Cotten Padalino Group

Private Wealth Advisors

Cotten Padalino Group

Private Wealth Advisors
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My colleagues and I provide highly customized services to a select group of individuals and families with significant wealth. We are deeply committed to offering personalized attention and strategies aligned to your unique financial goals, helping to simplify your life now and for the years to come.

Meet the Team

The private wealth advisors with Merrill Lynch’s Private Banking and Investment Group are rigorously trained to meet the specialized needs of individuals and families of wealth. We build relationships based on trust and personalized service.

Kendall Gerard Cotten

Kendall Gerard Cotten

Managing Director

Private Wealth Advisor

Diane Helen Padalino

Diane Helen Padalino

Managing Director

Private Wealth Advisor

Paige A Southern

Paige A Southern

Investment Associate

Jill Diane Arnold

Jill Diane Arnold

Senior Private Wealth Associate

Katie E Obrien

Katie E Obrien

Registered Private Wealth Associate


Strategies designed to help you achieve your goals

As a client of the Private Banking and Investment Group at Merrill Lynch, you have access to services and resources ordinarily reserved for the world’s largest institutions. We work with individuals, families spanning multiple generations, business owners and executives. Using a goals-based wealth management approach, we put our clients at the center of every personalized strategy.

Our Approach

A Commitment to Service

Merrill Lynch’s Private Banking and Investment Group is committed to providing a select group of wealthy clients with highly personalized one-on-one service. When you work with us, our knowledgeable, rigorously trained Private Wealth Advisors will gain a deep understanding of your goals, help you develop a multigenerational wealth strategy, help you monitor its success and update your strategy as needed. We are committed to providing you access to the investment insights of Merrill Lynch and the banking convenience of Bank of America, and we will continue to invest in client tools and new technology to enhance your overall experience as you and your private wealth advisor pursue what’s most important to you.


We believe that the best financial strategy is the one that helps you pursue your goals. That's why, from the start, we talk about your aspirations and encourage you to ask questions about issues that matter most to you. Worried about managing future health care expenses? College on the horizon? Considering the sale of a business or purchase of a home? Preparing to pass your wealth on to future generations? With access to the investing insights of Merrill Lynch and the banking convenience of Bank of America, we will work with you to develop strategies that are designed to address your priorities and financial needs.

A Single Source for Integrated Wealth Management

Our team provides a multidisciplinary approach to wealth management. We harness not only our own skills and knowledge, but the wider offerings of the Private Banking Investment Group at Merrill Lynch.
We offer the strategies and services demanded by significant wealth:
  1. Investment management

  2. Trust and estate planning services

  3. Executives services: pre and post IPO, restricted and concentrated stock and options analysis

  4. Tax minimization strategies

  5. Customized credit and lending services from Bank of America, N.A.

  6. Philanthropy and charitable giving

  7. Consolidated financial reporting

  8. Access to family office services

Neither Merrill Lynch nor its Financial Advisors provide tax, accounting or legal advice. Clients should review any planned financial transactions or arrangements that may have tax, accounting or legal implications with their personal professional advisors.

About Us

The Cotten Padalino Group is a wealth management team that provides in-depth, one-on-one attention to a select group of wealthy clients throughout the United States. We work with individuals, families and institutions that have complex needs and unique opportunities. We help them address multiple aspects of their wealth, spanning both sides of their balance sheets; from investment management to trust and estate planning services, executive services to pre-IPO strategy and customized credit to philanthropy. We help clients streamline their wealth, deploying it strategically and thoughtfully to pursue meaningful goals for themselves, and for successive generations.

Experience to Advance your Goals

We recognize that significant wealth can entail unforeseen challenges. Our Group is deeply skilled in addressing the needs that affluence can pose. Our leaders Kendall Cotten and Diane Padalino have spent decades helping clients navigate the crossroads of significant wealth. We do not dabble in wealth management for affluent clients; we exclusively cater to their needs. This selectivity enables us to deliver the customization and precision that are the hallmarks of our work.

Every strategy, offering and service we provide is crafted with a client’s particular needs, priorities and preferences in mind. This sensitivity drives the immediacy and tangible value of our work impacting clients’ lives on a day to day level and over multiple years of service. We are skilled in collaborating with a client’s external tax and legal advisors developing a unified, organized and cohesive approach to a client’s distinctive wealth management needs.

Our Investment Approach

We speak in plain language about our approach to the investing. We begin with indepth client discussions:
    • How much money do clients require to maintain their lifestyles?
    • Do they have any long term aspirations like starting a new business or building a vacation home that will require considerable capital?
    • How do they envision their long term family and philanthropic legacies?
Working from these discussions we model client portfolios to maintain lifestyle, aspirational and legacy investments using as little risk as possible to pursue desired ends. Throughout our analysis we take a tax sensitive approach to investing underscoring after tax returns as the proper benchmark for performance. We are ever mindful of liquidity recognizing that clients need ready access to their cash.

Let's have a conversation.

Your dedicated Private Banking and Investment Group team is ready to help you pursue what's most important to you.

Our Vision

For clients of substantial wealth, Merrill Lynch’s Private Banking and Investment Group provides an experience that is both powerful and personal. We are dedicated to helping you pursue your goals for today while developing a wealth strategy designed to support your family members for the years to come.

A trusted one-on-one relationship
Your private wealth advisor and team of specialists work with a limited number of clients, enabling them to focus their time, training and passion on helping you simplify your personal and business finances and prepare your next generation as stewards of wealth.

Boutique-like service with the access to the investment resources of Merrill Lynch and banking convenience of Bank of America

We combine the personalized attention and feel of a smaller firm with the power and insights of a global financial institution, creating strategies tailored to your unique situation.

A relentless commitment to transparency and customized strategies

As our client, know that we are working in your best interests, providing sophisticated strategies designed to anticipate and meet your evolving financial needs

Cotten Padalino Group