In the News




Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors in the news.


Pomfret Center, CT (September 2020) — Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors’ Associate, Client Operations & Service, Kelly Graves Achieves Career Milestone 

We are thrilled to announce Kelly Graves, Associate, Client Operations & Service has passed her FINRA® Securities Industry Essentials (SIE®) exam. FINRA’s SIE® exam is an introductory-level exam that assesses a candidate’s knowledge of basic securities industry information including: fundamental concepts for working in the industry, such as types of products and their risks; the structure of the securities industry markets, regulatory agencies and their functions; and prohibited practices. 

Kelly Graves joined our team in October 2018 after a 17-year career as a paralegal where she developed invaluable skills in client service. Kelly has her B.S. in business administration and is broadening her industry knowledge by studying for the various FINRA® licensing exams.

Kelly supports our client operations and service team, helping to ensure timely and dedicated service on new accounts, transactions, and investment portfolio management. 

We are happy for Kelly on this well-deserved accomplishment!


Pomfret Center, CT (July 2020)  Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors Manager Passes Industry Exam

We are proud to announce Holly Wanegar, Manager, Client Operations & Analytics has passed her FINRA® Series 7 exam. FINRA’s Series 7 exam — the General Securities Representative Qualification Examination (GS) — assesses the competency of an entry-level registered representative to perform their job as a general securities representative.  The exam measures the degree to which each candidate possesses the knowledge needed to perform the critical functions of a general securities representative, including corporate securities, municipal securities, investment company securities, variable annuities, direct participation programs, options, and government securities.

Holly joined our team in June 2019 from People’s United Wealth Advisors. Before working at People’s, Holly worked at Bank of America and U.S. Trust Wealth Management. Holly has over 8 years of client service experience working with high net worth individuals and organizations. As part of her career development goals at Weiss, Hale & Zahansky (WHZ) Strategic Wealth Advisors, Holly passed her FINRA® Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam in November 2019 and most recently her FINRA® Series 7 licensing exam. 

Holly assists WHZ clients with operational and administrative needs in collaboration with our advisors to ensure the best client experience as we execute our strategic Plan Well, Invest Well, Live Well process. In addition to leading our Operations team, Holly provides critical support to our Investment Committee with analytics related to investment portfolios and works with our Chief Investment Officer to implement portfolio and investment strategies.

We are happy for Holly on achieving this career milestone.



Pomfret Center, CT (November 2019) Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors are award winners.

Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors is pleased to announce Managing Partners/Principals Laurence Hale and Jim Zahansky have been selected as Connecticut Five Star Wealth Managers. Individuals are carefully selected among thousands of wealth managers across the United States. Five Star Professionals developed a rigorous, multifaceted research methodology approach that incorporates input from peers and firm leaders, along with client retention rates, industry experience, and a thorough regulatory history review. These rigorous criteria include:


  1. Credentialed as an investment advisory representative or a registered investment advisor
  2. Actively employed as a credentialed professional in the financial services industry for a minimum of five years
  3. Favorable regulatory and complaint history review
  4. Fulfilled their firm review based on internal firm standards
  5. Accepting new clients
  6. Favorable one-year client retention rate
  7. Favorable five-year retention rate
  8. Non-institutional discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered
  9. Number of client households served
  10. Education and professional designations

The Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors team upholds our mission to create the best wealth management experience for every client, every time. As our strategic Plan Well. Invest Well. Live Well.TM process continues to gain recognition, we will continue to create the best wealth management experience for all of our clients. To view the full details of the 2019 award, please click the buttons below. 

​Laurence Hale​  ​Jim Zahansky​ 


New York, NY (Oct 2019) – Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors: Jim Zahanksy attended Bryant University Wall Street Council Event.

Jim Zahansky, Principal and Managing Partner at Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors, attended this year's Bryant University's annual Wall Street Council reception in New York City. Since his appointment in 2017, Jim continues to be an active member of this powerful network of alumni, parents, and friends. This event continues to connect students with leaders of the wealth management industry, on or off wall street who have an interest in the financial services industry. 

In this recent event, Zahansky commented, "As we continue to enhance our strategic Plan Well. Invest Well. Live Well. process, this event each year gives me the opportunity to bring back new ideas and innovations to further enhance our client experience."

Zahansky's ongoing membership in the Wall Street Council reflects Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors' knowledge and devotion to our clients' long-term financial life goals. 



