About the Keator Group

Our Heritage

Keator Group, LLC.’s legacy dates back nearly four decades when our founding partner Sheila Nesbit Keator left a career in the printing and newspaper business answering a Kidder Peabody ad in the Wall St. Journal looking for brokers. After a brief stint at Kidder’s Wall Street offices Sheila returned to the Berkshires where she quickly rose to the ranks as one of the few female Vice-Presidents within the firm.

Keator Ancestors, George Washington Nesbit (2nd from the left) with his 4 brothers, circa 1910

In 1988 Sheila transitioned her business to First Albany Corporation after being recruited by their Chairman George McNamee. Over the years and through various mergers her business continued to grow as she welcomed three of her sons into the business. Frederick arrived in June of 1994 joining her from First Albany Corporation as a Syndicate Trader. Then in December of 1998 her son David was a welcomed addition bringing his background in the tax planning and wealth transfer field.* In August of 2000 Sheila’s son Matthew arrived combining his clients and experience from an investment advisory career with PaineWebber, Jackson, Curtis in Washington, D.C.

In 2005 Matthew, David and Frederick purchased the business from Sheila and spun off from Wachovia Securities their own firm clearing their business through Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network (WFAFN). Keator Group, LLC is a separate entity of WFAFN.

In July of 2008 the Keator Group moved their office to Lenox, MA after many years located in Pittsfield. Most recently in the fall of 2017 they entered into a strategic partnership with the historic Pittsfield Co-operative Bank.**

As we look into the future we look forward to serving our clients with the utmost integrity and confidentiality. We serve as a “Family working for families offering generational solutions.”

*Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network and Keator Group, LLC. do not provide tax or legal advice. However, we will be glad to work with you, your accountant, tax advisor and/or lawyer to help you meet your financial goals. **Keator Group, LLC - Pittsfield Co-operative Bank Disclosure: The Keator Group, LLC is a business administrative company jointly owned by members of the Keator Family and Pittsfield Cooperative Bank. Pittsfield Cooperative Bank, as a minority investor, may benefit in any revenue generating activities of the Keator Group, LLC due to their ownership stake. Investment and advisory services are provided by David, Frederick, Matthew and Sheila Keator in their capacities as registered representatives and investment advisory representatives of Wells Fargo Advisor Financial Network, LLC: a dually registered broker-dealer and investment advisor. Neither Keator Group, LLC nor Pittsfield Cooperative Bank provides investment or advisory services. Additionally, there is no relationship--contractual, financial, or otherwise--between Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC and Pittsfield Cooperative Bank.

Meet the Team

Our teams experience transcends investment management providing an opportunity for a collaborative, consultative and comprehensive approach. The ability to work in concert with our clients Estate and Tax Planning advisors* offers them a holistic approach to investing.

The Keator Group has over 185 years of collective financial services experience and is recognized as industry thought leaders. Armed with numerous designations and degrees ranging from Certified Estate & Trust Specialist to Certified Fund Specialist (CFS) along with series 7, 24, 63, 65, 66 registrations and insurance licenses, we’re committed towards helping our clients reach their financial goals.

Through our boutique structure our Principals have significant direct equity ownership. This ensures an alignment of interests with our clients providing a unique entrepreneurial culture committed to building a legacy firm.

David P.G. Keator, CES – Partner

Frederick J. Keator – Partner

Matthew D.M. Keator, CFS – Partner

Sheila N. Keator – Founder

Geoff Donelan – Vice President

Michelle M. Wohrle – Operations Manager

Stephen Q. Nesbit – Branch Administrator

Leia Miller – Administrative Assistant

Our Investment Philosophy

Having the opportunity and ability to articulate a plan accompanied with the discipline and patience to stick to the plan while filtering out the noise helps maintain focus on the long-term. With our combined over 185 years of investment experience we’ve picked up some words of advice along the way we thought worthy of repeating.

“The best way to measure your investing success is not by whether you’re beating the market but whether you’ve put in place a financial plan and a behavioral discipline that are likely to get you where you want to go.”

- Benjamin Graham
The tenants of diversification are rooted in thousands of years of history and are as old as Solomon was wise…

“Divide your portion to seven, or even eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur…”

- The Bible (Ecclesiastes Chapter 11 Verse 2)

"Let every man divide his money into three parts, and invest a third in land, a third in business and a third let him keep by him in reserve."

- The Talmud (Bava Metzia 42a)
“History provides a crucial insight regarding market crises: they are inevitable, painful and ultimately surmountable.”

