Austin V. Kelly, CFP®, AIF®, CPFA

Co-Founder and Managing Partner
Business Solutions Division

Austin V. Kelly is a co-founder of The BlackOak Group, LLC. His focus is retirement and fiduciary services—spending his time working with business owners, executive-level officers and plan trustees.

Austin is a Retirement Planning Specialist, a title awarded to him by Equitable Advisors and based on earning a Certificate in Retirement Planning from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

While in attendance at Northeastern University he received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship and small business management. In 1999, Austin was fortunate enough to work for a startup company in the UK. There, he built one of the world’s first custom product online order systems. The company was later acquired by an international distributor and its product is currently sold in over 33 countries.

After graduating from Northeastern University, Austin began working at Investors Bank and Trust, calculating daily Net Asset Values for TCW, as a Mutual Fund Accountant. It was at Investors Bank and Trust that Austin first learned the detailed operations of the mutual fund industry, and began his career in financial services.

Several years later, Austin and his family, moved from North Carolina and joined Equitable Advisors in his wife’s hometown of Buffalo, New York. Austin quickly discovered great success with Equitable , by sharing his unique skills and knowledge to address challenging and sometimes complex financial risks that clients face.Equitable Advisors soon recognized these successes and promoted Austin to Vice President, so that he could help lead other financial consultants to similar success.

As one of the founders of The BlackOak Group, Austin firmly believes continuous learning and state-of-the-art tools to stay focused on the purpose of BlackOak’s mission—helping clients achieve their financial goals.

Most recently, Austin was named to the 2016 Financial Times 401 Top Retirement Plan Advisers. The list recognizes the top financial advisers who focus on serving defined contribution (DC) retirement plans. Austin currently resides in Amherst with his wife and three sons.

Professional Recognition

  • Hall of Fame
  • Hallmark
  • Bronze Eagle
  • Summit
  • Circle of Excellence
  • Centurion
  • National Leaders Corps
  • 2016 Financial Times 401 Top Retirement Plan Advisers
  • Top 100 Equitable Advisors
  • Inductee into the Paramount Planning Group, a division of Equitable Advisors
  • MDRT Court of the Table Distinction
  • Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurial Leadership Grant
  • Business Times Circle of Excellence

Contact Information
Office: (716) 626-2556
Fax: (716) 568-8205

CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ are certification marks owned by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. These marks are awarded to individuals who successfully complete the CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.

The Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) designation certifies that the recipient has specialized knowledge of fiduciary standards of care and their application to the investment management process.

The Certified Plan Fiduciary Adviser (CPFA®) credential certifies the expertise required to act as a plan fiduciary or help plan fiduciaries manage their roles and responsibilities.


Retirement Planning Specialist title awarded by Equitable Advisors, based upon receipt of a Certificate in Retirement Planning from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

In a collaboration between the Wharton School and Equitable Advisors’ affiliate, Equitable Life Insurance Company (NY, NY), coursework for the certificate was developed exclusively for Equitable Advisors FPs, and the title may be used only by FPs who have completed the required coursework and maintain the title through ongoing continuing education requirements.

To verify that an FP has earned and holds the title in good standing, contact Equitable Complaints about Equitable  Advisors FP should be directed to