Financial wizard Michael E. Matarazzo

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AmariThis month we highlight the distinguished career of a bright young man from our community, Michael E. Matarazzo, a dynamic professional in the financial field. Michael has a wealth of educational and professional experience, presently serving as a Regional Vice President of Nationwide Financial. No small feat for such a young person. In this capacity, he manages the distribution of Nationwide Mutual Funds to all the major investment banks and broker dealers in Chicago. He consults and partners with financial advisors on asset allocation, security selection and financial planning concerns. Michael has been recognized in his field, an example of which is being the recipient of the MVP Team Player nationally and received a Bravo Award in 2013, both for collaboration and shared sales development. The records show that he increased sales by 110 percent in 2013 and 85 percent in 2014. Obviously, a young man with tremendous talent, ability, and determination.

Michael worked in other positions in the financial field, including, from 2006 to 2013 for Direxion Investments in Chicago, as Senior Regional Director. In this position, he promoted and marketed alternative investment strategy mutual funds and ETFs to Wire House, Independent Financial Advisors in numerous states. He successfully raised well in excess of $600 million in mutual fund assets through 2013 and ranked first or second for new producers in net sales during his time at Direxion.

Prior to Direxion, he began his career at MFS/Sun Life Financial, working his way up five positions, from Teleservices Representative to Vice President. From 1993 to 1998, he was a Teleservices Rep, where he responded to shareholder and top producing representatives, worked on account processing, and generated leads for the external sales force. From 1998 to 2000, he was an Inside Wholesaler, where he promoted and marketed MFS Mutual Funds and Annuities within Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska. From 2000 to 2002, he was the Senior Sales Representative for Insurance Products, where he promoted and marketed MFS Annuities for the western division of the company. From 2002 to 2003, he was the Business Development Manager, where he promoted and marketed all MFS products and services in the North East. He was recognized as a top three producing advisor for gross sales and new producers in 2003. Finally, he was promoted to Vice President and Regional Manager in 2003, where he was recognized for increasing sales by 98% in 2004 and finished top 5 of 40 territories in 2005 and 2006.

A graduate of the highly respected Ivy League school of Boston University, he has licenses as Series 6, 63 Securities Licenses and IL Insurance License, as well as a being a Certified Continuing Education Instructor.
From time to time, in response to our request for information for purposes of highlighting a given career, we receive a narrative that, because of the quality and sincerity, requires it to be published in the subject’s own words. Now in his own most charming and illuminating words, more history of this month’s professional from our community.

“Leonard, I’m incredibly flattered by your note dated March 26, 2015, and that you would think of me for one of your monthly columns in Fra Noi. Honestly, I’m not sure how to respond. Certainly, let’s meet and have a conversation first, and then we can decide together if that makes sense. My career has lasted 22 years and I’ve certainly had success and quietly made a difference in people’s lives. Of course, my dedication is to my wife, Karah, and my amazing daughter Mia Angelene Matarazzo.

“For perspective, I would like to take a moment and share, I’m a very sincere man and hold myself to the highest standard of ethics and integrity. Growing up in Cambridge, Mass., and of humble beginnings, my family values were formed by a working mom taking care of three children, going to school to get a master’s in education, and running the Department of Children’s Family Services in Lynn, Mass. (one of the toughest neighborhoods in the Boston area), in her 20s. She is one of my mentors and just a wonderful human being. Unfortunately, my parents divorced when I was very young. In many ways, this personal family struggle has shaped my values and character as a man.

“I have always felt a strong pride for my Italian heritage (as well as my Irish heritage) and recall spending time with my grandfather’s mom from Italy when I was a preteen. Speaking very broken English, she would go on and on and of course, I could not understand one word. Another strong woman in my life is my Italian grandmother, who I affectionately refer to as Nana, will turn 95 on April 3. She’s an example of strength, family values, and perseverance. She grew up in Chelsea, Massachusetts, a working class community, overcame poverty, wars, and the depression though always kept our family together. She and I are very close today and I have such fond memories of her throughout my life. Her parents, Angela and Valentino Nista, emigrated from a small town northeast of Naples called Sant’ Arcangelo Trimonte.”

About Leonard F. Amari

Leonard F. Amari is a founding, co-managing partner of Amari & Locallo, a law firm that focuses exclusively on real estate tax assessment issues. He is a J.D. recipient from The John Marshall Law School, with honors. Amari has been a John Marshall trustee since 2000 and was elected president of the board in 2007. He is past president of the Illinois State Bar Association, a member of the Chicago Bar Association’s State and Local Taxation Committee, and a member and past president of the Justinian Society of Lawyers. He has received numerous honors from many organizations recognizing his service.

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