The Iles Schropp Group

Global Institutional Consulting


Every institution is unique, with its own specific purpose, objectives and concerns. The Iles Schropp Group understands the challenges your organization faces in pursuing your mission and goals. As wealth management professionals with experience on the board of directors and committees of nonprofit organizations, we can bring insight and empathy to our relationships with institutional clients across the tax-exempt spectrum. We also maintain a significant wealth management advisory practice for individual clients and their families, as part of Merrill Lynch's Private Banking and Investment Group.

Scott A. Schropp is among an exclusive group of 84 Merrill Lynch financial advisors nationally (as of June 2016) who have been designated as global institutional consultants, after undergoing a rigorous selection process, including a comprehensive, multidimensional professional assessment. Global institutional consultants are required to possess professional credentials, such as the Certified Investment Management AnalystSM (CIMA®) or the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) designation.

Supported by team members Ryan D. Iles and Wesley Schropp, and the rest of the team, Scott can deploy a sophisticated skill set. A disciplined investment and problem-solving approach enables the team to offer services to a wide range of institutions, with a focus on foundations, endowments and other nonprofit entities.

Beyond our own experience, we offer access to the deep intellectual capital and broad capabilities of a global leader, Bank of America Merrill Lynch. If your organization has a specific need, we can connect with the right people and resources to help you. As we help you navigate toward your future goals, we can make a large financial institution feel much more accessible. Education is central to our approach. Team members hold a number of designations that represent a commitment to expanding our knowledge in order to serve clients better.

The Iles Schropp Group difference is that we care deeply about helping our clients meet their goals and fulfill their missions. We demonstrate this daily by our diligence, responsiveness and commitment to lifelong learning.

"We offer boutique-style attentiveness and accessibility combined with the global perspective and industry experience of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Our team is passionate about helping clients strengthen and grow their organization, and helping these institutions fulfill their goals and missions."

Scott A. Schropp, CAP®, CIMA®, CTFA
Managing Director--Wealth Management
Global Institutional Consultant

Global Institutional Consulting

Global Institutional Consulting is one of the top investment consulting providers in the United States. It puts the resources and intellectual capital of Bank of America Merrill Lynch to work for its clients by delivering objective advice and sophisticated investment solutions through focused, client-centric consulting teams. Global Institutional Consulting's highly experienced advisors help a diverse group of institutional clients address today's complex investment challenges through an integrated goals-based and message-based investment process that enables organizations to redefine success, manage risk and fulfill their missions.

We're committed to institutional excellence

The Iles Schropp Group has a number of large, strategic relationships with public and private foundations, endowments and other not-for-profit organizations primarily located in the Midwest. Our team members draw upon their many combined years of financial services experience. This professional experience, coupled with our personal experience serving on boards and committees, provides meaningful insight in working with boards, investment committees and chief financial officers and key members of an organization.

We believe that clients choose us because they want customized investment strategies, not a standardized package of investment products. In addition, we feel they appreciate the characteristics that distinguish our team.

Client Benefits

  • Our mission is simple: to help institutional investors pursue their missions through insightful investment guidance. Our passion for assisting organizations is evident in both our professional and our private lives.
  • Scott is active in his community and in numerous nonprofit organizations, serving on boards or investment committees. This involvement gives him important insight into the challenges that trustees face and the different ways in which boards address those challenges. Scott brings this insight to his work with clients and believes this helps him interact effectively with clients' boards. He is a member of the following organizations: Council of Michigan Foundations, National Planned Giving Council, Association of Fundraising Professionals and Council on Foundations. In addition, he is on the Board of the Michigan Nonprofit Association.

We listen

  • Board members and executive directors wear many hats. To assist them in fulfilling their varied roles, we conduct robust discussions to help determine the strategies intended to effectively move them toward their goals.
  • We work together to determine the particular issues clients face with regard to their organizations' missions and finances, and to lay out the pros and cons of possible courses of action.

We educate clients and ourselves

  • The institutional landscape is constantly changing. We strive to be thought leaders who stay abreast of new ideas and the regulations and issues that affect clients.
  • We attend national conferences on wealth management and philanthropic planning and continually read about and research industry best practices to give board members a broad perspective in creating their own policies and strategies.
  • It's not just a onetime process. We educate board members when there's a turnover and teach them how to build awareness of their organization and its mission in the community.

