No. 14: Goran Bojovski

Firm: Merrill Lynch

AUM: $1.26 billion

Location: Edison, N.J

Age: 32

Note: This profile is part of a special series devoted to On Wall Street’s Top 40 Under 40 ranking for 2012. Every day we take a look at an advisor who made the list to find out the secrets of their success.

When Goran Bojovski was in college, investment banking was a popular choice. “I wanted to do something in the finance area, but I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do,” he recalls. At that point, Bojovski was offered a chance to get his “feet wet,” as he puts it, working with financial advisor Bruce Gsell.

“I started out as a client associate,” says Bojovski. “I supported the people on the team, talked to clients, and learned a lot, building a solid knowledge base.” He’s still there, still learning, and adding to his knowledge base: Bojovski recently added a CIMA to his CFP and CRPC designations. By now, he and Gsell are both senior financial advisors, heading the Gsell Group.

Bojovski’s store of knowledge is especially important because the Gsell Group has been designated by Merrill Lynch as a Premier Retirement Benefits Advisor Team, one of relatively few such teams within the firm, according to Bojovski. “We focus on corporate retirement plans, meeting with clients and their employees,” Bojovski says. “This helps to mitigate the client’s fiduciary responsibility. We work with corporate clients to build the investment menu and we educate their employees at these meetings.”

Bojovski reports that many plan participants follow up their meetings by coming to him for investment advice. “We’re not just a record keeper,” he says. “We’ll sit down with them and go over things like asset allocation, dollar-cost averaging and having a long-term time horizon for their retirement planning.”

Acquiring these designations has enabled Bojovski to become familiar with many retirement-related areas, such as distribution strategies and estate planning. “I’ll go over these topics with individual employees who participate in these plans,” he says. “When they see the designations, especially the CFP, they have a sense of security about the advice I’ll provide.”

Some of this advice is delivered to people with modest amounts in their portfolios. “They need our help to guide them in the right direction,” says Bojovski. “Even after the stock market gains of 2009 to 2012, many employees in these plans are still hesitant to invest in equities. I love what I do. I can give them assurance [that] they’ll be all right.”