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The Bearing Group


The Bearing Group at Morgan Stanley is dedicated to bringing best-in-class financial services to individuals, families, non-for-profit organizations, and ERISA plan sponsors.

Our Story and Services

Welcome Message

The Bearing GroupReal Listening. True Direction.

The Bearing Group at Morgan Stanley was formed over 20 years ago with the goal of preserving and growing our clients’ wealth.  We create customized solutions and strategies to help our clients make complex financial decisions and manage their financial lives.

The pillars of our practice are strong personal relationships built on trust, customized wealth and investment management strategies, and strength of conviction when knowledgeable opinions matter most.  Our opinions are supported by over 90 years of investment experience*, and advanced degrees and certifications in finance, investment management and financial planning.  

What sets us apart from others is our focus on both corporate retirement plans as well as personal financial planning.  This focus allows us to serve a wide spectrum ranging from corporations to business owners to management to individuals in need of sound financial advice.  The ability to see the entire picture for all of these groups gives us greater insight into understanding your needs and objectives, and the experience to handle them wisely.

*  Michael D. Ciesemier, CRPS, CIMA: 20+ Years, Matthew J. Filosa, CFA: 25+ Years, Brian F. Hickey, CFP: 35+ Years, Jason M. Schultz: 10+ Years

Services Include

  • Philanthropic Services
  • Trust Accounts
  • Wealth Consulting
  • Wealth Management
  • Business Succession Planning
  • Corporate Retirement Plans
  • Estate Planning Strategies
  • Financial Planning
  • Qualified Retirement Plans
  • Retirement Planning
  • Trust Services*
  • 529 Plans
  • Business Planning
  • Corporate Pension Funds
  • Corporate Trust Services
  • Defined Contribution Plans
  • Endowments and Foundations
  • Institutional Services
  • Long Term Care Insurance
  • Planning for Special Needs Individuals
  • Professional Portfolio Management
  • Asset Management
  • Cash Management
  • Executive Benefit Services
  • Life Insurance

Check the background of our Firm and Investment Professionals on FINRA's BrokerCheck.

Working With You

Working With You

Personal Financial Planning

The Bearing GroupReal Listening. True Direction.

Our Wealth Management Philosophy

Unlike traditional wealth management, we do not start with your wealth and build a plan for your life.  We start with your life and then build a plan for your wealth.  Wealth management is not simply asset allocation, estate planning, or what you might think of as financial planning. Rather, wealth management helps you focus on what you want to achieve in all aspects of your life – financial, personal and social.  It takes aim at developing strategies so that you can realize your dreams.  

The process begins with an in-depth conversation between us, but not about the markets. Instead, we go beyond investments and burrow deep into what you care about. The initial plan and on-going recommendations may include specific strategies for retirement, succession planning, insurance analysis, liability management and philanthropy.  Over time, our process might include engaging family-dynamics advisors, business valuation specialists, estate-planning attorneys and lending strategists. Most importantly, our recommendations are designed in concert with one another to help achieve your overall objectives.

By reversing the lens – first looking at your life, then your wealth - the process becomes a dynamic road map guiding you to your lifetime goals and aspirations.

Corporate Retirement Planning

We serve those companies and organizations that are looking to optimize their retirement plans and minimize their fiduciary risks. We do this by offering unbiased advice and offering full and transparent fee disclosure.  While recognizing that increasing complexity and day-to-day demands have made it more difficult for you to administer these plans, we strive to fully understand your objectives and design a custom plan to fit your needs without increasing your workload.

Our clients utilize defined contribution, pension, ESOP and non-qualified plans to meet a variety of different needs.  Some of our clients have moved from the traditional “401(k)” model, and are striving to optimize the resources that they have already devoted to their plans.

Your plan is continually refined through our process of discovery, strategizing, customizing, implementing, and monitoring.  By looking at your retirement plan through the four lenses of our retirement plan practice (plan evaluation, investment management, plan management and employee outcomes), we help you achieve the optimal retirement plan suite for your organization.




