Mark Thorndyke Merrill Lynch – A Shady Advisor: Update 2023

Mark Thorndyke Merrill Lynch is a name that you can come across if you conduct a search for wealth advisors in the Chicago market. He works as a financial advisor, and he has a track record of giving clients misleading information.

Even though he has a long list of accomplishments to his credit, it is still wise to investigate both the positive and negative aspects of his reputation. You’ll be able to feel confident in your choice and steer clear of making a catastrophic error in judgment if you proceed in this manner. In the following analysis, you will learn about the shady dealings that Mark Thorndyke Merrill Lynch has been involved in in the recent past as well as in the present:

Who is Mark Thorndyke Merrill Lynch? 

It was Mark Thorndyke. The city of Chicago, Illinois is home to the Merrill Lynch financial advisory firm. His office may be found at 110 North Upper Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60606 in the United States, and his telephone number is 312-696-7645.

Together with David Sheppard, Mark Thorndyke manages the company that is now known as the Thorndyke Sheppard Group. The company asserts that its primary mission is to serve families, people, and small enterprises. They assert that they will assist their customers in formulating, putting into action, and periodically evaluating their wealth management strategies.

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The company asserts that its primary mission is to help clients achieve their objectives by maximizing their wealth. In addition to the controlling directors, this company is also home to such renowned employees as David Ponsot, Rees Mason, Sally Blume-Kelly, and James Murphy, amongst others.

The firm of Mark Thorndyke Merrill Lynch offers a wide variety of services, some of which include trust and estate planning services, health savings accounts, succession planning, securities-based lending, exchange funds, long-term care insurance, charitable trusts, structured lending, concentrated stock management, donor-advised funds, and many more. Some of these services can be obtained by contacting Mark Thorndyke Merrill Lynch.

Their terms and conditions contradict the boastful statements that Mark and his staff make about how much they care, despite the fact that they make several such assertions. This company appears to have absolutely little concern for the welfare of its customer, as seen by the disclosures it provided. The only thing that concerns them is how much money they make.

Issues Mark Thorndyke is Trying to Hide from You

$440,000+ Dispute with a Client

It is in your best interest to investigate the history of any potential wealth advisor before beginning a business relationship with them. It enables you to evaluate whether or not it is prudent to place your trust in them. Checking the advisor’s listing in FINRA’s BrokerCheck database is the most efficient way to go about completing this process.

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It’s a vast database where you can learn about your advisor’s state licenses, certifications, employers, and disputes with clients. Mark Thorndyke’s FINRA BrokerCheck listing shows one legal dispute. 

2011 was the year that this conflict took place. Specifically, the customer asserted that they were given suggestions for investments that were not suited for them during the months of December 2007 and September 2010. They asked for $445,232 in damages but ultimately agreed to settle the matter for $75,000.

Mark responded to this dispute by saying that the only reason his company settled the problem was to avoid the cost of going to court.

Nonetheless, the fact that this dispute occurred demonstrates that Mark has a history of making false representations. The investor will incur additional costs if they choose to pursue legal action against the broker. Therefore, a dispute over misrepresentation of information brought against a financial advisor is quite unusual.

Working with someone like that should be approached with caution. Gouraige Kaplan Ravinet Team UBS is an additional wealth advisory firm that has a habit of misrepresenting its clients’ financial information.

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Putting Clients at Excessive Risk

Mark and his firm charge performance-based fees, a highly notorious practice in the finance industry. This fee structure incentivizes him and his firm to implement high-risk strategies. 

Such strategies are unsuitable for most portfolio types, especially portfolios looking for long-term growth and returns. 

That’s because high-risk strategies tend to fail or generate poor returns the longer they are implemented. But they are capable of showing “fast” growth in the short term. Due to this, the advisor can charge you a hefty performance-based fee for the duration. 

Charging Hidden Fees

Working with Mark Thorndyke Merrill Lynch and his firm comes with a significant amount of risk due to the fact that he charges clients hidden fees. His company advises clients to make investments that have 12b-1 fees. This is a promotional fee that companies pay to their firm in order for their investment goods to be marketed to consumers. Because this is a variable price, the company has the ability to artificially raise it in order to impose other, hidden fees.

The 12b-1 charge is not reflective of any real value in any way. This fee does not provide any new benefits, but it does serve to drive up the overall cost of the investment.

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Some might think that the investments that charge this fee might offer higher returns. But they are mistaken. 

According to the findings of research conducted by the SEC, returns on assets that charge a 12b-1 fee are comparable to those on investments that do not charge this fee. Investments that require a 12b-1 fee typically provide a lower return on investment (ROI) due to the increased costs associated with these investments.

Therefore, it is in your best interest to steer clear of assets that require you to pay this fee.


It was Mark Thorndyke. Merrill Lynch asserts that it is an experienced wealth advisor who prioritizes the needs of its customers over those of itself. But every single one of them is a lie.

The Thorndyke Sheppard Group has, in point of fact, been found guilty of repeated dishonest disclosures, which have resulted in their clients being placed in precarious positions. If you care about the stability of your finances, it is in your best interest to steer clear of this company at all costs.

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