- Shelby M.C. Davis
“The function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.”

- John Kenneth Galbraith
“Far more money has been lost by investors trying to anticipate corrections, than lost in the corrections themselves.”

- Peter Lynch
“The investor’s chief problem and their worst enemy can likely be themselves. In the end, how your investments behave is much less important than how you behave.”

- Benjamin Graham

Contact Us

Located in historic Lenox, Massachusetts

218 Main Street Lenox, MA 01240

Phone:
Toll Free:
Facsimile:
413-637-2118
877-532-8671
413-637-1120

The Mount - Lenox, MA

History of Lenox

With mountains to the east and west, the area remained wilderness into the 18th-century. Hostilities during the French and Indian Wars discouraged settlement until 1750, when Jonathan and Sarah Hinsdale from Hartford, Connecticut established a small inn and general store.

With mountains to the east and west, the area remained wilderness into the 18th-century. Hostilities during the French and Indian Wars discouraged settlement until 1750, when Jonathan and Sarah Hinsdale from Hartford, Connecticut established a small inn and general store. For 2,250 pounds Josiah Dean purchased Lot Number 8, which included present-day Lenox and Richmond. After conflicting land claims were resolved, however, it went to Samuel Brown, Jr., who had bought the land from the Mahican chief, on condition that he pay 650 pounds extra.

It was founded as Richmond in 1765. But because the Berkshires divided the town in two, the village of Yokuntown (named for an Indian chief) was set off as Lenox in 1767. The town was intended to be called Lennox, probably after Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond and Lennox (Scottish Gaelic "Leamhnachd"), but the name was misspelled by a clerk at incorporation. Early industries included farming, sawmills, textile mills, potash production, glassworks, and quarrying. A vein of iron ore led to the digging of mines under the town, and the establishment by Job Gilbert in the 1780s of an iron works at Lenox Dale, also known as Lenox Furnace. In 1784, Lenox became county seat, which it remained until 1868 when the title passed to Pittsfield.

The county courthouse built in 1816 is today the Lenox Library. The region's rustic beauty helped Lenox develop into an art colony. In 1821, author Catharine Sedgwick moved here, followed by actress Fanny Kemble. Nathaniel Hawthorne and his family came from Salem in 1850, staying a year and a half. Other visitors to the area, including Timothy Dwight, Benjamin Silliman and Henry Ward Beecher, extolled its advantages. After an extension of the Housatonic Railroad arrived in 1838, tourists discovered the town in increasing numbers. In 1844, Samuel Gray Ward of Boston, the American representative for Barings Bank of London, assembled tracts of land to create the first estate in Lenox. Called Highwood, the Italianate dwelling was designed in 1845 by Richard Upjohn.

In 1876, Ward hired Charles F. McKim to design in the Shingle Style another property, Oakwood. The period from 1880 until 1920 would be dubbed the Berkshire Cottage era, when the small New England town was transformed into a Gilded Age resort similar to Newport, Rhode Island and Bar Harbor, Maine. The wealthy and their entourage opened immense houses for recreation and entertaining during the Berkshire Season, which lasted from late summer until early fall. One event was the annual Tub Parade, when Main Street was lined with ornately decorated carriages. Property values jumped as millionaires competed for land on which to build showplaces. In 1903, an acre in Lenox cost 20 thousand dollars, when an acre in nearby towns cost a few dollars. The imposition of the Federal income tax in 1913 ended construction of the country mansions in the Berkshire area.

The estates started to break up during the 1920s. Carnegie’s widow sold Shadowbrook to the Jesuits for a seminary in 1922. The Depression made it harder to maintain the estates, and labor was scarce during World War II. After WWII, some of the estates were torn or burned down. Others became schools or seminaries. Some estates became preparatory schools, although they would close by the 1970s and 1980s. Lenox is also know for along with Stockbridge as the backdrop and inspiration of many of Norman Rockwell’s (resident of neighboring Stockbridge) drawings and paintings. The Shadowbrook property is now the Kripalu yoga center, another the home of Shakespeare & Company. Some have been converted into vacation condominiums. Tanglewood, the former estate of the Tappan family, would in 1937 become summer home to the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Lenox remains a popular tourist destination. It was a filming location for Before and After (1996) and The Cider House Rules (1999). Notable Residents: Andrew Carnegie, George Westinghouse, Anson Phelps Stokes, Vanderbilt Family, Morgan Family, Astor Family, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edith Wharton. "Lenox, Massachusetts." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. 19 April 2009