John Thiel, visionary financial services leader whose deep caring and understanding of people guided his 28 years at Merrill Lynch, has leveraged his drive to improve the well-being of others as a board member, mentor, and now as Senior Advisor at My Next Season. John has carried his people-centered philosophy with him from his successful corporate career into his own next season as he supports executives seeking to transition well, whether into retirement or another career chapter. Having walked through his own retirement transition after leading an iconic investment firm, John is in a unique position to anticipate and understand his clients’ needs and concerns.
As Head of the Wealth Management group at Merrill Lynch, John oversaw a $15B business with 23,000 employees.He led the change at Merrill Lynch from a primarily performance-based approach to one of goals-based wealth management, designed to help clients achieve their desired outcomes. He steered the firm through a period of unprecedented change, including the acquisition by Bank of America. Keeping his focus on people, John managed complex relationships, mobilized a global workforce, and reestablished trust with both clients and the public following the financial crisis—all while driving dramatic business growth. John then served as Vice Chairman of Global Wealth and Investment Management before retiring from Merrill Lynch, partnering with My Next Seasonduring his transition.
John has a long legacy of engagement and purposeful impact. As a member of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation board, he cultivates relationships and promotes initiatives focused on improving the financial literacy of underserved populations. A longtime advocate for curing cancer, he serves on the board of the V Foundation for Cancer Research and is deeply involved in increasing educational opportunity as a Trustee of the Florida State University Foundation. John has also mentored not-for-profit CEOs in developing strategy and proactively responding to change. John and his wife, Karen, live in Florida and have three adult children.