Our Team

Our Team

"Trust is the glue of life. It's the most essential ingredient in effective communication.

It's the foundational principle that holds all relationships." 
—Stephen Covey 

 

Our goal is to help bring clarity to your vision. Our team of professionals will simplify the complexities of the financial world to meet your personal needs and goals. We consider each situation a unique relationship and not just a portfolio balance. Everyone at Nvest is committed to adhering to the highest standards of ethics and education in our industry so that we may provide you and your family up-to-date, expert, and caring advice.

 

Nichole D. Raftopoulos, CFP®, CDFA™, AIF®, MPAS℠

President and CEO

Nichole is President/CEO and founder of Nvest Financial Group, LLC. She began her career in the financial services industry in 1995, having previously worked as an advisor with two large brokerage firms before establishing Nvest.

Nvest was created to be the kind of place where we, ourselves, would want to be clients - an independent firm so we could focus 100% of our time and effort on the needs and objectives of our clientele,” explains Nichole as one reason for having founded the firm in 2003. Above all else, Nichole values her clients, their relationships, and working for them and not for a big Wall Street conglomerate.

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner, Accredited Investment Fiduciary® designee,
Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™, and Master Planner in Advanced Studies, Nichole takes her fiduciary responsibility seriously when it comes to clients in her care. She and her team work tirelessly and precisely regarding all aspects of a client's financial life, helping to educate along the way so clients feel they are making informed decisions about their personal financial matters.

Nichole is often tapped as a guest speaker at various events, national and local conferences, talk shows, and other groups because of her uncanny ability to take difficult subject matter and make it easily understandable to her audience. She has been recognized for her achievements by being invited to numerous broker/dealer top-producer club levels over the past 10 years.

 

RECENT INDUSTRY HONORS:

  • Forbes:  Best-in-State Advisors List - Maine 2020*
  • K, K & A Chamber of Commerce: Inaugural Driven Woman of the Year Award 2019
  • Forbes:  America's Top Women Advisors 2019*
  • Forbes:  Best-in-State Advisors List - Maine 2019*
  • Five Star Wealth Advisor:  New Hampshire 2019**
  • Forbes:  America's Top Women Advisors 2018*
  • NH Business Review:  Business Excellence Award for Financial Services 2018***
  • Forbes:  Best-in-State Advisors List - Maine 2018*
  • Five Star Wealth Advisor New Hampshire 2018**
  • Forbes:  America's Top Women Advisors 2017-2020*
  • Five Star Wealth Avisor New Hampshire 2017**
  • Investment News:  Best Practices Award, Top Producer - 2017 Advisor Technology Study

 

Leaders Seal
 

Nichole D. Raftopoulos is proud to have been recognized as a Chairman's Level advisor for 2019—a distinction based on annual production attained by just 3 percent of advisors affiliated with Commonwealth Financial Network.

Each year, Commonwealth, the Registered Investment Adviser–broker/dealer that helps us process investment transactions on your behalf, recognizes Chairman's Level advisors by inviting them to an exclusive gathering of their peers, leading industry experts, and Commonwealth home office staff. Chairman's Level advisors benefit from an intensive learning and networking experience designed to help them hone their expertise, share best practices, and provide ever-higher levels of service, education, and leadership to their clients.

 

Summary of Advanced Education and Professional Licenses:

  • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner—CFP® certification from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. 
  • Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ (CDFA™) 
  • Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®)
  • Master Planner Advanced Studies (MPAS) 
  • Master's of science degree, financial planning 
  • FINRA Series 7, 24, 63, and 65 securities registrations held through Commonwealth Financial Network® 
  • Life and health insurance agent’s license 
  • Maine and New Hampshire licensed Investment Advisor 

*The ranking of 2020 Forbes' Top Women Advisors(1) is based on an algorithm of qualitative and quantitative criteria, including a minimum of seven years of experience, a minimum of $1 million in production, and the weighing of factors including revenue trends, AUM, compliance records, industry experience, and best practices (gathered through telephone and in-person due-diligence interviews). Shook Research also employs an opinion-based weighting system that prioritizes its preferred “best practices,” which include business models, activities, processes, and structure. Overall, 9,654 advisors were considered, and 1,000 (10.3% percent of candidates) were recognized. For the full methodology(2) that Forbes developed in partnership with SHOOK Research, please visit here.

(1) SHOOK Research recognitions and the due-diligence processes conducted are not indicative of the advisor's future performance. Your experience may vary. As your specific needs and circumstances may vary, you are encouraged to conduct your own due diligence. Portfolio performance is not a criterion due to varying client objectives and lack of audited data. SHOOK does not receive a fee in exchange for rankings.

(2) Portfolio performance is not a criterion due to varying client objectives and lack of audited data. SHOOK does not receive a fee in exchange for rankings

Disclosure

Amanda C. H. Petersen, FPQP™

VP of Operations, Associate Financial Consultant

As an Associate Financial Consultant, Amanda works closely with Nichole and Nvest clients to address complex servicing questions and provide planning assistance on cases. In addition, she conducts client meetings by phone or in person, assisting with portfolio reviews, requests, inquiries, and other financial related matters. As an FPQP™, Amanda has completed the course of study encompassing the financial planning process and now assists Nichole with preparation and monitoring of financial plans.

