The Botkin Group - Morgan Stanley Team - Upper St Clair, PA
Morgan Stanley
The Botkin Group
at Morgan Stanley
2600 Old Washington Rd.
Suite 200
Upper St Clair, PA 15241
tel: (412) 854-3930
toll-free: (800) 533-7037
fax: (412) 833-0363
Left to right: Sara Botkin, Lester P. Botkin, Lester H. Botkin

In the summer of 2001, Les Botkin urged daughter Sara to join his financial planning practice. “I knew that having a continuation plan for clients was essential, and I wanted the mutual trust that comes with having a family team,” he says.

Sara was living in New York City at the time working for AON Corporation on the 105th floor of the south tower of the World Trade Center. “Dad’s offer was intriguing,” she recalls, “but I wasn’t ready to leave New York.” On the morning of September 11, Sara was in the World Trade Center waiting for her elevator when the first plane struck the north tower. “I heard the boom and didn’t immediately know what had happened,” she remembers. “After a few seconds, people around me began to run out of the building, panicked, and I followed. I didn’t have a cell phone at the time, and it took me 20 minutes to find an available pay phone. The first person I called was my dad.”

Les’s advice was to go immediately home to her apartment, and then to move home to Pittsburgh. “I was ready,” says Sara. “Surviving September 11 made me realize what was most important in life, and made me want to be near family.”

The father-daughter team forged a successful financial planning partnership at local firm Hefren-Tillotson and in 2007 they moved their practice to Morgan Stanley*. “The worldwide resources at Morgan Stanley* are unmatched,” Les says. “We have access to the most powerful research, technology and financial planning tools in the industry, and this allows us to serve our clients at the highest level.”  Both Les and Sara are Certified Financial Planner certificants.

As the Botkins’ client base expanded, so did their team: son/brother Lester joined them in 2007 after spending five years in the United States Marine Corps as an aerial navigator on KC-130 aircraft, serving in the war in Iraq, and graduating summa cum laude with a B.A. in economics from The Ohio State University.  He is currently a Level 2 CFA candidate.

“It’s a family business that’s poised to serve current and future generations of our clients,” says Les.

The Botkin Group begins each new client relationship with a comprehensive financial plan. “We ask a prospective client to bring a number of items to our initial meeting: recent statements of all investment accounts, pension and social security estimates, and estate planning documents,” explains Sara. “Then we talk about what you dream of achieving. When would you like to retire, and what would you like to do during retirement? Are there shorter term financial goals for which you’d also like to plan?” Based on clients’ needs and goals, The Botkin Group creates a personalized, written plan with clear recommendations for savings, investment, spending and risk management strategies. “There is no fee for the plan,” Sara continues. “It’s a way for us to get to know the prospective client, and for the client to have a feel for how we would work together. If, after reviewing the plan together, both parties are comfortable, we move forward and begin an advisory relationship.”

Clients’ financial plans are monitored and updated as needed, and clients can expect regular contact through quarterly phone calls, annual in-person review meetings, email updates and frequent opportunities to attend educational dinner seminars presented by The Botkin Group. “Ongoing communication is essential to success and maintaining client relationships,” says Lester.

The Botkin Group has been featured on KDKA radio, WPXI-TV’s Our Region’s Business, PCNC-TV’s NightTalk and on Cornerstone Television. They have written articles on investing which have appeared in magazines including Boomers, Upper St. Clair Today and US Airways. Readers of Pittsburgh Magazine have voted Les and Sara in 2010 two of the area’s “Five Star Best in Client Satisfaction Wealth Managers.”*

If you are retired or nearing retirement, or are a business owner interested in a review of your company’s retirement plan, contact The Botkin Group at 412-854-3940 for a complimentary consultation.

*Five Star Professional, as a third-party research firm, administers a survey, by mail and phone, to 1 in 4 high-net-worth households and registered financial services representatives to evaluate the wealth managers in a metropolitan area. The evaluation is based on nine criteria, including customer service, integrity, knowledge/expertise, communication, value for fee charged, meeting of financial objectives, post sale service, quality of recommendations, and overall satisfaction. After review by a panel of local industry experts and a review of regulatory history, Five Star Professional determines the final list of Five Star Wealth Managers scoring highest in overall satisfaction and representing less than 7% of the wealth managers in the metropolitan area. 
- Five Star Wealth Managers do not pay a fee to be included in the research or the final list of Five Star Wealth Managers.
- Only wealth managers with more than five years of experience in the financial services industry are considered.
- The overall evaluation score of a wealth manager reflects an average of all respondents and may not be representative of any one client's experience.
- The Five Star award is not indicative of the Financial Advisor's future performance.
- Wealth managers may or may not use discretion in their practice and therefore may not manage their clients’ assets.
- The inclusion of a wealth manager on the Five Star Wealth Manager list should not be construed as an endorsement of the wealth manager by Five Star Professional.
- Neither Morgan Stanley* nor its Financial Advisors pay a fee to Five Star Professional in exchange for the rating.
- Please keep in mind that working with a Five Star Wealth Manager is no guarantee as to the future investment success nor is there any guarantee that the selected wealth managers will be awarded this accomplishment in the future. For more information on the Five Star Award and the research/selection methodology, go to:

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