ACERRA & ASSOCIATES

LEGAL, TAX & FINANCIAL COUNSEL



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  • PROFESSIONAL STAFF
  • STEPHEN M. ACERRA, JR., ESQ. is the Managing Principal and Director of Client Services at Acerra & Associates. Following his graduation from Boston Latin School, where he received the highest combined SAT scores in his state senate district, he was awarded a four-year Senatorial Honors Scholarship to attend the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he received his Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with honors grades in accounting, and served as a Head Proctor and Faculty Research Assistant to Professor and Dean Emeritus George S. Odiorne at the Isenberg School of Management. He subsequently attended Suffolk University Law School in Boston, where he received his Juris Doctor (JD) with concentrations in estate planning and administration, real estate, and tax law. While at the law school, he received the highest petitioner brief score in the Justice Tom C. Clark Moot Court Competition; served as a staff member and author of a lead review for the Suffolk University Law School Journal; participated in the summer author program of the Suffolk University Law Review; and was inducted as a member of the William H. Rehnquist Inn of the Phi Delta Phi legal honors fraternity. Following receipt of his Juris Doctor degree, he passed the Massachusetts bar examination on his first attempt, and was subsequently accepted into the post-doctorate "Program in Dispute Resolution" at Harvard Law School, which he completed under the supervision of Associate Dean & Bussey Professor of Law Frank E. A. Sander. He has also successfully completed the "Investment Analysis & Portfolio Management" graduate program in finance at Boston University.

    In addition to over 15 years of professional experience in a private client practice specializing in the fields of legal, tax, and financial services, he also possesses a unique body of substantial and comprehensive knowledge gained from his prior career experience as a senior tax preparer with H & R Block Tax Services; as a personal financial planner with American Express Financial Advisors; and as a senior legal specialist in the shareholder services division of State Street Bank & Trust Company, where he supervised a large staff of investment professionals having total responsibility for all retail, institutional, and retirement account operations for a global client mutual funds complex with over 700,000 shareholder accounts invested in dozens of multi-class mutual funds with a total of over $52 billion in assets. He completed the "Retirement Plans" and "IRA Specialist" training certification programs within the mutual fund operations division at State Street Bank & Trust Company, and was subsequently assigned supervisory responsibilities for any shareholder services unit staff needing training or assistance with any complex tax or legal issues arising within any individual, small business, or large corporate retirement plan accounts.

    While working for American Express Financial Advisors, he completed the company's rigorous twelve-month executive training program in financial planning; successfully passed the Series 7 General Securities Representative license examination and the Series 63 Uniform State Law Securities license examination; and successfully passed the life, health, disability, and long-term care insurance license examination administered by the Division of Insurance of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He was also selected to testify as an expert witness in the federal court system in Washington, D.C., on behalf of a consortium of American Express companies, and designed a comprehensive asset management proposal that was adopted by the Office of Special Masters in the federal courts to structure multi-million dollar claimant awards for a nationwide class of permanently disabled children who were eligible for lifetime compensation under the provisions of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.

    In addition to the Series 7 and Series 63 licenses, he also currently holds the Series 24 General Securities Principal license and the Series 65 Uniform Investment Advisor license. FINRA BrokerCheck He is currently affiliated with Securities Service Network, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC, a leading independent broker/dealer registered in all fifty states, and SSN Advisory, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor subject to the supervisory jurisdiction of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Founded in 1983, Securities Service Network, Inc. has appeared an unprecedented six times on the "Inc. 500 Magazine" annual listing of the nation's fastest-growing private companies, and was subsequently inducted into the "Inc. 500 Magazine Hall of Fame" in 1999 as one of only twelve companies to have received this annual recognition so many times.

    In 1995, he was nominated and subsequently appointed as a federal Arbitration Panel Chairman for District 11 of the National Securities Arbitration Board that is jointly administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to regulate and oversee the business conduct and practices of over 5,500 securities brokerage and investment management firms, with regulatory oversight responsibility for more than 92,000 branch offices and over 670,000 registered securities professionals in the United States. FINRA District 11 is headquartered in Boston and has jurisdiction for a seven-state region in the northeastern United States, including all six New England states and the entire state of New York except for New York City, Long Island, and 3 surrounding counties. Armed with the powers of administrative law judges to control the admission and exclusion of witnesses and evidence, to issue subpoenas, injunctions and cease & desist orders, to enter binding awards with limited grounds for appeal, and to refer matters deemed appropriate for additional civil and criminal enforcement proceedings, the panel conducts formal hearings into complaints of fraud, misrepresentation, churning, investment unsuitability, and other violations of securities laws, regulations and rules that are filed by aggrieved members of the general public against stockbrokers and securities brokerage firms within the seven-state jurisdictional region of FINRA District 11.

