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 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:  America's Top Women Advisors 2018*
  • NH Business Review:  Business Excellence Award for Financial Services 2018***
  • Forbes:  Best-in-State Advisors List - Maine 2018*
  • Forbes:  America's Top Women Advisors 2017*
  • NH Magazine:  2017 Five Star Wealth Manager**
  • Investment News:  Best Practices Award, Top Producer - 2017 Advisor Technology Study

 

Leaders Seal
 

Nichole D. Raftopoulos is proud to have been recognized as a Leaders Level advisor for 2017—a distinction based on annual production attained by just 7 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 Leaders Level advisors by inviting them to an exclusive gathering of their peers, leading industry experts, and Commonwealth home office staff. Leaders 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 Forbes' Top Wealth Advisors (Top Women Advisors) 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, 2,723 advisors were considered, and 200 (7.3 percent of candidates) were recognized. For the full methodology that Forbes developed in partnership with SHOOK Research, please visit here.

The 2018 ranking of the Forbes' Best-in-State Wealth Advisors list was developed by SHOOK Research and is based on in-person and telephone due-diligence meetings to evaluate each advisor qualitatively and on a ranking algorithm that includes client retention, industry experience, review of compliance records, firm nominations, and quantitative criteria (including assets under management and revenue generated for their firms). Overall, 21,000 advisors were considered, and 2,213 (10.5 percent of candidates) were recognized.  Winners are organized and ranked by state. Some states may have more advisors than others. You are encouraged to conduct your own research to determine if the advisor is right for you. 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. The full methodology that Forbes developed in partnership with SHOOK Research is available at www.forbes.com/sites/rjshook/2018/02/15/forbes-best-in-state-wealth-advisors-methodology

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.

** Based on 10 objective eligibility and evaluation criteria, including a minimum of 5 years as an active credentialed financial professional, favorable regulatory and complaint history, accepts new clients, client retention rates, client assets administered, education, and professional designations. 739 New Hampshire wealth managers were considered for the award; 104 (14 percent of candidates) were named 2017 Five Star Professionals. (The criteria provided reflects the most recent year for which advisor received the award. The criteria used, the number of wealth managers considered for the award, and the percentage of those who receive the award, may vary from year to year). These awards are not indicative of the wealth managers' future performance. Your experiences may vary. For more information, please visit www.fivestarprofessional.com.

***The NH Business Review's Business Excellence Awards recognize the imagination, industriousness, innovations and achievements of business owners and operators in New Hampshire. This award is not specific to financial services and does not imply an endorsement, recommendation, or otherwise reflect the performance of the advisor or any account.

 

Amanda C. H. Petersen, FPQP™

VP of Operations and 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

Recent Accolades:

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

 

Daphne L. Lafazan

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.

Justin M. Happ

Investment 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.

Deb Collins

Office Manager, Portsmouth, and Client Administrator

As office manager of our Portsmouth location and client administrator, Deb’s energy, communication skills, and professional attributes help assist the firm by attending to the day-to-day client requests and needs while managing the administrative responsibilities for our Portsmouth office. In addition, she assists the team in our main Kennebunk location when needed.  

Deb has previous experience in general ledger accounting and sales support for a capital markets data firm. She attended Southern Connecticut State University, where she earned her BS in corporate communications in 1988.

Deb lives in Newmarket, New Hampshire, with her family and two dogs. She can often be seen cycling around town on weekends or participating in area triathlons.

Jennifer Dignum

Office Manager, Kennebunk, and Client Administrator

As office manager and client administrator of our Kennebunk location, Jen’s responsibilities include tasks that keep the Kennebunk office running smoothly and efficiently.  In addition, she assists the team with form preparation and helps facilitate the processing of various client requests.

Before moving to Maine in 2013, Jen spent 18 years working in banking management at one of the largest credit unions in the Albany, NY area.  She moved to Maine to be closer to family and managed a three store, family-owned local retail business before joining Nvest.  Jen brings to Nvest a wealth of operational and marketing leadership.

When not at work Jen enjoys practicing yoga and exploring the Maine coastline with her two dogs, a Pug and a Schnoodle.

Colleen Forde

Client Services Assistant - Marketing Coordinator

Colleen is the friendly voice who greets you on the phone. She facilitates daily administrative duties and works with the Nvest team to ensure our clients’ needs and requests are handled with the most attentive care. As Marketing Coordinator, she oversees all of the marketing endeavors at Nvest. Colleen brings her experience and knowledge of print and design to her role as she has lived and worked as a professional artist, graphic designer and marketing professional for more than 20 years.

Colleen moved to the Maine seacoast in 1998 from the Boston area.  When not at work Colleen enjoys spending time outdoors with friends and family, walking her dog Cooper or landscape painting along the beaches and marshes of the seacoast.