About The Firm


Walter & Keenan is an independent Registered Investment Advisor that is dedicated to acting in your best interest at all times and to providing you and your family the tools necessary to approach your financial future with confidence.


Founded in 1982 by Donald Walter in Niles Michigan, the firm was one of the very first SEC-registered investment advisors in the region. At inception, the firm had a handful of clients and managed or advised on approximately $20mm in assets. Since that humble beginning, we have remained focused on our commitment to honesty and integrity while consulting with high net worth investors and families on all aspects of their financial lives. This focus, as well as a disciplined investment process, has allowed us to grow our assets under management by over 20 times.

James Keenan joined the firm in May 1985 after graduation from law school. Shortly after obtaining his Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) designation in 1991, Mr. Keenan was named chief investment officer. In 1999, Mr. Keenan assumed sole ownership of the firm. As the firm experienced substantial growth, two additional investment advisors joined to provide investment management services. James Sawdon and Dan Wolfson joined the firm in 2019 and 2021, respectively. Both James and Dan are experienced investment professionals with the background and expertise to handle the most complicated financial questions.

From investment management to estate planning and charitable giving strategies, Walter & Keenan has the breadth of experience to handle the most complicated circumstances.


  • PARTNERSHIP – To paraphrase Theodore Roosevelt, it has been our experience that “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” We start every client conversation by carefully listening. A true partnership does not begin with a recommendation and end with a performance report -it begins with caring and understanding.  Our client relationships typically span multiple generations. We are very proud of our nearly 100% client retention rate, and this is a testament to our commitment to each client’s satisfaction.
  • INDEPENDENCE – Walter & Keenan is a fee-only investment advisor. This means that we sell only our advice, and we receive no commissions or revenue sharing arrangements with third parties of any kind. We are not affiliated with any bank, broker, or other investment advisory firm. Our sole commitment is to serve you and your family, and we act solely your best interest.
  • INTEGRITY – We are humbled and honored to serve in a fiduciary capacity for our clients. This responsibility is not only a legal requirement, but one that we take great pride in representing. The fiduciary duty is the highest legal duty of one party to another and requires being bound ethically to act in the other’s best interest.


Focus on RELATIONSHIPS: We are dedicated to developing strong, lasting and impactful relationships with our clients and providing superior client service.

Dedicated to ongoing COMMUNICATION: Helping clients navigate life’s most important financial decisions requires an intense attention to detail and open lines of communication. We listen to our clients to understand what is truly important to them.

Devoted to higher LEARNING: Successfully navigating the ever-changing financial markets requires ongoing skills development and the mastery of new strategies and technologies.  We will never give up on our pursuit to better understand how we can improve the value we provide to our clients.

Engaged in the COMMUNITY: We are actively engaged in making a difference in our broader community through board service and volunteer opportunities.  We are proud of our hometown and strive to make this community a better place to live and work.