in the military. Scott Fitzenreiter can relate to both.

“There’s always risk, in whatever you do in the military, in addition to personal goals for the people who serve with you. That experience helped me make the transition to financial services,” says Fitzenreiter, senior vice president of the Slater King Fitzenreiter Group of Merrill Lynch in Washington, D.C.

Fitzenreiter started on his path while attending the University of Maryland, putting in long hours as a student and at a part-time job. “I heard from some friends who were with the Army Rangers,” he recalls, “so I applied for ROTC and received a scholarship.”

He later went to Ranger school, then joined a combat tour leading paratroopers in the 82nd Airborne Division. Finally, he took a posting as commanding officer of the Army’s Presidential Honor Guard Company.

By then, Fitzenreiter and his wife, Gina, had a small child, with another on the way. “I was looking for a career that would allow me to stay near home,” he says. “Some people in my unit and some others I knew mentioned financial services, so I interviewed with Merrill Lynch, among other companies.”

Ultimately, he accepted a position at Merrill’s office in his hometown of Greenbelt, Md. Fitzenreiter’s manager was William Slater, who eventually left to form his own firm. A few years later, Fitzenreiter joined Slater’s firm as a partner.

Fitzenreiter went to Wharton, earned a CIMA designation and went through Merrill’s accreditation process to become one of fewer than 85 advisors to hold the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Institutional Consultant title.

He has developed a focus on nonprofit groups, including foundations and endowments.

While working with nonprofits and individuals is similar, he says, “there are differences as well. Our clients who are nonprofits tend to have investment policy statements, with strict guidelines from a finance committee. Their time horizon is in perpetuity, yet they often have short-term as well as long-term goals. In the end, though, taking care of clients is like taking care of soldiers.”

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