JOHN DURKOTA | Transition Specialist | Change Management Advisor | Wealth Management Expert

John Durkota has spent two decades specializing in the various details related to preparing for transitions. He is incredibly well-versed at speaking and advising on topics related to wealth, retirement, selling a business and many other matters. He looks to strengthen not only the wealth of his listeners but also their well-being. To do so, he encourages audiences to pause and re-focus on what holds meaning in their lives. This means that John is sensitive to transitions that people may need guidance in preparing for such as the loss of a loved one, the birth of a child, or an older teenager going away to school.

John takes a holistic and realistic approach to helping audiences identify their goals for everything from retirement or wealth transfer to philanthropy. He is confident at speaking about the insights needed to build dynamic and diversified portfolios considering his expertise in wealth management, while maintaining a data-driven and client-focused view as it to relates to the individual portfolios he manages. In his wealth management advisory role at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, he serves affluent individuals in Atlanta and nationwide – active and retired engineers and accountants, corporate executives and business owners, divorced and widowed women, or couples in their second marriage. Many are career-minded and tech-savvy “numbers people” who want easy access to facts and figures.

John believes that bolstering both sides of clients’ balance sheets (assets and liabilities) is critical – as is helping hardworking people achieve the balance they want in their lives. And, he understands that meeting with both spouses helps engage them in estate planning strategies and plans for saving and spending. John is experienced at connecting the dots in audiences’ financial pictures which means connecting them with his firm’s resources, CPAs and attorneys – even nutritionists and trainers. John is a promoter in the concept that improving the quality of a listeners life goes beyond spreadsheets. He reminds them that if they’re not healthy, wealth can prove meaningless.

John enjoys serving his family, community and society. In keeping with his own core values, he has also participated in five overseas relief trips. With a healthy balance of both business and personal wisdom, John is proficient at speaking on an assortment of topics. Below are just a few of his accomplishments.

  • Wealth Management Advisor, Senior Vice President at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
  • Certified Divorce Financial Analyst/CFDA (trademarks of The Institute for Divorce Financial Analyst)
  • Certified Financial Planner/CFP (certification marks owned by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.)
  • Chartered Financial Consultant/ChFC (marks are the property of The American College)
  • Chartered Life Underwriter/CLU (marks are the property of The American College)
  • Bachelor’s Degree from University of Illinois


John is happily married and an active member in his local church. He has served as a speaker on a variety of topics related to faith, ethics, good character, virtues, marriage, parenting, relationships, community service and much more. He is a strong supporter in having a well-balanced life that has a positive impact at home, in the workplace and the community.

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