We take a hands-on approach

  • Recognizing that each client is unique, we take personal ownership of every relationship, from the request for proposal through the first conversation and the discovery process to quarterly performance meetings.
  • We visit clients in person as often as necessary and are part of the process from beginning to end. The result is consistency and a continuity of strategic advice and support.
  • We draw on our experience to help board members make the difficult decisions required to pursue their organizations' missions and long-term goals.

"Many institutions think a consultant's role is limited to number crunching. Our services go beyond that. We take a hands-on consultative approach and introduce institutional clients to ideas from other nonprofit advisory boards. We also help them engage with the professionals in their local community for assistance in educating donors about legacy planning, gifting annuities, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts and a variety of other topics."

Scott A. Schropp, CAP®, CIMA®, CTFA
Managing Director-Wealth Management
Private Wealth Advisor
Global Institutional Consultant

Our Services

We understand that members of endowment and foundation boards and investment committees have a significant responsibility with respect to the assets under their care. To complicate matters, many entities are managed by private trustees who may not have the time, resources or expertise required to develop, implement and monitor a disciplined, long-range investment strategy. Scott Schropp, supported by members of The Iles Schropp Group, have made investment consulting for not-for-profit organizations a central part of the team's practice. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, they are well positioned to help institutions explore the issues they face from multiple perspectives.

We can work with trustees, directors and investment committee members on:

  • Fund-raising and capital campaigns
  • Donor growth strategies
  • Planned-giving strategies, tailored to various market and economic conditions
  • Board and staff education on best practices, including those involving compliance policies and governance and administration
  • Grant-making policies

Outsourced CIO Services

Outsourced CIO services allows institutional investors to delegate the day-to-day management of their entire portfolios to Bank of America through Global Institutional Consulting. This, in turn, leverages the firm's institutional resources, governance and research depth to seek predictable and consistent investment performance in line with an institution's goals. The Iles Schropp Group offers access to a spectrum of OCIO solutions ranging from client-directed implementation to fully discretionary service, with the institution's needs and preferences driving the recommended solutions.*

Socially Responsible Investing

For those organizations that want to have a portion of their investments aligned with their social concerns, we can help create and implement investment portfolios consistent with their humane, moral and environmental values.

The Iles Schropp Group serves a wide range of institutional clients that are classified as tax-exempt charitable organizations under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code

  • Mission-based social services organizations
  • Hospitals and other health care foundations
  • College and secondary school endowments
  • Public and private foundations
  • Community foundations
  • Family offices

* The OCIO product offering is an established investment program offering delivered through the U.S. Trust portfolio management team and investment services are performed by that same team. Global Institutional Consultants offer access to these services

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

Merrill Lynch offers a broad range of brokerage, investment advisory and other services, including insurance and investment analytics. Our advisors are available to work closely with the clients' other trusted advisors, including accountants and attorneys. We can provide access to trust and estate planning services through Bank of America specialists.

Our skilled, knowledgeable team

In serving institutional clients, we go beyond simply helping to build a portfolio. We take a broad view that incorporates the many elements of an organization's investment picture: asset growth, cash flow, risk management, tax liability and other issues. Our in-depth understanding of the challenges and constraints organizations face enables us to fulfill a "big picture" advisory role and help clients maintain a long-term perspective. Through responsive, personalized service and sophisticated support, we seek to help simplify and streamline the investment management process, freeing up clients' time for other priorities.

  • Scott A. Schropp, CAP®, CIMA®,

    Managing Director - Wealth Management
    Private Wealth Advisor
    Global Institutional Consultant

  • Ryan D. Iles, CFP®, CIMA®
    First Vice President – Wealth Management
    Financial Advisor

  • Wesley F. Schropp, CFP®
    Financial Advisor

  • Mary Leahy Rankey, CFP®
    Private Wealth Relationship Manager

  • Nicholas Cooper, CFP®, CAIA
    Private Wealth Analyst

  • Teri Jenkins
    Senior Private Wealth Associate

  • Sherry Spence
    Senior Private Wealth Associate

  • Sara Rabideau
    Registered Senior Client Associate

Working for you

  • Acting as a liaison between institutional clients and Merrill Lynch’s IPS service, which creates and modifies an IPS, based on the client's investment goals and objectives.
  • Monitoring the performance of the asset allocation and investment managers relative to the objectives established in the investment policy statement
  • Leveraging the intellectual capital of Merrill Lynch to craft customized, forward-looking strategic asset allocation models that consider a committee's risk tolerance, the organization's financial position, its return objectives and potential impacts on budgets and spending needs
  • Educating trustees on investment matters to help enhance their ability to meet their fiduciary responsibilities

About GIC

Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Institutional Consulting draws upon a powerhouse of sophisticated investment consulting capabilities, resident in a firm with rich global financial solutions and capabilities. Our rigorously trained Global Institutional Consultants subscribe to a philosophy that reaches beyond the investments and is designed to help organizations ultimately redefine success, manage risk and focus on the real goal—the ability to fulfill their mission.

