Who We Are

Your Team of Retirement Plan Specialists

Brian P. Costello, AIF®, CPFA®

Chief Executive Officer          

Brian has over 30 years of industry experience and has successfully guided all aspects of retirement plans while building and maintaining relationships with clients to help them improve their employee benefits.  As Chief Executive Officer, Brian helps lead The Waterford Group team to utilize their talents and skills to assist retirement plan participants to succeed in reaching their individual retirement goals.

Brian holds the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® designation, the Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA®) credential and in 2019 was named a Financial Times 401 Top Financial Adviser.

After graduating with a B.S. in Finance from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY, Brian spent ten years with the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network before moving to the region’s largest investment manager as a vice president and client consultant. Following time with the region’s oldest investment manager he moved to a local independent trust company, as the senior vice president of sales and marketing and was later named president.

He’s deeply involved in the community and has served and continues to serve the community on a number of boards and volunteer organizations, including The Rochester Presbyterian Home Foundation, The Center for Youth and The Bishop’s Stewardship Council of the Roman Catholic Diocese.  He is a member of The Assisi Institute and Asbury First Methodist Church.

Brian enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife, Sarah, and their four children.

Michael J. Merriman, AIF®, CPFA®

Managing Director           

Mike has been in the financial services and investment industry for over 20 years, after graduating with a BS in Finance from Villanova. His skill as a retirement plan advisor has consistently advanced, beginning at Paychex, Inc. where he started as a fixed-income trading assistant in their treasury department in 1996 and ended as a 401(k) sales representative. He achieved the elite Circle of Excellence in 2005. He joined a regional trust company in 2006 as the vice president responsible for the retirement service division and remained with them until 2010.

Today at The Waterford Group, Mike focuses on managing our retirement practice, and holds the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® designation, as well as the Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA®) credential. As Managing Director, he advises clients on company retirement plans and consults with owners and plan sponsors to deliver a “best in class” 401(k) plan. In 2019, he was named a Financial Times 401 Top Financial Adviser. He believes that “you should always work smart for the best interests of the clients…always.”

Mike is very active in the community and his service has included the Ronald McDonald House, Golisano Children’s Hospital and Camp Good Days and Special Times.

Mike and his wife Tracey are proud parents of four children. He enjoys golfing and is a fan of Villanova Basketball, the Red Sox and is a season ticket holder of the Rochester Amerks.

Mary K. O’Brian, AIF®, CPFA®


With over 20 years in the financial services industry, Mary offers knowledgeable support for our clients as they pursue their financial goals. Today, as our president, and an Accredited Investment Fiduciary®, she helps manage new and existing relationships. Having one-to-one experience with thousands of retirement plan participants, she understands the importance of client service and having answers to simple and complex financial questions.

She has a BS in Business Administration from Niagara University and shares her financial expertise with Waterford and the clients we serve based on her experience at Xerox Corporation where she started her career after graduating. While at Xerox, she managed all financial activities for five document technology center sites in three states, with annual revenues of over $30M. She also received numerous awards, including two “Team Excellence” citations and three special recognition program awards.  Mary also earned her Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA®) credential.

Mary’s passion for helping clients achieve their financial goals is equally as strong as the support she gives our community. She’s volunteered her time to the American Red Cross, Penfield Ecumenical Shelf, American Heart Association, and Lollypop Farm. Outside of the office, Mary loves traveling, golfing, skiing and spending time with her family.

Lauren Khuns, CPFA®

Participant Services Coordinator

As the Participant Services Coordinator for the Waterford Group, Lauren is responsible for managing employee communication and investment education. She’s keenly aware of the importance of saving for the future, and she loves providing our clients with the tools and information they need to plan for a happy and healthy retirement.

As a Fordham University graduate she established and built her career with over 10 years at Paychex. While there, Lauren was the recipient of multiple Conference Qualifier awards—one of the most prestigious awards the company offers. She thrives on doing good for others and helping our clients set responsible goals for future security.

Lauren and her husband are proud parents of three and enjoy staying active with new challenges like skiing as a family.

Shawna M. Thompson

Client Services Coordinator

Shawna is a St. Lawrence University graduate and our Client Services Coordinator. Shawna assists with maintaining and strengthening client relationships at the Waterford Group. Her honesty, integrity, and optimism allow our clients to feel right at home, knowing their financial interests and goals are our most important focus.

As a recipient of the Penfield Rotary Service Award, Shawna proves she puts the needs of others before her own. She volunteers at Gliding Stars for Rochester, local animal shelters, and is an active member and volunteer for the St. Lawrence Alumni Association.

Shawna is a travel enthusiast, loves being with her family, running, hiking, and working out. 

Strategic Resources


April 2021 Newsletter

April 2021 Newsletter

401(k) Plan Tax Credit Summary Eligible employers may be able to claim a tax credit of up to $5,000, for three years, for the ordinary and necessary costs of starting a SEP, SIMPLE IRA or qualified plan (like a 401(k) plan.) A tax credit reduces the amount of taxes...

April 2021 Newsletter

April 2021 Newsletter

401(k) Plan Tax Credit Summary Eligible employers may be able to claim a tax credit of up to $5,000, for three years, for the ordinary and necessary costs of starting a SEP, SIMPLE IRA or qualified plan (like a 401(k) plan.) A tax credit reduces the amount of taxes...

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