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Our Team

Todd S. Levine, RICP® Photo
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Todd S. Levine, RICP®

Founder & President

Some may find it hard to believe that an executive who launched his career in the trenches of the New York Stock Exchange could build a family-oriented financial planning group based on trust, unparalleled customer service, and a fierce dedication to personal relationships. Those people haven’t met Todd Levine.

You don’t survive on the floor of the Exchange without passion — and purpose. And you don’t build a fast-growing financial planning business without a passion for personal service, expert financial and investment advice, and a deep understanding of your clients’ goals and dreams. Todd began his professional career working for industry leaders like Helfant Group, Jefferies & Co, and Bloomberg Tradebook. The Brooklyn native rose quickly through the trading ranks, holding various leadership roles including equities trader and execution sales trader.

But Todd was missing one critical element on Wall Street — seeing firsthand how his work was making a difference in someone’s life. When Todd was recruited to join Northeast Financial Network (NEFN) in 2008, he found the company’s holistic approach to financial planning intriguing and the ideal fit with his own professional philosophy. As his portfolio of clients continued to grow, the company also provided a perfect foundation from which to launch the Levine Financial Group, an affiliate of NEFN.

“Too often, we see people focusing solely on the rate of return instead of the bigger picture,” Todd explains. “Our approach is to anticipate and plan for obstacles, giving our clients a solid process for achieving their goals regardless of circumstance. Once that process is in place, they’re well on their way to building wealth that can make a measurable difference for their heirs or charitable interests.”

Todd has earned numerous accolades for his work, placing him among the industry’s elite. He lives in Monmouth County, New Jersey, with his wife, Maria, and two young children. He enjoys traveling with his family and is a frequent guest speaker at investor groups and industry conferences across the U.S. Todd remains committed to his local community and to the community of financial professionals; he is among a select group of senior industry professionals chosen to mentor junior planners around the country.

Clients and colleagues point to Todd’s passion for finance and commitment to personal and professional development as the keys to the Levine Financial Group’s success. “Our job is to help people step back and view the big picture: what they want life to look like, what they need to do to get there, and how they can protect their family in the process,” says Todd. “That, for me and my team, is what success is all about.” 

Check the background of our investment professionals on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

Registered Representative and Financial Advisor of Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS). Securities products and advisory services offered through PAS, member FINRA, SIPC. Financial Representative of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), New York, NY. PAS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Guardian. Levine Financial Group is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian. CA Insurance License #0H01258; AR Insurance License #1567074.

Michael A. Karlin Photo
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Michael A. Karlin

Senior Vice President

A former trader on the currency exchange, Mike Karlin is now turning his financial know-how and aversion to risk into success. His goal is to empower people with the ability to understand the types of financial products and services in the marketplace today. 

Mike’s principled approach and well-earned reputation for integrity and trust-building are appreciated by clients and colleagues alike. He explains, “During my career, I worked and traded and created something that worked for me and my family. Now, I work on behalf of individuals and business clients, helping them plan for a safe and secure future, for themselves and their families.”

As a long-time resident of Manalapan, New Jersey, Mike is devoted to serving his community in many ways and works with several local organizations to help give back. 

Check the background of our investment professionals on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

Registered Representative of Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS). Securities products offered through PAS, member FINRA, SIPC. Financial Representative of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), New York, NY. PAS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Guardian. Levine Financial Group is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian. CA Insurance License #0K13300.


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Ben Duronio

Financial Advisor

Ben’s commitment and passion is to helping people gain control over their financial futures. He has aligned himself with Levine Financial Group, and Park Avenue Securities where he has been an advisor over the past seven years. His clients include young professionals, new families, business owners, and near-retirees in a number of different professions. The majority of Ben’s clientele works in law, the medical practice, advertising, tech, fashion, and financial services.

By default, or by design, he recognizes that people already have a plan in place. Often times decisions around group benefits, retirement, auto and home insurance, mortgage selection, properly mitigating against excessive taxation, estate planning, life insurance, etc. are made at the specific time those opportunities or concerns must be handled. This is where Ben comes in. With the understanding that a decision in one area of a financial plan can either enhance or adversely impact another area, Ben assists in co-creating a plan with his clients to construct a plan that simultaneously quells their concerns surrounding their finances and reach their most important financial goals.

Prior to beginning his career, he received an undergraduate degree and MBA from St. John’s University and is a graduate of Bergen Catholic High School, where he was a varsity wrestler and a member of Team New Jersey for the Cadet National Duals and the Cadet National Tournament. Wrestling was and is a huge part of Ben’s life, as it taught him commitment, mental fortitude, and a number of other highly important lessons that translate into professional life. For the past two years, Ben volunteers his time as an assistant wrestling coach at Ocean Township High School.

