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Benjamin Pavlik's career is rooted in relationships.

“I think the real value in my world comes from building relationships and getting to know people and having my business partners trust that I’m going to do the right thing, that I’m going to put the time in to really understand their issues and help them find solutions,” he said.

Pavlik approaches his work as an executive at Johnson Financial Group (JFG) first from a business perspective and then from a legal perspective, he said. He established his understanding of how the two work together while an undergraduate at Miami University in Ohio, where he studied economics and finance. He then enrolled in a joint program at the University of Kansas to receive both his law degree and MBA.

Pavlik joined JFG in 2014 as vice president of wealth, legal, compliance and as risk manager before becoming senior vice president and legal counsel in 2015 and moving into his current position in 2023. The firm provides banking and wealth products and services. He said he is the only technical in-house counsel while the rest of his team focuses on issues such as compliance and vendor management.

Before coming to JFG, Pavlik started his career with UMB Financial Corp. in Kansas City, Missouri, and later moved to Milwaukee to work for UMB Fund Services Inc. It was here that he met Adam Bellmer, who Pavlik later recruited to JFG.

Today, Bellmer is the firm's senior vice president and chief compliance officer. Bellmer said Pavlik has a strong handle on JFG’s strategic direction. His close relationships with both internal and external partners gives him an understanding of the firm’s vision, what leaders are trying to execute and how he can help them get there, Bellmer said.

“He focuses on what matters and gets to the heart of the matter,” Bellmer said.

Pavlik and his wife, Kristen, have three children. He is actively involved as a school volunteer and youth sports coach and serves on the boards for both the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center.

Pavlik said doing “the right thing” and marrying that with the values of a family-run organization such as JFG breeds success, because “we care about people first.”


Name: Benjamin Pavlik

Title: Senior vice president, chief legal officer and assistant corporate secretary

Company: Johnson Financial Group

Favorite television legal character: Harvey Specter of “Suits”

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