Perry G. Smith, CLU, ChFC
Perry holds a Bachelors degree from Auburn University in Biochemistry and a Masters in Human Resource Management from Troy University. In addition, Perry is a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®) and a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®). The CLU® designation is awarded to those advisors that have proven themselves to be experts in the insurance industry and the ChFC® designation is a post-graduate designation covering a wide range of financial planning topics, such as income taxation, retirement planning, investments and estate planning. In 2016, Perry celebrated his 40th anniversary working in the financial services industry.
When he’s not working with clients, Perry serves the National Guard. Holding the rank of Major General, in 2011, Perry was appointed to be The Adjutant General (TAG) of the Alabama Army and Air National Guards.
Perry lives in Opelika with his wife Ann. They have two children and seven grandchildren. Perry and Ann attend Trinity United Methodist Church in Opelika. In his spare time, Perry loves to fish and spend time at his cabin on Lake Martin with friends and family.
Nathan A. Kastner, CFP®
Certified Financial Planner™ professional
Co-founder Nathan Kastner joined Smith-Kastner Wealth after graduating from Auburn University in December 2004. He holds Bachelors degrees in both Business Administration and Economics. After graduating, Nathan enrolled in the Certified Financial Planning™ program at the University of Georgia. In 2009, he was awarded the CFP® designation after completing the 2-day, 10-hour examination in the fields of financial planning, risk management, investments, tax planning and management, retirement and employee benefits, and estate planning. The CFP® designation is the most widely recognized designation in the financial industry.
Nathan is a native of Opelika, where his parents (David & Kathie) still live. He now lives with his wife, Brooke, in Auburn. They have one son, John David, and attend First United Methodist Church of Opelika, the church in which Nathan attended as a child. When not working, Nathan enjoys hunting, saltwater fishing and lounging on the beach with his family.
Robert is an attorney practicing in the areas of estate planning, probate and choice of business entities.
Originally a graduate of Louisiana State University, Robert earned a Ph.D. in Forestry from Virginia Tech in 1980 and taught at Auburn University in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences for 36 years. More recently, he has instructed in the disciplines of estate planning, property law, choice of business entity, timber tax and agricultural law.
Not satisfied with his already extensive education, in 1997 Robert earned a Juris Doctor from the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law at Faulkner University. He then went on to the University of Alabama, receiving a Masters of Law in Taxation (LL.M) in 2005.
Even after retiring from teaching, Robert still works with the Auburn University Cooperative Extension Service, regularly traveling all over the State of Alabama offering free estate planning seminars to farmers and land owners.
Robert and his wife, Cindy, live in Auburn with their two dogs, whom they regard as children. Robert remains active by rowing and cycling.
Our Back Office Specialists
Through our relationship with the ValMark Companies, we have access to an experienced support team with credentials spanning multiple financial disciplines – from legal, accounting, tax and financial advisory expertise to life insurance, retirement planning and securities. This team of over 100 professionals serves as our back office support staff. A sample representation of the team’s credentials includes:
AN UNDERWRITING ADVOCACY TEAM with several former insurance company underwriting vice presidents, directors and medical directors, a licensed physician, and a senior staff of case management, business processing and policy service specialists.
PRODUCT / PLANNING SPECIALISTS AND ADVANCED CASE ADVISORS, including a team of attorneys, accountants, MBAs, Certified Financial Planners™, Chartered Life Underwriters®, and Chartered Financial Consultants®, many of whom are FINRA Registered Principals who provide independent assessment and analysis of recommended product sets.
MICHAEL MCCLARY, MBA
Michael McClary is the Chief Investment Officer of ValMark Advisers, Inc. and ValMark Financial Group, LLC. His primary responsibility is coordinating all investment management solutions for ValMark Advisers and ValMark Institutional, including TOPS®, TOPS® Strategic Allocation Portfolios, TOPS® Managed Risk ETF Portfolios and ValMark ACCESS™ and ACCESS™ Plus solutions. Mr. McClary was named by EFTReport as one of “10 Rising Stars” in 2012 and one of “10 All Stars” in 2014. He is nationally recognized as one of the first three memebrs of the IMN/Research Magazine “ETF Advisors Hall of Fame” in 2007 and is regularly published on ETF.com. In addition, he has collaborated with the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger’s, Financial Advisor, and Research Magazine, to name a few, on ETF-related topics and has been a featured speaker for organizations such as the S&P and the Financial Planning Association. Mr. McClary holds FINRA series 7, 24 and 66 securities registrations, is a Member of the Cleveland Society of Chartered Financial Analysts®, and is a Registered Investment Advisor. He earned an MBA in Financial Management and a BBA in Finance in Financial Services, Magna Cum Laude, both from the University of Akron.
CHRIS FINEFROCK, MBA, CFP®
Chris Finefrock is the Vice President of Financial Planning for our partner, ValMark Financial Group. In his role, he oversees and is a resource for the team responsible for all aspects of design and implementation of various brokerage, insurance and advisory solutions intended to assist investors with risk management and reaching their accumulation and/or distribution goals. In addition to his FINRA series 7, 24 and 66 securities registrations and his Ohio Life, Health and Variable licenses, Mr. Finefrock holds a bachelor’s degree in Financial Services and an MBA in Finance from the University of Akron. He is also a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™.
Chris Bottaro is the Vice President of Insurance Services for our partner, ValMark Financial Group. He is responsible for the vision, strategy and execution of life insurance underwriting and new business initiatives. Formerly, Mr. Bottaro was an Underwriting Account Executive at Lincoln Financial Group where he led a team of 25 underwriters and new business associates through strategic initiatives aimed at making the life insurance process simpler and more efficient for advisors and their clients. He has an MBA from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts and holds FINRA Series 6 and 26 securities registrations.
MARK ARMSTRONG, CLU®, ChFC®
Mark Armstrong is the Vice President of Insurance Marketing for our partner, ValMark Financial Group. He has more than 25 years of financial services management experience, including 20 years as an executive-level consultant, specializing in product analysis and development and advanced case design. Mr. Armstrong is also a published author and lecturer who has been featured in publications and at venues including the Journal of Practical Estate Planning; Best’s Review; Journal of Financial Services Professionals; Million Dollar Round Table International Convention; and the Palm Beach Estate Planning Forum. He earned both a BA and an M.A. in Economics from the University of Akron and his designations and professional affiliations include Chartered Life Underwriter® and Charter Financial Consultant® (American College); Fellow with Distinction (Life management Institute); FINRA Series 7, 24, 63 securities registrations; and Life, Health, Variable Life Insurance and Annuity licenses.