    During the course of his many years in private practice, he has appeared as counsel of record in cases heard at every level of the state and federal court system in Massachusetts, including appearances before the District and Superior Courts of Massachusetts, the Appellate Division of the District Courts of Massachusetts, the Probate and Family Courts of Massachusetts, the Appeals Court and the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and the U.S. Tax Court. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Boston Bar Association, the Boston Estate Planning Council, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the National Association of Tax Professionals, the Financial Planning Association, the Association for Investment Management & Research, the Boston Security Analysts Society, the Investment Management Consultants Association, and the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries.

    In addition to his leadership and public service within the securities industry, he has also been involved in numerous other civic, educational, and charitable endeavors, including over a decade of service to the Alumni Association of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he has served in various capacities as its president, as a member of its board of directors (including service as chairman of various committees), and the founder of its annual Business Luncheon Program that brings the CEO's of major corporations to Boston each year for a keynote address. He has also served for four years as a member of the Chancellor's Council of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and over a decade as a member of the Alumni Admissions Council and the Ambassadors Network of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is a founding member of The University of Massachusetts Club in downtown Boston; a member of the Fortune Magazine Business Leaders Council; a member of the Bulfinch Society of the Massachusetts General Hospital, and a prior co-chairman of the finance committee for the biennial MGH Mindscapes Fine Art Gala Fundraiser; a member of the Boston Latin School Association; a member of the Second Century Club of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; an associate gold member of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston; a member of the Boston Public Library Foundation; a member of The Harvard Club of Boston; and a member of the Bishop Minihan Society of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.



    JENNIFER M. TRAKAS-ACERRA, MBA is the Director of Tax Services at Acerra & Associates. Following her graduation from Milton Academy, she received a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in economics from Mount Holyoke College, a paralegal certification from Boston University, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Carroll Graduate School of Management at Boston College. She has accumulated decades of comprehensive experience in the tax and financial services fields through prior employment with H & R Block Tax Services; Shawmut Bank; State Street Bank & Trust Company; and Putnam Investments. She has also previously served as an Associate National Bank Examiner for the New England Region with the U. S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, in addition to prior service in the Public Protection Bureau of the Office of the Attorney General of Massachusetts.



    CHRISTOPHER J. TRAKAS, MBA, CPA is the Director of Business Services at Acerra & Associates. Following his graduation from Milton Academy, he received a Bachelor of Science (BS) from Harvard College, and subsequently received a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with prior professional employment experience at Price Waterhouse Coopers in Boston, together with decades of experience in the public and private accounting fields. He has held senior level positions as Director of Auditing and Chief Compliance Officer at a major life insurance company, and also serves as an officer and trustee of several charitable and non-profit organizations.



    VIRGINIA M. ACERRA is the Director of Administration at Acerra & Associates. Following her graduation from Emmanuel College, where she was first in her class with a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Chemistry, she embarked upon a comprehensive 26-year career with the Department of Health and Hospitals of the City of Boston, where she served as the Director of Purchasing and Contract Administration, reporting directly to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Department of Health and Hospitals, and was responsible for the management of an office staff of 15 professionals and an annual budget in excess of $400 million in equipment and service contracts for Boston City Hospital (a major teaching hospital and trauma center that has subsequently merged with Boston University Medical Center to form Boston Medical Center), the Mattapan Rehabilitation Hospital, the Long Island Chronic Disease Hospital, the Boston Public Health Commission, the Department of Emergency Medical Services of the City of Boston, and twelve neighborhood health centers located throughout the City of Boston. She is a recipient of the prestigious Henry L. Shattuck Award for Excellence in Public Service that was jointly awarded by the Mayor of the City of Boston and the Board of Directors of the independent Boston Municipal Research Bureau.



  • OFFICE LOCATIONS
  • BOSTON: Our downtown Boston office is located on the 26th floor of the State Street Bank Building at 225 Franklin Street in the heart of the downtown financial district. The telephone number for our Boston office is: (617)737-7300.

    MILTON: Our South Shore office is located at 75 Adams Street in historic Milton Village, and is conveniently accessible within minutes of highway exits on Route 3, Route 24, Route 128, Route I-93 and Route I-95. The telephone number for our Milton office is: (617)698-7500.

    HYANNIS: Our Cape Cod & Islands office is located in the Foster Building at 76 West Main St. (directly across from the ticket office and entrance to the Cape Cod Melody Tent) in downtown Hyannis, and is easily accessible by Route 28 and Route 6 from all points on Cape Cod. The telephone number for our Cape Cod office is: (508)778-8900.

    MAILING ADDRESS: Our mailing address for any type of delivery by the United States Postal Service is: Acerra & Associates, P.O. Box 51598, Boston, MA 02205-1598. Our mailing address for any type of delivery by overnight private courier services is: Acerra & Associates, 225 Franklin St., Suite 2600, Boston, MA 02110.

    FAX NUMBER: The telephone number for the receipt of facsimile transmissions to any of our office locations is: (617)737-7330.



    ACERRA & ASSOCIATES
    225 Franklin St., P.O. Box 51598
    Boston, Massachusetts   02205-1598

    Ph: 617-737-7300
    Fax: 617-737-7330
    webmaster@acerra-associates.com




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