Four Distinguishing Factors

Independent Fiduciaries

As an independent, privately-held firm, GFS Private Wealth is accountable only to you. In our role as fiduciaries, we are held to the highest ethical standard—namely, our actions must always be in our your best interest. To maintain objectivity, we do not sell any financial products or receive commissions from third party companies. This helps ensure that our interests are aligned with yours.

Uniform Approach

Our professionals work together to bring our families thoughtful counsel. This culture of collaboration is seen in every process and allows us to draw from the full talent and resources of our staff. Client portfolios are managed by a committee of professionals and financial planning is accomplished by a team of specialists. Every family receives the benefit of our collective expertise.

Relationship-Based Service

Our commitment to an exceptional client experience is visible in everything we do. We assign a dedicated service professional to each family as their primary point of contact, so that when you call or come by our office, you will have a sense of familiarity and understanding. This approach allows us to stay in sync with your family and to be proactive as life events occur.

Family Governance

Wealth encompasses more than just financial capital; it includes the values and legacy objectives passed down from one generation to the next. Family governance is the process by which the tangible and intangible components of wealth are preserved for future generations. By facilitating family meetings and advising on systems of family governance, we will work with you to prepare the next generation to be good stewards of wealth, and to play their role when the time comes.

Our Investment Philosophy

Achieving financial goals is often the result of combining purposeful planning with disciplined execution. Biases in human behavior cause investors to abandon solid strategies at inopportune moments, which creates a gap in returns between what the market delivers and what the investor earns.

By leveraging the discipline and structure of our investment approach, we can help you close this gap and capture the wealth-building potential of the financial markets, while always keeping your tolerance for risk in focus.

  • Discipline

    Discipline is paramount to successful investing.  Our investment committee has decades of experience navigating every kind of market cycle, all of which require discipline and focus.

  • Multi-Asset Class

    Investment opportunities exist in a broad array of asset classes, from stocks and bonds to real estate and commodities.  By having exposure to a cross-section of asset classes, we can capture returns from all facets of the global market.

  • Diversification

    Academic theory has shown that a portfolio composed of different kinds of investments will, on average, yield higher returns and experience lower volatility than any individual investment in the portfolio.  We apply this concept across client portfolios and are always looking for new opportunities to diversify risk and enhance returns.

  • Tax Efficiency

    We know that what matters most is not how much you earn, but how much you keep.  That’s why we utilize low-cost, tax-efficient investments such as Exchange Traded Funds, and constantly monitor client portfolios for rebalancing opportunities.

  • Rebalancing

    Rebalancing is the process of bringing the various asset class percentages back in line with their target weightings.  This is done to control risk and to take advantage of near-term market turbulence.

  • Experience

    Our committee of experienced investment professionals meets regularly to review market research and discuss emerging trends.  We have been through all kinds of market cycles and can help you become a disciplined investor, whether you are new to investing or have been investing for decades.

In The Community

Focusing on wealth management and legacy planning, GFS Private Wealth provides solutions to families that address some of their most important issues. But our contributions don't end there. Having national reach, we also play an active role in strengthening the quality of life in other parts of the country and in the communities where we live and work.

Who We Are

Greg A. Willsey, CFP®

Principal | Managing Partner

Greg Willsey is a co-founder, Principal and Managing Partner of GFS Private Wealth.  Upon graduation from The Ohio State University with a finance major, Greg began his career as an accountant with the DuPont Company.  He moved to Clearwater in 1986 and spent 25 years as an Investment Advisor with both Merrill Lynch and the Royal Bank of Canada.  He earned his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation in 2002.  In addition to leadership roles managing locations in Clearwater and St. Petersburg, Greg was a faculty member for Merrill Lynch, teaching financial planning to other advisors.  In 2012, he started GFS Private Wealth, LLC, a fee-only registered investment advisory firm, with his partner and wife, Sandra Nesbit.  In addition to being an advisor at the firm, Greg also chairs the Investment Committee.

 

In addition to raising five children, Greg is very active in the community.  He is the past President of the Board of the Florida Gulf Coast Art Center and a past Commodore of Carlouel Yacht Club.  Greg and Sandra are passionate supporters of Ruth Eckerd Hall, most recently serving as the hosts of the annual fundraising gala.  When not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife and family, sailing, and any activity on or around the water.

Sandra L. Nesbit, CES™,  CDFA™

Principal | Managing Partner

Sandra L. Nesbit is a Co-founder, Principal, and Managing Partner of GFS Private Wealth.  Sandra began her career in the financial services industry at IDS Company in 1992.  IDS was an early adopter of financial planning and recognizing its impact for clients.  She took her knowledge to Merrill Lynch in 1994.  She was instrumental in the development of the firm’s financial planning tools and in training the advisors the benefits of using planning in their business.  Sandra partnered with Greg Willsey in 1997 at Merrill Lynch.

 

In 2012, they left the brokerage industry, and today they lead a successful fee-only wealth management RIA practice, GFS Private Wealth, LLC.  In addition to firm leadership, her focus is Total Wealth planning for affluent individuals and their families, specializing in the areas of legacy planning, including wealth transfer, and conducting family governance meetings.  In 2015, under Sandra’s direction, the firm started Mainsail Family Trust, a Trust Representative Office of National Advisor Trust Company.  Sandra is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ as well as a Certified Estate and Trust Specialist™.  Sandra is a director of National Advisors Trust Company, Overland Park, Kansas.  She also serves on the Governance Committee.

 

She is married to her business partner, Greg Willsey.  Sandra and Greg are active in their community.  They are passionate supporters of the performing arts center, Ruth Eckerd Hall, most recently chairing its annual gala.  She enjoys golfing, the water and is an avid sailor and boater.

Ashley Vice, CFA, CFP®

Family Wealth Advisor | Assistant Vice President

Ashley Vice joined GFS Private Wealth in August 2013, and has over twelve years of experience in the wealth management industry.  He began his career as a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch and most recently held a senior analyst position at Franklin Templeton Investments.  He is a CFA charterholder and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.  He earned a BS in Finance from Southeastern University and an MBA from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Eric Tolle

Business Manager

Eric Tolle joined GFS Private Wealth in January 2013, and has thirteen years of experience in the wealth management industry.  He began his career as a Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley and spent eight years with JP Morgan Chase as a Private Client Banker.  Eric earned a BSBA in Finance from The Ohio State University and an MBA from the University of South Florida.

Adela Africano

Senior Wealth Service Specialist

Adela Africano has over 20 years of experience in the wealth management industry.  She started working with the partners of GFS Private Wealth in 2000, and after a brief hiatus, returned to the firm in 2014.  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of South Florida.

Cary Shaw

Senior Client Service Manager

Cary Shaw joined GFS Private Wealth in January 2013 and has over ten years of experience in the finance industry, having worked in trading and customer service positions at large brokerage firms.  She has a bachelor’s degree from Austin Peay State University.

Tiffany Giancaterino

Senior Client Service Manager

Tiffany Giancaterino joined GFS Private Wealth in September 2013 as a Client Service Administrator.  Prior to joining GFS, Tiffany worked at FrankCrum for more than six years as a Sales Support Coordinator and Business Development Specialist.  She is currently a Notary Public in the State of Florida and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from St. Petersburg College.

Jessica Duxstad

Client Service Manager

Jessica Duxstad is a Clearwater native. She joined the GFS Private Wealth team in 2015 with eight years of experience in the customer service industry and a strong management background. She is currently attending St. Petersburg College.

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