Meet the Advisory Group Team

About The Advisory Group

Your goals + proven process + trusted expertise = success & simplification. As your financial advocate in Wealth & Life Strategy or Fiduciary Management, we listen and guide families and fiduciaries.


Feel more secure, make effective decisions, and stay on track in a complex world. We innovate to improve your outcomes, liberating you to live the life you seek. The Advisory Group is a pioneer in objective, client-centered financial advice, accepting fiduciary status for over 30 years. Your trusted resource with a personal touch. Get there, stay there.

Our team = Your team

People matter. Our interdisciplinary team of experts first listens to understand, and then responds and educates, applying the best resources and processes available. Objectivity and a genuine interest in you are central to our culture. A unique “Boutique and Big” design combines top internal talent with the deep investment research of Callan Associates, allowing clients to benefit from the same resources used by multi-billion-dollar investors.

Gregory H. Patterson, CEO, MBA

Greg has helped clients with behavioral finance, investment consulting, asset allocation, policy development, research, and financial literacy education for fiduciary and personal wealth clients since 1994. Prior to graduate studies, he worked 5 years with Callan Associates, Inc., including an Investment Consultant within the Global Manager Research division, conducting quantitative and qualitative research on investment organizations, including for multi-billion-dollar clients. He also worked with SEI Investments in Pennsylvania and Buenos Aires, Argentina, and  in Madrid, Spain with a Communications/Branding firm. Greg developed a business plan for 401(k) web-based participant education and advice that was a finalist in the U.C. Berkeley Business Plan Competition, receiving national press, and which later became The Advisory Group’s program. Education includes a B.A. from the University of California at Davis, studies at the University of Madrid, Spain and The New York Institute of Finance, and an MBA from Berkeley-Haas. Greg volunteers for several organizations, assists UC Berkeley’s “Making Smart Financial Decisions” online course, is an Ironman triathlete and is his family’s biggest fan.

Roger B. Patterson, President & Founder, ChFC®

Roger is an advisor at The Advisory Group and has been actively involved in developing and implementing investment management strategies for fiduciaries, closely-held businesses and wealthy families for over thirty years. He has developed investment policies and educational programs for public company 401(k) plans and has designed specific investment allocations and strategies for managing the wealth of many successful Bay Area entrepreneurs. Previously, Roger was a partner at the investment consulting firm PR Taylor Associates, Inc., and served as President and Co-Founder of a financial services and pension consulting firm, which specialized in the management of pension and profit sharing assets. Earlier, he had served as a consultant to major stock brokerage firms and as Vice President of Pension and Financial Services for a mid-sized bank. Roger holds a B.A. degree from Stanford University and is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®). He held the Certified Investment Management Analyst® certification, administered by Investment Management Consultants Association® and taught in conjunction with The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, from 1989 through 2016.

John Jay Hurford, Jr., CFP®, CIMA®, ChFC®, RMA®, Director of Private Wealth Services

Jay joined The Advisory Group in 2003 and has over two decades of advisory experience. Previously, Jay served as President of Hurford Financial Planning, Inc. in Southern California, and was a financial advisor and registered representative with Commonwealth Financial Network and American Express Financial Advisors. Prior, he was Vice President for two banks and was a real estate consultant/appraiser. Jay is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®) professional, Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®), Retirement Management Advisor (RMA®), and a graduate of UCLA’s program leading to the Professional Designation in Personal Financial Planning (PFP). Jay holds a B.A. from Sonoma State University. He has been quoted in Bloomberg Wealth Manager, Bloomberg Personal Finance, Investment Advisor and Parade magazines.

