The Team

Michael R. Smith, CLU

Michael graduated from Virginia Tech in 1983 and began working in the financial services industry that same year. In 1994, he became a John Hancock general agent and built that business to over 60 registered representatives operating in 5 states.

In 2008, Mike founded The Financial Partners Group – a multiple-shareholder wholesale financial services firm – and in late 2010, converted TFP to its current independent status.

Mike brings vision, leadership and executive level expertise to The Financial Partners Group. He is also the author of “Tread Lightly“, an essential resource for every consumer and client advocate looking to successfully purchase and maintain a complex life insurance portfolio.




Kathleen M. Donnelly, CFP, ChFC, AIF
Vice President

Kathy spent 25 years in California during which time she began her financial services career with John Hancock Financial Network. She came up through the ranks starting as a financial sales representative, was promoted to sales manager and then assumed the role of regional manager.

Kathy became the Managing Partner of the Orange County California Agency, performing in that role for 10 years.

After relocating to Atlanta, Kathy joined The Financial Partners Group in 2010. She brings an experienced and successful producer’s eye to the role a brokerage agency plays within an individual producer’s business.




Meredith Walters

Meredith Walters was born and raised in the Roanoke Valley area of Virginia. She has been a business owner and has always had a sharp mind for accounting. Merdie began working in financial services under the Michael R. Smith Agency in 1994 as the bookkeeper. Her commitment and work efforts quickly earned her the position of Office Manager and eventually Director of Operations. Merdie moved to Atlanta in 2003 with Mike and was involved in the founding of The Financial Partners Group(TFP) in 2008. She has experience in virtually every area of administration within a financial services firm.

Merdie recently retired but was asked to come back to TFP as the Concierge to Brokers and Financial Advisors in the area of Premium Finance and large cases. She will pay very close attention to all details and see that these important cases are handled daily in the most responsible manner possible.

Merdie enjoys spending time traveling and going to the beach with her son, daughter in law and her three grandsons.




Harris Vinson

Harris Vinson is the New Business Coordinator for The Financial Partners Group (TFP). He is a native of Georgia and graduated from the University of North Georgia with a degree in Business Administration. Harris grew up in an entrepreneurial environment and spent several years growing his family’s business. He has a unique understanding of how small businesses operate and ensures that every client is treated with respect and professionalism.

Harris has worked in product development, freight management, and direct-to-consumer insurance sales. He currently is responsible for overseeing TFP case submissions to assure our Brokers’ business is handled as efficiently as possible.




Sean Vanhorse

Sean was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, educated in the Baltimore City schools where he became a standout student/athlete in football and track. His talents were recognized by various colleges in the region, but Sean eventually enrolled at Howard University where he received a full athletic scholarship and completed a successful 4-year college career. In 1990 Sean was drafted to play in the National Football League and at the time became Howard University’s highest draft pick in school history. In the same year, Sean received a degree from Howard University.

After being drafted, Sean enjoyed a successful NFL career where he achieved various accomplishments, served the community, and realized his dream of playing in the Super Bowl with the 1994 San Diego Chargers. Following his NFL career, Sean assumed various leadership roles in business and insurance sales. As the consummate professional, Sean is committed to building strong relationships based on trust, exemplary service, and consistency with the goal of solidifying lasting and productive partnerships.

Sean is a versatile talent with various interests. He has spent almost 20 years volunteering in his community as a youth coach, speed/agility trainer, and mentor to middle school students. Sean is passionate about using sports to help motivate youth to become productive citizens and leaders. His passion for learning and continued personal growth motivates him as he pursues a Master’s Degree at Tulane University. Married to Juilee, his college sweetheart, for 26 years. Sean and Juilee are the proud parents of two children—Sydne and Solomon . The Vanhorse Family are active members in the community; they also enjoy sports, fitness, golf, and travel.

Sean will bring the same dedication and focus to working with you to increase the revenue in your practice as he did towards his successful football career. His efforts will drive the life insurance side of your business to GO PRO!

Check Out Seans’s Video Here