Global Institutional Consulting provides a full suite of investment solutions including portfolio strategies, investment consulting services, retirement solutions and institutional philanthropic management to more than 2,000 clients, ranging from family offices to nonprofit organizations to retirement systems, representing over $145 billion in institutional assets1.

Global Institutional Consulting Advantage

The Power of the Right Organization Drawing on the global expertise and singular focus, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Institutional Consulting dates back 40 years which makes us one of the country's largest and oldest institutional consulting groups. You can count on thoughtful, independent and research-driven advice delivered with your interest at its core.

We draw upon the full resources of the Investment Management & Guidance (IMG) group, which includes professionals that drive investment consulting research. Our research efforts are also supported by BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research, which has been ranked as the # 1 Top Global Research Firm by Institutional Investor.*

We also leverage Merrill Lynch's Alternative Investments Group, which has one of the largest and longest standing alternative investment capabilities in the industry, with client balances of approximately $47.2 billion in alternative investment products and over 100 industry professionals in several offices around the globe, who provide clients with sourcing, due diligence, selection, implementation and ongoing monitoring, as of September 30, 2016.

The Power of the Right Consultant Understanding the enduring value of a relationship based on trust, we are dedicated to meeting the needs of institutional clients and providing them with guidance to help navigate the complex institutional market while addressing their financial objectives and goals. We bring a coordinated team of consulting professionals with deep backgrounds in finance and investments.

The Power of the Right Approach Mobilizing all that Bank of America Merrill Lynch can do for you, our institutional consultants offer an innovative, robust, and customized suite of investment solutions and strategies for institutional clients—capitalizing on our global scale to stay abreast of changing market conditions. The result is a dynamic investment portfolio that is timely and timeless—reflective of the daily conditions of the marketplace, yet grounded in sound market fundamentals. We have been leaders in advocating open architecture investment solutions for institutions, solutions that are rooted in deep analysis and the extensive global resources. We provide institutional investors with innovative strategies tailored to their distinct financial goals.

1 As of January, 2016.

*Institutional Investor, December 2016

Capabilities Platform


Strategic planning and the development of effective investment governance structures


Spending policy analysis


Asset/liability modeling


Investment Policy Statement Coordination


Investment strategy implementation

  • Strategic asset allocation studies, including alternative asset classes

  • Portfolio construction

  • Investment manager search/selection

  • Due diligence, both quantitative and qualitative

  • Ongoing performance monitoring

  • Manager performance analysis, attribution analysis

  • Portfolio risk studies and market risk evaluations

  • Presentations and briefings to oversight committees


Board and committee education

  • Global investments and markets

  • Best practices

BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research, as well as third–party research


Donor development and fund raising


Support requests from auditors and examiners


Trust and custody arrangements

Global Resources

Investing in an increasingly interconnected world requires deep global research capabilities. Institutional clients require both macroeconomic perspectives, as well as robust investment manager research to implement both short- and long-term strategic goals and tactical portfolio adjustments.

Global Institutional Consultants draw upon the intellectual capital, robust due diligence and world-class research capabilities of BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research.1

Manager Selection and Due Diligence

Due diligence is rooted in the Merrill Lynch culture and history. Merrill Lynch's Investment Management and Guidance (IMG) team is chiefly responsible for due diligence reviews, portfolio construction strategies, ongoing performance measurement and diagnostic analysis. This team is designed to help institutional clients select the best possible asset managers and related portfolio services. The due diligence analysts work in teams defined by asset class and investment style and use an eight-factor quantitative and qualitative model to conduct rigorous reviews.

Investment Research

BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research is a renowned, highly respected organization focusing on three main disciplines:

  • Global Macro Research offers in-depth analysis of critical global issues and provides economic insights for more than 55 countries, addressing economics, currencies, commodities, interest rates, derivatives and equities.
  • Global Credit Research encompasses high-grade fixed income securities, high-yield debt, credit derivatives, mortgages and structured finance, convertible debt, municipal bonds and indexes.
  • Global Equity Research analysts conduct fundamental analysis on companies globally, providing institutional and retail clients with industry-specific and in-depth research and analysis.

