Partners in Wealth
The Nehrbas Group of Janney Montgomery Scott LLC guides investors through any financial challenge
by Bill Donahue


In the mid-1970s Andrew Nehrbas earned a political-science degree from Franklin and Marshall College and had law-school ambitions. Simply for the experience, he started working at his grandfather’s investment firm, Parrish Securities, and spent his time there learning the intricacies of finance, absorbing knowledge and, most importantly, understanding people.


“I started working there as a summer internship out of college,” he says. “At the end of the summer I thought I’d be looking for something else to do, but I continued on and learned the business from my grandfather. The experience focused me and challenged me. I did a little bit of everything in my initial role at Parrish, and it gave me an unusually well-rounded entry into the business.


“Usually when you’re brought on to a company in this field, you are right out there pounding the pavement trying to get clients,” he continues. “For me, I was able to learn the business from the inside out. … A lot of times an internship helps people learn what they don’t want to do for a career. For me, it showed me what I did want to do.”


Perhaps the most invaluable aspect of his introduction to the business was the opportunity to interact with people who were much older than himself. This skill has served him well throughout his 35-year career and, in fact, continues to aid him today in his role as executive vice presidentwealth management for The Nehrbas Group, a team of four wealth-management professionals based in the Bryn Mawr office of Janney Montgomery Scott LLC.


“Early on I developed a sensitivity and understanding of what people’s concerns and priorities were,” says Nehrbas, whose group joined Janney Montgomery Scott in 2009. “It helped me mature more quickly. Even today, our group uses this understanding to create strong relationships with families, from the grandparents down to the grandchildren. That’s what we do differently.”


Relationships, after all, lie at the heart of what The Nehrbas Group does best: finding ways to help clients accumulate, grow and enjoy their wealth. The group utilizes more than 60 years of combined experience in wealth management, implementing a comprehensive method to investing based on careful research and analysis of each client’s lifestyle, investing history and needs for the future.


“We find that a lot of clients haven’t thought their investment strategy through fully, so we have a checklist available for our first meeting with clients,” he says. “This checklist has a number of open-ended, thought-provoking questions. An example might be: When would you envision yourself retiring? We also give them several types of scenarios to understand their risk tolerance, to see if they are geared more toward lower returns and consistency or higher returns and volatility. Our goal is to understand where our clients’ heads are.”


Once the team has a firm understanding of a client’s individual profile, Nehrbas or one of  his team account executives present the client with a customized, well-thought-out plan for how to proceed in order to work toward meeting  their investment goals. These plans are established in cooperation with the client, with built-in flexibility to make any necessary adjustments along the way.


“We continually go back to the plan and see if we are achieving our goals,” he says. “There’s the potential for constant revision, which provides a great deal of comfort to the client. The process has a lot of very good give and take. We can see if we’re ahead of target or even off target if, for example, a client is spending more than they thought they would.”


With every client interaction, according to Nehrbas, the team strives to provide well-founded advice and guidance in a client-friendly environment based on integrity, trust, accountability and performance.


‘A Big Advantage’

The Nehrbas Group—consisting of Andrew Nehrbas, account executives Meg Tegler Hardesty, who has worked side by side with Andy for 28 years, and Steven M. Lane, who joined the team in 2006, as well as the team’s client service representative, Anastasia Pierce. The Nehrbas Group handles more than $340 million in assets for 125 households. The thread of trusting, long-term relationships is woven throughout Janney Montgomery Scott’s Bryn Mawr office. The majority of the 15 advisors in this office have been with Nehrbas for more than 20 years while he served as branch manager at Legg Mason and Citi/Smith Barney Bryn Mawr offices. Overall, the Janney Montgomery Scott Bryn Mawr branch, of which Nehrbas is the branch manager, handles approximately $1.5 billion in client assets.


“The key to it is consistency,” Nehrbas says. “We are very locally focused and have been in this community for a long time. Having a team that is not changing all the time so people get to know each of the staff members is a big advantage. We also get a lot of support and response from Janney Montgomery Scott, whose headquarters are right here in Philadelphia. That, to us, is a huge help. … They can help us in resolving client issues, preparing client presentations, providing investment guidance from the research department or annuities and insurance planning. This enables us to be much more agile.”


Client results, not to mention a string of prestigious awards, suggest Nehrbas is correct. Nehrbas is a two-time winner—2010 and 2011—of the Five Star “Best in Client Satisfaction” award  as published in Philadelphia magazine. Additionally, in January, Main Line Today named him one of the top financial advisors on the Main Line. The accolades extend to other members of the team as well. In 2010 and 2011, for example, the Philadelphia Business Journal, in conjunction with the National Association of Board Certified Advisory Practices, recognized The Nehrbas Group as Premier Advisors.


“Planning and risk management are two of our greatest strengths in terms of matching the right products to a client’s needs,” he says. “We can understand how a client thinks about investments, because we know certain clients are not suited toward certain types of investments.


“We have one client who had two real goals: the first was to come up with plan for retirement; and the second was to fund their children’s educations,” he continues.

“They thought they couldn’t do both, but we put a plan together and showed them they could. We meet every six months and go over the plan and give them the confidence to know they are on track to accomplish both. We remove uncertainty and angst, and that gives them the ability to make these gifts to their children.”


One of the most challenging aspects of the business is the volatility of financial markets, yet The Nehrbas Group is skilled in helping clients avoid potential pitfalls—even in a market as unprecedented and unforgiving as “the debacle of 2008.”


“We had to go through every plan and readjust them,” says Nehrbas. “That was a difficult time for clients, and many people are still scared because of it. For some clients we reduced the amount of risk in their portfolio and now, coming out of it, we can increase the risk to help them fully recover and then grow. … The clients who followed our recommendation not to panic have seen significant recovery over the last three years.”


Although The Nehrbas Group’s business is managing clients’ investable assets, its strong suit is something Nehrbas learned long ago, while shadowing his grandfather: creating solid, long-lasting relationships with an entire multigenerational family, from grandparent to grandchild.


“We don’t have what some people might call ‘the typical client,’” Nehrbas says. “Instead we focus on clients who have wealth management needs and are nice reasonable people to work with. We want to make the relationship enjoyable and rewarding. For us, we don’t put a dollar figure on it.


“We love working with people who have financial challenges of some sort, whether it’s coming up with the money to pay for their kids’ college education, or finding out how they’re going to retire the way they’ve always wanted. It’s a rewarding thing to help clients through these challenges, and to give them the confidence to get where they need to be.”


The Nehrbas Group of Janney Montgomery Scott LLC

40 Morris Avenue, Suite 200

Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

Phone: 610-527-7230 | 866-909-4824



Rob Hall is a photographer based in Plumsteadville.