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Your Team

At Walled Lake, we seek to create an atmosphere contrary to the rigidness of a large corporation. This boutique style is not only how we treat clients, but also how we treat ourselves.

And every client is truly a client of the entire team.

Howard Klieger Photo
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Howard Klieger

Managing Director / Co-Founder

Howard provides professional perspective and key leadership for the Walled Lake team. He also manages several long-standing client relationships and has been working with high-net-worth families for over 38 years.

Howard's long-tenured experience, supported by a Bachelor of Economics degree (SUNY Buffalo) and Master of Finance degree (Emory University) gives him a unique perspective. His professional career has taken him through many market cycles, learning how to navigate  many of the same decisions we help clients make today. 

Howard was born and raised in New York and moved to Chicago in 1981. He currently resides in Wilmette with his wife, Susan. He has two grown children and his interests include tennis, paddle tennis, golf, fishing, and Ravinia.

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Noel Cooper, CFP® Photo
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Noel Cooper, CFP®

Managing Director / Co-Founder

Noel is managing partner and co-founder of Walled Lake Planning & Wealth Management.  He began his career at Bear Stearns in 1998 and in 2001 began working with Howard Klieger’s group at Oppenheimer and Company.  Two years later, he and Howard left to join RBC Wealth Management.

At Walled Lake, Noel provides extensive planning and investment advice for clients as well as research, management and overall direction for the firm.

Noel attended Ohio State University and graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  He leads the group’s efforts in developing sound planning processes for our clients.

Residing in Highland Park with his wife and three children, Noel is very active in his community.  He currently serves on the board of HP Early Learning Center and The Art Center of Highland Park.   His other interests include reading, photography, Euchre, travel and enjoying the beautiful city of Chicago.
Zach Walters, CFP® Photo
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Zach Walters, CFP®

Chief Investment Officer / Principal
Zach began his career and worked as a financial consultant at Ameriprise Financial until joining Howard and Noel’s team in 2006.  Zach’s role at Walled Lake is seeking best-in-class investment solutions, assisting in the wealth management planning process, as well as development of account allocations.

He graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management, and a minor in Finance.  Zach currently resides in downtown Chicago and is active in his community.  He is a member of the United Way Young Leaders Society and is involved in recreational soccer leagues in the greater Chicago area. Zach has lived throughout the country, including Illinois, Indiana, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Ohio, New York, Oregon, and Washington.  In his spare time, Zach enjoys working out, reading non-fiction, and remaining active in sports.
Louis Klieger, CFP® Photo
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Louis Klieger, CFP®

Senior Relationship Manager / Principal
Louis’ role includes creating superior service experiences for Walled Lake clients. He began his professional career in finance in 2015, although a more informal education began much earlier over the dinner table listening to his father, Howard, discuss the many facets of private wealth management.  Louis focuses on coordinating our investment and planning strategies with our network of client CPAs, attorneys, and other professional advisors.  This effort continually refines and enhances the premium client experience we deliver.

He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Science in Advertising with a Minor in Informatics. After university graduation, Louis worked for two years in various roles in design and branding with VSA Partners, working predominately with Fortune 500 companies.

Louis married his wife Beth in May, 2019, and they live together in Evanston.Indoor-rock climbing inspired Louis to build a climbing wall in his own home.
Shelton Smith Photo
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Shelton Smith

Senior Administrative Manager

Shelton’s primary responsibilities at Walled Lake are in the areas of administrative and communication.  Shelton has extensive knowledge of our clients' accounts and manages the execution of the firm's policies and procedures. His creative ability to effectively communicate makes him an invaluable member of our team.

Shelton began his career as an administrative assistant in the investment industry in 1990, with Oppenheimer & Co. He joined Howard Klieger’s group in 1998 and moved with the team to RBC Wealth Management in 2003.

Shelton is committed to serving as a professional, and as an influential role model to the youth of his community.  He serves as a Deacon within his church congregation as well as a mentor to youth groups in his community. Additionally, Shelton is very proud to be the Education Director of the Sigma Beta Club youth auxiliary group, a program that motivates students to focus on scholastic achievement, scholarships and higher education. Shelton's program has received extensive media recognition, including an appearance on WGCI radio and several featured articles in national publications.
Sarah Grayer, CFP® Photo
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Sarah Grayer, CFP®

Senior Client Associate

Sarah’s start in the financial planning industry began in her college years while working for Sundvold Financial, in her hometown of Columbia, Missouri. She supported the team at every step and absorbed much about the planning process for their clients, while completing her Bachelor of Science in Personal Financial Planning at the University of Missouri.

Shortly after graduating Sarah moved with her husband Justin to Los Angeles, where she joined a large team of financial advisors at Charles Schwab. She lead monthly educational workshops and coordinated many client events, and had quite the experience assisting with the opening of a new branch in Santa Monica. Life took their family back to the Midwest and Sarah moved with a team to J.P. Morgan Chase in Winnetka, where she was able to work even closer with families in the area here.

Sarah is an active yogi, practicing at home and at several studios in the area, loves reading, the outdoors, and she and her husband love spending as much active time as possible with their Australian Shepherd Chloe.