Ben is a resident of Asbury Park, New Jersey with his dog Kona. In his spare time, Ben can be found spending time with his family, going on hikes with Kona, golfing, volunteering for Surf Rider, seeing live music all across the Jersey Shore, and eating at restaurants throughout the tri-state area. 

Check the background of our investment professionals on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

Registered Representative and Financial Advisor of Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS). OSJ: 120 Broadway 37th Floor, New York, NY  10271, 212-701-7900. Securities products and advisory services offered through PAS, member FINRA, SIPC. Financial Representative of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), New York, NY. PAS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Guardian. Levine Financial Group is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian. CA Insurance License #0M13089.


ARU approved under 2020-92734.

Brett Zajac Photo
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Brett Zajac

Financial Representative

A promising young financial representative, Brett adds to the passion and commitment within the Levine Financial Group. He works to provide his clients with a strong financial foundation so they may grow their own wealth, and achieve their goals and dreams, and he recognizes there is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating a financial plan. Brett values the success and happiness of his clients above all else and strives to ensure that they are in a better position after working with him than before. 

Brett attended Towson University in Maryland for his undergraduate degree. While there, he earned a degree in Business Administration with a dual concentration in Financial Planning as well as Investments. During his time at Towson University, Brett worked as an intern with one of the biggest names in the food industry, McCormick & Company. Through his studies and experiences, he developed a passion for the world of finance.

Brett resides in Howell, NJ as he has for all his life. Being the oldest of 4, he’s learned the importance of family and accountability. In his free time Brett is usually enjoying all the great activities that the Jersey Shore has to offer; whether it be the beach or restaurants, he’s always open to enjoy new experiences. Brett also makes sure to continue improving his craft, as there’s always room for growth and knowledge to be obtained and shared. 

Financial Representative of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), New York, NY. Levine Financial Group is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian.

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Ray Navarrete

Financial Representative

Ray Navarrete, a graduate of Seton Hall University, played Division 1 baseball in the Big East Conference. Upon graduation, Ray began a 14-year professional baseball career that included time in the Pittsburgh Pirates, Houston Astros, New York Mets organizations. Career highlights include playing against the New York Yankees in Major League spring training and facing Hall of Fame pitcher, Mariano Rivera.

Following his playing days, Ray founded Digmi, a lifestyle apparel brand that has been sold in national retailers such as Bloomingdales, Tilly’s and Lids.

A Monmouth County native, Ray grew up in Colts Neck, spending time with family and friends down the shore. Now a family man, Ray is married to his wife Nicole and is the proud father to their young daughter Stella Rose. Outside of the office, Ray is committed to giving back to the game he loves, devoting time as a youth baseball instructor and coach.

In his new career position, Ray is utilizing his “team player” approach to provide his clients with comprehensive planning and protection to help ensure a winning future.

Financial Representative of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), New York, NY. Levine Financial Group is not an affiliate or subsidiary of Guardian. 


Karen Stevenson Photo
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Karen Stevenson

Client Relations Manager & New Business Administrator

Karen Stevenson is all about providing clients with the best experience possible. By always keeping clients, their unique needs, and their goals top of mind, Karen brings Levine Financial Group’s family-oriented values to each and every interaction with clients and co-workers alike.

With a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a major in Marketing from Pace University, Karen not only has an eye for the ins and outs of businesses and how they operate but also has strong communication skills which help her provide top client experiences.

Karen has prior work experience at organizations like Smith Barney, Credit Suisse First Boston, and Weight Watchers International, where she experienced how just important communication is in shaping a client’s experience with a company.

Karen was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, and now lives in Manalapan, NJ with her husband and their two sons. Outside of work, Karen enjoys spending time with her family and friends.




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Dana Ehrig

Client Relations & Marketing Coordinator

An up and coming social media & marketing guru, Dana brings her skills to the LFG team by providing our clients and advisors with the best possible experience and an unparalleled level of diligence and accuracy.

Dana attended Brookdale Community College to begin her undergrad and finished with her Bachelors in Marketing at Monmouth University. Throughout her school career, Dana worked at a privately owned fitness facility, which sparked her passion for fitness and there she learned how to properly service clients.

Currently Dana lives in Marlboro, NJ where she was born and raised! She is an only child and comes from a small, but tight-knit family. In her spare time, she enjoys all things beauty and fitness related! Along with running a beauty blog, Dana enjoys learning new techniques and ways to improve herself in both mind and body. 

Jacqueline Distefano Photo

Jacqueline Distefano

Client Relations & New Business Administrator