Sean Kernan, CFP®
Sean Kernan is a native of Coppell, TX and lives in nearby Southlake. He and his wife Erica have been married since 2000 and have two young children (Clare and Simon). His family is active in their faith at home and at Good Shepherd Catholic Community in Colleyville. Sean graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1997 with a degree in Economics and served as an Army officer for five years after graduation. He was stationed mostly at Fort Hood, TX and Buckley Air Foce Base, CO (near Denver), but luckily also briefly at Fort Jackson, SC – just long enough to meet Erica, who is a native of Greenville, South Carolina.
Sean has always had a passion for personal finance and investing. Upon leaving the Army as a captain in 2002, he started his financial planning career at Edward Jones Investments in his hometown. After building the foundation of his business, he moved it to Morgan Stanley in 2005 to give his clients access to a much wider array of services and strategies. After a year at the firm, he was asked to serve as the Financial Advisor-in-Charge of a new office in Southlake. He also earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification in 2006 – further evidence of his commitment to the financial planning profession. As he continued to grow the business, Sean became aware of and drawn to the independent practice model.
After careful consideration and planning, Sean established his own practice on September 3, 2009. He was and is excited and grateful to continue many of the relationships from those first seven years in business. He relishes the opportunity to help families focus on what matters most to them – without the complications that can arise when a large financial services firm is a third party to the client-advisor relationship. He invested time to find other advisors who complement his skills and interests but share the same approach to helping people; this team approach ensures that someone is always available to provide timely assistance.
Sean also serves as the Branch Manager and Chief Compliance Officer for 360 Wealth Management’s (360WM) network of over 60 independent advisors. In this role, he oversees the compliance function and helps guide the direction of the group. 360WM developed from a collaboration between three fellow advisors – Sean, Chad Atkins, and Brandon Day – to help independent advisors share resources and compliance support. It has grown to have its own support staff in place to help manage its day-to-day operations.
Brian Ruff grew up in Midlothian, TX and lives in Burleson with his wife Ashlea and their three children, Brooklyn, Barrett and Libby. They are actively involved with Christ Chapel Bible Church in Fort Worth and enjoy fellowship with other families at the church. Brian graduated from Texas A&M University in 2004 where he majored in Sports Management. He is still actively involved in “Aggieland” and attends most home football games and never misses a chance to tailgate.
After graduation from A&M Brian was a teacher and coach in his hometown of Midlothian for two years. He concluded that it would be easier to explain complex principles to adults than middle school children. He started his financial services career with Edward Jones in 2007, where he developed a passion for working closely with clients to help them pursue their financial goals. In late 2010, Brian moved his business to Merrill Lynch in downtown Fort Worth, where he was able to provide his clients with a more diverse investment mix.
After three years at Merrill Lynch, Brian discovered the value of having independent practice and joined Sean Kernan in 2013. Brian was able to establish his own practice and focus solely on client service.
Anthony “AJ” Aiello
Anthony (AJ) Aiello lives in Mansfield, Texas with his wife Amanda and their two dogs, Titus and Marley. He was born in Dettelbach, Germany and moved to Waco, Texas with his family in 1993. Financial services came as a natural career – his father has been in the financial services industry for over 35 years. The geographical and vocational experiences early in his life have given AJ a unique perspective and knowledge base to draw from in his career. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, jogging, and just generally being the team’s Millenial.
AJ worked as a life insurance agent while in college, which led to a full service investment role with Edward Jones. He was able to establish his business and relocate (with his then fiance) to his hometown. As he was successfully building a practice in Mansfield, the firm asked him to take over an existing office in nearby DeSoto. After five years with Edward Jones (in May 2012), he was recruited to bring his business to Merrill Lynch in Fort Worth. That move dramatically broadened his exposure to the financial planning and investment business.
AJ continued to keep in touch with his friend, colleague, and current business partner, Brian Ruff. Brian had teamed up with Sean Kernan and the three developed a plan for AJ to join the growing team. The personal and professional fit proved to be a great way to join an independent practice – and he made the leap in late 2014. Given the nature of modern financial planning, it makes sense to have complementary professionals working together as a team. AJ, Brian, and Sean each bring distinct talents and perspectives to each client relationship.
Client Service Associate
Darla Engler serves as a our Client Service Associate. She does anything and everything needed to help the team run smoothly, including ensuring all account documents are in order and making sure our clients get their money when they need it. Though born in South Dakota, Darla has lived in Texas most of her life (currently in Northlake). She graduated from Abilene Christian University with an accounting degree.
Her early career led to positions as Senior Financial Analyst and Accounting Supervisor for major corporations including Halliburton and General Dynamics. She then had the opportunity to stay home to raise–and homeschool–her 3 daughters. With 2 of them in college or beyond, she rejoined the workforce in 2014 to work with Sean. Her attention to detail, problem-solving abilities, and professionalism are great assets to our clients.