Global Research, Market Leadership

We are able to leverage the resources of BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research, rated the Number One research organization in the world for the sixth consecutive year by Institutional Investor, December 2016* including:


All Europe Research Team


All America Research Team


All Asia Research Team

*In its December 2016 issue, Institutional Investor magazine announced BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research as the Top Global Research Firm for 2016, based on surveys held throughout the year. The magazine creates rankings of the top research analysts in a wide variety of specializations, drawn from the choices of portfolio managers and other investment professionals at more than 1,000 firms. For more information about this award, go to:

Global Institutional Consulting Investment Process

Global Institutional Consulting follows a robust and disciplined investment process, allowing Global Institutional Consultants to respond to the changing needs and objectives of institutional clients, providing a higher probability of achieving long–term investment goals.

"In addition to many of our team members meeting rigorous educational and professional requirements for earning industry designations, we also have extensive real-world experience in helping nonprofits with the serious business of wealth management. Our goal is to assist clients in making informed investment decisions that help address their current and future needs."

Scott A. Schropp, CAP®, CIMA®, CTFA
Managing Director - Wealth Management
Private Wealth Advisor
Global Institutional Consultant

1In its December 2016 issue, Institutional Investor magazine announced BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research as the Top Global Research Firm for 2016, based on surveys held throughout the year. The magazine creates rankings of the top research analysts in a wide variety of specializations, drawn from the choices of portfolio managers and other investment professionals at more than 1,000 firms.

Asset allocation and diversification do not ensure a profit or protect against a loss in declining markets.

BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research is research produced by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and/or one or more of its non-U.S. affiliates. Any information presented in connection with BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research is general in nature and is not intended to provide personal investment advice. The information does not take into account the specific investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any specific person who may receive it. Investors should understand that statements regarding future prospects may not be realized.

Barron's magazine, Mar. 7, 2016; Top 1,200 Advisors list. Advisors considered for the "America's Top 1,200 Advisors: State-by-State" ranking have a minimum of seven years financial services experience and have been employed at their current firm for at least one year. Quantitative and qualitative measures used to determine the advisor rankings include: client assets, return on assets, client satisfaction/retention, compliance records, and community involvement, among others. Barron's does not receive compensation from advisors, participating firms and their affiliates, or the media in exchange for rankings. Barron's is a trademark of Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.


Merrill Lynch, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and the Bull Symbol are trademarks of Bank of America Corporation.

CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA Institute.

Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy and the CAP mark are the property of The American College, which reserves the sole rights to its use, and is used by permission.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. owns the certification marks CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM and CFP® in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.

Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA®) is the owner of the certification marks CIMA® and Certified Investment Management Analyst®.


Investing involves risk, and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities.

Neither Merrill Lynch nor any of its affiliates or financial advisors provide legal, tax or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch makes available products and services offered by Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith Incorporated ("MLPF&S") and other subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation ("BofA Corp.").

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is a brand name used by several BofA Corp. businesses, including, but not limited to, Global Institutional Consulting (GIC), which offers products and services for the benefit of institutional and ultra high net worth clients.

GIC is part of the Global Wealth and Retirement Services business of BofA Corp. Institutional Investments & Philanthropic Solutions (II&PS) is part of U.S. Trust, Bank of America Corporation ("U.S. Trust"). U.S. Trust operates through Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC, and other subsidiaries of BofA Corp. For both GIC & II&PS, banking and fiduciary activities may be performed by wholly owned banking affiliates of BofA Corp., including Bank of America, N.A. Both brokerage and investment advisory services may be provided by wholly owned brokerage affiliates of BofA Corp., including MLPF&S; the nature and degree of advice and assistance provided, the fees charged, and clients' rights and MLPF&S's obligations will differ depending upon the products and services actually provided. Global Institutional Consultants mentioned herein are registered representatives with MLPF&S.

MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, registered investment adviser and Member SIPC. Merrill Lynch Life Agency Inc. is a licensed insurance agency. Both are wholly owned subsidiaries of BofA Corp.

Investment products, insurance and annuity products:

Are Not FDIC Insured Are Not Bank Guaranteed May Lose Value
Are Not Deposits Are Not Insured by Any Federal Government Agency Are Not a Condition to Any Banking Service or Activity



MLPF&S makes available investment products sponsored, managed, distributed or provided by companies that are affiliates of BofA Corp. or in which BofA Corp. has a substantial economic interest.

© Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved.


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