Ray Hawkins

Vice President of Financial & Estate Planning


This is the greatest profession in the world! It’s a passion, not a job.

After spending 28 successful years as a trader on Wall Street culminating as Head of Equity Trading at JP Morgan, Ray was ready for a career change. When he was seeking out a financial advisor, a colleague referred him to Steven Kaye at AEPG, and after working with Steven for 12 years, Ray felt that he was financially prepared to walk away from his Wall Street position.  As a client of AEPG, Ray was confident that if anything ever happened to him, his family could walk into AEPG, and everything would be in order for them.

Ray could have retired or chosen any number of options for a second career, but he was so inspired by his experience as a client of AEPG, he decided to pursue the CFP® (CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™) designation, so he could help others prepare for retirement.  As he worked on his CFP® certification, Ray gained a deeper understanding of life, health and long-term care insurance as well as the make up of annuities and how these products work to help protect his clients. “I believe in a pay-it-forward kind of world,” says Ray. “And in doing the right things for my clients because I can and I should.” Being a fiduciary, and working solely in his clients’ best interests, is of the utmost importance to Ray.

Ray brings more than 30 years experience in the financial services industry to his leadership role at AEPG. As Vice President of the Financial and Estate Planning division, Ray offers his clients the benefits of problem solving in the areas of wealth strategies, executive compensation plans, tax reduction alternatives, and asset protection alternatives.

Previously he worked in investment banking as Managing Director of Institutional Equities Trading for 12 years at JP Morgan, as well as VP of Institutional Trading at CS First Boston for 16 years.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from Kean University, and is also a member in good standing of the National Financial Planning Association (FPA) and FPANJ as well an active member of the Greater Somerset / Middlesex Estate Planning Council, and the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils (NAEPC). Ray holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®), Accredited Wealth Management Advisor (AWMA®), Accredited Domestic Partnership Advisor (ADPA®), Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP®), and Accredited Estate Planner® (AEP®) professional designations. Ray is certified to help retirees understand and plan for income after their working years. Ray’s expertise and passion lies in working with retirees and clients planning retirement, meeting their unique needs regarding estate planning issues such as wealth transfers, federal estate taxation, retirement planning medical.  Ray is a life-long learner.  “The more I learn about this, the more enthused I get about it!”  Ray’s enthusiasm is contagious, and his clients find that he brings great value and joy to the table.

Ray also maintains Life and Health licenses with the State of New Jersey. He serves on the board and is treasurer of the non-profit organization, Preschool Advantage, which funds quality preschool education in Morris County and surrounding communities for children of families in need.  Ray enjoys cycling, running, golf and tennis.