Pomfret Center, CT (October 2019)Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors; Laurence Hale, Leisl Cording & Jim Zahansky attend National Conference  

Laurence Hale, Leisl Cording, and Jim Zahansky recently attended a national educational conference for independent financial advisors. Hosted by Commonwealth Financial Network®, the nation’s largest privately held Registered Investment Advisor–independent broker/dealer, the event drew nearly 2,000 affiliated advisors, staff, guests, and sponsors from across the nation. Participants gathered in Denver, Colorado, October 2–5, 2019, where they connected and collaborated with peers, colleagues, and industry partners to strengthen their leadership skills and enhance the high-end service that they and their team provide to clients.

Hale, Cording, and Zahansky attended a wide array of educational sessions, panel discussions, and networking events on topics ranging from millennial clients and ESG investing, scaling portfolio management, and cybersecurity and privacy, to leadership and building an inclusive organization, going fee-only, and developing the next generation of advisors. Commonwealth's Brad McMillan, managing principal, chief investment officer, provided perspective on the markets and economy, which Hale, Cording, and Zahanasky participated in to apply this knowledge to their clients' portfolios.

Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors continues to provide individuals and organizations with financial guidance to create a tailored and strategic financial plan for every client, every time. 




Pomfret Center, CT (July 2019) — Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors Featured in Equity Magazine. 

Weiss, Hale, & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors were featured in the latest edition of Equity Magazine. Equity Magazine does extensive research of firms in the financial industry and analyzes the key aspects which set them apart from others. Our strategic Plan Well, Invest Well, Live WellTM approach was the highlight of the article. To view the article, click the button below.




Pomfret Center, CT (July 2019) — Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors Strengthens Commitment to Delivering the Best Wealth Experience

Three new team members have recently joined Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors: Holly Wanegar, Jarell Roberts, and Heather Vogt. The firm is excited to welcome these three qualified and accomplished individuals as they continue to cultivate an environment demonstrating an on-going commitment of guiding clients toward their financial life goals. 

Holly Wanegar, Manager, Operations & Analytics, joined Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors in June 2019. She assists clients with operational and administrative needs in collaboration with advisors and the team to ensure the best client experience. In addition to leading the Operations team, Holly provides critical support to the advisors with analytics related to operations and implementing portfolio and investment strategies. “Holly’s strong communication skills and natural ability to interact with clients, along with her organizational, analytical, and problem-solving skills make her a perfect fit for this team. We strive to deliver the best wealth management experience, and with Holly’s leadership, we are able to continue to do so for our clients,” says Laurence Hale, Principal and Managing Partner. Holly replaces Shandy Chen, who is exploring a new career track in the financial sector in Pennsylvania while continuing to serve the Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Investment Committee as an investment analyst. 

Jarell Roberts, Manager, Brand and Client Relationships, replaces Diego Briones. Jarell is responsible for the oversight and execution of the Weiss, Hale & Zahansky mission to “deliver the best wealth management experience for every client, every time.” According to Jim Zahansky, Principal and Managing Partner, “The skills Jarell developed throughout his career, including strategic thinking, strong communication, and collaborative efforts, will benefit our clients and our team.” Briones will be leaving the organization to pursue a doctorate in economics at the University of Virginia.  

Finally, Heather Vogt joined Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors in May 2019 as Brand Associate. Her role includes building content via investment-related research, copy editing, and multichannel content distribution, with the ultimate goal of helping to educate and deliver a superior experience for clients, prospects, and the broader community. Heather is in her senior year at the University of Connecticut, where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in political science. “We are extremely excited that Heather has become a part of our team. Her enthusiasm, creativity, and effective communication skills come together to enhance our values and community presence,” says Zahansky.  

Hale delivers a closing remark on the team changes: “Though we are sad to see some team members leave and pursue career growth, we are excited for our clients as we welcome Holly, Jarell, and Heather. Weiss, Hale & Zahansky is on the same journey as our clients and understands dynamic life events such as job changes, educational goals, and mission achievement.” 


Certified Financial PlannerTM Joins Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors

Pomfret Center, CT (April 2019) — Leisl L. Cording, CFP®, Strengthens Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors' Ability to Deliver Tailored Wealth Management Experience

Leisl Cording recently joined Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors’ advisory team as Vice President, Associate Financial Advisor. She joins the wealth advisory firm where she will be working to assist clients in achieving their financial life goals using their strategic Plan Well. Invest Well. Live Well™ process. 

On her recent hiring, Leisl notes, “It’s a true pleasure to join a team where the genuine pursuit of client satisfaction is so embedded within the culture of the firm. There is so much to be motivated about when a firm deeply cares about their clients’ goals and will go above and beyond to ensure an exceptional experience. I’m looking forward to bringing my skill set and experience in strategic financial planning to help our team fulfill our clients’ financial life goals.”

