SIEDC Member of the Month

Joe Torres CFP, CRPC

Vice President, Wealth Management Advisor
Merrill Lynch
SIEDC Member of the Month, September 2017


2012 marked the 35th anniversary of Merrill Lynch’s Staten Island office. It also marked when this small satellite office of fourteen advisors surpassed $2 billion of assets managed from their offices at 900 South Avenue.

“Reaching this landmark created a need for introspective analysis to not only identify what contributed to our ability to win the public’s trust and confidence, but to highlight areas for improvement”, says Joe Torres. “We learned that a disproportionate rate of our growth was attributed to individuals and institutions domiciled away from Staten Island. We had to realign with our neighbors and joining the SIEDC was our first step in that rebuilding process”.

For the past 18 years, Merrill Lynch Staten Island has worked from an office which is twenty feet down the hall from the SIEDC. Torres continues, “Joining the SIEDC five years ago has been transformative. They have served us directly and indirectly as our de facto community advocate, educator, lobbyist and connector. I have learned what it takes to be a true partner with my community and the importance of leadership through service. 

Staten Island’s favorite son, Al Lambert once told me ‘On Staten Island, Visibility is Credibility’. The SIEDC has the reach and the public’s attention to execute this vital mission for its members”. In addition to the SIEDC’s Board of Directors, Joe is currently a member of, and holds committee positions with, the boards of Notre Dame Academy, Project Hospitality, Richmond University Hospital and The Giving Hope Network.

He also serves as chairman of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce Membership Council. His community involvement includes membership within the South Shore Rotary, Staten Island Collaborative Law Group, The Richmond County Country Club, The St George Theatre, Richmond County Referral Source and Tunnel2Towers. A graduate of Msgr. Farrell HS, he earned and BA in Economic from NYU prior to entering his career in financial planning 25 years ago.

Joe is a native Staten Islander: “Although I have been a practicing financial planning for 25 years, the past 5 have been especially significant in their marking the time when I reconnected with ‘my people’, Staten Islanders. I work here on the Island, I live here, I was born here and, of course with my lovely wife’s approval, I plan to die here on Staten Island. It is home.” Dr. Daniel J. Messina, CEO of Richmond University Medical Center says: “Joe is a tireless leader who is bright, articulate and highly capable to further the cause, help diagnose the business challenge or motivate those around him to move the agenda in question forward.” Erin Urban, Executive Director of The Noble Maritime Collection, reinforces Dr. Messina’s sentiment: “Joe Torres’ experience working with non-profit institutions is considerable. He is not only knowledgeable, he is eager to lend is help and expertise.


He came aboard the Noble Maritime Collection as our financial advisor this year and has done so much more than help with our fundraising and investments. He takes a genuine interest in what we do, offers suggestions for innovation and improvements, introduces his colleagues to the museum -and does it all with a smile and a sense of humor. We are fortunate that he is associated with us. We could not find a better advisor”.

Joe believes in placing Staten Island first. As more businesses domiciled on Staten Island choose to increase their participation with the SIEDC and community causes, they recognize the benefit of contracting services from familiar, locally domiciled businesses who understand them and who they recognize as being like-minded. Joe comments: “Granted, we are part of a global investment bank, but we choose to brand ourselves as a small fourteen-member family business with access to the resources of a multinational corporation. We have an advisor who is a month away from celebrating his 53rd anniversary with the firm seated down the hall from a millennial who successfully graduated from our training program.

I mention this not solely because they are outstanding financial advisors, but due to the mutual fact that our 53yr veteran is partnered with his son and our rising star is partnered with her dad. If that does not represent a family business. I don’t know what does!”. Carrying with the notion of neighborhood, family and small business, Kenneth Mitchell, Executive Director of the Staten Island Zoo…New York’s Biggest Little Zoo, explains: “Joe Torres is a loyal supporter of the Zoo who prefers to remain inconspicous with his generosity and advice. He has steered us to the tremendously popular Museums on Us program developed by Bank of America, which has become a significant source or new visitors for us; as well as introducing our facility as a host site for Merrill Lynch activities.”

Contact Information

Mailing Address: 900 South Avenue, suite 400 Staten Island NY 10314
GPS: 900 South Ave, Staten Island, NY 10314
Phone: 718-494-5503