Our Team Formation Story

This year marks Jason's eighteenth year and Maralynn's fourth year as part of Waddell & Reed, and the tenth year of the team's financial planning partnership. To celebrate those milestones we'd like to share the story of how it all started.

In the fall of 2007, Mary Anne Smrz (a former Waddell & Reed advisor) and Jason attended the Waddell & Reed Regional Conference in St. Louis. Some sessions included presentations from other advisors on ways to work together as a team. After attending these sessions, they began to discuss a partnership as a way to better serve clients.

For the next three months, they did due diligence to make sure a partnership was the right fit for the business and, more importantly, for you the clients. They met weekly and worked from a book called, Tested in the Trenches. The book contains five key blueprinting exercises to: identify core values, find meaningful purpose, create a compelling vision for the future, develop personal and professional mission statements and set specific, measurable goals. Upon completing this twelve-week review, they knew they worked well together, and the partnership began. This process helped lay a solid foundation for what has been an exceptional partnership.

In 2016, Maralynn Kearney joined our team as the practice continues to grow, and we help so many others live their financial lives to the fullest. Maralynn's integrity and desire to make a difference in the lives of others bring an invaluable addition to the group.

In 2017, Mary Anne changed her role in the practice to work directly with Jason and Maralynn on a part-time basis on specific client and business needs.  In 2018, Mary Anne decided to retire from Waddell & Reed.   This allows Mary Anne some time for outside personal interests.

We share our story because it is important for you to know how we arrive at our values, purpose and mission statements. We believe what we do and what we stand for makes us unique. When we give financial advice, we remember these matters are near and dear to you and your life's values. Fluctuating markets, uncertain economic issues and ever-changing world events will continue to be with us. But what is in our control is clarity of vision for our lives. We believe people who have a financial life plan and a clear vision tend to live their lives with a greater sense of purpose, and they have an utter appreciation for what's important.

Our annual review meetings and on-going communication with you are critical to this process. If we understand changes in your lives, we can continue to serve in ways that can help fulfill your financial needs and help you move forward on your personal journey. Remember, when your values are clear, the decisions become easier.


Mary AnneSmrz acts as a non-registered associated person of Waddell & Reed, Inc. She is authorized to assist Financial Advisors with approved activities. She is prohibited from soliciting, creating a market or account for any securities, investment advisory or insurance services. These activities are the sole responsibility of the Financial Advisors, in addition she is not authorized to enter into any contractual obligations on behalf of Waddell & Reed, Inc. or otherwise bind the firm. 01/18