Francis G. Bitterly, CFP
Managing Director – Wealth Management
Senior Portfolio Management Director
For over 30 years, Fran has been dedicated to providing his clients with guidance, advice and support as they transition through the stages of wealth accumulation, wealth preservation and wealth transfer. Fran is committed to helping clients make wise and informed decisions about their money enabling them to achieve what is most important to them. Fran and his team provide a broad, comprehensive approach to helping clients address their financial lives and beyond. This comprehensive wealth management approach means more than just taking care of your investments. It also means addressing your advanced planning needs, including wealth enhancement, wealth transfer and charitable giving. Fran believes you owe it to your family and yourself to be sure that your investment plan – and overall wealth management plan – is designed to effectively address your very specific needs.
Fran spent the greater part of his professional career, 23 years, at Merrill Lynch Private Client group where he was recognized as a Senior Wealth Management Advisor and First Vice President of Investments. In 2008, Fran and his team transitioned to Morgan Stanley where he continues to focus on servicing the comprehensive needs of high net worth individuals, families, corporations and small institutions by utilizing the vast resources available at Morgan Stanley. Fran chooses to work only with those individuals that he believes he can make a meaningful impact on their financial lives and beyond – he wants to not only meet, but exceed their expectations. Fran has been entrusted with managing over $360,000,000 in client assets as of January 26, 2015.
Fran graduated from Rutgers University School of Management in 1984. He remains steadfast in his commitment to continually enhancing his knowledge and skill set. His level of professionalism is demonstrated through his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER designation and Board of Standards membership achieved in 2001.
Fran enjoys spending his spare time reading, golfing, walking his dogs and with his children. Fran and his wife, Lisa, have been married for over 27 years and have three daughters which have been their most valuable assets.
Wealth Management Associate
Miriam has been a key member of Fran’s team since 1995. She is responsible for executing on Fran’s investment philosophy and ensuring clients experience exceptional personal quality service. Miriam works closely with Fran to implement his investment consultative process and to provide clients with a comprehensive wealth management plan. Miriam is also focused on connecting clients with internal partners in lending and insurance to provide a broad range of solutions for clients as part of The Bitterly Group’s wealth management consultative approach.
Miriam’s tenured career has spanned over 34 years in the financial industry. She spent 30 years at Merrill Lynch before transitioning with Fran to Morgan Stanley* in 2008. Miriam holds her Series 7 and Series 66 securities licenses. Outside of work, Miriam enjoys spending her free time with her family and friends, especially her grandson, the newest addition to her family. She has been married for over 30 years and has two daughters. Miriam’s favorite pastimes include cooking, entertaining and photography.
Wealth Management Analyst
Jessica has been an integral part of The Bitterly Group since joining the team in 2011. She focuses on providing personalized and thorough customer service to all clients and contacts of The Bitterly Group. She is also responsible for facilitating the group’s wealth management consultative process. Jessica coordinates with Fran from the initial discovery or re-discovery meeting to the investment plan meeting leading to the advanced planning meetings and regular client reviews. She assists in collaborating with internal and external partners to ensure Fran provides clients with a comprehensive plan that is aligned with their financial and lifestyle goals.
Jessica began in the financial industry shortly after graduation from the University of Delaware in 2004. She has held various roles at U.S. Trust, Wachovia Securities, Morgan Stanley* and its predecessor firms before joining The Bitterly Group. Jessica is Series 7, 66, 31 licensed as well as State Life, Health and Disability Insurance licensed. She also holds the firm’s Financial Planning Associate designation and received her CRPC, Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, designation in February 2012. Jessica is active in the local community and served as a member of the Board of Trustees for Lunch Break in Red Bank for 6 years from 2008 - 2014. She enjoys spending her free time with her fiancé, family and friends. In her time outside of work, Jessica keeps active by running the boardwalk, skiing and practicing yoga.
Business Development Associate
Tim joined The Bitterly Group in August 2015. He plays a critical role on the team assisting Fran with the Portfolio Management accounts that the team oversees. Tim utilizes MS and third-party research to support the team’s investment thesis and selection of appropriate portfolio holdings. He seeks to find opportunities in the financial markets that add value to client’s portfolios along with continually reviewing client’s existing holdings. Tim previously spent 7 years at Morgan Stanley in a portfolio management role where he developed his skills that are essential to his current function of implementation of The Bitterly Group’s investment consulting process. He holds his Series 7, 66 and 31 securities licenses, along with his State Life, Health and Disability licenses.
Tim is a Rutgers University graduate earning his Bachelor of Administration degree in Economics and minor in Organizational Leadership in 2009. He currently lives in Hazlet, NJ and enjoys soccer, boxing and Brazilian jiu jitsu.
Clelia joined The Bitterly Group in March 2013. Her primary role is providing administrative support to clients as it relates to their accounts. She handles incoming calls, new account opening and paperwork, incoming account transfer paperwork, death and estate distributions, IRA distributions, check requests and many other tasks on the operational side of the financial advisory business. Clelia is a valued member of the team due to her attention to detail when multi-tasking her daily workflow and her flexibility in responding to the changing needs of the clients and team.
Clelia’s experience in the financial industry spans over twenty years. Prior to joining The Bitterly Group, she held positions at National Financial Services Corporation, Fidelity Investments, Aegis Capital and Merrill Lynch. Clelia has gained a keen insight on the financial markets from her various positions held on both the trading and brokerage sides of the industry. She holds her Series 7 and Series 66 securities licenses. Clelia enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She has been married for over twenty years and has two daughters.
Lisa has over 16 years of experience in the financial advisory industry. Following her graduation from The Pennsylvania State University, Lisa joined Merrill Lynch as a financial consultant and shortly thereafter became a member of their Executives Club. Lisa dedicated the subsequent years to the role of mother and took time from working in the office to working in the home to raise three daughters. Lisa also became involved in local community boards and charitable events. She served as Board President for the Rumson-Fair Haven High School Foundation from 2007-2008 and was a Board member of the Foundation from 2006-2011. She believes in giving back to the community and volunteers locally at the Monmouth County SPCA and Lunch Break.
Since returning to work for The Bitterly Group, Lisa’s day-to-day tasks focus on providing operational support to the team. Lisa is series 7 and series 66 registered. Keeping with the team’s consultative process, she manages client correspondence and executes on compliance and administrative items as it relates to client accounts. She supports a value-added approach and is committed to providing a high level of service and resolutions to client inquiries.
In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, racquet sports, gardening and the outdoors.