Thomas B. Conway, Founder
Tom is President and Founder of The Connemara Group, a fee-only financial planning firm based in Rockville, Maryland. He and his team serve clients throughout the Washington, DC Metropolitan Region as well as nationally and internationally.
For over a decade, Tom consistently has been named by peers as being among the top fee-only advisors in Washington, DC and the surrounding region in surveys conducted by Washingtonian magazine and others. The firm’s flat fee, fee-for-service model is perfect for do-it-yourself professionals and executives seeking occasional fiduciary guidance without product sales or commissions or hefty recurring asset management fees.
Tom is uniquely positioned to provide comprehensive planning and investment advice to affluent, high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families. He is among a handful of practicing advisors nationally to have climbed the Seven Summits of Financial Planning:
- General Financial Planning – Certified Financial Planner (CFP®);
- Law or Accounting – Attorney (JD);
- Investment Management – Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®);
- High Net Worth Advisory – Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA®):
- Insurance – Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®);
- Estates & Trusts – Certified Trust & Financial Advisor (CTFA®); and
- Philanthropy – Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy ®
Additionally, Tom has earned Retirement Planning’s Triple Crown:
- Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP®);
- Chartered Retirement Counselor (CRC®); and
- Retirement Management Analyst (RMASM) (certification pending)
A product of a rigorous undergraduate liberal arts education followed by law school, Tom has pursued lifelong learning. He enjoys sharing what he learns with clients. He attends numerous professional conferences each year to maintain his many designations and credentials. Clients benefit from Tom’s decades of experience, broad and deep knowledge base and commitment to continuing professional education.
Tom has eschewed developing a niche practice. While many clients are approaching or are already in retirement, the firm also serves affluent young professionals as well as clients who are mid-career or in transition.
Prior to becoming a financial planner, Tom practiced law for more than a decade. He remains an active member of the Maryland and District of Columbia bars. In 1996, Tom transitioned from the practice of law to providing comprehensive planning and investment advice to private clients. He worked for several large financial institutions including Merrill Lynch & Co. and Bank of America before forming his own fee-only financial planning firm in 2009.
Tom is married to D. Elizabeth Walker, a founding partner of Walker & Murphy & Nelson, a civil litigation defense firm based in Rockville, Maryland. He and Elizabeth have two children, Kathryn and Matthew. Tom and Elizabeth enjoy traveling, hiking and reading.
Mr. Conway is an active member of the following professional organizations:
- Financial Planning Association
- Garrett Planning Network
- National Association of Personal Financial Advisors
- Investment Management Consultants Association®
- National Association of Professional Organizers
- American Bar Association
- International Bar Association
- Maryland State Bar Association
- District of Columbia Bar Association
- National Association of Estate Planners and Councils
- District of Columbia Estate Planning Council
- Northern Virginia Estate Planning Council
Scarlett (Yuanyuan) Che, Associate Advisor
Scarlett (Yuanyuan) Che, CFP® CRPC® is an Associate Advisor with Connemara. She directly supports all planning engagements.
Scarlett is a native of Zhuzhou, Hunan Province, China. She holds a Master’s in Finance degree from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2014) as well as the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) and Certified Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC®) professional designations.
A Financial Planning Association (FPA®) Diversity Scholarship recipient, Scarlett is committed to educating others on the importance of diversity within the emerging financial planning profession. Developing the skills and experience needed to serve as a highly qualified global financial planning professional is Scarlett’s long-term passion. Scarlett is devoted to provided outstanding client service without the need for product sales or other sales goals.
In her spare time, Scarlett enjoys hiking, reading, writing and traveling. She is also a student of the culinary arts and explorer of new restaurants. She is fluent in both English and Mandarin.
Dennis (Zhen) Zhang, Associate Investment Analyst
Dennis (Zhen) Zhang is an Associate Investment Analyst with Connemara. He is responsible for assisting with investment modeling and analysis. In July 2018, he will sit for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) Level III Exam. As a CFA® candidate, Dennis has deep understanding on various financial topics including but not limited to investment planning, financial analysis, equity research, and financial products.
Dennis is committed to using his experience in financial modeling and analysis to improve client processes and outcomes through increased knowledge and understanding.
Dennis is a native of Shandong, China. He speaks fluent English and Chinese Mandarin. Dennis holds a Bachelor of Science degree (Magna Cum Laude) in business administration from The Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University (2015) and a Master’s in Finance from The Carey School of Business, Johns Hopkins University (2017).
Javier Diaz, Executive Planning Analyst
Javier Diaz is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. Javier has been with Connemara since 2015.
As Executive Financial Planning Analyst, Javier plays a key role in developing detailed investment recommendations for implementation in each client’s unique comprehensive financial plan.
Javier holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance, cum laude, from Florida International University and a Master of Science in Financial Planning from The University of Georgia. He also has earned the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC®) designation awarded and supervised by the College for Financial Planning. In addition, he holds the Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC®) designation awarded and supervised by the Association for Financial Counseling Planning and Education (AFCPE).
Javier enjoys researching financial planning topics and hopes to help move the profession forward by teaching and inspiring others. In his free time he can usually be found at a Little League event with his son or enjoying a walk with his wife and their Labrador retriever.