Meet The Team
At Murphy & Sylvest, we strive to serve our clients during the financial planning process through deep and meaningful relationships that last for generations.
Thomas E. Murphy, CFP®, AIF® Chief Executive Officer
Since 1988, Tom Murphy has specialized in helping business owners, corporate executives, military veterans and high net worth individuals create, preserve and transfer their wealth. Tom designs innovative business continuity plans, asset protection plans and tax-favored wealth accumulation and transfer strategies.
Tom holds a master’s degree in financial services and has earned the following designations: CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) professional, Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®), Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®), Accredited Estate Planner® (AEP®), Certified Family Business Specialist (CFBS), Certification for Long-Term Care (CLTC®), Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) and Special Care Planner.
Additionally, Tom is a licensed insurance counselor and is a member of various industry organizations, including the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC).
A Dallas native, Tom graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and served 5 ½ years in the Military Intelligence Corps. He and his wife, Ciel, have been married for more than 30 years and have two children, Katharine and Thayer.
Susan A. Sylvest, AIF® Chief Investment Officer and Founding Partner
Susan Sylvest has more than 25 years’ experience in wealth management specializing in assisting women, corporate executives and working professionals. Her experience includes asset allocation and investment advising for high net worth individuals through private client portfolios, as well as with two leading private banks, Frost Bank and Trust and Northern Trust Bank.
After relocating to Dallas from Boise, Idaho, Susan began in the Dallas office of Merrill Lynch as a financial advisor. She also has served as senior investment consultant with Banc One Investment Advisors and as vice president of investments and sales management for Fisher Investments, Inc. Before joining Murphy & Sylvest in early 2007, Susan was senior vice president of client services with a private wealth advisory firm, specializing in institutional asset allocation analysis for individuals of affluence as well as for families, corporations and institutions.
Susan holds a degree in economics from Indiana University and has earned the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) designation. She has passed the FINRA Series 65 securities exam and is a licensed Texas life and health insurance provider. In addition, she has completed all coursework for the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional designation.
Susan is the mother of four daughters and five stepchildren and is active in community organizations where she shares her time as well as financial expertise. She has served on the financial committee of the Dallas Women’s Foundation (now known as the Texas Women’s Foundation), the board of directors for the Dallas Children’s Theater, Senior Source, TACA and Junior Players.
Donald J. LaGrange Wealth Advisor
Donald J. LaGrange (Donnie) joined the Financial Services industry after retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army. Totaling nearly 22 years, his service included 6 years overseas. He led organizations as large as 2600 and served as the 2-Star level Protection program manager for Fort Carson and Atlantic Resolve, protecting our community domestically and planning for the protection of potential future basing in eastern Europe. His business credentials include the Project Management Professional (PMP) and Six Sigma (SSGB).
Donnie holds a B.S. in Economics from The United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, an M.Ed. in Educational Psychology (counseling) with a focus in adult development, and served 3 years teaching psychology as a rotating faculty member at USMA. He brings a rare blend of financial and human performance optimization to his advisory work.
Elizabeth Sullivan Wealth Advisor
Elizabeth (Liz) joined the financial services industry in 2020 after a 10-year career with Enterprise Holdings. Throughout her time at Enterprise Holdings, Liz pioneered The Exotic Car Collection, overseeing the purchase and sale of vehicles, the profits and losses of the division, and expanding to three locations throughout the DFW Metroplex.
In the fall of 2020, Liz made the shift into financial services and worked with Ameriprise Financial Services, following her passion for helping people achieve their financial goals. Liz currently holds her FINRA Series 7, Series 66 and Life and Health insurance licenses.
Liz joined Murphy & Sylvest in January 2022. She believes the best way to service clients is through objective, unbiased advice. Liz focuses on helping individuals and families evaluate their present financial situation, refine their financial goals, and develop a plan to achieve those goals.
Liz is originally from Tampa, Florida and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, and a minor in Spanish from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. In her free time, Liz serves as the Vice President for For the Love of the Lake, a nonprofit organization that focuses on keeping White Rock Lake clean for Dallas residents, and is the Treasurer for the Plano Chamber of Commerce Women's Division. Liz enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family.
Kathaleen Bauer, AIF®, CLTC® Senior Vice President
Kathaleen Bauer began her career in the financial planning industry in 2003 after an extensive tenure in banking. She offers in-depth experience helping individuals, families and small businesses evaluate their present financial positions and refine their financial goals. She develops and monitors plans that help clients achieve their goals with a broad emphasis on retirement planning and multigenerational planning through a wide array of strategies.
Originally from California, Kathaleen holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Louisiana State University. She holds the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® and Certification for Long-Term Care Planning designations and has passed the Series 65 securities exam.
In the community, Kathaleen serves on the Southern Methodist University Libraries Executive Board and is a member of Altrusa International Inc. of Downtown Dallas and the SMU Mustang Club.