Our Team

Paul Pittman, CFP®, Managing Partner


Paul is a Managing Partner of The Preferred Client Group who began his career as an intern for Prudential-Bache Securities in 1983. Paul firmly believes in education and is constantly continuing his own studies to provide his clients with the best advice and guidance possible. He has earned the prestigious CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER TM certification in his commitment to that goal. Paul’s practice concentrates on multi-generational planning with client’s entire families built on principles of trust, integrity, and understanding. These principles allow him to provide his clients with meaningful guidance that is designed to help achieve clearly defined goals and objectives.

Paul earned his undergraduate degree from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has lived in the Triangle for more than 35 years. He and his wife Maggie have two children. Paul is also a nationally recognized and sought-after public speaker and humorist.

John McAulay, CFP®, Managing Partner

John began his career in financial services by joining Legg Mason Wood Walker as a Financial Advisor in 2001, and transitioned to Smith Barney via a company acquisition in 2006. 

John has been a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional since 2006, and received a certificate in Financial Planning from Duke University. Originally from Long Island, NY, John received his undergraduate degree from East Carolina University. He currently resides in Cary, NC with his wife, Leslie, and their two children. He enjoys coaching his son in football and lacrosse, and is a member of the Y Princess program with his daughter.


Chad Griffith, Partner

Chad began his career as a Financial Advisor with American Express Financial Advisors, now Ameriprise Financial, in late 2003. Before joining American Express, Chad worked as a Change Management Consultant in Healthcare Management Solutions in London, UK and Durham, NC.

Chad is committed to working with his clients and their families to form lasting relationships built on principles of trust, integrity, and understanding. He is able to help his clients, which consist of individuals, families, and small businesses, in the following areas:

- Comprehensive Financial Planning - Estate Planning
- Retirement Planning - Investment Strategies
- Insurance/Protection Planning - Employer Provided Benefits
- Income Tax Strategies - College Education Planning

Moreover, he has partnered with multiple insurance carriers to be able to provide clients with numerous choices for protection when looking at life insurance, disability insurance, long term care insurance, and health insurance. In addition, his background as a Change Management Consultant enables him to work with small business on their financial planning and employee benefits planning needs.

Originally from Lexington, NC, Chad is a graduate of the Kenan Flagler Business School at UNC-Chapel Hill. He has a beautiful wife, Caroline Hope Griffith, who works for Non-Profits focused on Global Health Initiatives (primarily HIV/AIDS issues in Africa). His interests include world travel, sports (especially UNC Basketball and golf), reading, musicals, laughter, and hanging out with family and friends.


Jakub Kreuter, Managing Partner

Jakub is a Senior Partner of The Preferred Client Group who began his career as an intern for Merrill Lynch in 1998. Jakub firmly believes that everyone deserves a financial advisor who has their best interests in mind. Through continuous education and in-depth research, Jakub provides unbiased advice for guiding his clients through the murky waters of Retirement Planning, Portfolio Management, Long-Term Care Planning, Insurance Needs Planning, and College Planning.

Jakub earned his undergraduate degree from North Carolina State University. He’s lived in the Triangle for over 15 years and has enjoyed a majority of it with his wife Zoey and two children.


John Carson

John joined The Preferred Client group in 2009, bringing 30 years of business experience with John Deere and a passion for helping others secure their financial future. John’s serves corporate employees and retirees who want unbiased professional advice to manage their assets and fund their dreams. He also advises families like his, who have a special member that require loving care and a thoughtful life plan. As an independent financial advisor John delivers personalized solutions, which include:

  • Comprehensive Financial Planning
  • Retirement and Estate Planning
  • Portfolio Management
  • Investment and Tax Strategies
  • Life and Long Term Care Protection

John earned a business degree from Iowa State and an MBA from UNC Chapel Hill in 2003. He completed NC State’s Certified Financial Planner® Education Program in 2008. His association with The Preferred Client Group allows him to deliver a team of experience professionals coupled with John’s passion for providing a valued relationship to his clients. John has three adult daughters including Emily who resides with John and his wife Hila.


David Hellinger

David began his career as a Financial Advisor at Ameriprise in 2003. David firmly believes that careful and thoughtful planning is the key to maximizing financial opportunity and avoiding unnecessary mistakes. His mission is to align client’s core values with their financial lives to help reach financial goals through a personal relationship based on personalized, knowledgeable advice. As a fee based advisor and fiduciary for his client, David specializes on complex and comprehensive needs of executives, business professionals and medical professionals.

David is originally from Winston-Salem and has lived in the triangle since 1995. A graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, David resides in Cary with his wife Jennifer and their three children. David is active Rotarian, member of Cary Chamber and BNI. He enjoys coaching his children’s soccer, reading, golf, soccer as well as fine food and wine.




Tim Russ

Tim joined the Preferred Client Group during the summer of 2010. He began his Investment Advisory career with Morgan Stanley in 1999, where he first worked in the World Trade Center in N.Y., and then at M.S.’s Regional office in Sarasota, Florida. Tim moved to Cary, N.C. in 2003 with his wife Susan.

Prior to 1999 Tim held Sr. Management positions with several major Chemical and Petrochemical companies. His expertise has always been asking his clients pertinent, detailed questions. Then really listening to what they have to say. Tim continues by what he calls: “Drilling deep”. Working to find out what is most important to his clients, both now, and down the road. This enables Tim to develop comprehensive Investment Plans that meets his client’s needs, and time horizon. Then after implementation, he follows through by not only doing constant monitoring of this client’s accounts, but by performing systematic, frequent reviews to keep his clients informed.

As an Independent Financial Advisor working through The Preferred Client Group and LPL Financial, Tim is able to offer detailed, unbiased financial advice in the follow the following areas. – Detailed Portfolio Management; - Financial Planning; - Retirement and Estate Planning; - Comprehensive Tax Strategies.