Leisl brings over 10 years of experience in working with high-net-worth individuals in multiple areas of retirement, financial, and estate planning. Her most recent position was with People’s United Bank in its wealth management department in Hartford, Connecticut, where she was responsible for individual financial planning, trust, and fiduciary administration, estate settlement, and investment management. She also holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification, the standard of excellence in competence and ethical practices in personal financial planning. 

Managing Partner, Jim Zahansky, added, “Leisl is not only extremely well qualified but is also a great person. Her trustworthiness and approachability are absolutely essential characteristics of our firm. Much of our success is aligned to these service values and we are ecstatic to bring someone to help deepen and strengthen our promise of excellent strategic financial planning and investment management to our clients.”

Leisl is no stranger to the area having grown up in Pomfret and graduated from Woodstock Academy. She received a degree in finance in 2008 from Quinnipiac University where she captained the women’s soccer team for two years. She now lives in Woodstock and enjoys playing and coaching soccer, golfing, and running in her spare time. 


Pomfret Center, CT (February 2019) — Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors Team Grows to Help Support Clients' Goals

The Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors team recently welcomed two new members to the team, Kelly Graves and Beckie Lewis. Kelly (pictured left), from Woodstock, joins Weiss, Hale & Zahansky after 17 years as a paralegal, bringing a broad knowledge base in matters such as bankruptcy law and litigation in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, civil litigation in the U.S. District Court, U.S. District Court of Appeals, and the Massachusetts State Courts, as well as insurance defense and loan modifications. She is a graduate of Becker College, where she studied business administration. Kelly will be working in the firm’s Client Operations & Service department, helping to ensure timely and dedicated service on new accounts, transactions, and investment portfolio account management.  

Beckie (pictured right), from Pomfret, comes to the firm with more than 20 years of experience in client support, including positions with American Airlines, American Express Travel, and Electric Boat. She also holds a BS from the University of Massachusetts. As the Administration & Client Services Associate, Beckie will be managing daily office operations, working to ensure every client’s experience is at the highest level.

On these recent additions to the team, Principal & Managing Partner, Jim Zahansky, noted, “We are delighted to bring two very talented and committed individuals to our team to support our strategic Plan Well, Invest Well, Live Well™ process. We know our clients will benefit from these additions as they work to help better support our clients’ strategic financial goals.” Laurence Hale, Principal & Managing Partner, added, “Kelly and Beckie are truly aligned with our core values of competence, trust, transparency, and accountability. Their hiring is a commitment to our promise to deliver an exceptional wealth management experience, and we’re looking forward to having them grow and develop with us for the benefit of our client experience.”


Heather O’Rourke Appointed to Vice President of TEEG’s Board

Pomfret Center, CT (November 2018) — Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors Financial Planning Lead Appointed to Vice President of TEEG Board of Directors

Heather O’Rourke, Lead, Client Financial Planning Services at Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors, has been chosen to serve as Vice President of Thompson Ecumenical Empowerment Group (TEEG’s) Board of Directors. Heather remarked, “Serving at TEEG has been humbling, I have always been aligned to their mission and it is wonderful to continue helping those in need within the community in a new role.”

Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors Principal & Managing Partner, James Zahansky, added, "Heather is caring, impactful, and dedicated to helping others. We believe in giving back to the community and she has represented what we believe by continuing to make a difference for our clients and the local community. TEEG’s mission is closely aligned to our beliefs to helps others and we are proud of Heather for her contributions.”

Heather has been with the wealth management firm for 18 years. She was formerly head of operations and now leads the financial planning team to help clients Plan Well. Invest Well. Live Well.™ Her commitment to clients and the community is evidenced by her continued, dedicated volunteer work with TEEG as well as The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for families and their children facing serious illness, and in helping to rescue dogs in need at Dog Orphans Society in Douglas, Massachusetts.




Shandy Chen Promoted to Investment Portfolio Analytics Manager

Pomfret Center, CT (October 2018) — Shandy Chen recently was appointed to the newly created position of Manager, Portfolio Analytics & Operations. Shandy joined Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors team in June 2017 as the lead of client operations and will continue to manage the operations team, but in a more strategic role.

In his time with the company, Shandy has passed the finance industry FINRA Series 7 and 66 securities exams. He has shown an exceptional ability to provide the best experience for clients. As Manager, Portfolio Analytics & Operations, Shandy will focus on investment-oriented portfolio analytical elements. In particular, he will be tasked with measuring investment performance, conducting investment research, and bringing outcomes from our quarterly Investment Committee to ensure our clients continue to “Invest Well.”

