• January 2014

Rita Cheng Launches New Financial Planning Firm: Blue Ocean Global Wealth

New investment advisory firm strives to be a trusted partner and educational resource

Experienced industry leaders Marguerita M. Cheng, CFP® and Sameer S. Somal, CFA, CFP® are proud to announce the launch of their new firm, Blue Ocean Global Wealth, provides corporations and institutions with portfolio construction, investment due diligence, and risk-management consulting services.

The firm also delivers comprehensive financial planning and wealth management solutions to families, entrepreneurs, and executives.

Inspired by “Blue Ocean Strategy”

Cheng and Somal explain that the inspiration for the name of their entrepreneurial vision came from the book, Blue Ocean Strategy, by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne.

“Surprisingly, the creators of ‘Blue Ocean’ do not use their competition as a benchmark,” Cheng notes. “They follow a different strategic logic that Professors Kim and Mauborgne call value innovation, which is the foundation of a ‘Blue Ocean’ strategy.”

To that end, the foundation of the Blue Ocean Global Wealth culture is education, excellence, and authenticity.

“Our inclusive environment respects talent diversity and embraces the distinct perspectives of each member of our Blue Ocean family,” Somal says. “Our culture rewards intelligence, growth, and performance.”

Integrity, Stewardship, Collaboration, Diversity, Innovation, Education

When Cheng and Somal opened their doors in late November, they insisted that these six principles will guide the work they do at their firm.

  • Integrity: We define integrity as the consistency of our actions, values, methods, expectations, outcomes, and measurement. Leadership demands responsibility.
  • Stewardship: This refers to the planning, management, and accountability of our clients’ and our firm’s resources. We aspire to be the best stewards of capital, education, and time.
  • Collaboration: It’s collaboration that guides how Blue Ocean Global Wealth interacts and partners with clients, associations, education institutions, governments, and society at-large.
  • Diversity: Our broad definition of diversity means embracing the differences among beings, creatures, beliefs, norms, and values. Stewarding a diverse culture—with respect to thought, age, ethnicity, skills, country origin, knowledge, and experience—requires a comprehensive understanding of this important principle.
  • Innovation: One of the most powerful forces of change through history, innovation fundamentally improves our globe’s progress trajectory.
  • Education: We foster an education-based culture that values how knowledge, skills, habits, experience, and wisdom are transferred among our clients, team, and the global community at-large.

“Blue Ocean Global Wealth focuses on each client’s financial needs and life goals,” Cheng concludes.

“We will employ an integrated and comprehensive approach to asset management and financial planning,” adds Somal. “At Blue Ocean Global Wealth, our intelligence, experience, and discipline stewards the growth and protection of our clients’ wealth.”

Speaking From Experience

Cheng and Somal bring decades of institutional portfolio and financial planning experience to the firm.

Marguerita M. Cheng, CFP® was a financial advisor at Ameriprise Financial prior to co-founding Blue Ocean Global Wealth, and an analyst and editor at Towa Securities in Tokyo, Japan. She is a CFP® professional, a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. She was also the 2013 chair of the Financial Planning Association of the National Capital Area (FPA NCA).

As a CFP Board Ambassador, Cheng helps educate the public, policymakers, and the media about the benefits of competent, ethical financial planning. She also volunteers for CFP Board Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (DEC) hearings. She proudly serves on the FPA national board of directors and is a member of its Finance Committee.

She has been quoted and featured in numerous national publications and is a monthly columnist for the Washington Business Journal and the online business magazine for entrepreneurs, BeInkandescent.com.

Cheng studied at Keio University in Japan and earned her BS in Finance and her BA in East Asian Language and Japanese Literature from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a recipient of Ameriprise Financial’s Presidential Award for Quality of Advice and the prestigious Japanese Monbukagakusho Scholarship.

Sameer S. Somal, CFA, CFP® was a Senior Investment Analyst at The Bank of Nova Scotia. As part of the Investment Strategy Group, he actively contributed to the firm’s white papers and institutional business development efforts.

Somal worked as a financial advisor and intermediary at Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch & Co. His fiduciary responsibilities at Ernst & Young and Advisor Compliance Associates include helping asset management and alternative investment companies adapt to Sarbanes–Oxley, the 2002 legislation designed to reform accounting practices and protect investors. Somal is a CFA Charterholder, a CFP® professional, and a Chartered Alternative Investment AnalystSM. He serves on the board of directors of the Philadelphia/Tri-State Financial Planning Association (FPA)—and he is an active member of the CFA Institute.

A 2012 FPA Diversity Scholar, Somal was chair of the 2013 FPA Diversity Scholarship Committee. He was a member of both the 2013 FPA Experience Conference Task Force and the FPA National Diversity Committee. A member of the guest lecture Speakers’ Series at Johns Hopkins University, he serves as a senior financial services leader on industry roundtable and panel discussions. Somal earned his BS in Finance and Accounting from Georgetown University.

For more information:

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