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While other children were playing soccer or hanging out with their friends in fourth grade, Michelle Merkel was opening her first business – and investing her earnings.

Merkel Financial stands out in an industry where few women hold leadership roles. “I think it’s important to have a perspective that’s unique to women, particularly in planning for a family’s financial health,” Michelle said. “So often, women are at the heart of the family’s finances and financial decisions.”

Merkel Financial has grown steadily in the 20+ years since its founding, with Michelle receiving her Series 7 securities registration in 1994 and the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation in 2001.

Michelle is a nationally recognized industry leader as demonstrated in her qualification for the prestigious International Forum for the top 2% of financial advisors and the Top of the Table and Court of the Table, distinctions of the Million Dollar Round Table organization. She has been recognized as the #1 producer for the Principal Financial Group® in the Ohio Business Center for many years and is regularly in their top 2% in the country. Other awards include the Top Flight Award, the President’s Club, Executive Cabinet. She has also served on an Advisory Board for the Principal Financial Group®, a Fortune 500 company, and on the Columbus Financial Planning Association Board where she has chaired the Financial Planning Association Membership Committee.

As recognition of her achievements and contributions, Columbus Business First named Michelle to its “Forty Under 40” Class of 2010. The distinction recognizes Michelle as one of the business, community, government, and non-profit leaders who have achieved impressive milestones in their careers, and have made significant contributions to central Ohio’s overall quality of life.


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