Amanda joined the Nvest team after years of office management and client service experience in the healthcare industry. When not devoting her free time to her wonderful family, you will find her in the community volunteering for various causes and serving on the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Arundel Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.  

Summary of Advanced Education and Professional Licenses:

  • Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional™ —FPQP™ certification from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. 
  • FINRA Series 7 and 66 securities registrations held through Commonwealth Financial Network.

Recent Accolades:

  • Commonwealth Staff Member of the Year - 2017
  • Driven Women Speaker

 

Daphne L. Lafazan, AIF®

Associate Financial Consultant

As an Associate Financial Consultant, Daphne assists Nichole and the team with portfolio research, investment monitoring, and account trading. In addition, she conducts client meetings by phone or in person, assisting with portfolio reviews, requests, inquiries, and other financial related matters.

 

She graduated from George Washington University with a degree in finance. Soon after graduating, she took a job in New York as an equity trader. After 15 years in the city, she moved to New England to start something new.

 

What she loves the most is spending time with her fiancé and daughter exploring the beach near where she lives. She also enjoys a good book and running by the sea.

Kevin A. Shangraw, MBA

Associate Retirement Plan Consultant

As an Associate Retirement Plan Consultant, Kevin works directly with our corporate retirement plans, meeting with our business clients to develop, implement and service their retirement plans along with making sure fiduciary guidelines are followed. He also meets with plan participants to help build the strong relationships Nvest is known for while providing guidance with their retirement plan decisions.

Kevin graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1996 and received his MBA from Southern New Hampshire University in 2014.  Kevin has over 14 years' experience in the financial services industry working on both in asset management and lending services at for several financial institutions and mortgage companies.  Kevin holds the series 7 & 66 FINRA licenses through Commonwealth Financial Network.

Kevin is a 21-year veteran of the Army National Guard with multiple deployments overseas in the Middle East and Asia, having retired in 2012.  In his free time, he enjoys coaching CrossFit, running races and spending time with his wife raising their two sons. 

Justin M. Happ

Research Analyst

As Nvest’s Investment Research Analyst and resident trader, Justin supports the team with research, analysis, monitoring, and the design of our portfolios. He also works to keep the team abreast of the current market and economic environment.

After graduating from the University of New Hampshire in 1998, Justin rose through the ranks at Fidelity Investments to become a fixed income trader. He then joined Commonwealth Financial Network’s trading team before coming to Nvest.

Justin is currently enrolled in the Certificate in Investment Performance Management®(CIPM®) certificate program thru the CFA® Institute. The program provides advanced studies in globally relevant and practice-based investment performance and risk evaluation skills.

In his free time, Justin enjoys biking and running along the ocean near his home in New Hampshire, as well as enjoying as much time as possible with his son and daughter.

Melanie Holt

Office Manager and Registered Client Administrator

As Office Manager and Registered Client Administrator of our Portsmouth location, Melanie brings an array of experience to the Nvest team.

Melanie's primary focus is in working diligently to bring the utmost care and attention in assisting with our clients' daily requests and needs.   This includes answering questions and providing services such as fund transfers, new account processing, scheduling appointments, as well as many other administrative matters. In addition, she oversees the managment of the Portsmouth office to make sure all daily operations are running smoothly and efficiently. 

Before joining Nvest, Melanie spent 9 years working in the financial industry.  She carries the Series 7 and 66 FINRA licenses.

In her free time, Melanie enjoys spending time with her son and daughter, reading a good book and trying out all the local cuisines.

Mina C. Sullivan

Client Administrator

Mina is a recent addition to Nvest. She is a Client Administrator focused on providing excellent service to each of our clients and is one of the first of friendly voices you will hear when calling either of the offices. In addition, her role includes scheduling appointments, prepping for meetings as well as a number of important clerical functions that keep the Nvest offices functioning smoothly.

Mina graduated from Keene State College in 2017 and moved to Portsmouth, NH shortly thereafter. She brings two years of experience from the hospitality industry as she continues growing in the client experience area of the financial industry.

In her spare time, Mina enjoys spending time with her fiancé and two dogs and as a diehard Red Sox fan, spends a lot of free time at Fenway Park at games during the summer season!

Ashley White

Client Administrator

As a recent college graduate and the newest addition to the Nvest team, Ashley is our Client Services Assistant in our Kennebunk office. Her focus is on providing excellent experience and service to clients calling the offices or visiting the Kennebunk location. In addition, Ashley is responsible for making sure the team is properly prepared for meetings and assists in coordinating schedules and making sure the Kennebunk office is running smoothly.

Ashley graduated from Regent University in Virginia in May of 2019 and decided to return back home to Wells, ME where she spent most of her childhood years. She brings a few years of experience in the administrative field from healthcare administrative internships and continues to grow in the client experience area of the financial industry.

In her spare time, Ashley enjoys writing as she is an author to a devotional book. She also enjoys bringing her puppy to the beach as well as spending time with family and friends.