Brian F. Hickey, CFP®
Senior Vice President
Financial Advisor
Family Wealth Director
Portfolio Management Director

Professional Details
  • Joined Morgan Stanley in 1978
  • Bachelor of Arts Degree with a Major in Economics, 1972
    University of Notre Dame
  • Certified Financial Planner Certification
Matthew J. Filosa, CFA®
Senior Vice President
Financial Advisor
Senior Investment Management Consultant

Professional Details
  • Joined Morgan Stanley in 1989
  • Six Years With Arthur Andersen and McGladrey & Pullen
    Merger & Acquisition Analysis
    Equity Valuations
  • Bachelor of Science Degree with a Major in Finance, 1983
    Eastern Illinois University
  • Master of Business Administration with a Major in Finance, 1985
    DePaul University
  • Chartered Financial Analyst

Michael D. Ciesemier, CIMA®, CRPS®
Senior Vice President
Financial Advisor
Senior Investment Management Consultant
Corporate Retirement Director
Financial Planning Specialist

Professional Details
  • Joined Morgan Stanley in 1992
  • Bankers Trust - Vice President
    McGladrey & Pullen - Consultant
  • Bachelor of Science Degree with a Major in Accounting, 1983
    Eastern Illinois University
  • Master of Business Administration with a Major in Finance, 1990
    DePaul University
  • Certified Public Accountant & Certified Investment Management AnalystSM

Jason Schultz
Financial Advisor
Financial Planning Specialist

Professional Details
  • Joined Morgan Stanley in 2007
  • Bachelor of Science - Finance, 2004
  • Summa Cum Laude
  • Governors State University
  • Worked at JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley



Please join The Bearing Group at Morgan Stanley for our 4th Quarter Wealth Management Outlook Conference Call.  The series is designed to increase listeners’ financial awareness and prepare them to make informed financial decisions.

Wealth Management Outlook Conference Call

Our clients have been asking:
•    Do recent dips in stocks point towards a correction or even a bear market?
•    What financial steps should I be taking before the calendar flips to 2019?
•    What investment changes are you making to client portfolios?
Conference Call Details:

Date: Wednesday, November 7th, 2018
Time: 11:00AM EST / 10:00AM CST / 9:00AM MST / 8:00AM PST
Dial-in: (855) 583-2129
Conference ID: 31652076
Please RSVP via email to

View the invitation here.
View the presentation here.

Meet The Bearing Group


Working closely with you to guide your wealth and investments through the most challenging market cycles.

  • Asset management
  • Traditional investments
  • Alternative Investments
  • Impact Investing


Creating customized financial strategies for the challenges that today's families face.

  • Estate Planning
  • 529 Plans / Education Planning
  • Long Term Care Insurance
  • Trust Services and Accounting


Working with you to understand your life goals and develop a truly personalized wealth strategy.  Today and for the years to come.

  • 401(k) Rollovers
  • IRA Plans
  • Retirement income strategies
  • Annuities

Business Planning

Partnering with you on key aspects of your business such as ownership, liquidity and developing opportunities.

  • Succession Planning
  • Business Planning
  • Retirement Plan Sponsors
  • Corporate Pension Funds


Making sure your philanthropic dollars are managed with the same best-in-class service as the rest of your wealth.

  • Endowments
  • Foundations
  • Donor Advised Funds
  • Impact Investing

Insights and Outcomes

Thought Leadership for our ultra high net worth clients, which contains thought-provoking articles, authored by leading experts from Morgan Stanley Family Office Resources.

Ready to start a conversation? Contact The Bearing Group today.

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*References to length of service at Morgan Stanley include years at Morgan Stanley and predecessor firms.

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC and its affiliates do not provide tax or legal advice. Any such taxpayer should seek advice based on the taxpayer's particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.

The securities/instruments, investments and investment strategies discussed in this material may not be suitable for all investors. The appropriateness of a particular investment or investment strategy will depend on an investor's individual circumstances and objectives. The views and opinions expressed on this website do not necessarily reflect those of Morgan Stanley.

Certified Financial Planner™ Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP® (with flame logo)® in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP® Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.

Investment Management Consultants Association, Inc. owns the marks CIMA®, Certified Investment Management AnalystSM (with graph element)®, and Certified Investment Management AnalystSM .

*Private Bankers are employees of Morgan Stanley Private Bank, National Association, Member FDIC

* Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC does not accept appointments nor will it act as a trustee but it will provide access to trust services through an appropriate third-party corporate trustee.

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC is a registered Broker/Dealer, Member SIPC, and not a bank. Where appropriate, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC has entered into arrangements with banks and other third parties to assist in offering certain banking related products and services.

Investment, insurance and annuity products offered through Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC are: NOT FDIC INSURED | MAY LOSE VALUE | NOT BANK GUARANTEED | NOT A BANK DEPOSIT | NOT INSURED BY ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC offers insurance products in conjunction with its licensed insurance agency affiliates.

Life insurance, disability income insurance, and long-term care insurance are offered through Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC's licensed insurance agency affiliates.

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