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We work together to formulate the best financial plan for you. Our team approach ensures our clients are gaining perspective in multiple key planning areas.

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John Layton

Financial Advisor, CFP
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Since 1985, John has been in the financial industry where today he specializes in retirement planning and wealth management for high net worth individuals. He is a financial advisor, an Executive Officer, and a current board member of Focus Financial. John is also active in recruiting talented advisors to Focus Financial as well as supporting them in their training and transition to the firm. John is a member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and has been a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ since 1990. He graduated from the University of Minnesota, Duluth in 1980 with a B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering. 

In his spare time John enjoys contributing to his community through his many charity events. He is also an avid XC ski racer, downhill skier, snowboarder and musician.

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What’s the most likely place people could find you on a Saturday night?
Eating a great meal with friends while listening to jazz music.

Which would you pick: Living on the beach or living near the mountains?
For sure living in, on, or near the mountains.

If you had the ability to travel back in time, what’s something you would tell your 18-year-old self?
Invest and save more than you think you can, and get involved in volunteering to help others sooner.

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Trent Kerr

Investment Specialist
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Trent joined Focus Financial in 2014, and has worked in various roles within the financial services industry, including running his own branch office. He got his start by majoring in Economics at the University of Hawaii and studying at the renowned Nihon University College of Economics in Tokyo, Japan. He obtained his insurance license in 2010, and then subsequently his Series 6, Series 63, Series 7 and Series 66. Trent handles the research of investments, portfolio construction and analysis, rebalancing and trading for the practice. He helps to ensure that the best information is available when making investment decisions. He enjoys camping and fishing, spending time with friends and family, and is an ardent Dodger and 49ers fan.

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What’s the most likely place people could find you on a Saturday night?
With my wife at her favorite thrift store.

Which would you pick: Living on the beach or living near the mountains?
I reject the construct of this question. I will do both.

If you had the ability to travel back in time, what’s something you would tell your 18-year-old self?
MNST $0.06/share April 2001, TSCO $0.46/share November 2000, and ODFL $1.25/share April 2001.

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Angela Mhiripiri

Practice Manager
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Angela joined the Layton team in October of 2016 when she decided to make a career change from the corporate world.  As John's Practice Manager, Angela manages all the complex needs of a growing financial planning practice which includes meeting preparation, client follow-up, marketing and process creation.   Angela graduated from UW-Eau Claire with a degree in Kinesiology and a minor in Business Administration.  Angela is very active in her children's school and after school activities.  She also enjoys traveling with family, being outdoors and spending summers at the lake. 

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What’s the most likely place people could find you on a Saturday night?
At a kids sporting event or at home having family movie night.

Which would you pick: Living on the beach or living near the mountains?

If you had the ability to travel back in time, what’s something you would tell your 18-year-old self?
You don't need to have your life figured out now - just work hard and enjoy the now.

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Lauren Jagerson

Client Services Manager
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Lauren graduated in 2020 from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul with a degree in Finance and a minor in Economics. Throughout her college internships in the financial services industry, she discovered a passion for helping others transform their financial dreams and visions into attainable goals. During her college years, she spent much of her time in the gym playing on the UST Varsity volleyball team, coaching a youth volleyball team, studying abroad in Guatemala and China, and leading a philanthropic initiative at St. Thomas. In her free time, she enjoys spending time at the cabin with friends and family, going fishing, and trying new coffee shops around the city.

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What’s the most likely place people could find you on a Saturday night?
On a patio enjoying happy hour with friends.

Which would you pick: Living on the beach or living near the mountains?
Definitely the beach.

If you had the ability to travel back in time, what’s something you would tell your 18-year-old self?
I would advise myself to enjoy every moment of college, even the late nights studying, because it flies by. Also, that growth happens through times of challenge and by stepping out of your comfort zone.

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Sarah Schrimpf

Client Service Assistant
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Sarah joined the Layton team in January 2019. Prior to joining Focus Financial, she worked with a major bank for ten years, and then went on to work in the family business of home staging and home décor, and ultimately decided she missed the office environment. She still likes to dabble in design, but won’t be hosting her own HGTV show anytime soon. 

For the Layton team, Sarah assists with scheduling and manages paperwork for new account setup, accounts transfers, rollovers, distributions, and check processing. When not in the office, Sarah can be found driving around her two girls to their various activities, an activity she enjoys very much. She and her husband, Joel, also enjoy boating and going to Twins and Vikings games.

Sarah graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a major in Geography and a minor in Mathematics.

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What’s the most likely place people could find you on a Saturday night?
At our neighbor's house with our combined five kids running around, while we chat about life and enjoy an adult beverage.

Which would you pick: Living on the beach or living near the mountains?
Easy, beach all day.

If you had the ability to travel back in time, what’s something you would tell your 18-year-old self?
Be confident in yourself, and take your time with college, no need to rush and keep up with everyone else. Enjoy the process!

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Marilyn Mullen

Financial Professional
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Solutions for the Greater Good.

We educate, plan and make today's goals a future reality. So why not extend these practices outside our office walls? Focus Financial Community means getting up out of a swivel chair, going past the water cooler and riding down to ground level where a wider community begins. It means investing in the betterment of our neighborhoods. It means finding more than just solutions for our clients, but solutions for the greater good. Focus knows that even though money talks, a smile and helping hand matter too.