On Shandy’s recent promotion, Principal & Managing Partner, Jim Zahansky, “Shandy’s ability to analyze and solve problems has surpassed our expectations since he joined us in June of last year. This promotion and the newly created role recognize the great work he has done and now as a Manager, will be able to provide an even greater benefit to our clients going forward.” 


Weiss & Hale Financial Announces Business Name Change to Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors

Pomfret Center, CT (September 2018) — Weiss & Hale Financial, a provider of comprehensive financial and portfolio management services for more than 12 years, announced today the launch of a new business brand identity and name - Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors. Among the other changes will be its logo and domain name

In all, the change more accurately expresses the business’ offerings and strategic financial service model: Plan Well, Invest Well, Live Well™. The new identity builds upon its history of unique, quality wealth-building service focused on individuals, non-profits, and institutions.

Founded by business partners Jim Weiss and Laurence Hale in 2006, Weiss & Hale Financial has positioned itself as a premier strategic partner in wealth management and financial planning for individuals, families, non-profit organizations, and businesses. Jim Zahansky joined the business in 2014 as Senior Vice President after a distinguished executive-level career in the pharmaceutical industry and became Co-Principal/Managing Partner in 2016 with Laurence Hale as Jim Weiss transitioned out of the business to focus on the “Live Well” phase of his life.    

“Over the past 12 years, we’ve built a strong reputation in providing customized service and experienced fiduciary care of our clients,” said Laurence Hale, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer. “Our new company name brings forward our strong legacy while reflecting our focus on our clients.” Jim Zahansky, Managing Partner and Chief Goals Strategist, adds, “Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors will remain profoundly committed to our client’s life financial goals and our key service attributes: accountability, confidentiality, integrity, reliability, and trust.”



2018 Five Star Wealth Manager Award Bestowed upon
Laurence N. Hale, AAMS, CRPS, Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors

Five Star Professional partnered with Connecticut Magazine to identify and showcase an exclusive group of wealth managers who have demonstrated excellence in their field. Laurence N. Hale, AAMS, CRPS®, at Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors, will be featured in a special section of the December issue of Connecticut Magazine as a 2018 Five Star Wealth Manager award winner.

“Thank you for offering us your trust and confidence as we work diligently to help you navigate toward your financial life goals. It is an honor to receive the Five Star Award for the third year, and our entire team at Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors is honored,” said Mr. Hale. 

The 2018 Five Star Wealth Manager award winners have been carefully selected for their commitment to providing quality services to their clients. The award is based on an in-depth research process incorporating peer and firm feedback with objective criteria, such as client retention rates, client assets administered, industry experience, and regulatory and complaint history.

“Based on our evaluation, the wealth managers we recognize are committed to pursuing professional excellence and have a deep knowledge of their industry. They strive to provide exemplary care to the people they serve,” stated Dan Zdon, CEO, Five Star Professional. 

When asked why he got into the profession, Laurence N. Hale said, “Helping people is in my nature and being a financial advisor allows me to do that every day in a multifaceted and intellectually challenging role.”

Based on 10 objective eligibility and evaluation criteria, including a minimum of 5 years as an active credentialed financial professional, favorable regulatory and complaint history, accepts new clients, client retention rates, client assets administered, education, and professional designations. 3,178 Connecticut wealth managers were considered for the award; 293 (9 percent of candidates) were named 2018 Five Star Wealth Managers.  (The criteria provided reflects the most recent year for which advisor received the award. The criteria used, the number of wealth managers considered for the award, and the percentage of those who receive the award may vary from year to year). These awards are not indicative of the wealth managers' future performance. Your experiences may vary. For more information, please visit


James Zahansky Earns Accredited Wealth Management Advisor℠ Designation

Pomfret Center, CT (July 2017) — Jim Zahansky recently earned the Accredited Wealth Management Advisor℠, AWMA®, designation from the College for Financial Planning. Jim is Principal/Managing Partner and Chief Goal Strategist at Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors, along with Principal/Managing Partner Laurence Hale, AAMS, CRPS®, and Co-Founder Jim Weiss, AAMS, RLP™. As a designee, Zahansky is now recognized as a professional in wealth management. To receive such accreditation, one must complete a specialized wealth management educational program and pass a rigorous examination in addition to abiding by standards of professional conduct.

Designees’ of the AWMA® are trusted financial professionals who have a depth of knowledge about wealth planning strategies, equity-based compensation plans, tax-reduction alternatives, and asset protection alternatives to meet the professional and personal goals of clients.

Zahansky states, “The learning I have taken away from this professional designation educational program will be passed to our current and future clients to further assist them in achieving their life financial goals.” Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors, based in Pomfret Center is a knowledgeable team of finance professionals who help clients achieve their goals using the strategic Plan Well, Invest Well, Live Well™ process.