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Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors
697 Pomfret Street
Pomfret Center, CT 06259
Office: 860-928-2341

Professional Approach

Our strategic process: Plan Well. Invest Well. Live Well.

We are a true strategic partner that helps you every step of the way. Our strategic Plan Well. Invest Well. Live Well.™ process removes the guesswork, wishful thinking, and potential worries from investing. It’s based on extensive research, facilitated with the most up-to-date tools available, and fulfilled through a consistent partnership approach with our clients. Our goal is to deliver an unparalleled wealth management experience that you can depend on - every step of the way.

Our Mission & Values

It has always been our goal to deliver the best wealth management experience for every client, every time, at every touchpoint. We fulfill that mission by embracing the six core values that set us apart – we are independent, strategic, consistent, principled, academic and approachable. We also work to better the lives of others through a strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and meaningful community involvement.

Our Team

Our award-winning financial advisors offer more than 65 years of combined experience in the financial industry. As a partner of Commonwealth Financial Network®, the largest privately-owned independent Registered Investment Adviser broker-dealer in the U.S., we partner with clients in 25 states from our home base in Pomfret, Connecticut.

Laurence N. Hale, AAMS, CRPS®

Managing Partner

Phone: 860-928-2341
Team member photo

Laurence is a principal and founding partner of Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors. He is the Chief Investment Officer (CIO), leading portfolio management efforts and chairing the firm’s Investment Committee. In addition to developing goal-driven financial plans for clients, Laurence has extensive investment experience with estate planning and charitable strategies. Laurence has a particular focus on helping pre- and post-retirees and estate planning clients.

He is proud to have been recognized as a President’s Club advisor — a distinction based on annual production that placed him among the top advisors affiliated with Commonwealth Financial Network. He is also a recipient of the Five Star Wealth Manager Award1 for the last eight consecutive years, a recognition granted to less than 10 percent of Connecticut wealth managers this year. (Learn more about the Five Star Wealth Manager Award.)

Laurence brings many years of institutional investment experience, having started his career in the institutional defined contribution business for Putnam Investments. In addition to more than 27 years of investment management for our clients, Laurence has volunteered his professional talents on behalf of many non-profit and public institutions. He recently was elected Trustee for Connecticut's Episcopal Church Donations & Bequests Board in October of 2023, and he formerly served as an appointed member of Connecticut's Investment Advisory Council (IAC), an advisory body to the Connecticut State Treasurer, overseeing the approximately $34.2 billion in the State of Connecticut's retirement plans and trust funds, on behalf of more than 212,000 beneficiaries.

When not advising clients, Laurence is active with several non-profit and charitable organizations. Laurence currently serves as chairman of the YMCA of Greater Hartford’s Investment Committee, as member of the Hale YMCA Youth & Family Center’s Board of Advisors and is also a member of the Rectory School Board of Trustees. He is a former member of the Pomfret School Board of Trustees, Day Kimball Healthcare’s Finance Committee, past President of the Quinebaug Valley Community College (QVCC) Foundation, and over the years has supported many other organizations.

James A. Zahansky, AWMA®

Managing Partner

Phone: 860-928-2341
Team member photo

Jim Zahansky is Principal/Managing Partner at Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors, leading practice strategy, business development and client experience initiatives, and team leadership for the firm. Additionally, as our chief goals strategist and investment advisor, Jim leads the WHZ strategic financial planning function that leads clients through our Plan Well, Invest Well, Live Well™ process to help them reach their financial life goals. Jim has unique interest in guiding business owners through succession planning in addition to working with individual and family clients and non-profit endowments.

Jim transitioned to these pivotal roles at WHZ in 2014 after 17 years as a senior executive in the pharmaceutical industry, where he developed and implemented strategies and initiatives for major US pharmaceutical brands.

Throughout his career, Jim developed strong skill sets in company and brand strategy, leadership, fundamental finance, and interpersonal dynamics and regards one’s character as their defining quality.

Jim is active in the both the business community and the community at large. He currently serves as President of the Northeastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Chair of the Hale YMCA Board of Advisors, as a Director of the Day Kimball Healthcare Board and as a Corporator for Jewett City Savings Bank. He graduated from Bryant University with a business degree and was appointed to the University's Wall Street Council, joining other high-powered, finance-oriented alumni who are focused on innovations in the investment industry. Jim holds the designation of Accredited Wealth Management Advisor® (AWMA®) from the College for Financial Planning.

Leisl L. Cording, CFP®, CDFA®

Senior Vice President

Phone: 860-928-2341
Team member photo

Leisl brings nearly 15 years of experience working with high-net-worth individuals in multiple areas of retirement, financial, and estate planning. She enhanced her financial planning knowledge for individuals by obtaining the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP ®) certification in December 2016. Leisl is focused on helping early- and mid-career clients, particularly women and families, balance and prioritize their financial goals.