Margaret C. Hiller, CFP®, CPC, Director of Institutional Services

Margaret joined The Advisory Group in 2005 and has over two decades of pension consulting and investment advisory experience. She consults with institutional and personal clients regarding an array of complex planning and design issues. Previously, she worked for 10 years with Lawrence Johnson & Associates, a third-party retirement plan administration firm, consulting with clients on all aspects of retirement plan design and administration. There, she specialized in mid-large daily-valued plans, oversaw plan mergers, spin-offs, conversions, and terminations, consulted with clients on technical issues, and performed special studies on plan redesign. She began her career with Holman Capital Management, providing discretionary asset management and financial planning to individuals and institutional retirement plans. Margaret is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and Certified Pension Consultant, with a B.A. degree in Politics from Princeton University.

Lisette C. Smith, CFP®, Advisor

Lisette is an advisor with The Advisory Group and has been providing wealth management to entrepreneurs, owners of closely-held businesses and executives for more than twenty years. Prior to joining The Advisory Group in 2016, Lisette was a co-founder and partner at Garnet Group Wealth Management in Boston. Most recently, she provided succession consulting and conflict resolution to business partners and family-owned businesses. She holds an MBA from Boston University and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. She has served on the regional board of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and is an arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), adjudicating cases between investors and brokerage firms. She has been quoted in Forbes, CBS Marketwatch and in industry publications. Lisette currently serves on the board of directors of Wine Women, an organization championing the advancement of women’s careers in the wine industry. She is active in community organizations, including former board chair for Volunteers of America of Massachusetts, which provides housing and support services for veterans, women and at-risk youth.

Donna T. Castillo, FPQP™, Client Service/Analyst

Donna has been with The Advisory Group since 1998 and works closely with clients and the firm’s consultants. She is responsible for service and account administration for private wealth clients. Donna graduated from Patten University with a B.S. in Organizational Behavior and Management and earned the Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional (FPQP™) designation from the College for Financial Planning.



Ryan S. Chavez, CFP®, Associate Advisor

Ryan is an associate advisor at The Advisory Group and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional with over six years of financial services experience. Prior to joining The Advisory Group, he was a financial advisor at a firm in San Jose, California where he provided guidance and strategies to help clients navigate often complex financial issues. He also advised on financial planning implementation and investment strategies. Ryan was born and raised in Los Gatos, California and received a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Finance from the University of San Diego. He is a member of the San Francisco chapter of the Financial Planning Association (FPA), and an avid donator of platelets at the Stanford Blood Center. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling in search of local craft beers.

Kelli Pallansch, Operations and Client Service Associate

Kelli joined The Advisory Group in 2018 as an Operations and Client Service Associate for Institutional Clients. Previously, she worked at BlackRock in both operational and quantitative research roles involving multiple investment products, servicing both institutional and high net worth clients. She has an M.S. in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and a B.A. in both International Finance and French from Western Washington University.

Extended team contributors not directly involved with client-work are not listed. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in the U.S.

Our philosophy = alignment with you

We place your interests first and simplify your financial life as an individual or fiduciary, to systematically increase success. How? Through a proven, sophisticated, disciplined, relationship-driven process. As your team, we liberate you to focus on your talents.

Your trusted resource for your unique goals

Whether your objectives are lifestyle, security, philanthropy, or fiduciary stewardship, our time-tested processes help you bridge the gap to financial freedom and avoid pitfalls.

It’s all about you, and those you care about.

Learn more about our process

Building financial bridges

The roots of The Advisory Group formed in the 1980’s, with an unwavering focus on financial advice fully aligned with your interests. As one of the first firms to adopt this fiduciary model, we helped revolutionize the advice industry. Doing the right thing is more than a motto, it’s a culture.

Client-centered We care about your outcomes, are relationship oriented and have a transparent, conflict-free, process-based, fee-only (no commissions or hidden revenue) business model.  We accept fiduciary status in writing, to legally ensure that your interests come first, to increase your success.

Both boutique and big Clients benefit from boutique-quality service levels and a team approach, plus the institutional-quality research normally only available to multi-billion dollar entities.

The Callan connection In 1992, we joined a select group of independent  firms with access Callan’s/IAG investment research and technology. Callan is a global leader and the largest independent investment consulting firm, advising trillions of dollars in retirement and endowment funds, with an average client size over $1 billion.

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