What does this look like?

We host 4-5 charity events each year, benefiting causes wide and far. From Minnesota organizations and children in our own backyard, to national charities working to improve lives across America, all are efforts that need our help.

The very act of giving back boosts our own happiness, health and sense of well-being. - Chuck Slocum

Toys For Tots

Over the years Focus Financial has been a drop site for Toys for Tots.  Our team is dedicated to helping children have a joyous holiday season. Clients are able to drop off toys at our offices as well. https://www.toysfortots.org/

The Loppet Foundation

John was first introduced to the foundation when they hosted the first "City of the Lakes Loppet" cross country ski race, one of the few urban ski races in the country. It brought kids of varying backgrounds to participate in an event they normally wouldn't have exposure to. In 2017 John was involved in fundraising for a new gathering place called "The Trailhead" at Wirth Park. The foundation is focused on integrating outdoor sports with kids in the Minneapolis area, including hiking, skiing, mountain biking, tubing and snowboarding. Find out more at: https://www.loppet.org/

Feed My Starving Children

In 2019, a team of 34 Focus Financial employees and clients, came together to pack 9,223 meals, enough to feed 25 kids for one year. We are thankful for such a great team willing to help a great cause. https://www.fmsc.org/

Minnesota Music Coalition

John's father was a firm believer in preserving the arts. He forced everyone in their family to play an instrument. John has learned how much of a gift this was. Today he is blessed to have a wonderful network of friends and band members to enjoy the journey of learning music together.

Through potluck house parties and fundraisers John chooses to give back to the arts through his interest in music. Giving to the Minnesota Music Coalition keeps that support in place for artists who need assistance in launching their professional careers. https://www.mnmusiccoalition.org/#/

Volunteer Ski Instructor

Since 2004 John has volunteered to teach an amazing group of 5th grade students at Sunset Hill Elementary that wouldn't normally get the opportunity to be exposed to winter sports, to learn how to cross country ski. Through the years, he has watched students learn and embrace Minnesota winters. Many students continued on with the sport and joined the Wayzata High School ski racing team. https://www.thesnowpros.org/

Interfaith Outreach/Connect

Bike Day

For the last 14 years, John has organized a bike day to repair used bikes to give to families that have need in his community. John, along with IOCP, a non-profit, non-religious organization in Wayzata, asked family and friends to collect, clean, and repair bikes that are in need of a new home. In 2017 John and team repaired 48 donated bikes that were then sent to IOCP for distribution. On delivery day there were many happy faces receiving bikes! https://www.iocp.org/ 

Take the Emotion Out of Investing

We Can Set You Up for Success


We can assist you in various areas of planning, our goal is to make your life more easy.

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Retirement Planning

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Retirement Planning

Our goal is to help make sure your retirement wishes are fulfilled — as well as protected — from any unexpected obstacles. We aim to make your life simpler and retirement stress free.

We can establish a customized, comprehensive financial plan to ensure you are on track to retire when you desire. 

We will review the long-term impact of your Social Security in your plan if benefits are reduced or adjusted, review cash flow analysis to determine how much income you will need when you retire, and recommend the most appropriate distribution strategy for your employer retirement plans and IRAs.

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Tax Planning

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Tax Planning

The Layton Team has a strong relationship with tax professionals within our office building, and many of our clients find it convenient to do combined meetings with our team and their tax professional at the same time. With our help and your tax professional's collaboration, we can achieve the following:

  • Reducing taxable income through income deferral or shifting.
  • Deduction planning.
  • Investment tax planning.
  • Year-end planning strategies.

The major goal of tax planning is to minimize federal and state income tax liability.

If you choose to give away wealth, during life or after death, you may have federal taxes — and possibly additional state taxes. We can help navigate various tax implications including gift, estate, income and inheritance taxes. We want to help protect the assets you transfer, and avoid excessive expenditures, by understanding these taxes and the various strategies you can use to minimize them.

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Estate Planning

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Estate Planning

Estate planning creates a master plan for the management of your property during life and the distribution of that property after death.

We can assist with the following:

  • Create a basic will for you and your family. (we can refer you to a local estate planning attorney)
  • Create Durable Power of Attorney (for financial decisions).
  • Provide care as you age - formalize an Advanced Care Directive (for medical decisions).
  • Enable wealth transfer - confirm all beneficiaries of retirement accounts are accurately established.
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Investment Planning

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Investment Planning

Through ongoing collaboration, our team can discover new avenues for you to invest your wealth and accomplish your goals. In addition to managing your investments, we’ll educate you on the rationale behind each investment decision so you’re well-versed in the logic of our approach.  

Our goal is to help you answer these questions:

How are my investments doing? Can I do better?

Am I invested properly for my goals and objectives?

What are the best investments based on the economy and the markets right now?

IRA, 401k, Roth IRA, 529, ESA - what is best for me?

We will work alongside you to map out your short- and long-term objectives. As your objectives change, we’ll adjust our approach according to the current state of the markets. Communicating on a regular basis allows us to keep current with all your needs and concerns. 

Through a series of questions, we can identify your optimal risk tolerance. We’ll determine the exact amount of risk needed for you to achieve your goals and remain confident in our services.

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While every conversation is different, get a sense of what it is like to collaborate with us. Contact us for a no cost, no obligation, initial consultation.


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