Leisl started her career in the trust and investment services department at U.S. Trust in 2008. While at U.S. Trust, she developed a passion for delivering superior client service and gained a broad knowledge of all aspects of wealth management while administering individual, retirement, and various types of trust accounts. She was responsible for managing client relationships ranging from $1 million up to $1 billion. Subsequently, she joined People’s United Bank in the wealth management department in 2014. She was an integral team member that helped to establish a wealth management presence in the Hartford, CT area. She assisted clients with navigating their complex financial situations and providing simple solutions to help reach their goals. Her responsibilities ranged from individual financial planning, trust and fiduciary administration, estate settlement, and investment management.

While at People’s United Bank, she was involved in their Women in Leadership program, which focused on women in business and allowed her to share her expertise with women on the topics of investing and financial planning. Today, Leisl is involved in various associations throughout northeast Connecticut. These include the Northeast Connecticut Women & Girls Fund Steering Committee, Putnam Business Association, Quassett Cemetery Association, The Woodstock Academy, Trustees of the Corporation, Board of Directors for The Woodstock Academy Foundation and coaching soccer for the NECONN United Soccer Club. 

Leisl grew up in Pomfret, CT and graduated from Woodstock Academy. She later graduated from Quinnipiac University in 2008 with a degree in Finance. She also played Division 1 soccer while attending Quinnipiac. She currently resides in Willington, CT and in her spare time, enjoys playing and coaching soccer, golfing, running, and traveling the world.

This award was issued on 11/1/23 by Five Star Professional (FSP) for the time period 2/13/23 through 8/31/23. Fee paid for use of marketing materials. Self-completed questionnaire was used for rating. This rating is not related to the quality of the investment advice and based solely on the disclosed criteria. 3,564 Connecticut-area wealth managers were considered for the award; 313 (9% of candidates) were named 2023 Five Star Wealth Managers. The following prior year statistics use this format: YEAR: # Considered, # Winners, % of candidates, Issued Date, Research Period. 2022: 2950, 290, 10%, 11/1/22, 2/29/22 - 9/2/22; 2021: 3191, 272, 9%, 11/1/21, 2/15/21 - 9/10/21; 2020: 3048, 285, 9%, 11/2/20, 2/17/20 - 9/18/20; 2019: 3147, 289, 9%, 11/1/19, 2/18/19 - 9/27/19; 2018: 3178, 293, 9%, 11/1/18, 2/15/18 - 9/21/18; 2017: 2218, 283, 13%, 11/1/17, 2/15/17 - 9/11/17; 2016: 1985, 417, 21%, 10/1/16, 3/25/16 - 9/28/16; 2015: 2398, 468, 20%, 11/1/15, 3/16/15 - 9/10/15; 2014: 3926, 515, 13%, 11/1/14, 3/16/13 - 9/10/13; 2013: 2263, 531, 23%, 11/1/13, 3/16/12 - 9/10/12; 2012: 2204, 503, 23%, 11/1/12, 3/16/11 - 9/10/11.
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Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. | © Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors 2023.

*Winners appearing on this page do not pay a fee to be considered or to win the Five Star Award. Professionals with a digital profile have paid a promotional fee.
Wealth managers do not pay a fee to be considered or placed on the final list of Five Star Wealth Managers. The award is based on 10 objective criteria. Eligibility criteria-required: 1. Credentialed as a registered investment adviser (RIA) or a registered investment adviser representative; 2. Actively licensed as a RIA or as a principal of a registered investment adviser firm for a minimum of 5 years; 3. Favorable regulatory and complaint history review (As defined by FSP, the wealth manager has not; A. Been subject to a regulatory action that resulted in a license being suspended or revoked, or payment of a fine; B. Had more than a total of three settled or pending complaints filed against them and/or a total of five settled, pending, dismissed or denied complaints with any regulatory authority or FSP's consumer complaint process. Unfavorable feedback may have been discovered through a check of complaints registered with a regulatory authority or complaints registered through FSP's consumer complaint process; feedback may not be representative of any one client's experience; C. Individually contributed to a financial settlement of a customer complaint; D. Filed for personal bankruptcy within the past 11 years; E. Been terminated from a financial services firm within the past 11 years; F. Been convicted of a felony); 4. Fulfilled their firm review based on internal standards; 5. Accepting new clients. Evaluation criteria-considered: 6. One-year client retention rate; 7. Five-year client retention rate; 8. Non-institutional discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered; 9. Number of client households served; 10. Education and professional designations. FSP does not evaluate quality of services provided to clients. The award is not indicative of the wealth manager's future performance . Wealth Managers may or may not use discretion in their practice and therefore may not manage their clients' assets. The inclusion of a wealth manager on the Five Star Wealth Manager list should not be construed as an endorsement of the wealth manager by FSP or this publication. Working with a Five Star Wealth Manager or any wealth manager is no guarantee as to future investment success, nor is there any guarantee that the selected wealth managers will be awarded this accomplishment by FSP in the future. Visit